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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
PK07.13c - Livin’ on a Prayer: One Instructor’s Experience with a Classroom Response System in a First Year Course in Religious Studies

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Engaging and empowering students is the goal of any instructor. This pecha kucha presentation reflects on how one instructor implemented a classroom response system (CRS) in a high-enrollment, introductory religious studies course from two perspectives: that of the instructor and that of an independent observer, the research assistant. The instructor’s perspective will outline some of the technical challenges faced as well as relate how the CRS did or did not help to foster student engagement in the classroom. The research assistant’s perspective will summarize how the instructor used the CRS, and the extent to which that use was or was not successful. This combined narrative is auto-ethnographic and reflexive in that it focuses on the cognitive and emotional experience of the researchers. Of course, in any classroom, especially when using a CRS, student response is critical and affects the classroom dynamic in ways that are not always measurable. This narrative will also address briefly some of the obstacles the research team encountered while endeavoring to undertake a SoTL project that focused on Teaching and Learning in the Social Sciences/Humanities. The instructor encountered considerable obstacles, both technological and pedagogical, when using the CRS, but the impact on student engagement and empowerment is, from a social-scientific perspective, unknown. Nevertheless, we would argue that our perception of classroom dynamics points to interesting avenues for further investigation.

avatar for Philippa Carter

Philippa Carter

Teaching Professor, McMaster University
Philippa Carter has taught Religious Studies at McMaster for almost twenty-five years as a graduate teaching assistant, a sessional lecturer, a contractually-limited appointment and now as the permanent teaching professor. She has taught or co-taught the department's full-year introductory... Read More →

Whitney Ross

Whitney Ross is pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at McMaster University and during her time as a graduate student has served as a TA in a broad range of the Department's courses. Not only does she serve as the co-investigator/research assistant for this project but has also... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45 EDT
UCC 315 (Council Chambers)