The Truth is Out There
Starting the Conversation
Three professors investigate conspiracies in class and on their podcast
Humber makes consent education a priority for faculty and staff
Advice on de-stressing and encouraging under-represented students in your classes
INTRODUCING PANOPTO, HUMBERâ€™S NEW EDUCATIONAL VIDEO-STREAMING PLATFORM See p.20 for the full story
TABLE OF CONTENTS Spring/Summer 2019
SPRING/SUMMER 2019, ISSUE 12
A SPECIAL THANK YOU FOR YOUR CREATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS: This issue of NEXT was created with the help of students from Humber’s Professional Writing and Communications program. Nathan Whitlock, Editor, Humber Press Kristin Valois, Editorial Assistant, Humber Press
Heidi Marsh, Director, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Dekel Chui and Andrea Chan, Graphic Designers, The Centre for Teaching & Learning Humber Press 205 Humber College Blvd. Toronto, ON M9W 5L7 HumberPress@humber.ca humberpress.com @HumberPress
On request, this document is available in alternate formats. Please call CTL at 416.675.6622 Ext. 5040.
Welcome to NEXT 5
Editor’s Note: All Together Now
Focus on Faculty 6
Two Humber Faculties Collaborate on a Film About Mental Health And Addiction
Three Professors Talk About Their First Year as Full-Timers
Faculty of Liberal Arts Profs Explore Conspiracies in the Classroom and on Their Podcast
Humber Makes Consent Education a Priority for Faculty and Staff
The NEXTcast Q&A: Leanne Milech and Sarah Feldbloom
Global Teaching and Learning 16
Two Ambitious Academic Partnerships Demonstrate the Rewards of International Collaborations NEXT Scholarship 22
Professor Daniel Bear Discusses Student-Led Research Into Cannabis Education
TIF Stories: The Impact of Sickle Cell Disease Education
Sustainable Teaching 26
Experiential Learning 28
An Interdisciplinary Group of Students Explores Global Migration Through Art
The Annual Interprofessional Educational Collaboration Workday Lets Students Hone Their Skills
NEXT Tech 18
How Professor Robert Blain Transformed a TextMessaging App Into a Networking Tool for Humber Grads Introducing Panopto, Humberâ€™s New Educational Video-Streaming Platform Cover Story
Humberâ€™s Culinary Arts Program Helps Students Create Sustainable Cuisine
Ask NEXT 32
Ask NEXT: Advice on de-stressing and encouraging under-represented students in your classes
It’s here. Humber’s new academic video streaming platform has arrived. Making videos just got easier with Panopto. Visit panopto.humber.ca to get started.
Teaching and Learning ➧ Theory and Practice ➧ Applied Research and Scholarship ➧
Learn more, get updates and find out how to submit:
WELCOME TO HUMBER
ALL TOGETHER NOW
THIS PAST SPRING SAW THE debut of The Struggle Back, a short documentary film about mental health and addiction and their often difficult intersection with law enforcement. The film was created by two Humber professors from two different programs—Arun Dhanota of Police Foundations and Dan Rowe of Journalism—as well as a team of enthusiastic and dedicated students. (You can read the complete story of the film’s genesis on p.6.) The Struggle Back is not only a powerful film and an effective teaching tool, it is a symbol of what can be accomplished when Humber faculty reach out to work with others. Collaboration can sometimes seem like a difficult and complicated process. As Dan Rowe himself puts it in our story: “I thought it was easier to do some things by myself, or with people that I work closely with in my own program.” What seems complicated at first, however, very often turns out to be rewarding in multiple ways, as well as easier than anticipated. This issue of NEXT is full of stories about Humber’s remarkable faculty, staff and students throwing
themselves into collaborations that pay off with enormous educational and professional rewards. From Faculty of Liberal Arts professors collaborating on critical research (p. 30), to students from the Graphic Design and Computer Science programs partnering with students a few whole time zones away on a pair of real-world projects (p.16), collaborations are a big part of what Humber—and NEXT magazine—are all about. Here’s Rowe again, on a lesson he learned helping to make The Struggle Back: “We got support everywhere we turned, and it made me see and believe in the benefits of expertise across programs and departments.” We are always looking for your stories of collaboration and more. Please contact us at HumberPress@Humber.ca
FOCUS ON FACULTY
Documenting Struggle TWO HUMBER FACULTIES COLLABORATE TO CREATE A FILM ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION By Kaysey Davis
THE STRUGGLE BACK IS A new 30-minute documentary film about three men’s lived experience with mental illness, addiction and their interactions with law enforcement. The film is a collaboration between two Humber programs— Police Foundations and Journalism—but it is also a powerful teaching tool, as well as a symbol for what Humber profs can accomplish when they go in search of the best materials for their students. Police Foundations professor Arun Dhanota knew her students needed to learn how to interact with the public, and specifically people with addiction and mental illness issues. As she explained on an episode of Humber NEXTcast earlier this year: “We’re always trying to find ways to equip our students with what’s going to happen when they go into the field.” When she couldn’t find teaching materials that were appropriate, Dhanota decided to make something instead. “It was one of those things where I thought, if I can’t find it, why not create it?” she told NEXTcast. Dhanota reached out to Journalism program coordinator Dan Rowe to pitch the idea of working together to create a documentary. He was immediately receptive. “I really liked the idea of using the skills and tools that our students have to do something that helps people,” says Rowe. “That’s ultimately the goal of journalism.” Dhanota and Rowe applied for support through the Teaching Innovation Fund and selected four students to help with the project. Over the course of a year and a PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / SRDJAN RANDJELOVIC
Arun Dhanota, Faculty of Social and Community Services
Dan Rowe, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
It was really useful to have people from two different programs working together because it was a real example of working as a group.
FOCUS ON FACULTY
half, the documentary came to fruition. Working on the film allowed students to strengthen skills like interviewing and making connections with the public, as well as more technical skills like using a camera. Above all, the students learned how to collaborate. “It was really useful to have people from two different programs working together because it was a real example of working as a group,” says Rowe. He notes that it was a valuable a learning opportunity for him, too. “It was great working with [Arun],” he says. “I learned a lot from watching how she works and interacts with students.” The project also helped Rowe become more confident about reaching out for help. “Before, I thought it was easier to do some things by myself, or with people that I work closely with in my own program,” he says. “We got support
everywhere we turned, and it made me see and believe in the benefits of expertise across programs and departments.” The response to the documentary has been very positive. In late March, Humber hosted a special screening at its Lakeshore campus. Rowe notes how powerful it was to have two of the film’s three subjects at the screening. “I think it really affected people,” he says. Both Rowe and Dhanota hope to have multiple programs use the film as a teaching tool. They are currently working to make it available to the public. “I am looking to make it a permanent fixture, and just open it up to whoever feels they could use that film in whichever capacity they need,” Dhanota says. ear Arun Dhanota and Dan Rowe discuss H The Struggle Back on NEXTcast episode 2.13: soundcloud.com/humbernextcast/ nextcast-213-arun-dhanota-and-dan-rowe-on-thedocumentary-the-struggle-back
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Year One THREE PROFESSORS TALK ABOUT THEIR FIRST YEAR AS FULL-TIMERS By Leo Bickers
THE END OF THE ACADEMIC year is always full of mixed emotions: relief at completing a marking marathon, but also sadness—it also means saying goodbye to memorable students. For professors who became fulltime in 2018, the end of the most recent semester was especially poignant. We sat down with three new full-time professors—Naeema Farooqi (Advertising and Marketing Communications), Christine Dennis (Nursing), and Matthew Harris (English)—to get a sense of how their experiences went. All three have been teaching part-time for years, and say their new full-time status provides a sense of stability and an institution to call home. Harris is especially grateful for the latter. “I was working at both Humber and George Brown, and I was often commuting,” he says. “It’s nice having a home base that I can come to. It’s nice feeling that I have a place I can grow in. That’s exciting to me.” Dennis says that her full-time status gives her the sense that she can experiment more with her teaching methods, something that connects well with Humber’s culture of innovation. “There are so many different and creative things going on, and when people are encouraging you to be creative, to think differently, they really mean it,” she says. “You are allowed to try different things. They may not always work, but we won’t know if we don’t try.” ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK / ELENABSL
FOCUS ON FACULTY
There are so many different and creative things going on, and when people are encouraging you to be creative, to think differently, they really mean it. All three profs sing the praises of the Teaching Excellence Program (TEP), administered by The Centre for Teaching & Learning. “I love the way that they bring together all new faculty members,” Farooqi says. “To feel that sense of community with other people who are in the same boat as you are, starting their journey with Humber— there’s a lot of camaraderie.” Dennis is especially grateful for the exposure to other academic disciplines and other ways of teaching. “Last week I went to a culinary math teaching session,” she says. “Even though that content has nothing to do with nursing, it was just interesting to see [the professor’s] approach to managing these students who were literally right out of high school and acting very differently than many of the nursing students that I’m used to interacting with.” All three professors, along with their entire cohort of new full-time faculty, now get a couple of months to recharge, reflect on the lessons of the past year, and prepare for the fall semester. No matter how long you’ve been teaching, the learning never ends.
Christine Dennis, Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness
Naeema Farooqi, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
G CE IN EN H L M AC E L R A TE XC O G E R P
Matthew Harris, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning
FOCUS ON FACULTY
The Truth Really is Out There THREE PROFS EXPLORE WEIRD CONSPIRACIES IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON THEIR POPULAR PODCAST By Chris Deacon
WAS KURT COBAIN MURDERED? Was the moon landing faked? Does Beyoncé rule the Illuminati? These are just a few of the conspiracy theories that Humber profs and friends Nathan Radke, Lee Kuhnle and Alena Papayanis ponder monthly on their podcast series, “The Uncover Up.” The series, which streams on iTunes and Soundcloud free of charge, was co-created by Radke and Kuhnle in response to interest from students in their Conspiracy Theories and Critical Thinking class. “Conspiracy theories have become a really dominant and almost epidemic event in our culture,” says Radke, who has a background in logic and persuasion. “It seemed like students were always asking us for more information about them—they wanted to take more classes, they wanted to do more assignments. We thought this would be a nice complement to the course.” Launched in 2017, the podcast has a current fan base of 2,000, which Papayanis says is growing. Radke originally created the show, in part, as an experiment to see if podcasts could be used as readings
COLLAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK / JSTONE, SILVERCIRCLE, TAIRY GREENE, KATJA GERASIMOVA, FABIO DIENA, JAKUB GRYGIER
FOCUS ON FACULTY
For Radke, one of the best parts of making the podcast is that it allows him to remain a learner. “One of the most important things for a professor is that they remain interested in what they’re talking about,” he says. “If the professor isn’t interested, I don’t see any reason why the student would be interested.” Papayanis agrees: “It’s fun,” she of recording an episode. “It gives us something outside of just teaching to look forward to.”
It’s an excellent way to practice informal reasoning skills and informal logic. All three professors apply the work they do for the podcast to their respective course delivery, especially in the area of critical thinking. “It’s an excellent way to practice informal reasoning skills and informal logic,” says Radke. Papayanis notes that such skills are especially critical in an age when anyone can get ideas confirmed on the Internet, no matter how outlandish. “It’s important to be able to distinguish what is true from what isn’t true, or what’s highly improbable to what may be possible,” she says. As the podcast continues to gain listeners, it generates more interest for the class. “Increasingly a student will say ‘I took this course because I heard the podcast,’” says Radke, “which I find very satisfying.” So does Beyoncé rule the Illuminati? “Not at all,” laughs Papayanis. “She just rules.” instead of more conventional articles. The students were receptive, and he quickly discovered that doing the show was a natural extension of his teaching. “It seemed like a very interesting way to supply content to that discipline,” Radke says. “And of course, the more I got into it, the more I realized there are basically only two possibilities for a conspiracy theory: it’s true or it’s not true.” That binary approach forms the basis of the show. Each month, Radke, Kuhnle and recent addition Alena Papayanis, who teaches the course online, meet up for an hour of lively conversation about controversies as diverse as CIA monitoring and surveillance during the Cold War, or the role of the mafia in the death of Marilyn Monroe. After batting around ideas, the trio enter a rigorous online research period, aided by files that have been declassified by the FBI and the CIA. “Part of what we do is look for legit sources or multiple sources that corroborate one another,” says Papayanis.
Lee Kuhnle, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning
Alena Papayanis, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning
Nathan Radke, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning
FOCUS ON FACULTY
Starting the Conversation HUMBER MAKES CONSENT EDUCATION A PRIORITY FOR FACULTY AND STAFF By Samira Chowdhury
IN THE AGE OF #METOO and #TimesUp, Humber College is taking major strides to address issues of consent, sexual assault and sexual violence. Campus-wide initiatives have been developed to engage faculty and staff to help them to respond to situations that may arise in the classroom, as well as to raise awareness of these critical issues. All faculty and staff were mandated to complete the sexual violence training modules through the Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity portal. There are also additional initiatives and workshops offered throughout the year to support continuous education. For the past few years, Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) workshops have been offered to explain how bystanders can use safe intervention techniques to prevent sexual and relationship violence. Since its inception, the program has trained more than 300 faculty and staff, as well as more than 2,000 students. Jennifer Flood, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator, facilitates the workshops alongside Senior Consent Peer Educators. The two-hour workshops are tailored to teach faculty and staff how to respond effectively in scenarios such as a student disclosing in the classroom, or someone bringing up a challenging comment.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / KIWIOFMISCHIEF
There are many staff and faculty who have really been champions of sexual violence prevention on campus.
Jennifer Flood, Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator
FOCUS ON FACULTY
Here are some ways faculty and staff can support consent education: 1. Invite Consent Peer Educators to their classroom, department, and events. The team is open to including the Bringing in the Bystander workshop in the course syllabi to ensure students are learning about safe intervention during their time at Humber.
In the coming year, faculty and staff can expect to see the workshops offered on a larger scale, as the Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Support team work in collaboration with crisis workers to equip Humber faculty with the tools they need. The team has also been doing extensive outreach work and building relationships with different programs in order to provide learning opportunities for students. For the past four years, they have been working alongside Susan Ferri, a clinical instructor from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, in order to provide work placement to nursing students. The Humber community has been vocal in its support for these ongoing initiatives. “There are many staff and faculty who have really been champions of sexual violence prevention on campus, and we’ve had several testimonials throughout the year,” Flood says. Still, she’s eager to get more input. “We do value feedback from faculty immensely. If they have an interest, chances are that we will be onboard with it as we grow.”
2. Take part in the annual Take Back the Night march to show support for survivors of sexual violence.
3. Request appointments with Student Support and Intervention Coordinators.
4. Consult the Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Support website to learn more about on-campus initiatives and policies.
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The NEXTcast Q&A IN THIS EXCERPT FROM A RECENT NEXTCAST EPISODE, PROFESSORS LEANNE MILECH AND SARAH FELDBLOOM DISCUSS THEIR RESEARCH INTO THE USE OF MULTIMODAL TEXTS AS TEACHING TOOLS By NEXT Staff
FOCUS ON FACULTY
LEANNE MILECH AND SARAH FELDBBLOOM, PROFESSORS IN THE FACULTY OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES AND INNOVATIVE LEARNING
Leanne Milech and Sarah Feldbloom, Professors in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning [This excerpt has been edited for clarity and length.] NEXT: What exactly is a multimodal text? Leanne Milech: The easiest way to explain it is to say that every text uses multiple ways of communicating information. Even a piece of paper with writing on it has two modes of communicating: there’s the white space on the page, and the text itself. A movie has even more—there’s sound, images, captions. We’re using multimodal texts all the time. The way that we’ve used the definition of multimodal texts is to focus on texts that are digital in nature. NEXT: What kinds of classes are you implementing these changes into? Sarah Feldbloom: We’re both in the English department, so we both teach various writing courses. The course that we’re doing this formal research in is a WRIT 100 class, which is a fundamental writing and communications class that looks at building skills for critical analysis, summarizing, paraphrasing, and reading comprehension. For instance, instead of writing a summary of an article, students produced a podcast as their summary. Their learning tools are multimodal, and they’re also producing multimodal texts for all of their activities and assignments. NEXT: Was part of the spur to bring in other resources to increase engagement in the classroom? Sarah: It’s so funny that you say that. Leanne and I are quite attracted to reluctant learners. For both of us it’s
really important to notice the students in the class who maybe don’t have a lot of confidence around writing and communication, or haven’t had great experiences in the past, or for whatever reason don’t have a very rich foundation. Before we started talking about it, we were both doing things in our classrooms that were accessing this approach and these kinds of texts, because we thought it was good for the students generally and also were excited to support students who were reluctant. Leanne: When I came to my first class, I immediately noticed there was some resistance to the material. My instinct was “How can I engage these students?” I started doing critical analysis with film, and I also love music so I was bringing in songs. We analyzed Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair.” I saw right away it lit them up, and it helped them access the material. NEXT: Isn’t a lot of this just good teaching? I totally understand the idea of formalizing it and studying it, but at some root level, isn’t this what we, as teachers, should be doing anyway? Leanne: A hundred percent. It’s been proven that multimodal literacy increases engagement and helps students achieve learning outcomes. We’re trying to add to that consensus, and say it works in the college context. soundcloud.com/humbernextcast
GLOBAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Long Distance Collaboration A PAIR OF AMBITIOUS ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS DEMONSTRATE THE REWARDS OF WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS By Shelby O’Connor
LAST FALL, STUDENTS FROM TWO different Humber programs had the extraordinary opportunity to work in collaboration with students a continent away. Students in the Graphic Design program, overseen by program coordinator Bianca DiPietro, worked with doctoral Computer Science students from Oxford University in the UK. The students worked together creating an image rebrand for the Oxford Hack, Oxford’s annual hackathon. Around the same time, students in Humber’s PC Game Programming program, overseen by program coordinator Umer Noor, partnered with a cohort from University College Lillebælt in Denmark on a project for Welfare Denmark. The project’s aim was to help patients with dementia use technology in order to improve their quality of life. For the last phase of the project, the students from Denmark were invited to come to Humber Campus to complete the shared projects. From a teaching perspective, these massive collaborations can be both rigorous and rewarding. Coordinators must plan these projects carefully, in order to make sure the projects are a good fit, academically. “I have to do a fair bit of work behind the scenes to figure out what kind of credits can we give the students,” says Noor. Simple facts of geography, like the time differences between the various countries, meant that scheduling communications between the students was an ongoing challenge. “Things were unclear at times and a lot of interpretation was needed throughout,” DiPietro says.
GLOBAL TEACHING AND LEARNING
Infusing our classrooms with real-life projects and projects that have so much value can give students such currency in the field.
Despite such challenges, both program coordinators say the rewards of teaching these kinds of large-scale projects make them worthwhile. “Collaborations like this are so outside the box that you get to see our students push their boundaries on what they can do with what they’ve learned here,” says Noor. “These projects are so beneficial to elevate our classroom experiences,” adds DiPietro, who believes even the logistical hurdles that appear when working with students and clients a half a world away are themselves a kind of added benefit: “Ironically, this replicates what a real project is like,” she says. “Things don’t always go as planned.” The fact that both projects involved working with thirdparty clients makes them especially valuable, from a learning perspective. “Infusing our classrooms with real-life projects that have so much value can give students such currency in the field,” says Pietro. Noor agrees: “This wasn’t just a problem that a professor came up with for an assignment, this was very special,” he says. Both DiPietro and Noor hope to make such international collaborations a permanent part of their programs, because, as DiPietro notes: “These partnerships make Humber more relevant, exciting, and proactive.”
Bianca DiPietro, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
Umer Noor, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK / GRINBOX & RED MONKEY
Happy Accident HOW PROFESSOR ROBERT BLAIN AND A TEAM OF STUDENTS TRANSFORMED A TEXT-MESSAGING APP INTO A COMPREHENSIVE DATABASE OF GRADUATES AND THEIR SKILLS—ALMOST WITHOUT MEANING TO By Caitlyn Crews
WHEN ROBERT BLAIN, PROGRAM COORDINATOR of the Multimedia Design and Development program, began working on a small side project for his Associate Dean, he had no idea where it would eventually lead him. What started as a basic text-messaging application quickly became something that could help students land the career of their choice. Blain was originally asked to create something that would allow students and industry professionals to communicate and network at the program’s annual graduate showcase. The idea was, in his words, “kinda cool,” and so, building on his experience working with web applications that utilize SMS messaging, Blain created a demo version of the app. That got him the
Sometimes when you’re teaching something in a classroom, you can only go so far.
Robert Blain, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts
go-ahead to assemble a team consisting of six students and another faculty member to further develop it. Discussing what the log-in process would look like, Blain and his team decided that students would simply use their LinkedIn profiles to access the new site. In doing so, students would be able to the select their program and up to three associated skills. Now, instead of a simply facilitating text messages between students and industry experts, the app can function as a database of graduate student skills. It was something that filled a necessary gap and could also solve some intractable problems when connecting the college to industry: program names don’t always translate well to the wider professional world. Blain explains: “My program name is Multimedia Design and Development, and I would say the industry doesn’t really know exactly what that is,” he says. “They’re looking for a user interface designer. What we wanted to do was bridge that gap.”
The database makes finding and utilizing student talent simple and accessible. An industry professional can simply type in a keyword and receive a list of students who can provide that service. The website, fmcagrads.com, currently hosts a database of 500 students, though Blain expects this number to grow considerably in the coming year. His long-term goal is to integrate the tool within Humber’s website, and into the classroom. “I’m still in the process of figuring out what to do with this,” Blain says. Another added benefit of building the app was the experience it gave the students on his team, one of whom stayed on to help develop the site as part of a work placement. Working on a live project offers something beyond what can be explained in a lecture. “Sometimes when you’re teaching something in a classroom, you can only go so far,” Blain says.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / BARANQ
HUMBER’S NEW VIDEO-STREAMING PLATFORM LETS FACULTY CREATE, EDIT AND STREAM CONTENT WITH JUST A FEW CLICKS By Oksana Chetveryk
THIS SPRING, HUMBER LAUNCHED ITS new educational video-streaming platform, Panopto. Available to all faculty and staff, Panopto can record, edit, search and stream customized multimedia materials, creating new opportunities for teaching and learning. The simplicity and convenience of the platform begins with its straightforward sign-in process: you only need your Humber credentials to access your account. Panopto’s user-friendly layout provides all the information necessary to create a video or upload it to Blackboard. Less than a month after its official launch, more than 500 users from across the college were already enjoying the benefits of the platform. Lynn Boulanger, a professor in the Department of
English, loves how easy it is to share her own videos with colleagues. “I created an animated video on managing group conflict,” she explains. “Group work challenges are not limited to my department, and colleagues in other faculties have expressed interest in using the video in their courses.” She also loves how Panopto can be integrated with Blackboard, allowing her to share customized videos with students. “Students can view a split screen with [the course content] juxtaposed with a video of me talking to them,” Boulanger says. “They get the message that behind the content, there is a real teacher who cares about their success.” The platform is designed to be inclusive and accessible for all users. Panopto can
be easily accessed by mobile devices, and closed captions can be created and edited with a single click. Support for users of the platform comes from The Centre for Teaching & Learning, in partnership with Humber Libraries. Technical help, webinars and in-person workshops are available for any faculty and staff who want to explore the world of educational videos. Darren Richards, the head of the CTL’s Creative Productions team, encourages the Humber community to do just that. “We’ve seen a great uptake from users all across Humber,” Richards says. “My main advice is to just jump in, and you’re going to find out how easy and intuitive Panopto is as a tool and a platform.”
Lynn Boulanger, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning
COLLAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK / GEEN GRAPHY, KENTOH, O’IAHI, A LUNA BLUE
PROFESSOR DANIEL BEAR ON HIS STUDENT-LED RESEARCH INTO CANNABIS EDUCATION By Maia Leggott
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / BY YARYGIN, FONT: SHUTTERSTOCK / TOP VECTOR STUDIO
CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR DANIEL BEAR, who worked with the American Civil Liberties Union before going on to study at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has been writing about drug policy for over a decade. Over the past year, working with a team of students, he has been researching student perceptions of cannabis in the era of legalization. NEXT sat down with Bear to discuss the project, called “Making Decisions About Cannabis.” What was your motivation for pursuing this research? As a drug policy researcher, it’s about understanding motivations in order to provide effective education. In many cases, educational material about cannabis was developed from a prohibitionist mindset defined by stigma towards cannabis and those who use it. We’re looking at how young people make decisions about cannabis. We want to understand what sources of information they rely on and the process of making these decisions. It can be very hard to talk about safe consumption and harm reduction because many people see it as condoning an illegal activity. Thankfully with legalization, we’re in a period where we can engage in a discussion about cannabis in the same way that we have with alcohol for many years. How do your students react to your research? Whenever I talk about my previous drug policy research, I find students are very engaged with it. It’s an area that resonates in many of their lives through lived experience, as well as in the Faculty of Social and Community Services itself. We’re keen to make sure that all of our applied research involves our students, in order to build capacity and skill sets. I’m fortunate to have a team of three research assistants from the Criminal Justice (CJ) program who are spearheading the focus group research.
professor. For the research assistants, the practice of leading focus groups and engaging in a sustained research effort is a culmination of many skills built during their time in the CJ program. This allows the students to stand on their own and develop strong research and interpersonal skills. That is definitely a valuable benefit. Why do you think it’s important for Humber to engage in this research? There are a number of benefits, a big one being that engaging in cannabis research means engaging in research about an industry that is projected to reach 22 billion dollars in the next few years. It’s engaging in research about our students’ health and well-being, research that moves past long-held stigma. A mandate of the Faculty of Social and Community Services is to focus on social innovation research that feeds back to both the school community and the broader community. I think for those reasons, no matter what we do with the findings, we’re in a better place as an institution to move forward with this. Any idea what moving forward might look like? We have a partnership with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots organization devoted to creating sensible, accurate drug education materials to achieve a safer future. Research like ours has conclusions and results that can be easily disseminated and used to build up education materials for our community. This output is in line with the goals outlined in Humber’s Strategic Plan, and highlights the social innovation aspect of the research. With the understanding of how students make decisions about cannabis, we can shape approaches to key drug education materials to be more effective and engaging in the future.
Is that level of student control typical of a research project like this? Yes and no. I can’t be involved in data collection, because asking students questions about potential illegal activities [of purchasing black market cannabis] could be problematic. They may also feel more comfortable disclosing information about their cannabis habits with fellow students than with a
Daniel Bear, Faculty of Social and Community Services
TIF Stories: The Impact of Sickle Cell Disease Education By Erin O’Neill
SICKLE CELL DISEASE (SCD) IMPACTS millions of people around the world. The disease forms a group of genetic blood disorders that alter the shape of a person’s red blood cells. The symptoms of SCD vary with each person, but will often include yellowing of the skin, extreme fatigue and painful swelling of hands and feet. Though the disease is a growing global health issue, new healthcare professionals are often ill-equipped to deal with it. Helping people who are suffering from SCD can be traumatic. Textbooks show the misshapen blood cells and describe the clinical impact of the
ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK / VICTOR JOSAN
The Teaching Innovation Fund allows participating faculty to conduct research into a particular idea related to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Each issue, we profile a successful TIF applicant—getting to know the project, the process and the person behind both.
disease, but nothing can really prepare a caregiver for the look in a patient’s eyes, full of tears, as she says she can’t stand the pain. This difficult reality inspired nursing professors Slywia Wojtalik and Janet Jeffery to find a way to better prepare their students for dealing with SCD. According to Wojtalik and Jeffery, “Patients with SCD face the greatest risk in health care settings due to the lack of appropriate and timely care. They often state that they know more than the health professionals who provide them care.” To help bridge this gap, they organized what they call an “educational intervention” in the form of the the Sickle Cell Symposium. Now in its seventh year, the conference presents speakers including SCD patients, experts and other members of the SCD community. Over the past year, with the support of the Teaching Innovation Fund and the SoTL team at The Centre for Teaching & Learning, Wojtalik and Jeffery have been researching the impact of their symposium on students. Their aim is to measure the knowledge, attitudes and
Janet Jeffery, Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness
Slywia Wojtalik, Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness
perception of SCD that healthcare providers have before and after the event. Thus far, their research shows a possible positive impact on students, who say they find the experience of hearing stories directly from patients to be meaningful and valuable. Registered Practical Nurse Marta Grygo was one of the recent attendees who shared her experiences with Wojtalik and Jeffery. “I was able to finally use my Sickle Cell expertise on a patient who was admitted with a crisis,” Grygo told the educators. “Upon her discharge, she came to me and said that I was the best nurse she has ever had while admitted with a crisis… It made me so proud of myself that I was able to help her because of my knowledge of her disease.” Wojtalik and Jeffrey hope to continue quantitative analysis of nursing students before and after attending the symposium, then present their findings at various North American and international conferences.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / LIGHTSPRING
Cooking Up a Sustainable Future HUMBER’S CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM PROVIDES STUDENTS WITH THE KNOWLEDGE TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE CUISINE By Michael Astle
Shonah Chalmers, Faculty of Business
FOOD IS ONE OF THE most wasted products in the modern world. In Canada alone, it is estimated that 60 per cent of produced food is wasted, with 32 per cent of that still being edible. To put that in perspective, we waste 11.2 million tons of edible food in one year, a truly staggering number. Commercial kitchens are one of the biggest culprits for wasted food in recent years, as demand for food requires large amounts to be produced. If the food is not sold or eaten within a certain time, it’s most likely to end up in the trash. This creates a lot of unnecessary waste—of both food and money. Shonah Chalmers, the program coordinator for Humber’s Culinary Arts program, has been trying to put an end to that. Chalmers is spearheading efforts to implement principles of sustainable cooking into her program by providing students with the information they need to make sustainable choices. “They need to know their choices matter and that they have an impact,” she says. “That’s what I want them to walk away with.” Chalmers’s students receive an introduction to sustainability in theory classes. Many Canadian culinary courses do the same, but where Humber differs is in the direct application of this knowledge. Humber will offer a seven-week practical
course where students are exposed to many different aspects of sustainability. Students will participate in activities such as comparing different food products and assessing the difference between farmproduced and commercially produced, and how that difference affects the product and pricing. They’ll also do a study of farming practices and the use of GMO. They will learn about sustainable vegetation, and visit a greenhouse to learn about how they can grow their own vegetables and fruit. As their studies continue, students will investigate sustainability efforts already being made in the culinary world, such as Ocean Wise options and utilizing all parts of any animal in cooking to ensure as little waste as possible. And finally, they will examine their own practices, going through their own kitchen waste to see what could have been saved or used. Integrating sustainability into campus activities has been an active goal for the college, and Chalmers is taking this to heart with these new initiatives. “We can’t carry on the path we’re on right now,” Chalmers insists. “The world can’t carry what we need as far as resources. Change has to start now.”
Getting Grounded CREATING A MIGRATION-THEMED ART INSTALLATION IS A MOVING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR AN INTERDISCIPLINARY GROUP OF STUDENTS By Allie Gregory
FOR THE FIFTH ANNUAL WINTER STATIONS, a competitive installation art exhibit held at Toronto’s Woodbine Beach, an interdisciplinary group of Humber students worked together to create something both deceptively simple and surprising beautiful. The theme of this year’s competition was “Migration,” and so, with the help of professor Marcin Kędzior, students from Architecture, Industrial Design and Interior Design programs dreamed up and built Ground2, an interactive series of hot pink acrylic platforms surrounding and affixed to a lifeguard tower. The platforms allowed visitors to walk down the beach toward Lake Ontario without touching the ground. For months in advance of the installation, students worked on material experiments and explorations, model building, renderings and concept designs, before voting on a final concept and moving the winning idea forward. Construction of Ground2 began mid-November of last year. The installation was revealed in February, and stayed in
Architecture students are great with the structural element, interior design students have all of the representational stuff and arrangement of space, and industrial design students are brilliant with materials, making models and any kind of human connection to the design.
MARCIN AND STUDENTS WORKING ON GROUND2
3D RENDERING OF GROUND2
place until the end of the competition in April. The final piece explored themes of environmental refugeeism (the occurrence of migrants who are forced to leave their homes due to the adverse effects of climate change), and the migratory patterns that occur due to loss of land. “Thinking about the stability of the boardwalk, the constant flow of the lake and how our installation would be a mediator between those worlds, we tried to address international movements of migration through water into Europe,” Kędzior says. The interdisciplinary aspect of the project helped the students integrate their skills and strengths in essential ways. “Architecture students are great with the structural element, interior design students have all of the representational stuff and arrangement
Marcin Kędzior, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology
Design Team: Kate Balcombe, Ava Boroumandi, Stephen Bykowy, Megan Cheung, Lily Donald, Frasat Emmanuel, Aisleen Fayme, Tjioe Andrew Elvio Febrian, James Lee, Markiyan Levandivskyy, Nicola Klahre, Ekaterina Kozina, Julia Kyla Tiu, Ellie Mae Unay, Robin Scott, Inhan Song
of space, and industrial design students are brilliant with materials, making models and any kind of human connection to the design,” Kędzior explains. The experience that students gain from this type of project is invaluable, especially considering that the project isn’t merely conceptual. The end result is a highly tactile, interactive public art piece, which requires another dimension of engagement not normally present in design theory courses. “In design school, when a design is done, the project is done,” Kędzior says, “In this case, when the design is done, in a way, the project starts.”
IMAGES COURTESY OF: MARCIN KĘDZIOR [3D RENDERING], KHRISTEL STECHER, HENRIETTA WALKMARK, LILY DONALD, AND ARCHDAILY
Better Together THE ANNUAL INTERPROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATION WORKDAY GIVES STUDENTS FROM THE FACULTY OF SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICES A CHANCE TO HONE THEIR SKILLS By Dayna Jung
CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY, HIGH-TECH LABS, EXTERNAL partnerships, and projects that involve real-world clients—all of these are vital ways to get students learning in a manner that is not merely theoretical. But sometimes, the most effective way to expand educational horizons is to simply put a whole bunch of students from different programs together in a room and get them working on some challenging problems. That’s exactly what happened at the annual Interprofessional Educational Collaboration Workday, which was held in late March this year. At the event, hosted by the Faculty of Social and Community Services, more than 150 students from eight different programs spent a large part of the day inside the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Lakeshore campus, working through a common case study. The case study is a realistic client situation, whose needs require multiple professions to be involved in the solution. It was uploaded to Blackboard one week prior to the event for students to access. This year, before the students were divided into groups, students from the Theatre Arts program created and performed monologues related to the case study to help bring it to life. After discussing the case study in groups, everyone reconvened to share their ideas. Social Service Worker professor Philip Burge believes that it’s the opportunities for cross-disciplinary communication that makes an event like this so valuable. “This is a fantastic opportunity to promote inter-professional learning for the students across many programs all at the same time,” Burge says. “It’s incredibly important for students to work collaboratively with other professionals on behalf of their clients.”
Philip Burge, Faculty of Social and Community Services
This is a fantastic opportunity to promote inter-professional learning for the students across many programs all at the same time.
ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK / O.DARKA
Ask NEXT WE TACKLE SOME OF YOUR TRICKIEST TEACHING ISSUES By Kristi Granholm and Savita Singh
At the end of the academic year, with everything going on, I often feel stressed and burned out. I want to be present and energetic with my students, but sometimes it’s hard when I’m feeling this way. Any suggestions? It can be difficult to take care of yourself in the midst of all of the marking and meetings—especially near the end of the term when everyone’s stress levels begin to rise. Moreover, teaching with passion and enthusiasm can take a lot of energy! Luckily, there are lots of resources at Humber to help you find balance, as you manage competing requests for time, energy, and attention. One way to reset is to get outside. Stepping away from your work and immersing yourself outdoors for 10 minutes is a great way to reduce stress. Both the Lakeshore and North campuses have lots of natural wild space that’s perfect for a quick, lunchtime walk. Multiple studies (including one done right here at Humber—check out our NEXTcast interview with Early Childhood Education professor Christine Zupo)—have demonstrated the positive impact of nature on mental wellbeing. If you’re feeling fatigue with your teaching, maybe it’s time for a visit to The Centre for Teaching and Learning. The CTL is a place for faculty to come for conversation, advice, and inspiration, whether you have a specific teaching concern or are just feeling like your classroom needs an injection of energy. Sometimes a conversation
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK / AZOKO.COM & GORODENKOFF
with a colleague or coach can offer a fresh perspective and allow you to approach your classroom with a new outlook. Or, maybe you can try a new tech tool to boost student engagement or provide new ways of working for students. Often, a little experimentation with your teaching can add a sense of excitement and anticipation, both for you and your students. There is also the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides support for Humber faculty and their families when work, health or personal challenges are thrown at you. There are lots of helpful newsletters, websites, events and videos you can access through the EAP. You can visit workhealthlife.com to find out more. Above all, be kind to yourself: no matter how tough things seem at the moment, it’s important to know that you are not alone. ear Christine Zupo’s interview on H NEXTcast episode 2.14: soundcloud.com/humbernextcast/nextcast-214christine-zupo-students-on-their-research-study
How do I ensure all of my students are successful, both within the classroom and once they enter the workforce? I’m worried especially about students who may struggle to see themselves represented in the industry they are hoping to enter—in my field, for example, women are chronically under-represented. What can I do to help with that situation, short of ringing up some CEOs to tell them to get with the program already? Let’s hold off on those calls for now. This issue goes beyond the decisions of a few hiring managers. It is important to identify what institutional and societal barriers might exist for our students and to consider ways that we, as faculty, can prepare them to overcome those challenges. First, take a look through your course content and ask yourself the following questions: 1) Whose voices, perspectives and histories are represented? 2) Are the students in my class represented in the course content? Next, take action. There are lots of small things you can do to help all of your students feel like they are valued. For example, make sure that you include multiple perspectives on a topic instead of a single perspective. Whenever possible, try to include material created by people of different backgrounds and different perspectives. Representation is important—and that isn’t just true for gender. When students see people who look similar to them or come from a similar background in classroom examples or case studies, it makes them feel that they’re not alone and are able to succeed in their chosen field. Take the same approach to inviting guest speakers: bring in experts who have diverse backgrounds and may not fit what is stereotypically the “norm” within your field. Finally, there is the challenge of tackling one’s own implicit bias. Take some time to consider how your own assumptions about certain individuals might impact your responses and awareness of what your students might need. Ask yourself why you might have these biases and
what you can do to overcome any unintended bias that might favour one student over another. It’s clear based on your question that you care about your students, and want them all to succeed. A few small but meaningful changes can help contribute toward making that a reality. (And most CEOs don’t answer their own phones, anyway.)
When students see people who look similar to them or come from a similar background in classroom examples or case studies, it makes them feel that they’re not alone and are able to succeed in their chosen field.
NEXTcast is a new podcast about teaching and learning at Humber College. Hear from faculty and staff who are engaging learners, solving common teaching problems and bringing polytechnic education to a whole new level. New episodes drop every other week on Soundcloud and iTunes. soundcloud.com/humbernextcast bit.ly/HumberNextCast
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Tell us your story Humber NEXT is an amalgamation of the dynamic work that staff, faculty and students are producing. This is your magazine. You help define Humber, so let us produce your story. Share with us your exciting classroom experiences and innovative teaching techniques, and get a chance to be featured in NEXT. We want to fill pages with your vibrant content—with interviews, events, success stories, new technologies and new initiatives at Humber.
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The Spring 2019 issue of NEXT magazine is all about collaboration: professors partnering up to do research and record podcasts, faculties wo...
Published on Jun 5, 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of NEXT magazine is all about collaboration: professors partnering up to do research and record podcasts, faculties wo...