Faculty proposed TAR projects

These are projects submitted by UBC faculty, looking for a TAR intern to work on a specific challenge to student learning in a STEM classroom. If you are interested in partnering with one of these projects, please email cirtl.info@ubc.ca. If you are a UBC faculty member interested in finding a TAR intern to work with you on a project, please apply here.

What sorts of course delivery methods do/might you use (e.g. synchronous, asynchronous, Canvas, prerecorded video, discussion boards, projects, presentations, etc.)?
I teach a large (~100-150 students) 3rd year Environmental Chemistry course. The course is synchronous and we use Canvas.
Give a brief description to a course if you were to explain it to an instructor who was unfamiliar with it (i.e. teaching approach & teaching methods).
We use team-based learning (TBL) in the course where students are placed into teams of 5-6 for the entire term. There are certain classes which are TBL 'events' where students are assigned a pre-reading and then come to class and complete a quiz individually on the pre-reading. Then, they take the quiz again in teams and receive immediate feedback on the quiz. After completing the quiz as a team, the teams are ready to tackle a case study based on the pre-reading and other course content. After reading the case, the teams must make a decision about the case and complete a worksheet.
Does this project focus on the student experience or the instructor experience?
  • Student Experience
Big goal of this TAR project
Investigate if students asking for help during group work is an equitable process?
Is this project part of a larger scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project?
  • No
What are some things that have emerged for you in your teaching? Identify a specific issue, topic, or challenge that could be addressed in this TAR project.
Students are expected to ask for help if they need it during TBL activities. I wonder if this is an equitable and if certain students are benefitting more from this process than others due to reasons that are not related to course topics. For example, are English-language learners less likely to ask the instructor or TA for help?
How might you imagine you could document this within the context of your course?
I think observations of the classroom during TBL activities paired with demographic data that is collected through a survey would help to answer this question.
How would you assess if the TAR project affects student learning? What are measures beyond comparing student grades?
f the TAR project identifies inequities in asking for help, then the instructor (myself) would have to figure out strategies to address those inequities. Once those strategies are implemented, I think a student experience survey would be able to measure the affects on student learning. Or, another observation to see if there has been a shift.
Additional comments
It may be that the TAR project would simply be developing a BREB and research proposal for this type of study because the methods really have to be thought through (more so than I have done so far). Or, the project could be proposal plus data collection and analysis followed by write-up. I am not sure what is realistic to cover in 1 year.