Research Presentations

Series: CTLT Institute

Event Date & Time

  • May 22, 2018
    11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Event Description

Student learning through the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)

The purpose of our session is to share preliminary findings from our SoTL funding project about the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) in Sauder. PASS is part of the supplemental instruction model, designed to help students understand key concepts and practice the skills necessary for success in traditionally challenging courses. PASS has been running in the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons for the past three years and has become one of its most popular co-curricular support programs. Peer leaders offer small group sessions to support students taking COMM 290 (Qualitative Decision Making) and COMM 291 (Application of Statistics in Business). We are investigating what motivational factors influence student participation in PASS and what affects their satisfaction with the program. At the end of our presentation, attendees will be able to better understand what PASS is and students’ motivational factors and satisfaction with PASS.


Christina Sylka
Trinh Nguyen, SoTL Specialist, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Cassi Gilpin
Kimberly Fama
Jonathan Berkowitz
Tim Huh
Kalenne Thors
Sunah Cho, Faculty Liaison (Sauder), Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology


Illusions of gender effects in two-phase collaborative exams

Two-phase collaborative exams are a flexible and effective method for adding immediate formative feedback to what is traditionally a summative experience. In a two-phase exam, students first take the exam individually. Immediately after handing in their exams, they arrange themselves into groups and re-take the exam in small groups. A potential concern with this exam format is that some students may end up in a potentially disadvantaged situation — such as being the solitary member of their gender or in a dysfunctional group — minimizing the benefits they can reap from the group phase. Using data from multiple years of group exams in large introductory physics courses at UBC, we model the variance in group performance to determine which student factors best predict the success of a group. We find that the strongest predictor of group performance is the highest solo-exam score in the group, and that, when controlling for the highest performing group member, there is no evidence for a relationship between group gender composition and group performance.


Jared Stang, Lecturer, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Joss Ives, Instructor, Department of Physics & Astronomy


Summary of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative in the Faculty of Science

Since 2007, the CWSEI has influenced the teaching of dozens of faculty and the learning of tens of thousands of students by drawing on current research about teaching and learning within disciplines. The core model for change has consisted of operating at the department level, primarily by hiring and training “Science Teaching and Learning Fellows” at the post-doc or contract faculty level to partner with faculty members in bringing the principles of “scientific teaching” into departments:

  1. Establishing what students should learn;
  2. Determining what students are actually learning by systematically gathering data;
  3. Deploying, adapting, or designing research-based instructional methods, assessments, and curriculum that support the intended learning; and
  4. Evaluating and disseminating results.

Beyond the primary goal of transforming undergraduate science education — with a majority of faculty having engaged with the fellows, influencing the teaching of nearly 200 courses that represent about three quarters of all credit hours taught in the UBC Faculty of Science — and an associated shift in department cultures, other accomplishments include a substantial accrued base of local data, a well-used website featuring evidence-based teaching practices, over 100 research publications including new measurement tools and teaching practice implementations, shaping the careers of dozens of fellows, and inspiring similar work at a number of institutions.

Those who attend this session will learn about recommended practices to support and evaluate change efforts in their own departments/faculties. We will also explore encountered or perceived barriers for change in different contexts in an attempt to relate the themes which emerge to experiences in our departments.


Warren Code, Associate Director, Skylight (Science Centre for Learning and Teaching)

Resources has a collection of resources that synthesize research on teaching and learning, as well as publications from the CWSEI.


Venue Website:

1961 E Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Please note this room is located through the CTLT offices of the 2nd floor in IKBLC.