History project will help students develop the skills to become better learners

October 6, 2017

Karen Balcom, 2017/2018 recipient of the MacPherson Teaching Fellowship, is collaborating on a project with Andrew Kloiber, PhD History, to create a set of online tools that will help students develop the skills to become better learners.

The tools will bridge the knowledge gap of new learners taking online History courses that are open to Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) diploma-to-degree students and to the McMaster student population more generally, including history majors.

“We have created this environment where we’ve invited new learners into our history classes, and it’s our responsibility to give them the tools for success,” said Balcom, Associate Professor in the Department of History.

The resources developed will take students through basic library skills, working with primary and secondary sources in history, and think about their approach to assignments and arguments in writing.

Throughout the project, there has been consultation with students from CCE, history, and other departments. The project team consists of the MacPherson Institute, Humanities Computing, History, and the Library.

Balcom and Kloiber will be presenting their project at the upcoming Learning Technologies Symposium from October 11-12. The event brings together faculty, staff, and students from the region to share innovations, connect on project ideas, and exchange best practices.

During the Symposium the goal is to present their process and priorities and to also connect with people on campus with a similar challenge.

“We’re not the only ones at the University who want to provide legitimate, useful, thoughtful, access to different kinds of learners.”

The theme of this year’s Symposium is Education Remixed and will explore how others have taken traditional teaching practices and tweaked, evolved, and, in some cases, changed it entirely as technologies become more readily available than ever before.

The event takes place at McMaster Innovation Park beginning Wednesday, October 11 at 9 a.m.. Attendance free for students and speakers. Registration and additional information can be found on the MacPherson website.