Meet the 2015/2016 Learning Portfolio Fellows


Six instructors representing all Faculties have been selected as McMaster’s 2015/2016 Learning Portfolio fellows.

With the support of Forward with Integrity funding, MIIETL (The McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning) created the fellowships to research and support the implementation and impact of the Learning Portfolio.

The fellows have each developed research proposals that study the utility and effectiveness of the Portfolio. They will also serve as advocates for sharing best practices to support the use of the portfolio within the Faculties and will participate as members of the Learning Portfolio Advisory Group, working in partnership with MIIETL and other Learning Portfolio champions at the University.fwi

Fellows were each awarded $7,500 to support research and advocacy activities during the one-year tenure of the fellowship, and an additional $2,000 to support travel to a Learning Portfolio related conference or course.

Support has been provided to fund one fellow from each Faculty per year for the next two years.


 2015/2016 Learning Portfolio (LP) Fellows:


Catherine Anderson

Catherine Anderson, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and Languages

Proposal: The Faculty of Humanities is creating a pair of foundational, three-unit courses that will eventually be required for all Level 1 Humanities students. The LP Fellow will develop exercises and reflections using the Learning Portfolio to support the goals of these two courses, and will evaluate how the LP supports students in achieving those goals.


Robert Fleisig

Robert Fleisig, Assistant Professor, W Booth School of Engineering Practice

Proposal: In ENG 1P03, students use the LP to reflect on project learning experiences and how they have changed their perception of the role of the profession, the role of stakeholder, clients, users, and others in the design process as well as their understanding of the problem-solution paradigm. With a goal to gain knowledge of how students make connections, the research question asks how do students relate to their understanding of engineering to the outside world and how has this learning experience changed it?


Sheila Sammon, Professor, School of Social WorkSheila Sammon

Proposal: To create processes and opportunities for all undergraduate social work students to better plan, integrate and articulate their learning over their entire four years in the social work program. Students, working with Sheila and MIIETL staff, will devise ways to use the LP in relation to their desired employment to set learning goals, and to reflect on learning experiences. We intend for the LP to support students’ preparation for desired careers, and to enhance their capacities to recognize and articulate the preparation they have.


Andrew McArthur

Andrew McArthur, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biomedical Science

Proposal: To translate the information content of the LP into actionable metrics for undergraduate curriculum and program development to predict career outcomes, infer successful learning experiences, and identify influential course-work and experience. The net product will be valuable information useful to students making program decisions and informing Faculties at McMaster on the path taken by students throughout their undergraduate careers.


Margaret SecordMargaret Secord, Assistant Clinical Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences

Proposal: The proposal involves the introduction of a learning contract as a means to ensure the engagement of a meaningful, relevant, and student-directed LP for the fourth year students enrolled in the BHSc (Honours) Program’s Child Health Specialization. We hypothesize that ongoing evaluation and refinement of a learning contract will increase the value and meaningfulness of a LP for students and their facilitators/instructors.

Rita Cossa

Rita Cossa, Assistant Professor, DeGroote School of Business

Proposal: To date, there is no formal mentorship program built around the LP. This proposal aims to investigate a number of questions including: In what course(s) where the LP is a component will mentorship be included? Who will provide this mentorship? What resources are needed to create and maintain this program? This proposal also aims to create a mentorship framework that is sustainable year after year.