Elena Antoniadis is an instructor in the School of Arts and Sciences. She teaches Psychology in all four years of the Baccalaureate RDC/University of Calgary Collaborative Program in Psychology.
Originally, part of my teaching assignment was to build and deliver an online course and in preparation of this new design, I turned to the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and their Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning (EOTL) Program. Through the proficiencies acquired from that program, immediate improvements appeared in both my methodologies of digital content creation and implementation of the curriculum in an online format. The advent of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Program (ETaL) represented another avenue for me to further improve my vocational skills. This developmental journey formed a sage-way from my position as a neuroscience researcher to my role as an instructor.
The opportunity scaffolded my professional development in two phases: 1) I acquired a framework to effectively design and deliver curriculum in post-secondary education; and 2) I integrated foundational neuroscience memory applications into the student learning experience. This opportunity provided me with the potential to hybridize the study of the brain and the study of learning.
With ETaL as my platform, I was able to conduct a quantitative analysis that allowed me to measure the effectiveness of action-based individualized learning paths on a digital platform. These learning paths prime the neural pathways that sustain the retrieval of memories and the expression of knowledge.
My capstone project entitled “Level Up: The Effect of Gaming Assignments on Academic Performance,” investigates student engagement in low-stakes, for credit, online gamification activities, and the relation thereof to academic success. This project aligns with the trend of leveraging both face-to-face and digital platforms in a learning environment that is more interactive, adaptive, and personalized to the individual learner.
The capstone project was an opportunity to interact with faculty members from disciplines across the college in relation to a common pursuit for better practices in the development and implementation of teaching methods. Overall, the program has improved my capacity as an educator, provided me with ongoing inquiries into teaching practices that promote student engagement and success, and inspired me to further my own professional development through other credentialed pathways here at Red Deer College.