2:50 – 3:20 – Session 4

Appreciative Inquiry: A Fresh Approach to Research and Teaching

Presenter: Nancy Doetzel

Location: Stewart Room (main floor by convention lobby)

One of the challenges to and for researchers in the 21st century is the shifts in approaches to inquiry and teaching. A reductionist approach to education has resulted in overlooking latent essences, such as a butterfly within a caterpillar, or a tree within an acorn, which are metaphors for spirituality within a person. Emergent scholarly inquiries about spirituality within education coincide with post-modernist paradigm shifts towards appreciative inquiry, a constructive mode of research and teaching that is a shift from vocabularies of deficit to conversations of possibility. Different from many modes of inquiry and teaching, appreciative inquiry promotes transformative dialogue and action by presenting positive questions and feedback on assignments. Spirituality is evident in this form of inquiry and teaching when participants and students begin to feel more of a sense of hope, excitement, co-operation and ownership about their future. This presentation will encourage a discussion about how an evolution in perceptions of education can mean formulating new approaches to inquiry and teaching.

Accelerating Innovation: Examining the Role of Students in the Corporate Innovation Process

Presenter: Simon Raby

Location: Dawson Room (main floor by convention lobby)

This presentation provides insights to the integration of a senior Innovation and Entrepreneurship course to a professional development program. Attendees will learn about the Innovation Accelerator (www.growthcompass.org/innovationaccelerator) industry program that helps company teams develop their innovation practice and culture by taking a product or service concept from an initial idea to market adoption. For the most recent cohort delivered in the winter semester of 2020, the MRU course ENTR-4344 “Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship” ran in parallel to the Innovation Accelerator. This presentation will provide an insight to this innovative experiential learning and engaged scholarship model and the resulting impact on scholars, students, industry and policymakers.

Better by Design: Design Thinking, Experiential Learning and the Development of a Growth Mindset in Undergraduate Classrooms.

Presenter: AnneMarie Dorland

Location: Champion Room (second floor)

How might design thinking — the interactive, human-centered pedagogical approach that has recently been recognized as a valuable strategy in the development of a creative practice (Brown, 2008) — complement existing approaches to experiential learning in higher education classrooms? This paper presents findings from a comparative study of 400 undergraduate business school students enrolled in a common first year marketing class, and reveals the ways that design thinking protocols can be mobilized to strengthen experiential learning in the post-secondary learning environment. The survey data collected from students participating in both the design thinking and the non-design thinking samples of this research study shed light on whether this pedagogical approach can indeed effectively foster the development of a growth mindset (Dweck, 2008), and on the relationship between the use of design thinking approaches, the resonance of reflective practices and the alignment of experiential learning goals in our classroom partnerships. In this presentation, I will discuss specific outcomes of the research study related to the phenomenon of design-thinking, and the way that design-thinking oriented learning strategies might contribute to the development of a growth mindset in undergraduate students within an experiential learning environment.

What Matters Most: A Chair’s Journey to Re-energize Teaching, Learning and Scholarship

Presenter: Jane McNichol

Location: Palliser Room (main floor by convention lobby)

Following ten years as a department chair at Mount Royal University, I embarked on a one-year chair sabbatical for the 2018-2019 academic year. A chair’s sabbatical provides time to undertake an ‘acceptable plan of activities, designed to improve professional competence’ and allows that the plan ‘may be modified’. How does one transition from a significant period of service to students, faculty, staff, institution and the broader community to a time focused on individual improvement of ‘professional competence’ which, according to Mulder (2014), is the capability to deliver sustainable effective and worthy performance in a certain professional domain. Is this period of time provided to us by the organization meant to be a personal journey of achievement and discovery or about alignment with organizational goals? How does one choose when every choice embodies both positive and negative consequences? Through the lens of the scholarship of teaching and learning perhaps I refresh the innovative curriculum in applied ethics I introduced to the classroom? Perhaps I focus solely on my own scholarship to complete and defend my doctoral dissertation in education? Perhaps I explore something radically new and personally challenging? A quote by Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack (1747) “Lost time is never found again” bounced around in my head like a mischievous mosquito as I wrote my application for chair sabbatical. I didn’t understand then, but I came to understand. At the core of this broadly applicable journey of discovery is a personal message of learning; crossroads embraced; and choices made to answer the question – ‘What matters most’?

Supporting Students who are Parents

Presenter: Michelle Briegel

Location: Walker Room (second floor)

Students who are also parents attending university are a unique population and are not experiencing the same undergraduate experience as their non-parenting peers. What are the supports needed for parents to achieve success in post-secondary learning environments? How is Mount Royal University doing in terms of supporting parenting students? Is this even our responsibility? These questions will be discussed in this presentation, along with what the literature tells us about parenting students in post-secondary institutions, and what a small focus group of Mount Royal University parenting students have to say about their experience on campus.