Aboriginal Engagement in the Applied Science Curriculum

Lead

Ian Foulds, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)

 

Collaborators

  • Jannik Eikenaar, Instructor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)
  • Amy.Perreault, Strategist, Indigenous Initiatives, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (UBC Vancouver)
  • Dr. Kerry Black, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)
  • Kasun Hewage, Professor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)
  • Lukas Bichler, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)
  • Ayman Elnaggar, Instructor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)
  • Ernest Goh, Instructor, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science (UBC Okanagan)

Summary

Our project responds to The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call for educators to “build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect” (Calls to Action, clause 63), specifically with regard to Aboriginal contexts and communities, by developing instructional modules based on case studies. As researchers have shown, case studies have many benefits: shifting emphasis to student-centred learning (Grant, 1997), exposing students to real-world issues (Raju and Sankar, 1999), and increasing student interest and motivation (Mustoe and Croft, 1999). Further, Davis and Wilcock (2005) find that case studies in Engineering classes can bridge theory and practice, and provide opportunities for active learning and development of lifelong learning skills. These findings suggest that case studies are an excellent vehicle for delivering Aboriginal-based content in the Engineering curriculum.

Ahn et al. (2014), however, note that the successful use of case studies in Engineering classes is dependent on faculty members’ ability to manage instruction of the studies and to connect the content to other course material. Further, Vivas and Allada (2006) identify a “major drawback” (p. 237) of using case studies: lack of connection between the studies themselves. The applicants will address these concerns by ensuring that the instructional modules are thematically similar (and thus connected) and by developing a training program for faculty members so that best practices are followed in using the case studies. It is worth noting that many faculty members in SoE already use case studies and will be familiar with the instructional model.