2012 Recipients

Tetyana Antimirova
Associate Professor, Department of Physics
Ryerson University

Professor Tetyana Antimirova consistently uses innovative tools and pedagogical practices to build supportive and accessible learning environments. More specifically, hands-on activities, in class demonstrations, and peer discussions are integral to professor Antimirova’s teaching practices in her physics classes. In order to ensure that students are able to return to these activities as they begin to integrate new knowledge, Antimirova documents and posts them online. At the introductory level, Antimirova has also implemented an online tutoring system which combines the Socratic Method and problem-based learning as an avenue for students to develop their problem-solving skills while studying at their own pace. Not only does this online tutoring system have measurable, positive learning outcomes for students, but its use as an assessment tool ensures more efficient and rewarding use of time by teaching assistants who can direct greater time and attention toward interacting with students. Antimirova ensures that her teaching techniques remain current and effective in engaging students and promoting active learning by reflecting on, assessing, and modifying her practices where necessary.

Alison Flynn
Science Lecturer, Department of Chemistry
University of Ottawa

Professor Alison Flynn is dedicated to improving the quality of students’ educational experiences through the use of innovative teaching techniques. For example, Flynn has designed and implemented an introductory seminar series. This series, which prepares incoming science students for the rigours of student life and helps them develop skills necessary to excel in their upcoming courses, is offered both in person and online in order to reach a broad audience of students. In addition, Flynn helped create a free, online, interactive learning tool for students. In keeping with her commitments to active learning, Flynn also uses classroom response devices in classes, which allow students to answer complex questions and ensure she is able to assess their comprehension and review key concepts. All three of these endeavors clearly illustrate Flynn’s dedication to ensuring student academic success. Allison Flynn is a reflexive educator whose pedagogical commitments are reflected in her innovative teaching practices.

Joe Shapter
Dean, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Flinders University

Dean Joe Shapter is an innovative science educator who played a vital role in the creation of a new and exciting degree program in the field of Nanotechnology. To develop this unprecedented degree program required the design and implementation of specific courses as well as an overarching curriculum in this new field. Dedicated to the field of Nanotechnology, Dean Shapter and his colleagues further developed Honours, Master’s and PhD level degrees out of what was first designed as an undergraduate program. In addition, the program’s foundation on sound curricular design is evident in students’ enthusiasm for learning and graduates’ strong grasp on and ability to apply theoretical and methodological innovations in their field. The program in Nanotechnology provides an excellent context for the use of innovative teaching techniques, which are central to Shapter’s pedagogical dedication to active learning through the development of independent, critical thinking and communication skills. Shapter has also developed tools to assess comprehension of key concepts in Chemistry and ensure preparedness to learn more advanced theoretical and technical skills.

Robert Sproule
Lecturer, School of Accounting and Finance 
University of Waterloo

Robert Sproule is an innovative educator who continues to play a central role in developing new teaching and learning initiatives at the University of Waterloo. Committed to active, experiential learning, Sproule’s passion for his subject matter is evident as he takes every opportunity to share his knowledge with students and peers. He has designed and delivered courses in virtual and blended formats (i.e. combining in-class and online delivery and assessment techniques). Sproule uses many innovative measures of success, including group cooperation, and provides students with ongoing feedback in order to advance their knowledge and prepare them for their final assignments. In order to assess learning and ensure student engagement, Sproule uses clicker educational technology, online discussions, and cooperative learning techniques. In addition, Sproule provides students with hands-on training in accounting which contributes to their personal development as well as their performance as educators. He actively and regularly seeks out evaluations of his teaching, using these assessments to modify lesson plans and course design and to continue developing his skills as an educator.

Jay Wilson
Assistant Professor, College of Education
University of Saskatchewan

Professor Jay Wilson has developed and uses a theory of Open Authentic Learning as a model to educate future educators. His model offers a unique avenue for the smooth transition of new teachers into the work force. Wilson’s model challenges students to learn from their peers and promotes active learning while also challenging the professor to tailor teaching practices to the needs of the individuals in the class. Wilson encourages Open Authentic Learning through the use of innovative teaching techniques such as problem-based and situated learning. Professor Wilson’s teaching practices challenge students with many perspectives and effectively foster the development of group initiative, creative thinking, and practical teaching skills. In addition, Wilson attempts to create competent learners and educators by integrating real life priorities and assessments into the curriculum to ensure that students of the College of Education can grow into excellent and enthusiastic educators. Jay Wilson’s commitments to innovative learning are evident in his ability to successfully create student-centred learning environments and motivate future educators.