At the University of Waterloo, the Co-operative Education Research Certificate (CERC) is a new academic credential within the Co-operative Education degree which recognizes students who demonstrate an area of specialization in their work term experiences. The CERC requirements reflect a specific focus on research during a student’s attainment of their Co-op degree. Students need to demonstrate they have met all certificate requirements, assessed against a clear and robust set of criteria (assessment framework). The certificates were envisioned as an enhancement to the students’ degree and available at no additional cost. As such, limited resources were available to support formal instruction and assessment for the certificates. A PebblePad workbook was created to include instructional resources and support independent study.
Engaging in this work reinforced how influential even a small degree of reflection and feedback can be in supporting student success. Implementing these changes required (minimal) additional effort but had huge impact on the students’ ability to relate their experiences to the assessment framework. The implementation of the PebblePad workbook highlighted that personal online learning environments can not only support student reflection and learning, but also simplify program administration.
The above case study is just one of twenty-five brilliant examples from our 2020 'Charting new courses in learning and teaching' conference. With case studies spanning degree apprenticeships, clinical assessment, interprofessional education, showcase portfolios, and many other contexts and disciplines, they are real stories of trailblazing innovation. If you'd like to download all 25 exemplars of pedagogical goodness, click the link below.