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Creating Meaningful Educational Experiences

So much has changed in the teaching and learning environment since 2020. First we coped, then we adapted, then we learned new skills and ways of engaging our students. Now we are back in the classroom and wondering how we move forward with this - let's admit it - enriched experience.

During this Performa Event we have looked at some of the questions we have about creating meaningful educational experiences:

  • How do we further develop the resources we already have?  Moodle has so many possibilities.
  • With these new resources, is there a way to approach serious games and make it relevant?
  • Distance education has arguably changed how we build relationships with our students and how they build relationships among themselves. How can we open up spaces to help establish, strengthen and nurture these relationships in the digital world to foster learning?
  • Is there a way to design a blended learning course? Are there any models to inspire us?

Resources and recordings of the day

Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes

Survey results prior to the Covid-19 pandemic identified that only one in five Canadian institutions supported blended and online learning course design and delivery. Emergency online education used blunt-edged instruments that required ignoring student and program differences.

The pandemic takeaway, however, is the importance of preparing all students to learn, whether online or in a physical classroom. This recent experience with technology-enabled remote teaching at colleges and universities can result in a change in this attenuated adoption of online and blended learning.

Dr. Cleveland-Innes will share her views on the opportunities for, and constraints to, implementing blended learning, past and current, with a view to future possibilities.

Teresa Berghello & Dianne Bateman

The idea and practice of “blending learning” was meant to help higher education prepare for the onslaught of technological development that was expected to occur in the 21st Century.  

The introduction of Blended Learning, along with its power to transfer teaching and learning from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered environment, was moving at a slow and steady pace – then Covid 19 struck.  

Suddenly the need to reinvent policies, practices and patterns of teaching and learning in higher education became urgent. The crisis quickly morphed into a once-in-a career opportunity for administrators and educational leaders to capitalize on renewed interest in pedagogy and to find ways to support faculty who ventured into this new pedagogical realm.   

As with any transformation, misconceptions abound about what it means to design a blended learning course, why our colleges should pursue this change, and what it takes to do it well.  

This session will examine the different yet similar journeys of two Anglophone CEGEPs as they simultaneously implement new forms of instruction, while addressing the challenge of sustaining and furthering the quality of higher education through the careful and thoughtful adoption of blended learning. 


Mark Mattei

Do you teach in a health discipline and are interested in using blended instruction? Are you concerned about replacing in-person classes with asynchronous lessons? This session will provide an example of an educational experience using in-person and asynchronous instructional strategies in a heath discipline that is heavily weighted on practical hours. The example will:

  • Allow for a brief review of the literature on blended learning.
  • Demonstrate how asynchronous lessons can enhance the achievement of learning objectives.
  • Introduce some of the basic tools used to create the different learning objects used in asynchronous lessons.
  • Demonstrate the presence of cognitive, social and teaching dimensions in the design of a worthwhile educational experience.

Hélène Mathieu

Workshop in French

Comme nous l’avons découvert pendant la pandémie, l’enseignement en ligne n’est pas un environnement d’apprentissage idéal pour les personnes étudiants de niveau collégial. Malgré ses imperfections, il comporte tout de même certains avantages. Lorsque nous jumelons les bienfaits de l'enseignement en ligne et ceux de l’enseignement traditionnel en classe, nous pouvons créer un cadre d’apprentissage optimal. C’est ce que propose l’enseignement hybride.

Dans cette communication, nous montrerons le potentiel de l’enseignement hybride en français langue seconde au collégial. Nous discuterons des défis de ce mode d’apprentissage, nous présenterons certains modèles connus, dont le Community of Inquiry et traiterons brièvement de la conception de cours en format hybride.

Teachers and students have realized during Covid that online teaching has been far from ideal. However, is our traditional F2F classroom model really the ideal setting? Both learning environments have their strengths and weaknesses. What if we could take the best of both worlds to create an optimal learning environment? In this 1.5 hour workshop, we will explore the potential benefits of blended learning for the teaching and learning of L2 French at Cegep level. We will discuss the added value as well as the challenges of such an environment.  We will present the Community of Inquiry framework and other models.  We will also consider how to effectively redesign a course for blended learning. 

Lorelie Bouchard

This session will allow participants to reflect on the digital choices they have made over the past two years and use the TPACK framework and SAMR model to evaluate the use of digital tools going forward.  We will create our own criteria for choosing the appropriate digital tools for our learning objectives in order create meaningful educational experiences and to enhance student learning. 

Murray Bronet

This workshop will present the current definitions and research on Blended Learning (BL) pedagogy, some infographics on BL, why a BL format might benefit Science students, and how best to implement a BL pedagogy into your course. A few sample Blended Learning outlines will be presented and participants will be encouraged to bring their own to discuss, refine, and perfect. Nonetheless, BL formats do present significant challenges to the teacher, the student, and to institutional resources. The teacher must ensure content equity between sections of the same course with and without the BL format, as well as maintain equity between students in terms of internet connection and equipment access. Teachers must somehow foster an affective online learning environment, facilitate effective student interaction and learning, be perceived as “present” and supportive while incorporating flexibility in presentation and assessment. For the student, research has shown that online learning poses challenges for self-regulation, feelings of connectedness, digital skills, and motivation. And for the institution, resources have to be allocated to support an online BL pedagogy; Internet (WiFi), equipment, learning spaces, technical support, and pedagogical support. In spite of all the challenges indicated, it is clear that BL pedagogy can allow increased accessibility and flexibility to students while increasing deep learning of course content. One aspect to discuss amongst participants would be the available research on the effectiveness of BL pedagogy: satisfaction, academic performance, pass rates, student retention, etc. Another outcome of this workshop would be the discussion of best practices for BL implementation.

Maggie McDonnell

Get to know Moodle Workshop with this hands-on session. We will learn how Workshop can make peer review effective and meaningful, and the best configurations to support collaboration and learning.

Nolan Bazinet

The purpose of this workshop is to present the concept of gamification and interrogate its use as a pedagogical strategy in the college classroom to engender meaningful education. To do this, concepts such as games and play, and their connection to meaningful, experiential learning will be discussed, followed by a presentation and analysis of a variety of different games ranging from analog, table-top games, to escape games, to contemporary digital games such as computer off the shelf games and serious games, all of which will be considered for college-level teaching and learning. Moreover, the link between gamification and meaningful and experiential learning will be highlighted, with a focus on elements such as the favoring of students’ agency, the promotion of active learning and engagement, and the presentation of clear goals and objectives. Finally, this workshop seeks to promote a critical reflection on the inclusion of play and games in the college classroom, with the goal of cultivating meaningful learning.

Dominic Brierre

Distance education has arguably changed how we build relationships with our students and how they build relationships among themselves. How can we open up spaces to help establish, strengthen and nurture these relationships in the digital world to foster learning? What have we learned that can be re-used going forward?

Building on the SoTL and the CoI frameworks, this collaborative and interactive session invites you to draw from your teaching context to:

  • Reflect on practices and digital tools that can help foster meaningful relationships in distance education.
  • Identify areas you would like to improve in your teaching practice (strategies/digital tools).
  • Start drafting an action plan to implement the improvements you would like to make next time you teach.

In this session you will have the opportunity to work both individually and in small groups sharing inspiring practices with fellow educators to look for solutions and strategies. Tools and resources will be made available to you during and after the session to keep you going.

Whether you are new or experienced at teaching, you are welcome to join and be part of this conversation.

Sharon Coyle

Concrete examples of creative activities at the cegep level will provide context for exploring how we can encourage an innovative and creative approach to the use of digital technology, both for ourselves as teachers designing learning experiences, and to support student creativity. How do we build creativity into learning experiences and assessments? What does a marking grid look like when you leave room for diverse submissions? What are some examples of creativity-inspiring digital tools that can be accessed easily? This workshop will also offer hands-on creative experiences, as well as time for small group reflection on discipline specific application for the use of digital technology to support creativity in your field. 

Partners and funding

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec.