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References: The People Behind the Pedagogy

This podcast explores how to make language your superpower. Hosted by Jodie Martin, we bring you the latest and greatest news from UBC Vantage College where we have English language experts working side by side with discipline-specific faculty to help our students power up their communication and academic literacy skills so that they can thrive in a rigorous academic setting.

Episode 1 - Revising Multiple Choice Questions to Enhance Multilingual Learner Comprehension

Do you use multiple choice questions for tests, mid-terms and exams? The advantage of technology today means that we can do all sorts of marvelous things, like create question banks, gather analytics on responses, and perhaps most importantly, mark automatically. But how many times have you had a question which most students got wrong, even though you know they knew the content? Often, we see that as teachers, how we phrase questions isn’t as obvious to our students as it is to us. In our first episode, we hear from a team of professors and instructors in the Vantage One Arts program who explored the idea of what makes a good multiple choice question and discovered how to fix it. We interview Dr. Mark Lam (Lecturer in the Department of Psychology) and Jennifer Lightfoot (Academic English Program Lecturer in Vantage One Arts) about their interdisciplinary approach to developing multiple choice questions that enhanced the learner comprehension. Other contributors to this project that were not interviewed include, Dr. Simon Lolliot, Dr. Katherine Lyon, Nathan Roberson, and Daniel Riccardi.

References for this episode:
Riccardi, D., Lightfoot, J., Lam, M., Lyon, K., Roberson, N. D., & Lolliot, S. (2020). Investigating the effects of reducing linguistic complexity on EAL student comprehension in first-year undergraduate assessments. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2019.100804

Episode 2 - Transitioning to online learning in the middle of a pandemic (Part 1)

Good teaching is good teaching, whether it's face to face or online.

In this first of a 2-part episode series, Jodie Martin speaks with Brian Wilson about the sudden transition to emergency online teaching that took place in late March 2020 here at UBC. Brian is the Curriculum Manager and Faculty Liaison at Vantage College, and prior to this role, he worked as an instructional designer and project manager with the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. From his experience, Brian has a wealth of knowledge for delivering courses online effectively and in an engaging way.

Like the rest of UBC, Vantage College pivoted to emergency online teaching over the course of a single weekend, when there were only 3.5 weeks remaining in the second term. During this uncertain time, Brian was an important contributor to moving Vantage online in a relatively smooth and successful manner. However, the transition was not without its challenges, and he shares insight into how it all transpired, and the immense people power that was required to make it all come together so quickly.

We also discuss the lessons learned, and what this could mean for the future of online course delivery. As people begin exploring different ways of doing assessments, tasks and activities, both instructors and students may gain a greater appreciation of what else is possible.

Listen to this podcast right here on this page, or on any of the major podcast players below: