Assessing the Effectiveness of Using Real-Life Materials and Student-Centered Experiential Learning Activities and Assignments in Teaching ASC 301

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Shuyu Kong, Department of Humanities (Asia Canada Program)

Project team: Tyler Gill, undergraduate research assistant

Timeframe: November 2014 to August 2015

Funding: $4,600  

Course addressed: ASC 301 – Asian Canadian Cultural Activism

Final report: View Shuyu Kong's final report (PDF)

Description: ASC 302 is an Asia-Canada program core course that uses real life materials that students can access in their daily lives and are relevant to their experience as Asian Canadians or Canadians in a multicultural society. These include literary and arts publications, art exhibitions, documentary films and community cultural events. In this class, we also test experiential learning activities/assessment methods such as field trips, community engagement volunteer work and creative projects. I have taught this course twice, and already built up some materials and ideas, but I need to work more closely with student RAs to assess the effectiveness of these materials and activities in the teaching/learning process and to explore new materials and expand and utilize some of the ideas/methods to improve the course and, where relevant, apply them more broadly to the teaching curriculum.  This grant is to develop and test a module to teach the Asia-Canada program core course in a more innovative and engaging way based on student-centred teaching materials, experiential learning activities and assessment/assignments.

Questions addressed:

  • How effective are the current experiential assignments (such as field trip reports) and assessment methods (final creative projects instead of essays or exams) in supporting students to learn and understand the concepts and issues related to Asian Canadian Cultural activism, such as cross-cultural identity, hybridity, "the third space", cultural activism, community engagement, and cultural citizenship? What are the pros and cons of each assignment/method? How can existing assignments be revised to be more effective?
  • What other kinds of learning activities and assignments can be developed to support this experiential learning?

Knowledge sharing: Results will be shared among colleagues in the Asia Canada program. Also, the project will be highly relevant to SFU colleagues who wish to develop similar kinds of experiential learning courses involving local community engagement. It will also demonstrate experiential learning in teaching Asian and Asian Diaspora subject/content among academic circle of Asian Studies, for which a paper will be delivered at an ASS annual meeting.