RA Opportunity: Innovations in Indigenous Teaching + Learning (FENV)

December 08, 2023

**This is being posted on behalf of Dr. Leanne Roderick, Faculty of Environment. All queries should be sent to: leanne_roderick@sfu.ca

Research Assistant Opportunity
Innovations in Indigenous Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Environment
Project Title: Indigenizing Online Group Discussions Using Talking Circles
Principle Investigator: Leanne Roderick

Project and role description: Online Canvas Discussions are often impersonal walls of texts that do little to boost student motivation, meaning, engagement, or connection with the land.  The goal of this project is to Indigenize the online discussion experience in online, asynchronous courses as a means of promoting relationality (between students, instructors, and the land).  This project is built upon the following principles of Indigenous pedagogy: personal and holistic, experiential, place-based, intergenerational (Huguenin, 2020).

This research assistant position will support an initiative to implement an Indigenous pedagogy through the creation of a discussion experience akin to Talking Circles for online, asynchronous human geography courses. 

Research assistant responsibilities include:

  • Undertaking literature reviews pertinent to the project;
  • Assisting in interview question design;
  • Accompanying and assisting project lead with recorded, semi-structured interviews with participants (possible including Coast Salish Elders and Cultural Workers);
  • Transcribing and cleaning interview data;
  • Video-recording and editing welcome messages and reflection prompts with interviewees;
  • Help to create, collect, and analyze student survey data;
  • Assisting in data analysis and write up;
  • Attending semi-regular meetings with the project lead in a virtual meeting environment, (e.g., Zoom).

Required qualifications, skills, and experience:

  • Currently enrolled as a student at SFU;
  • Experience conducting literature reviews;
  • Experience in research instrument design such as creating surveys, interview protocols, and interview questions;
  • Experience coordinating, conducting, recording and transcribing interviews;
  • Expertise with analyzing and summarizing data (including survey data);
  • Strong interest in improving online learning in a higher education setting through decolonization and Indigenizing curriculum;
  • Time to commit to the project (5 to 10 hours per week);
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including strong oral and written communication skills; and
  • Experience in academic writing as demonstrated in assessments or previous projects.

Additional experience or skills that would be considered an asset:

  • Conducted / participated in research project(s)
  • Has completed Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program (https://www.sfu.ca/human-resources/learning-development/SanSafetyTrain.html) - if this has not been completed, there is opportunity for paid training
  • Knowledge in quantitative and qualitative research
  • Strong desire to learn more about educational research
  • Commitment to decolonization and Indigenization in higher education

Rate of pay: $26-$30/hr (including vacation and statutory holiday pay, no medical or dental benefits) based on experience.  Project requires approximately 80-100 hours of RA work over a 1 year period.  Please note that once the new TSSU Collective Agreement with SFU is ratified, rates and access to benefits may be subject to change.

Duration and time commitment:

  • Spring 2024 term: literature review, option to take Online Cultural Safety Anti-Indigenous Racism Training Program (up to 40 hours)
  • Summer 2024: interviews and analysis (up to 40 hours)
  • Fall 2024: student survey data analysis  (up to 20 hours)

To apply: Applicants should submit: including (1) a 1-page cover letter highlighting qualifications, skills, role responsibilities, and previous applicable experience as listed above, (2) a 1-2 page resume. These two items should be organized as one PDF attachment and addressed to Dr. Leanne Roderick, and emailed to leanne_roderick@sfu.ca, with the subject header: Innovations in Indigenous Teaching and Learning - RA Position Application.

Note: References will only be requested from short-listed applicants.

Application deadline: Friday, November 30, 2023, 4:00 PM. We appreciate all replies to this posting; however, we will only contact short-listed applicants.