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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
November 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Open Classroom Series

How often do you get a chance to sit in on a class of an academic colleague or strike up a conversation with a peer about teaching and learning?

In this spirit of fostering peer to peer connections and reflection upon teaching and learning, we bring you the Open Classroom series. This initiative is offered every winter and builds upon the Teaching Squares Program offered in the fall. This series provides an opportunity for Laurier's teaching and learning community to experience being a student again from the perspective an experienced educator.

For winter 2014, we will arrange with several faculty from various campuses and academic disciplines to open up their classrooms for others to attend. No need to register in advance. Just show up. As a courtesy, we ask that you email the course instructor. This early connection may just be the touch point needed to strike a follow-up conversation.

Check back for updates

January Offerings

Wednesday, January 15, 2014  10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. and Friday, January 17, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. BA201 , Waterloo Campus 

The format of the January 15 and 17 classes will be based upon an class-wide simulation exercise that illustrates the principles of population genetics. Using palying cards (to represent alleles) and clickers (to survey genotypic and phenotypic frequencies in the population), the students will interact as if they were a population- passing their genes (cards) on through interbreeding from one generation to the next. By changing the rules of interaction between students (violating the various assumptions of a Hardy-Weinberg population), the effects of agents of microevolutionary change will become apparent. Ultimately this exercise helps develop a better understand of the concepts of evolution, fitness, natural/sexual selection, genetic drift and mutations.

Thursday, January 16, 2014  11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. BA201 , Waterloo Campus 

This course continues the introduction to psychology and shows how different areas are integrated by covering topics such as learning, memory, language & thought, intelligence & testing, motivation & emotion, development, stress & coping, community psychology, and social psychology.

The January 16, class will explore the human memory, with a live experiment with hands-on experiment and real pratical value. The topic of the class is memory and in particular memory strategies for classroom learning. The class of 400 will participate in a live experiment in class. There will be chaos, fun and active learning as students learn first hand about research memory and the difference between effective and less effective learning strategies.  

Friday, January 17, 2014  11:30 a.m. - 1:20 p.m. DAWB 3-106, Waterloo Campus 

Preparation of complex aromatic compounds.  This class will focus on applying students knowledge of organic chemistry to preparing complex molecules (either pharmaceutical drugs or naturally occurring compounds).

The format of the class will largely be based on student-centered learning activities (i.e. answering questions and solving problems in groups) in the Active Learning Classroom.  Very little lecturing will be done, except to provide help and guidance to students as needed.

Thuirsday, January 30, 2014  8:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. DAWB 2-108 , Waterloo Campus 

Case-Study on CCTV. The class is a survey of issues in visual culture and this week's topic is about modernity, power, and visibility. In the previous class we look at Bentham's Panopticon and the theories of Foucault based on that model and in this class we do a case-study of CCTV, with specific attention to the CCTV system at Laurier.

The class will include some lecture material but also a large group activity where we explore the benefits and consequences of CCTV and explore the myth of safety that CCTV is often used to promote.  

February Offerings

Wednesday, February 5, 2014  4 p.m. – 7 p.m. BA211 , Waterloo Campus 

This course explores the intersection of food practices and religion. Attention is given to the imagined relationships between the divine, animal, plant and human worlds in various locations in the world.

The February 5 class will explore the Cuban-based Santeria practices and beliefs, with images and narratives coming from fieldwork Michel Desjardins conducted there.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014  7 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. BA201 , Waterloo Campus 

Many of the top-selling drugs currently on the market are aromatic in nature. This class will be used to explore the structural elements that all aromatic compounds have in common and to describe what makes these types of compounds particularly stable. A mix of mini-lectures, clicker questions and informal group work will be employed to engage students in mastering the learning tasks associated with this week's course material.

Note: Students have access to many resources to help them prepare for this class (a learning tasks inventory, PowerPoint slides, video lectures and on-line homework). Faculty members interested in attending this class should contact the instructor 1 week in advance to gain access to these materials so they can better understand how the class fits into the week's work.

Monday, February 24, 2014  1:30 p.m. - 2:20p.m. N1042, Waterloo Campus 

Interaction of light with matter and atomic structure.  The lecture will focus on how light interacts with matter, and how this interaction is used to understand the electronic structure (i.e. how electrons are organized) in atoms.  This forms the basis for modern quantum theory.

The class is an introductory chemistry course.  The format will be largely lecture-based, with some interactive elements including using clickers to assess student understanding and promote engagement.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014  10 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. DAWB 2-108 , Waterloo Campus 

Maps, Charts and Diagrams. The class looks at the field of cartography and the ways in which maps communicate many things beyond getting from point A to point B. The class will be split with the first half primarily lecture and the second half based around an exercise where students 'draw their city'. We then use the resulting maps to talk about what and how maps communicate.  

March Offerings

Thursday, March 20, 2014 7 p.m. – 8:50 p.m. N1002 , Waterloo Campus

Participants are invited to a lecture on Thursday March 20 entitled "The Seduction of Battle and the Perversion of War". The topic to be addresses is torture, Jus in bello, war crimes and the ethics of photography in relations to trophies of war. The readings are the following:

Butler, J. 2009. “Torture and the Ethics of Photography”. (p.63-100) In Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? Verso Press.

Davis, M. 2008. “Justifying Torture as an Act of War”. (p. 187-203) In: May, Larry (Ed.). War: Essays in Political Philosophy. London: Cambridge University Press.

The lecture will be traditional style with a short in-class activity and film clip.

April Offerings

Monday, April 1, 2014 10 a.m. - 11:20 p.m. Community Service Learning, Waterloo Campus

Student groups will be presenting their proposed research plan developed for/in consultation with their community partner. These proposals involve the completion of the Faculty Short-Term Research Grant Application.