Since launching in September, Hacking Exercise for Health: The Surprising New Science of Fitness has received more than 220,000 views, nearly 10,000 enrollments and a 4.7 out of 5 ratings.
What do you bring to projects as a digital pedagogy specialist and media specialist?
Christa: As a digital pedagogy specialist, I support faculty and students in finding ways to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning when using digital technologies. I offer in-class and online workshops on technology-enhanced teaching and increasing student participation online. On project teams, I’m focused on new generation digital learning environments and serve as digital technology specialists, pedagogy specialists and instructional designers.
Chris: I like to say that we make ideas come to life and make the intangible visible. A digital media specialist designs and develops a wide array of content including print, audio, video, multi-media projects, e-learning and web development. This includes graphic design, cinematography, photography, editing, animation, motion graphics, audio production and more. All of this requires an incredible amount of creative and technical expertise and experience. People come to us with ideas or content and we transform that into engaging learning experiences for students.
What was it like working with Marty and Stu?
Christa: Marty and Stu are highly motivated and very disciplined, which make them ideal members of a project team. Without fail, they responded promptly to any and all of our requests. As faculty, they have a real enthusiasm for teaching and a genuine empathy for learners of all ages. Their banter and humour always left me with a smile. We were also fortunate to work on this project with professional scriptwriter Chris Shulgan and student partner Emma Schoenholz.
Chris: A good rapport between subject matter experts like Marty and Stu and the media team at MacPherson is critically important. There has to be trust in each other and respect for our individual areas of expertise. One of the things that made this project so rewarding to work on was its collaborative nature. This has become our signature approach to teaching and learning development at MacPherson. The entire team contributed from start to finish, from writing and production to marketing and promotion. We all learned a lot from each other. While they're world-renowned experts and exceptionally busy people, Marty and Stu made this an incredibly fun project. Their disposition and professional removed a lot of pressure. They were always wiling to help and were so gracious.
What advice would you give to faculty who are looking at using technology to deliver courses to students?
Christa: I highly recommend faculty design and teach an online course. We’ve heard from faculty that the experience helps them become even stronger teachers overall. Using technology gets faculty thinking on many fronts, from how and where they communicate with their students to what kind of content to share and how to be more inclusive of students and their ways of learning. Becoming better instructors in a digital learning space will definitely help to strengthen and refine your course (re) design skills to be more inclusive and AODA compliant. Using multiple media and technologies also opens up new opportunities for student participation, decreases the distance between you and your learns and fosters a sense of community among learners.
Chris: You can have a lot of fun creating and introducing technology into online learning experiences. Yetthe critical part is first understanding and then not losing sight of who you’re creating for and why. Being empathetic and truly understanding the learner goes a long way. Before getting excited about features, make sure you fully identify the problem you’re trying to solve and then determine the solution. While this sounds like common sense, the tendency is to jump straight to execution which is the fun part of the project. Our team here at MacPherson has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help deliver solutions that lead to an engaging learning experience for students.
Meet Jamie Barnes, Managing Director of Research Centers and Institutes. Jamie joined us in September 2019.
“It's great to be back at McMaster. Physics was the first of three degrees I earned here at Mac. It was a great program that fed what’s always been a natural and intense curiousity. From an early age, I’ve always needed to understand how our world works, whether it was kinematics, electricity, business processes or strategy.
Faculty in the Department of Physics & Astronomy taught me how to define and tackle problems in an objective and scientific way. What I learned from faculty gave me the skills and confidence to bring a more analytical and data-driven approach to strategic planning, policy development, marketing and financial decisions. It’s an approach I’ve applied throughout my career and one that I've brought to all the teams I’ve worked with and led since graduating in 2007.
That's the same approach I’ll be taking with my work here in the Faculty of Science. I’m spending my first 90 days meeting with directors, faculty and staff to learn everything I can about our research centres and institutes. What are the strengths? What are the challenges? What are the key strategic opportunities? Answers to those questions will help define what supports will provide the greatest value in allowing our centres and institutes to perform at the highest possible level and deliver on their research mandates.”
Prior to joining the Faculty of Science, Jamie was Manager of Health Analytics and Manager of Research & Business Intelligence with the Region of Peel, a manager with KMPG and a senior consultant with Blackstone Partners. Jamie graduated from McMaster with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration with a management of innovation and new technology specialization. Outside of work, Jamie spends time with his wife and two children in Ancaster where he tackles home renovation projects.
New Delhi TV reported on research led by Philip Britz-McKibbin (Chemistry & Chemical Biology) showing that foods leave measurable markers in urine and blood. Philip and the team of "diet detectives" were also featured in the Hamilton Spectator.
CBC TV, The National and CBC Radio's The World This Hour featured Stuart Phillips (Kinesiology) discussing the complications of selling sports drinks containing CBD.
The Hamilton Spectator published a story looking back at McMaster physicist Bertram Brockhouse earning the Nobel Prize in Physics 25 years ago.
Scientific American highlighted research by Antoine Shahin, Larry Roberts and Laurel Trainor (Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour) on how humans perceive music.
Fast Company ran a feature on the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind submitted by Laurel Trainor and Dan Bosnyak.
The South African published an op-ed by Toby Brown (Physics & Astronomy) on the deaths of galaxies.