Off To The STLHE Conference

Next week I head to Vancouver to the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference. I can’t wait. It’s been too long since I’ve been to Vancouver, and far too long since I’ve seen my friend Dr. Beth – who just so happens to live and work there.

I won’t be travelling alone, however, as I’ll be joined by Corey (my MSc student). The two of us will be presenting an interactive session that will describe some of the research that we’ve been doing related to community-engaged scholarship within computer science classrooms. The fun part is that the attendees are going to have to get involved – no sitting around and simply listening to us drone on. I’m very much looking forward to the event, and can’t wait to meet some of the experts in the area of education. If you’re interested, our abstract is below.


Canadians waste ~40% of all food produced, while ~13% of Canadian households are food insecure (Gooch et al. 2010, Tarasuk et al. 2014). Given the many resources Canada has, there is a disconnect preventing every Canadian from having access to safe, nutritious, healthy food. To address these issues, students from multiple disciplines were brought together to develop solutions to reduce food insecurity and waste. Specifically, computer science students were tasked to work with community partners, local experts, and colleagues from disciplines spanning the physical and social sciences, to develop mobile and web-based apps to quantify and reduce food insecurity and waste. This talk explores the experiences of students, faculty, and partners over the course of a three-year study of community-engaged scholarship within a third year computer science classroom. The talk will also provide observations from extracurricular events (e.g. hackathons) run parallel to the classroom.

To capture student experience, attendees will be placed in multidisciplinary teams, and tasked with developing a prototype app that will quantify or reduce food insecurity or waste. Attendees will explore solution creation and refinement by understanding and integrating discipline specific knowledge, while also addressing community partners needs, and the intended users of their app. Attendees will learn the importance of communication, understanding and working with experts from multiple domains, and understanding the target audience of social innovation. Attendees will learn of the benefits of a community-engaged physical and engineering science classrooms, and of multidisciplinary student teams.


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