Interdisciplinary Panel on Learning and Reading

Thursday, March 30, 1 p.m.- 2:30 p.m., CS 101

Griscti, O, “The impact of using pet therapy during classroom lectures”

The aim of this preliminary study was to find out if bringing a pet during class time has an impact on students’ learning abilities.  Pet therapy has been known to alleviate stress in selected populations by reducing physiological responses to stress, and by enhancing mood and creating a sense of wellbeing (Marcus 2013)Neps, Stewart and Brunkno 2014).  Most of these studies tended to be focused on seniors, or hospitalised individuals, however some studies were found that explored the impact of pet therapy in academic settings.   These studies explored if pet therapy helped to allay stress in students during exam time, or during freshman orientation period.  In this study the researcher went a step further to explore if pet therapy can reduce stress in students during class time, and if it has an effect on their learning abilities.

Robertson, E, “Morphology and Early Reading Skills”

Learning to read involves forming a connection between sound a print. There is a strong relationship between children’s phonological awareness (ability to manipulate the sound structure of language) and word reading. Oral language skills outside of phonology may also support early reading levels. Specifically, morphology was examined in the current study. A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a language. For example, the word played has two morphemes: /play/ and /ed/. The /ed/ changes the meaning of the base word /play/ to indicate a tense change. These patterns can also be applied to nonwords (e.g. murn-murned). Children in grades 1 to 4 completed tasks on past-tense morphology, word reading, nonword reading, and several control measures. Even once age, phonological skills, broad language comprehension and production, and nonverbal cognitive skills were controlled, past-tense elicitation of real words predicted unique variance in word reading skills and past-tense elicitation of nonwords predicted unique variance in nonword reading scores. These patterns were more pronounced in the younger half (grade 1 and 2) of the children, suggesting the relationship between past-tense morphology and reading is particularly important early on in reading development.

Umetsubo, Y, “Assessment as Learning Project: Online Surveys with Immediate Formative Feedback”

This paper proposes a practical assessment model that focuses on students’ performance-related variables, for which information literacy (IL) is designed and delivered. High satisfaction rates about library instruction do not always correlate with user’s performance level on evaluating information online and sourcing quality information; the findings from the case study at Cape Breton University, provides a solution to the current challenge in the assessment process.