On Location at GPRC

In this issue

Naming of New Dinosaur Species Attracts National Attention

Dr. Philip Currie, Canada Research Chair of Dinosaur Palaeobiology at the University of Alberta, was at GPRC yesterday to officially reveal the name of the new Pachyrhinosaurus species found at the Pipestone Creek bone bed.  The event created quite a buzz around the College and the Community. Al Leader from the Discovery Channel was on site to interview Dr. Currie about his newly published monograph on the subject. The interview will air on the Discovery Channel tonight at 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm.  

A representative from the Globe and Mail was also on site to photograph Al Lakusta in front of the Pachyrhinosaurus replica at GPRC.  Lakusta, a retired science teacher in Grande Prairie, found the original fossil bones at Pipestone Creek in 1972 and brought them to the attention of the Royal Tyrell Museum who began excavating the site in the 1980's.  In honor of his early discovery and study of the Pipestone Creek bone bed, the new species announced last night has been officially named Pachyrhinosaur lakustai.

Professional Leave Presentations

Don Gnatiuk has been heard to say that the day of presentations from faculty returning from professional leave is “my favourite day of the year!”  On September 24th four faculty members shared their research, knowledge and experiences with the College community: Charles Backman, Joan Godbout, Jane Howes and Geoff Whittal.
Charles Backman discussed the theme of his Doctoral dissertation, which explores economic adaptation in the face of a crisis such as climate change caused by CO2 emissions.  He has been exploring the motivators for change to which businesses respond, such as profit, credibility, legal requirements, guarding against risk, and ethics, and how those are affected by crisis.
Joan Godbout spent the past year adapting to change in teaching and learning habits, focusing on the pedagogy of online learning.  Her study of online design and online learning resource development is already at work in the classroom as she is piloting a blended delivery E0130 course which is half face-to-face and half online.  She will complete her Master’s Online Education in November.
Jane Howes presented slides and stories from her year working in day cares in the municipality of Sundsvall, Sweden. She was involved in numerous professional development opportunities as well as direct contact with children in the day cares where she worked.  She has been a guest presenter at two national conferences since her return, and is pleased to be introducing the highly acclaimed “Reggio Emilia” model of early childhood education at GPRC through the Early Learning and Child Care program.  
Geoff Whittall worked toward completion of  his PhD in Ethnomusicology and Musicology through York University, exploring the concept of “scene” as it impacts music, and researching music festivals, their audiences and musicians.  Geoff attended several conferences, appreciating the perspective of delegate rather than presenter.  He also led, with Paul Rathke, the GPRC spring session group trip to London, Prague and Venice attending concerts and other cultural events.  Geoff also spent time dissecting ensemble music by digital processes to find meaningful ways to present concepts to students.
Congratulations to everyone, and thank you for adding to the vast knowledge resource of GPRC!   Submitted by Lynne Ness
Left to right are: Jane Howes, Joan Godbout, Charles Backman and
Geoff Whittal.

Success Story in Nursing Department

The GPRC Collaborative BScN program offered with the University of Alberta, Keyano College, Red Deer College and MacEwan received a 5 year NEPAB (Nursing Education Program Approval Board) re-approval in May 2008. The re-approval process involves all sites meeting standards set by NEPAB to ensure graduates meet the Entry to Practice Competencies set by CARNA (College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta). The standards include: program standards (fiscal, physical and clinical resources); curriculum standards (educational experiences); faculty standards (sufficient number and composition); and policy standards (policies and procedures related to students that meet the requirements of all relevant legislation).
The process was fairly arduous and took well over a year to complete. The next process the program will be going through will be CASN (Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing) Accreditation. It will make the NEPAB approval process look like a walk in the park!      Submitted by Liz Richards

Rock Out!

The “Rock Out” competitions are part of a semester series that will run each month during the school year. The cost is $10 for entrance into each competition. The cost will help to cover the prizes and supplies to run the competition. The competitions are low stress, friendly, sociable activities and a great way to meet other climbers and learn to climb better. They are designed to get new climbers excited about the sport as well as challenge experienced climbers. Everyone is welcome to participate at all skill levels! 

The Road to Student Success Starts with You Part 2

by Bill Corcoran

In the last issue of Insider, I presented three ideas from Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention:

  • Learn and use student names
  • Creat a positive classroom environment
  • Provide easy access to course materials

This week, I challenge you to consider three more recommendations from the Classroom Strategies article:

  1. Communciate clear expectations: A detialed outline provides a road map for success in a course. Clearly laying out things like the learning objectives, the study topics, the required reading and assignments, and the evaluation scheme all allow you students to make an informed choice about whether or not they have the skills, motivation, and interest to do well in your course. Further, with a clear road map, they have the means to plan a successful  journey through your course.
  2. Use a variety of teaching techniques and strategies: Let's face it, the average attention span has dropped dramatically over the past few decades. Frequently switching activities and/or topice during a class is a great way to arouse, direct, and maintain you students' attention.
  3. Have the students re-state material throught reflection and self-assessment: Repetition promotes mastery, and re-statement in a student's own words helps him or her internalize what is being taught. Having the class reflect  on a question like "What is the most significant thing you learned today?" is an excellent way to put this recommendation into practice.

Remember, how you teach will ultimately affect how successful your students are in your course.

Note: Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student retention is available on the web at: