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Curriculum and Instruction
Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies
- Educational technology
How often do we hear about students graduating from a program without the skills necessary for the workforce?
Valerie Irvine, a professor of educational technology in the Faculty of Education, is finding innovative ways for students to get the most out of their learning experience, shifting the focus of education from curriculum content to supporting the learner's interests and aptitudes first and foremost.
"Almost any profession requires the ability to project-manage your own work," she says.
But most higher education institutions only offer programs or courses that are either face-to-face or online and don't leave much room for personalized learning.
Dr. Irvine co-directs the Technology Integration and Evaluation Research Lab at UVic, where she conducts studies on multi-access learning - a model that merges different ways of accessing education.
She designs her own classes to be multi-access. Students can choose to attend a course face-to-face, log in online or follow lectures via video conferencing.
"This method offers a richer and more dynamic student body," she says. "It changes the very nature of a university's identity."
A connected student from anywhere in the world can attend a class based on this model, without being restricted by location and affordability to live close to campus.
Dr. Irvine plans to expand multi-access learning to other institutions to evaluate its effectiveness. Her goal is for education to be focused more on the inquiry and learning process and less on material that needs to be memorized.
Dr. Irvine is also interested in using technological tools such as blogging and social media to enhance student learning in class. She sees blogging as a form of curating course material, allowing students to archive their own ideas and remember them better.
Dr. Irvine's Faces of UVic Research video:
Health Related Research
Dr. Irvine conducts interdisciplinary research on e-support on health outcomes for parents of infants and toddlers.