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Faculty and Staff Research

Red Deer College’s faculty and staff are experts in their fields, and they share this knowledge with students through diverse research projects. With support from RDC’s Research Common and Research Ethics Board, and access to the facilities and centres at the College, faculty and staff are well-positioned to delve into research in their fields.Faculty and Staff Research

As a teaching institution, projects related to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning are an important part of the research undertaken by faculty and staff at RDC. Other research projects may be undertaken with community partners, businesses, government agencies or other post-secondary institutions.

researchscholarshipoffice [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (Contact us) if you are interested in learning more about research at RDC. 

Want to see examples of faculty research? See the featured projects or the 2020 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Capstone Projects listed below or visit Recognition of Scholarly Awards Recipients. The RDC Digital Repository showcases scholarly, research and creative works undertaken by RDC faculty, staff and students. Faculty, staff and members of the public are welcome to attend research-related events to learn more.  

Featured Faculty Projects

 “An Exploration of Concept-Based Curriculum: A Qualitative Study”

Principal Investigator: Juliet Onabadejo, PhD, RN; Co-Investigators: Katherine Schepp, MN, RN; Carnelle "Raigne" Symes MN, RN CCNE; Kala Streibel, MN, RN CCSNE

RDC Nursing faculty members Dr. Juliet Onabadejo, Katherine Schepp, Carnelle "Raigne" Symes and Kala Streibel are exploring the overall impact of a new concept-based curriculum at the program level. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program has recently implemented a concept-based curriculum which is a response to the issues of content-laden curricula to encourage effective student outcomes. The experiences of faculty, staff, administrators, and students are being explored to understand the impact of the curriculum change. A qualitative research method will enable the researchers to gain an understanding of how the faculty, staff, and students construct meaning within their context. This study will assist with knowledge generation and quality assurance while promoting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research within the Collaborative BScN Program.  

Funding enables an undergraduate nursing student to participate as a paid research assistant, giving her a direct nursing education research experience with an opportunity to further develop a range of twenty-first century skills that will enhance her workplace readiness.

“Lay participation with medical expertise in online self-care practices: Social knowledge (co)production in the Running Mania injury forum.” Social Science and Medicine 227.

Patricia A. Campbell, PhD

RDC Communications Studies instructor Trish Campbell’s new article looks at self-care practices in which medical expertise is not passively consumed by the layperson, but shared and (re)produced in social groups. This research is particularly important with the advent of the internet, which provides instant access to mediated medical knowledge and a space for care communities to communicate about their experiences. The laypersons examined here are members of the Canadian online collective Running Mania. Drawing from member interviews and website observations of the site's injury forum, the study examines collective injury management from two perspectives: the lay expert whose knowledge arises from experience and the expert patient whose knowledge parallels biomedical science. The findings indicate that these types of expertise often come together in actual self-care practices to create new knowledge as laypersons use whatever works in managing their health. This persistent, attentive tinkering with all kinds expertise while listening to one’s body is theorized as a “logic of care”, a type of reasoning that doesn’t require differentiating between expert and lay knowledge. Further, this logic of care has the potential to bridge the expert/lay boundary and the potential conflicts arising between a patient’s and medical practitioner’s knowledge. In “good” care practices, multiple expertises are needed, both expert and lay, to hold the body together.

“Overview and Recommendations for Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Observation Systems” (In press)

Fraser Shilling, Wendy Collinson, Michal Bil, Diemer Vercayie, Florian Heigl, Sarah E. Perkins, and Sandra MacDougall 

RDC Biology instructor, Sandra MacDougall, is engaged in research work focusing on how to better understand the impact of roads on wildlife and wildlife populations in Alberta and to improve road safety for motorists.  To prevent or reduce conflict, it is necessary to first better identify and understand where collisions occur and how animals behave around roads.  The individuals within this collaboration are collectively involved with eight regional or national systems for recording wildlife-vehicle collisions.  In this review, they survey systems for WVC reporting, and use the review and their expertise to provide methodological specifications based on best practices for collecting WVC data to inform both transportation and conservation decisions.

A Photovoice Study of Settlement Experiences and Needs of Recent Immigrant Men in Central Alberta 

Principal Investigator: Choon-Lee Chai, PhD; Co-Investigator: Jones Adjei, PhD

Funding: Mitacs Accelerate 

RDC Sociology faculty, Choon-Lee Chai and Jones Adjei, in partnership with the Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership, are conducting a photovoice research project with recent immigrant men who live in Central Alberta. The photovoice research method is typically used for community-based participatory research. This research design allows participants to use photographs to document and explain their experiences related to a research topic.

Through this project, Dr. Chai and Dr. Adjei will work with immigrant men for them to share their settlement experiences, and for settlement service provider organizations to use the information to improve their services to current and future immigrants in Central Alberta.

Part of the funding enables an undergraduate Sociology student to participate as a paid research intern, giving her first-hand community-based research experience and direct engagement with community organizations.

Margaret Laurence & Jack McClelland, Letters. 

Edited with an introduction by Laura K. Davis, PhD, and Linda M. Morra, PhD. Published by University of Alberta Press.

RDC English instructor Laura K. Davis, in collaboration with Linda M. Morra from Bishop’s University, curated and annotated a collection of letters between two Canadian literary icons that provides an insider’s view of the Canadian book business from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. The book has received great reviews from the Globe and Mail, among others, and was an editor’s pick of the Toronto Star.

To create the book, Dr. Davis and Dr. Morra spent a lot of time at McMaster University in The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. Two videos provide more information on Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, and the archival collections:

The project was supported by a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

All Souls College, Oxford in the Early Eighteenth Century: Piety, Political Imposition, and Legacy of the Glorious Revolution (Leiden: Brill, 2018) and “Edward Stillingfleet’s Theological Critique of Cartesian Natural Philosophy,” History of European Ideas (in press)

Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth, PhD

RDC History instructor Jeff Wigelsworth’s work is centred around the understanding that in the 17th and 18th centuries, theology, politics, and the study of nature were not the separate categories of thought that they are in the modern world, but were moulded together with interconnected influence among all three of them.

Two recent works explore different aspects of this idea:

  • All Souls College, Oxford in the Early Eighteenth Century: Piety, Political Imposition, and Legacy of the Glorious Revolution examines All Souls College, Oxford, in the 18th century.  A history of the college under the Wardenship of Bernard Gardiner, this book offers a character-driven story that addresses scheming, duplicity, and self-righteousness projected against some of the most important political and religious episodes of the early eighteenth century.
  • The upcoming article “Edward Stillingfleet’s Theological Critique of Cartesian Natural Philosophy” addresses Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester’s rejection of Cartesian philosophy. Dr. Wigelsworth uses this episode as an example to illustrate that what linked learned discussions in early-modern England were competing notions about God’s power in the world.            

2020 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Capstone Projects 

The Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ETaL) program is a Career Development Certificate credentialed through the School of Continuing Education at Red Deer College. This program is currently offered internally to Red Deer College faculty as a voluntary program and is taught by the faculty Learning Designers in the Centre for Teaching and Learning

Following completion of the six Modules and Pre-Module, faculty engage in planning and carrying out a capstone project that draws upon elements of the modules and applies to their teaching and student learning.

Congratulations to the 2020 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Capstone Project Participants:

Tom Haennel, “Escape Rooms”

Suzette Lewis and Ava Feenstra, “Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) Success Rates - How Can We Improve Them?”

  • Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPE’s) have been used in different formats in health care for many years. The OSPE’s that are set up for pharmacy technicians are stations that test practical knowledge, rather than clinical. “The OSPE consists of a series of “stations” simulating common and/or critical practical situations.” (Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, PhT Qualifying Examination, para. 5, 2020). Poor results reported from PEBC in 2018 motivated us to investigate strategies and instructional opportunities to enhance the results of our graduates. What was observed was an overall improvement in scoring on the practice OSPE exams administered in PHTD 240 which occurred subsequently to those added to PHTD 235, 205 and 210. COVID prevented us from administering our comprehensive twelve station exam so we look forward to evaluating the results of that exam in 2021 as we continue to add practical exam stations to multiple courses in our program.

Brandon Ostrass, “How Technology Affects Online Programs”

Krista Robson, PhD, “Co-Teaching Interdisciplinary Social Gerontology”

  • While collaborative teaching is done at RDC, there are just a small number of courses that use this structure and I personally have not had the opportunity to work collaboratively with another instructor to this extent. INTD 375 is an Interdisciplinary Social Gerontology course that has always been co-taught with instructors from at least two different disciplines. Winter 2020 was my turn to assume one of the instructor roles for this course.  The purpose of this project was to compare my collaborative teaching experience with the experiences and insights provided by other educators. Specifically, I used theory developed by Sharon Pratt (2014) to investigate the meaning of my own "lived" collaborative teaching experience. Pratt's theory provided guidance on how to work through challenges to achieve effective co-teaching relationships.

Cyrus Taheri, “A Survey of the Literature on the Effects of Cumulative and Non-Cumulative Assessments on Student Learning”

  • A literature search was conducted on the Education Research Complete and Google Scholar databases using the following keywords: “Cumulative Exams”, “Non-cumulative Exams” and “Noncumulative Exams.” Eleven documents including eight primary research articles were found. Almost all studies found cumulative assessments to have a positive effect on both long-term information retention and final scores for the course and low-scoring students appear to benefit more from cumulative examinations than high-scoring students. Students usually prefer non-cumulative exams primarily because cumulative exams require a greater time investment in preparation; however, discussing the benefits of cumulative exams for long-term learning can help generate interest in cumulative exams.

Josh Thomsen, “Examining Barriers to Apprenticeship”

Jillian Walls, “Does Awareness of Breath Meditation Reduce Student Perceived Stress and Anxiety”

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