Project Overview

Identifying the influence of teaching practices on undergraduate students’ mental health and wellbeing in the Faculties of Arts and Science

[watch video with closed captioning

Studies have indicated that mental health and wellbeing are connected to a student’s ability to learn (Eisenberg, Hunt, & Speer, 2013; Keyes et al., 2012; Martin, 2010). Evidence also shows that different teaching practices affect student learning outcomes (Dennison, Gruber, & Vrbsky, 2010; Moulding, 2010; Svinicki & McKeachie, 2014). However, to date, it remains unknown whether teaching practices influence post-secondary students’ mental health and wellbeing and if so, how. This TLEF- funded project seeks to identify teaching practices that are effective at both promoting effective learning and supporting student wellbeing.

Teaching and Wellbeing

Year 1 of the project (2015-16) focused on data collection and analysis; year 2 of the project (2016-17) focuses on creating and sharing professional development resources for instructors.

References

Dennison, S. T., Gruber, K. J., & Vrbsky, L. (2010). Research literature review on social work education instructional methods: 1998–2008. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(4), 399419.
doi:10.1080/08841233.2010.517732

Eisenberg, D., Hunt, J., & Speer, N. (2013). Mental health in American colleges and universities: Variation across student subgroups and across campuses. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 201(1), 6067. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e31827ab077

Keyes, C. L., Eisenberg, D., Perry, G. S., Dube, S. R., Kroenke, K., & Dhingra, S. S. (2012). The relationship of level of positive mental health with current mental disorders in predicting suicidal behavior and academic impairment in college students. Journal of American College Health, 60(2),126133.

Martin, J. M. (2010). Stigma and student mental health in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(3), 259274. doi:10.1080/07294360903470969

Moulding, N. T. (2010). Intelligent design: Student perceptions of teaching and learning in large social work classes. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(2), 151165. doi:10.1080/07294360903470977

Written by Teaching Practices & Student Mental Health TLEF 2015-17 team [April 2016]

3 thoughts on “Project Overview”

  1. Thanks for this excellent research! As the trainer for our student mental health strategy at UVIC I have been sharing this with faculty. One individual said that she values connecting with students and works at connecting them with each other and that she finds student use of smartphones to be a barrier to that. I wondered if the use of digital media by students came up in your research at all.

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thank you so much for your response. We are glad you find this site useful!
      We acknowledge that smartphone use may be distracting in the classroom and become a barrier to peer and instructor connections. During student focus groups and instructor interviews we had feedback about how when instructors incorporate digital media into their courses it helped to engage students. Students also enjoyed having materials presented in different ways. For example some have really enjoyed learning through watching videos, classroom polls, etc.
      Hope this helps. Again thank you for your comment 🙂

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