By Matthew Brett

Seven faculty members are recipients of the inaugural Teaching Innovation Award, which was created by the office of the Vice-Dean, Education, Dr. Annette Majnemer, to recognize individuals who developed and implemented innovative teaching strategies that are learning- and learner-focused.

“I’m delighted that we have an opportunity to recognize faculty members who are innovating across the health sciences,” says Dr. Majnemer. “Congratulations to recipients of this inaugural award! Your creativity and commitment to educating our learners is so inspiring and it’s absolutely a pleasure to celebrate your work.”

The award recipients were announced as part of the Faculty’s ongoing Proud to Teach campaign during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place annually in Quebec during the first week of February.

About the recipients:

McGill World Restart a Heart Day
Dr. Farhan Bhanji

Dr. Bhanji was nominated for this award by the entire 2020 Campaign Student Committee of McGill’s World Restart a Heart (WRAH) Campaign, part of a global initiative to empower individuals to respond to a cardiac arrest. For the WRAH Campaign, Dr. Bhanji supported students to develop and deliver an immersive educational program and social media presence to train students and the public on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, reaching over 400,000 people this past year.

Dr. Bhanji is a Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care) at McGill University, the Director of Education at the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning and a member of the Institute of Health Sciences Education.

Working alongside people with disabilities to develop assistive technology
Dr. Stefanie Blain-Moraes

Understanding the contexts and realities of living with a disability is key to effective clinical practice when caring for patients with disabilities, so Dr. Blain-Moraes developed Design of Assistive Technology: Principles and Praxis, a course in which health professional and engineering students work with a client with a disability to build an assistive technology. The course lies at the intersection of disability, engineering and design, and gives students hands-on experience working across disciplines and developing a relationship with someone with a disability.

Dr. Blain-Moraes is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University and holds the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Consciousness and Personhood Technologies (2019-2024).

Innovating across the biomedical sciences
Dr. Maxime Denis

From developing tutorials on scientific writing in BIOC 220 to switching to flipped- and problem-based learning in BIOC 311, Dr. Maxime Denis continues to innovate across the biomedical sciences. He established a competence-based approach to interdisciplinary teamwork and communication skills in ANAT/BIOC 458 and designed an online assessment tool to provide feedback to students in BIOC 503.

Dr. Denis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and an Associate Member of the Institute of Health Sciences Education.

Telemedicine: The Essentials
Dr. Barbara Evans

When COVID-19 hit Montreal, Dr. Evans led the creation of Telemedicine: The Essentials, a tool originally intended to provide basic information and a concise summary for those who would be providing care via telemedicine at the Herzl Family Practice Centre. “We wanted our residents, nurses and colleagues to have an easy-access guide that they could consult in order to feel comfortable providing care via phone or videoconferencing,” Dr Evans says. She went on to work with Dr. Mylene Arsenault and Dr. Catherine Jarvis to present on the basics of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, which evolved into a learning tool for Family Medicine units at McGill. These teachings have expanded into a range of tools and resources used by health professionals and residents in classrooms and clinical settings.

Dr. Evans is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a member of the Family Medicine obstetrics group at the Jewish General Hospital.

Engaging retired faculty members
Dr. Laurie Plotnick

Dr. Plotnick led the creation of the Helen Karounis Agora Program (H-KAP), a novel program that engages retired faculty members as teachers and mentors within their academic departments. This innovation fosters mentorship, intergenerational learning and competency-based learning with a framework that is translatable to other departments, schools and faculties both locally and nationally. Dr. Plotnick led the creation of H-KAP with an official launch in 2018, having recruited 11 H-KAP Fellows who bring over 500 years of collective medical and health science experience and wisdom to the initiative.

Dr. Plotnick is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Education) in the Department of Pediatrics, the Division Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and an Associate Member of Institute for Health Sciences Education.

Peer-teaching in the anatomy lab
Dr. Nicole Ventura

Thanks to Dr. Ventura’s work, peer-teaching in the anatomy lab is being utilized as a means to bring McGill health professional students together, encouraging early interprofessional collaborative learning. These peer-teaching initiatives have been successful as a result of cross-discipline collaborations and faculty member support from anatomy, nursing, medicine and physical and occupational therapy programs.

Dr. Ventura is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, the Director of the Division of Anatomical Sciences and an Associate Member of the Institute of Health Sciences Education and the Ingram School of Nursing.

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) in Nursing
Professors Lia Sanzone and Jodi Tuck

Beginning in 2016, Professors Sanzone and Tuck developed a suite of inquiry-based learning (IBL) materials for undergraduate students. They provided workshops and training to 16 faculty members on IBL pedagogical design and practice, and there are now 10 courses across all programs using the approach. They have also developed an IBL Community of Practice that meets every three weeks to ensure continuous development and engagement with the approach.

Professor Sanzone (RN, MScA) is an Assistant Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing and Program Director of the Bachelor of Science (Nursing) BSc(N). Professor Tuck is an Assistant Professor in the Ingram School of Nursing, Program Director of the Master’s in Advanced Nursing, and Coordinator of Community, Indigenous & Global Health Partnerships.

Congratulations to all recipients!



February 4, 2021