Show and tell: Testing an alternative simulation-based method for assessing demonstrated soft skills

There is growing recognition that enhanced soft skill acquisition and development are critical for society and its members to adapt to the changes associated with the future of work in Canada, Soft skills in a work context are commonly measured in interviews, but this method has its drawbacks as there is the possibility for interviewer bias and interviewee faking, both of which could skew the assessment of skills in interviews. To circumvent these issues, developed an online simulation-based method for screening soft skills.

A Usability Study of Teacher Help: Classroom Management

The goal of the proposed research project is to evaluate the usability of a new module for an existing eLearning program for classroom teachers called Teacher Help. The new module is designed to provide training in evidence-based classroom management strategies to decrease disruptive classroom behaviour.

Applicant Anxiety in Structured Interviews

The main goal in talent acquisition is to find and hire the best applicant for each position which places heavy emphasis on an organizations ability to accurately assess candidates. However, an applicant’s anxiety can impede this process as it has been shown to lead to reduced interview scores while not being indicative of work performance. Furthermore, applicant’s anxiety may also impact the amount of faking behaviours that occur in the interview process further distorting the predictive validity of their scores.

Efficacy and feasibility of online cognitive training platforms for older adults with subjective cognitive complaints: A randomized controlled trial

With an aging population on the rise, the prevalence of cognitive decline is expected to increase substantially. Goal Management Training® (GMT) and the Memory and Aging Program® (MAP) are cognitive interventions that have been studied extensively and applied clinically to address these needs. Although previous research has demonstrated efficacy of the in-person versions of both MAP and GMT, significant barriers exist in the utilization of these programs. In light of these challenges, online versions of MAP and GMT have recently been developed.

Maximizing Intrinsic Learning in an App-Based Approach to Language Learning

This research is focused on optimizing the language learning that occurs when students are allowed to practice English by conversing with native English speakers via a smartphone app, specifically Goji. Learning is best when the student maximizes the density of their practice, returning to practice often. This research will focus on the characteristics of the native English speaking “mentors” such as their personality, intelligence, and even physical appearance.

Setup for Success: Improving pathways for talent retention

There is a perceived talent supply and demand gap in Nova Scotia’s ICT and digital tech sector and recruitment is at top of mind for employers. Hiring new employees can be time consuming and costly, however a well-planned onboarding program can increase the proficiency of a new hire and increase retention rates. The objective of the proposed research is to (1) examine best practices for employee onboarding and (2) investigate current practices within the tech sector. To answer these questions, we will conduct a literature review and deploy an industry-wide survey.

Putting the science of literacy into the hands of Canadians

Ensuring high levels of literacy for all children is now more important than ever. However, the Canadian landscape of literacy is quickly changing. For instance, Canadian families come from increasingly multilingual and multicultural backgrounds and the use of technology and digital media in literacy is growing rapidly. In this Mitacs project, we have partnered with Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation to answer important questions as to how parents can best support the development of their children’s reading skills.

Observing Microdosing: Effects on Cognitive Performance and Mental Health

We are studying the potential relationship between microdosing, cognitive performance and mental health. ‘Microdosing’ is the practice of taking psychedelic substances (e.g. psilocybin or LSD) in small, sub-perceptual amounts on a regular basis. There are many microdosing reports online, on blogs, and in books, but there are few research studies. The effects of microdosing on cognitive performance and mental health remains largely unexplored. Through this study, we are gathering data from both microdosing and non-microdosing groups.

Using a mobile application to support at-risk student re-entry into post-secondary education in the era of COVID-19

The aim of this 2-year project is to do research to inform the development of, and fully test and develop a mobile application designed to improve the experience of (particularly at-risk) post-secondary (PSE) students in addressing COVID-19-related issues. Our key concern is that COVID-19 has not only disrupted important and significant developmental experiences that improve student experience and success, but it has also caused challenges in students’ lives away from university that will spill over into their experience of being post-secondary students.

Assessing risky driving among Alberta teenagers: A developmental- and context-sensitive approach

Motor vehicle-involved accident is the leading cause of death among teenagers around the world. Death and injuries due to motor vehicle accidents among young drivers brings tremendous societal burden and economic cost to the Canadian society. To better address this major public health concern, better assessment tools are required to evaluate potential risky driving among teenagers and young adults for tailored intervention and insurance purpose.