Research at John Abbott

John Abbott College encourages collaborative research: we welcome efforts from external researchers to foster relationships with our research community.

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2017-2018 Entente Canada-Québec (ECQ) Awards

Chris Larnder
Project title
: College physics labs using accelerometers
Description of project:
Currently in its 2nd year of funding through the ECQ, Chris has been developing a new set of laboratory activities in which students learn about physics and digital technology by working with accelerometers. These devices have recently become a standard element within our society’s rapidly-evolving digital communications ecosystem, supporting a wide variety of new features and technologies that affect the lives of our students on a daily basis. Some of the labs include spinning students’ cell phones on a turntable!

Liliya Nikolova, PhD
Project title:
Exploring active pedagogy and encouraging student engagement using tablets equipped with projectors
Description of project:
The ideal active leaning format of our engineering classes would be when students work in teams of 4; each teams drawing schematics, making calculations, and using diverse information (graphs, data sheets, etc.). Such a format works well in a specialized active learning room where students have access to SMART Boards- John Abbott College has only one such a classroom. We suggest an alternative to a achieving an active learning environment. An alternative, that would allow our students to benefit from an active leaning environment, is to provide each team of students with a tablet equipped with an integrated projector, such as a LEVENO Yoga Tab 3 Pro. This tablet/projector would allow each team of students to enter data, analyze results, and have rapid access to supporting documents; but more importantly it would project the students’ work on a surface such a wall; enabling teams to instantaneously and visually share their work with other student teams and the teacher. Our aim is that by offering our students this integrated device, we would improve students’ classroom experience, promote deeper learning, boost students’ critical thinking, provide faster feedback from teacher, and increase academic success. We propose to test these integrated devices in the classroom with our student teams and to choose, test, and develop the best on-line platform(s) that would provide the best vehicle for a re-design of the in-class learning activities.

Tara Walker and Mary Rupnik
Project title: Sandbox Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Centre
Description of project:
The Sandbox is a student-centric extra-curricular project focused on developing innovation and social entrepreneurship at John Abbott College. The mission is to engage students from all disciplines in a problem-solving process for real-world problems where students participate in non-credit activities, develop projects and gain experience. Through the Sandbox students develop many skills including leadership, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, project management, peer coaching, public speaking while fostering innovation, growing creativity and building engagement with our school, the community and the world. The Sandbox enriches students’ college experience and provides an opportunity for advanced, independent and non-traditional learners alike to directly apply classroom learning to projects that the students themselves create and develop. The Sandbox is a space to work together, be creative and play with ideas while benefiting from tech and knowledge resources, mentorship, showcasing opportunities and relationships with the external community.

In line with the Ministry objectives, the Sandbox connects learning opportunities with cross-disciplinary collaborations to develop student skills in this era of fast and profound change.


Liliya Nikolova, PhD
Project Title:
Use of touchscreen computers for in-class active learning activities
Description of project:
The project will explore the use of touch screen computers as an alternative to smart boards for students during in-class active learning activities. Two core courses in the Engineering Technologies program, Applied Physics and Thermodynamics, will be involved. These classes are primarily theoretical. Using touch screen computers will allow students to refine their problem skills and develop their critical thinking ability.

Caroline Viger
Project title:
Team teaching winter semester Physics NYA to improve student success
Description of project: The project aims to develop a learning resource program that provides in-class tutoring support for struggling students, which, in turn, supports the implementation of active learning activities and universal design strategies in a Physics NYA course.


The John Abbott community came together on November 21 to celebrate research at the College.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, members of the College community have been awarded grants for research under the auspices of Entente Canada-Québec,
FRQNT (Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies), FRQSC (Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture) and Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada for a total of $1,534,088 not including other grants for which we were not the principal applicant.

Seen on photo: faculty members who received grants and students who were involved in the projects.


The Research Support Fund is an initiative from the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat: Canadian Institutes of Health Research,  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council,   Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Health Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
The Research Support Fund aims to help off-set the financial  burden of the indirect costs of research supported by the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC) that is placed on Canadian postsecondary institutions.
Indirect costs of research are the less obvious costs that an institution must incur when active in research. Examples of these costs would include the upgrade and maintenance of research equipment, salaries of personnel required to financially administer a research grant, support of a research ethics board, and the professional development of research-dedicated personnel.
For a complete list of eligible expenses allowed with the Research Support Fund, please follow this link:
John Abbott College will use its portion of the Research Support Fund ($27,532) solely for the support of Management and Administration; which includes the salaries and benefits of employees who support research at John Abbott College.