Minutes – June 15, 2016

Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Student Association

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 15, 2016



The meeting of the BPKSA was called to order at 1:30pm by Garveen in room K9622.


In Attendance:

Garveen, Megan, Elaine, Caleb, Bader, Joanne, Emily, Erina, Shaila, Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Alam, Debbie, Kirstin, Matt


Open Issues:


Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson attended the meeting today to discuss the results of our undergraduate survey.


  • Job Prospects

-schooling at the undergrad level is not meant to train students for a specific job instead it is meant to give core knowledge that allows you to go in a few different directions

-high proportion of BPK students want to get into med school but then don’t get in, they only have one specific goal in mind so we need to encourage them to look at other options

We could:

-update the BPK website’s career list

-plan our career night to feature careers that are less known

-create workshops with Brenda from Career Services

-have profs explain how they got to their position and what their job/research entails at the beginning of the course


  • Practical Experience

-discussed how co-op may not provide enough variety in the positions offered (can talk to Darleen about advertising self-directed coops more)

-for USRAs we are limited by funding, but the department is trying to create more opportunities

-will be introducing a cell physiology course to help teach more practical lab skills to students


  • Tough/Inconsistent Grading Schemes

-the department is aware of the BPK 458 grading issue

-need more transparency with what grading is actually about (e.g. a score is a measurable quantity like when you have an exam out of 100 whereas a letter grade is supposed to reflect where you stand in the class and should be based off the normal curve)

-on average we are above the normal curve in BPK

-instructors should not outright say at the beginning of the course if you get “x” you will receive an “A” for example

-we are in competition with our peers here but the department hopes they can make it fair

-can put something on the website about how grades are actually assigned

  • Teaching Staff

-most of our students are happy with the job the teaching staff is doing

-Dr. Brooks-Wilson has read all course evaluations over the last few years and would be interested in pairing up profs who are rated higher with profs rated lower so they can compare teaching/exam styles

-will try and do this via a committee to have continuous improvement of teaching, rather than talking to individual profs

-this Thursday June 16th from 11:30-1:00 in ASB three BPK teaching staff candidates will be presenting for 30 min each (a lesson suitable for a 2nd year course) and there are drop in times where you can meet and talk with the candidates


  • Memorization in Courses

-lots of discussion about trying to get away from having students memorize information

-the department did an analysis and found a correlation between how well students do in 205 and how well they do in 305/306 (if they don’t do very well in 205 can go on to fail 305/306 but if they fail 205 and re-take it they go on to do well in 305/306)

-need to look at 205 like a gatekeeper course


  • Waitlists/Course Offerings

-Dr. Brooks-Wilson was able to ensure our majors got all the classes they wanted this summer and she plans to do the same in August when looking at wait lists for Fall (there will hopefully be no majors on wait lists for core courses)

-focus is on 326 and 407 especially, looking to increase the sections for 326 (are updating the lab space as well)

-research profs have one course they teach once a year but these classes usually have low enrollments (need to have profs redesign these courses to make them more appealing)

-some research profs want to cap their class sizes (changes the style of teaching, can have more discussions/presentations) but we will be increasing these sizes to prevent wait lists

-sabbaticals can be regulated (spread them out more, have profs give more notice prior)

-will bring forward the issue of more course options for BP students to the departmental committees


  • Interdisciplinary Studies

-we do offer some combined courses (e.g. between BPK and ENSC) which are very helpful as you learn a lot from the other majors and they can learn a lot from you

-seems to be student interest in creating more classes like this with other departments


  • Speaker Series

-could invite profs, grad students, alumni from industry to come and speak about their journey

-we think students would be very interested in this and Dr. Brooks-Wilson believes a lot of the staff would have great interest in participating as well


  • BNS

-could hold combined meetings a few times throughout the semester to try and create more unity between the different streams within BPK


  • BPK 304W

-could attempt to redesign the course by changing the structure of the written assignment or adding a tutorial which allows students to critically analyze academic papers along with each other’s writing

-Dr. Brooks-Wilson suggested we create a proposal and speak to Richard Ward about it




The meeting of the BPKSA was adjourned by Garveen at 3:10pm in room K9622. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 1:30pm in room K9622.