2022 Medal Winners | francais

The 2022 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics

is awarded to

James Charbonneau

"This is absolutely spectacular news. I don’t think I can put into words how much this means to me. Thank you. It is the result of a lot of hard work and it is an honour to be recognized for it." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2022 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to James Charbonneau, University of British Columbia, in recognition of his teaching excellence and educational leadership at the University of British Columbia, including contributions to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and development of open-source educational software. announcement

Prof. Charbonneau is an extraordinarily gifted, engaging, and award-winning instructor who is deeply appreciated by students. He developed a distance-learning course on Climate and Energy, and transformed several courses to use active learning techniques. He pioneered a fully transitioned online physics course, with labs, in the summer of 2020, and used his experience to help the department and Faculty of Science have a successful online academic year.

Prof. Charbonneau's development of the fully online Climate and Energy course established him as one of UBC's premier experts on online teaching. This course spurred James to co-develop the open-source ComPAIR software, which allows students to compare and rank assignments submitted by their peers, developing their critical-thinking skills. This software is used in many UBC courses and at other institutions nationally.

Prof. Charbonneau transformed the interdisciplinary first-year Science One physics component to use active learning techniques, added a Python-based programming bootcamp, and developed problems designed to tackle the historical lack of inclusivity in physics assignments. In this pandemic year, he introduced Arduino kits to Science One to provide an effective replacement for in-person laboratories.

When all courses moved online in March 2020, James used his extensive experience to help physics colleagues and the entire Faculty of Science implement good online teaching techniques and to develop the Faculty's teaching plans and policies for the 2020/1 academic year. His summer first-year physics course, complete with hands-on and simulation-based remote labs, provided a template for 2020/1 teaching in the Faculty of Science. His adapted labs were presented to the BC Curriculum Committee as a model for what other BC institutions could do for online labs. His deep engagement and excellent advice were vitally important to UBC Science's successful year of online teaching. nominator citation

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