Concurrent Session 4
Thursday June 21, 2012 | 10:30 - 11:30am
Interactive workshops (60 mins)
CS4.01 - Réaliser le potentiel de l’approche-programme : leadership et gestion du changement (Fulfilling the potentials of the program approach: leadership and change management)
N. Rege Colet (Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana) - Switzerland
PRESENTATION WILL BE DELIVERED IN FRENCH
The follow-up session will focus on the opportunities and barriers to educational change through implementing the program approach highlighted in the second part of the plenary presentation. There are several established evidence-based and practice-grounded conceptual models and frameworks available for innovating in higher education. This does not mean that reforms and change processes are getting easier as the academic community moves towards future higher education. Innovations and expected changes are challenging not only higher education policy but the whole academic community in its beliefs of what the higher education learning experience should be and how to organize it in order to fit new requirements. Dr. Rege Colet will therefore present some of the challenges set to change agents and leaders in higher education dealing with implementing program approaches. Session participants will be invited to discuss their experiences with program approaches, the hurdles they had to overcome but also the thresholds they crossed in order to engage in deep transformation of teaching practice. The role and contributions of change agents such as academic or faculty developers will also be discussed in order to identify what works and does not work for overcoming barriers to educational change.
CS4.02 - 3M National Teaching Fellow "Welcome to my class" - The one with the most votes wins? : Get ready for the 2012 American presidential elections
S. Friedman, (Université de Montréal) - Canada
Wednesday October 31, 2012: This class is the last one before the 2012 American Presidential Elections, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. You are one of 75 students in the class “Contemporary American Culture”, a class in which you are studying the social and cultural changes of the United States from 1945 to the present day. You are a student from the English Studies department, Translation, or other Arts disciplines. As you are a student at the Université de Montréal, it is highly likely that your first language is not English.
We will spend 40 minutes learning about the indirect method of the American presidential elections, in which the one with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. We will gain an intimate understanding of the electoral process, by means of a mock election involving, among other things, the largest calculator you have ever seen in your life. This is a highly interactive session in which students will act as state representatives, voters, vote counters, and returning officers.
We will explore online and interactive iPhone and iPad apps (bring your toys) which will help you to understand previous elections (especially the hotly-contested 2000 presidential election). By the end of the class, you will be a politics junkie, and you will be well prepared to follow the election results “live” with the rest of your classmates on election night via our real-time online chat.
The presentation will conclude with your reflections on the techniques.
CS4.03 - 3M National Teaching Fellow "Welcome to my class" - Why do we expect so little of some students and so much of others? Learn about the Teacher Expectancy Model and how to interact with students for their success, not yours!
A. Thompson (St. Francis Xavier University) - Canada
This class happens in the third week of the term in Health Education, a fourth year required course for students who want to become Physical Education teachers (~25-30 students) and an elective for others interested in promoting health (~40-50 students). Total class size = 65-80.
You will become immediately engaged in the topic of this class as soon as it starts when I ask you to contemplate about whether or not you had a teacher (or someone else) ‘give up’ on you? Further questions I want you to think about are: what gave you the impression the teacher (or other person) gave up on you and what did you do as a result? You will share your recollections with a few classmates and I will ask for descriptions of the teacher’s (or other person’s) words and actions to be shared with the class as a whole.
We will then watch a cleverly produced video clip regarding teacher expectations. Once our tears are wiped away, we will briefly discuss our response to the video, making links to our earlier discussion where possible.
The Teacher Expectancy Model will then be described, including the student and teacher characteristics that often lead to low and inappropriately formed expectations for students and their performance in and out of the classroom. You can make links between this model and other real life situations and how we treat people based upon their characteristics and how we perceive them.
The final interactive activity for this class is a carousel where you – along with a small group - will have the opportunity to expand your thinking of the factors that lead to inappropriately-formed low student (client, patient) expectations and how to limit them so they do not interfere with your teaching or health care services.
In terms of outcomes from this session, you will have the opportunity to be physically and mentally engaged in this ‘class’ which focuses on how to teach students as individuals while avoiding the pitfalls of inappropriately formed expectations. This is not a class to come to if you want to sit and be quiet; it will be interactive and dynamic class with as much input from you as there is from me!
Upon leaving this session, you will be encouraged to reflect on your interactions with your students (and others) in and out of the classroom and how these verbal and non-verbal interactions can enhance or detract from their success.
CS4.04 - Making course evaluations meaningful: Guidelines for interpreting results
J. Brawer, A. Costopoulos, L. di Genova, S. Talsma, P-A. Vungcoc, L. Winer (McGill University) - Canada
Students, instructors and administrators have fairly clearly defined roles and responsibilities related to course evaluations: students should complete them; instructors should use the feedback to develop their teaching; administrators should address both the individual and systemic issues that are identified. However, these roles should not be played in isolation. It is only by increasing exchange and understanding across the role boundaries that we can foster the conversations required to really improve teaching.
Course evaluations at McGill have been “standard operating procedure” since 1992; however, students, instructors, and administrators are often skeptical about their value and impact. In 2006, McGill’s course evaluation process was moved online, and in 2008 there was a major policy revision which substantially modified the questions and the questionnaires used. These changes have led to vigorous discussions and debates in meetings of departments and Faculties, Academic Administrators, student associations, and even the University Senate.
These discussions have identified issues specific to the three groups of stakeholders: instructors worry that numbers are often given more importance than warranted because of their relative ease of presentation and comparison; administrators are not sure that they can rely on the comments submitted because they may come from a non-representative sample of students; and students are concerned that if they give feedback, it simply goes into a black hole and never has any impact.
This session will report on the experience of developing and promulgating guidelines for instructors, administrators and students that address these issues and will help course evaluation results be as useful as possible. This has been a multi-year process involving in depth quantitative analysis of course evaluation results, and the process itself has had a real impact on practice. For example, there is now an extended dates option to allow evaluations to be completed by students after all coursework (including exams) is finished. Developing the guidelines has been a collaborative effort across faculty, administrators, students, academic support units and IT support units.
The presentation will share the guidelines themselves, and also provide insights from a cross-section of the community as to how to develop guidelines that will address the specific concerns that different campuses may have. Every university has its own culture, and identifying the different audiences and explanations required is itself an important task.
The format will be presentation with strategic points identified for discussion. There will also be ample opportunity for questions and open discussion.
CS4.05 - What does your community of practice look like? Establishing an interdisciplinary, teaching & learning community of practice in higher education
J. Mooney (Dawson College) - Canada
Teachers in higher education generally start as subject matter experts and later grow into their role as educators. Most have followed very little, if any, teacher training when they enter the role, often developing their teaching practices by trial and error with their students.
As a complimentary approach to formal teacher training, can establishing a community of practice among teachers, professionals in education and educational researchers effectively serve as a means of promoting better teaching and learning practices in higher education? How is a community of practice established, in concrete terms? Who establishes it and why? What does it mean to be a community of practice? What does a community of practice actually do? What are the benefits and shortfalls of interdisciplinary exchange? What are the indicators of success in such communities?
These questions, and others, will be explored in a workshop format, starting with a brief introductory presentation, followed by a guided exchange looking at examples of communities of practice and discussing various approaches to developing a community of practice.
The purpose of this session is to introduce and explore the notion of interdisciplinary, teaching and learning, communities of practice. Expected outcomes of this workshop include:
1. To have initiated a conversation about the place of a community of practice among and between educators, educational researchers and educational professionals, and all interested stakeholders;
2. To have participants generate their own ideas about the value and the challenges of this approach to professional development for faculty in higher education;
3. The underlying goal of this workshop is to contribute to infusing our imaginations with innovative ways to improve teaching and learning in higher education.
CS4.06 - Learning without boundaries - supporting learners holistically
L. Wilson (University of Wales, Newport) - United Kingdom
In UK HE settings unnecessary boundaries exist between support services e.g. the medical and therapeutic approaches to students with eating disorders, depression etc. This workshop will investigate the issues arising from challenging and changing established boundaries through cross department, cross profession and cross cultural approaches to supporting students at risk and will demonstrate that it is possible to share information and help students without compromising on professional ethics or quality standards.
Bureaucratic and structural boundaries within higher education institutions work against the notion that the student experience is an holistic and personal one embracing and affecting the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of human existence. It is also true that the daily working relationships between different support professions can suffer from unnecessary boundaries of mistrust and territorialism. At Newport in the last 18 months these boundaries have been challenged and dismantled in supporting over 100 students with mental health disorders.
This workshop will consider the impact of the parallel transitions that students live through in terms of their own expectations, the social, emotional and educational changes required to cope and progress in a higher education context. The interaction and interweaving of these transition experiences may lead to personal growth, maturity and academic progression, they may also lead and/or contribute to personal crises and withdrawal from study programmes. The coordinated interventions of support professionals need to be informed by academic and personal contexts challenging preconceptions of confidentiality. Additionally the value and impact of coordinated interventions has been developed to maximise the use of staff resource at peak periods of demand.
The benefits of a case conference approach to students at risk have been multiple and two internal review workshops identified the following:
1. Faster responses to students at risk
2. Greater confidence in own abilities to cope successfully
3. Increase in trust and understanding of others in the institution
4. Reduction in the feelings of isolation when supporting students at risk
5. Improved relationships with academic staff
6. Better informed and effective referrals.
CS4.07 - Experiences that transcend and transform: Connecting students to potential and purpose
J. McRae, D. Rogers (Simon Fraser University) - Canada
How can universities create experiences that transcend disciplines, roles, curriculum, and the walls of the classroom to activate and connect students to their potential and purpose? What are the elements of such an experience? Simon Fraser University’s Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue is one program that often catalyzes such connections in its students. So consequential for two of its participants, the experience sparked a collaborative investigation into the elements and pedagogies of the program, in particular the role of experiential education. Now incarnated as the Experiential Education Project, this investigation has expanded with an intra-institutional team of collaborators working together to document, promote and create courses that carry the potential to activate and engage students through experience. Using the narrative and current work of the project’s two principle investigators (2 former students) as a catalyst for the process of dialogue, this concurrent session will engage participants in a collective inquiry into the environments and elements that facilitate academic experiences intended to transcend and transform.
Purpose: This session will review the work to date, solicit feedback on the preliminary conclusions, and elicit discussion amongst participants. More specifically, the presenters will function as facilitators, modelling and guiding dialogue that will explore the nature and key elements of transformational experiential education opportunities.
Session Methods & Format: This session will begin with a ~15 minute narrative, transition to a ~30 minute facilitated dialogue and will conclude with a ~10 minute debrief that will allow participants to assimilate their learning into take-home strategies and approaches for their current work and institutions.
Faculty, Sessionals, Instructors and Teaching Assistants
Staff, including educational, instructional and curriculum developers
Government and Industry Professionals
Experience in the practice of dialogue
Understand from students’ perspectives the elements of a transformational classroom experience
Demonstrate the value of rethinking traditional boundaries and roles within the university
Demonstrate the value of student empowerment and the role of mentorship
Demonstrate the value of experiential education
Provoke exploration of experiential and transformative pedagogies
Understand in greater depth, the range of credit bearing experiential education at SFU, including the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue*
(*Note that this program was recently acknowledged in the AUCC’s 2011 report, The Revitalization of Undergraduate Education in Canada as an initiative that should be “encouraged, built upon and made sustainable” across national campuses (p.9))
CS4.08 - Metacognitive strategies: Working towards effective acquisition and application of knowledge / stratégies métacognitives : S’investir dans l'acquisition et l'application efficaces de connaissance
J. Groen (University of Ottawa), C. Hoessler (Queen's University) - Canada
Defined broadly as thinking about our thinking, metacognition refers to our awareness of the cognitive processes used when engaging in a learning activity. Without being conscious of it, we make use of metacognitive strategies every day. These strategies essentially boil down to the following: 1) Setting learning goals, 2) Planning how these will be achieved, 3) Monitoring our learning, and 4) Adjusting our strategies as needed in order to achieve our learning goals.
With clear implications for students’ learning, interest in metacognition has increased considerably in teaching and learning communities (Ormand, 2011). Recognition of metacognition within teaching arises at a time of increasing expectations that students will be able to initiate and manage their own learning. The recent undergraduate degree level expectations (UDLEs) in Ontario envision, for example, students developing the abilities to initiate and undertake critical evaluation of arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and information; to manage their own learning in changing circumstances; and to select an appropriate program of further study. To achieve these outcomes, students need to develop the necessary skills around setting goals, planning, monitoring and adjusting their learning that are the hallmark of metacognition. The challenge for course instructors is: how to help students develop and apply their metacognitive strategies so that they may become ever more successful learners?
Largely structured as a forum for discussion, this session will draw on small group brainstorming and reporting opportunities to effectively share the wealth of participant experiences and ideas about the benefits of metacognitive strategies in post-secondary teaching. The information shared with the larger group will be recorded and sent to all session participants.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify the various components of a metacognitive approach;
- Describe the benefits of metacognitive strategies on student learning;
- Evaluate multiple ways that metacognitive strategies can be integrated into one’s teaching.
The presentation will be delivered in English; however, questions and discussion in French are encouraged. All documents and materials will be provided in both English and French.
CS4.09 - Blurring boundaries to spark motivation: collaborative approaches to teaching research skills
M. Fitzgibbons, (McGill University) - Canada
In today’s environment of extreme information overload, it is essential that educators facilitate students’ development of baseline skills in finding, evaluating, and using information. Despite ongoing efforts to foster critical thinking skills, though, individual professors often set term paper and project assignments with only the end result in mind. One study, for example, that examined writing assignments given to undergraduates found that little guidance on the process was offered; only requirements for the final product were mentioned (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). Often, professors (i.e., expert researchers) tend not to consider the process through which students (i.e., novices) must navigate the complex information landscape.
In contrast, one primary mission of academic librarians is to facilitate students’ development of research skills--with an emphasis on the process. However, their traditional approaches often focus on “information seeking” tasks. They tend to provide students with tools-based approaches, favoring linear processes of identifying appropriate vocabulary and executing database searches. The more messy puzzles of selecting and refining topics are glossed over, and the iterative nature of the entire enterprise is de-emphasized. Moreover, the typical “one-shot” presentations by librarians have a limited effect on students’ long-term behaviour.
Caught in the middle of their instructors’ and librarians’ approaches, students often express frustration with the research process. From their perspective, the distinction between “information seeking” and “information use” is a meaningless boundary. For them, the process is holistic: gathering information and crafting a final paper are not separate tasks. Therefore, artificial assignment settings, such as library scavenger hunts or choose-any-topic “research” papers, tend to produce anxiety and frustration. Self-motivation diminishes in the face of vague assignment guidelines and decontextualized information gathering tasks. Instructional approaches that do not take into account the entire assignment-completion process encourage rote-learning and thereby limit the degree to which information skills can be applied in other situations. Instead, skills have to be continually reinforced both in the classroom and outside when students are asked to work independently.
In this interactive workshop, first, a view of undergraduate students’ information behaviour will be offered, as informed by a librarian’s perspective. The connections between the research process and intrinsic motivation will be discussed, with the aim of exploring best practices for sparking research motivation. In other words: how can students get interested in research, and how does motivation affect their success? Next, key solutions will be discussed, vis-à-vis holistic collaborations between professors and librarians in teaching information skills and designing assignments that motivate students to engage in research tasks.
The session will feature buzz group discussions about students’ behaviour and motivation during the assignment completion process. In addition, attendees will critique sample workshops, assignments, and evaluation rubrics that could potentially spark students’ motivation by integrating the perceived boundaries between information gathering, evaluating, and writing. Finally, successful examples of professor-librarian collaborations that foster students’ motivation will be shared.
Head, A.J. & Eisenberg, M.B. (2010). Assigning inquiry: How handouts for research assignments guide today's college students. Project Information Literacy Progress Report: http://projectinfolit.org/publications/
CS4.10 - Transcending Boundaries in Legal Education: A Lesson for All
R. Jukier (McGill University) - Canada
This session will link directly to the conference theme by discussing the benefits of learning without boundaries in legal education, often considered the most boundary-laden of all university disciplines. The goal of this session is to share with the audience of educators and learners, who come from a wide variety of disciplines, the challenges and rewards of shattering established boundaries in legal education. The purpose will be to demonstrate how teaching from multiple perspectives in an integrated curriculum has the benefit of creating agile and creative minds in our students, a necessity in today’s society where they will need to think open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, nimbly moving across and, as need be, transcending the boundaries of these systems.
Traditionally, law is a discipline that has been taught in a manner defined by many boundaries. Law, and more specifically legal practice, is seen as amongst the most jurisdictionally restrictive or bounded of all disciplines and professions. Defined by taxonomic structures and doctrinal categories, legal education is, for the most part, seen as inextricably related to a particular political geography and state normativity. Teaching the law in force in a particular jurisdiction is still the norm in most law schools, even those ranked amongst the best law schools in the world.
In 1999, the Faculty of Law at McGill University moved away from this traditional conception of legal education and inaugurated its “transsystemic” law program. Graduating students with law degrees in both of the western world’s two major legal traditions, the Civil and the Common Law, students now study law in an integrated manner and in a uniquely comparative, bilingual, multi-systemic, pluralistic and dialogic legal curriculum, underscoring the benefits of cross-fertilization of ideas and learning from the other.
The aspiration to teach law without state boundaries recognizes that the goal of legal education is not to create positivist robots, but rather to engage students in an intellectually pluralistic endeavour, developing their skill of imaginative insight, the ultimate aim being to undermine the fallacious notion that there is but one structure of reality.
This new program forced all of us to rethink our legal pedagogy by eschewing silos, creating integrated rather than sequential course content, and using a new mental map to teach students traditional law courses, focusing on underlying themes rather than traditional doctrinal categories.
Methods and Outcomes
The methods used will include a short presentation combining particular examples of techniques gleaned from personal experience in teaching Contract Law in this novel way over the past decade, as well as interactive exercises with the audience challenging them to recognize the boundaries they erect in their own teaching and helping them to break down these boundaries in their course syllabi, teaching methods and evaluations. The expected outcomes include having the audience understand the benefits and challenges of teaching without boundaries, as well as leaving the audience with some concrete ways to adapt the move toward teaching without boundaries in the law faculty to their own disciplines and pedagogy.
CS4.11 - Deconstructing the concept map
S. Henle, N. Acemian, P. Caignon (Concordia University) - Canada
The Graduate Seminar in University Teaching (GSUT) at Concordia University is a 33-hour non-credit course designed to promote the scholarship of teaching and learning. The seminar is offered in both discipline specific (fine arts, computer science & engineering and science) and interdisciplinary formats with learners from these disciplines as well as, social sciences, humanities and business. Professors from various faculties facilitate the seminar and each seminar has a teaching assistant, who is a graduate of a previous seminar. Various concepts are explored to help students become student-centered academics. One seminar requirement is to design a course. There are multiple stages in this process including, creating a concept map, writing learning outcomes, preparing a draft course outline and conducting a mini-lesson. In the conceptualization of the course, learners are asked to draw a concept map to visually explain the course they are designing. Concept mapping is common practice in education, “…an informal process whereby an individual draws a picture of all the ideas related to some general theme or question and shows how these are related.” (Jackson, Trochim, & William, 2002 p. 312)
During this interactive presentation, based in part, on participatory research, participants will explore one methodology for classifying concept maps, using the chain, spoke and network designations, as proposed by Hay, Kinchin, Lygo-Baker (2008). The success of the GSUT has led to an Insight Development Grant, titled, Examining Interdisciplinary Perspectives to Educate Tomorrow's Teachers in Canadian Higher Education, and we have human ethics approval and participant consent. To examine and solicit insight about how to further interpret and code concept maps we will supply a variety of concept maps created by GSUT students that we will try to code.
After coding the sample concept maps we will examine divergent and convergent decisions that resulted in various classifications. The presentation will conclude with a discussion related to the various issues, similarities and differences in how the sample concept maps were coded and the implication for research related to concept map interpretation.
The presentation will help participants and researchers explore the following questions:
•Does teaching experience have an impact on concept map construction?
•What impact, if any, do students from different disciplines have on the choices they make when constructing concept maps?
•How do facilitator instructions impact participant’s concept map design?
Hay, D., Kinchin, I., & Lygo-Baker, S. (2008). Making learning visible: the role of concept mapping in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, (33)3, 295-311.
Jackson, K., & Trochim, W. (2002). Concept mapping as an alternative approach for the analysis of open-ended survey responses. Organizational Research Methods,(5)4, 307-336.
CS4. 12 - Using project management concepts in the facilitation of group work
D. Hanna, M. Reed (Ryerson University) - Canada
• To apply project management process among students working in groups
• To assist students in understanding and defining their roles in a group
• To explore ways of collaboration in groups
Group work can be used as an effective tool to help students learn from each other, build community and engage in the course content. The key to the success of a group is in the planning and understanding of the purpose of the work needed (Hanna, 2011). The Technology Enhanced Collaborative Group Work (TECGW) indicated through their research on group work that the way in which instructors facilitate a group project has a major impact on the success of the a group (TECGW, n.d.). The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) identified active and collaborative learning as one of five benchmarks of effective educational practice (NSSE, 2009). Many educators incorporate group work in their courses, but many do not provide the necessary support to students working in these groups; consequently, students get frustrated, complain and sometimes refuse to work in groups (Hicks, 2011).
In this session, we removed the boundaries around disciplines to create a better group work experience among students. In this session, you will learn about project management concepts and how they can be applied in facilitating your students' group work. You will learn about effective strategies that will help students to understand and define their roles in the group. We will introduce best practices in creating group work assignments, supporting students in group and enhancing communication among students.
Furthermore, we will explore ways of planning, collaborating and communicating that instructors can use to help their students work effectively within a group. We will introduce Web 2.0 tools that could facilitate the production of group work, we will explore tools like Wikis and Google Docs, and how these tools could facilitate learning among students working together on a face-to-face classroom and in online courses.
Given a sample weekly group assignment, the participants will work together in small groups to create a charter, assign roles, tasks and create a timeline based on dates given.
By the end of this session participants will be able to:
1. List basic requirements for assignments designed for group projects
2. Identify best practices in communications among students
3. Apply basic project management concepts to facilitate group work among students
Anderson, P. (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch. Retrieved from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/techwatch/tsw0701b.pdf
Hanna, D. (2011). Using Project Management Concepts in the Facilitation of Group Work. The Learning and Teaching Office.
Hicks, C. (2011). Guiding Group Work: Activities to maximize student learning from group projects. Teaching Innovation Projects, 1(1) . Retrieved from: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol1/iss1/6
National Survey of Student Engagement. (2009). Assessment for improvement: Tracking student engagement over time—Annual results 2009. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.
Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Group Work. How to design & facilitate group work. Retrieved from: http://engage.wisc.edu/collaboration/how_to/index.html
CS4.13 - Visualizing boundaries and embodying conflicts: Lessons learned from a theatrical professional development program
A. Mundy, J. Chan, J. Stockton (University of British Columbia) - Canada
Building resilience around, and finding ways to engage with, conflict is relevant and necessary across all professional, personal, teaching, and learning spaces. The objective of our session is to present an innovative way to explore, engage with, and build resilience around workplace conflict in staff development settings, in a University context.
A forum theatre, adapted from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, was established at the University of British Columbia in 2009 to promote awareness of cultural, privilege, power, oppression, diversity, and personality boundaries in the classrooms. Through forum theatre performances, student, staff, and faculty audiences visualize the impact of such boundaries in their teaching and learning spaces. They then generate, interpret, and act out their ideas and strategies to re-draw, cross, and perhaps break these boundaries.
In 2011 a group of managers and staff at UBC formed Conflict Theatre, pioneering the forum theatre technique in a professional staff development context. We developed interactive theatre sketches about conflict situations in the workplace and performed these sketches for managers and other staff at UBC. The objectives of the Conflict Theatre are to surface, raise awareness of, begin to examine, re-draw, and cross these boundaries (mentioned previously), in higher education administrative settings. Feedback from our audiences and theatre troupe members (representing students, staff and faculty) indicated that they appreciated the opportunity to explore, learn collaboratively about, and rehearse, potential resolutions to crossing and breaking these boundaries in a safe, supportive environment. We intend to gather longitudinal data to (i) deepen our understanding of the impact and value of Conflict Theatre in a higher education administrative environment and (ii) further enhance professional development programs at the University.
A short interactive sketch that is representative of the Conflict Theatre sketches will be performed at our session. Participants will be invited to interrupt the performance whenever they want, to ‘freeze’ that moment and improvise possible ‘solutions’. Once participants have had an opportunity to embody forum theatre, we will invite them to explore possible scenarios where forum theatre can be used to remove boundaries in their own teaching and learning environments. Participants will come away with some ideas on engaging with and building resilience around conflict and develop a deepened understanding of the boundaries represented in our theatre sketch.
CS4.14 - The Transformative Potential of Creative Assignments in Higher Education
N. Duenkel (Cape Breton University) - Canada
• Sharing innovative approaches to course assignments and underlying pedagogical beliefs
• Consideration of the merits and challenges of offering creative assignments
• Encouragement of higher education faculty to take creative risks in stimulating and evaluating new learning
• Reflection on the benefits of developing and applying creative as well as critical thinking skills in order for students to contribute to 21st Century society
As an educator who has been teaching and assessing creatively for over a dozen years in diverse higher education environments ranging from a lecture hall of 150 first year university students, to a traveling expeditionary university program, to my current involvement as faculty in Community Studies at a small university, I am always questioning whether what and how we teach is effectively addressing evolving social needs. Are we preparing students to be active and engaged citizens who can work collaboratively in rapidly changing environments and who can offer informed, exciting, and original approaches to complex issues?
In querying colleagues I find that the assessment norm is still the exam, written essay, or research paper, even if experiential aspects or multiple intelligences are addressed in other aspects of teaching. Some may assign a journal or reflective paper but the value given to these requirements is generally much less than that of others. Is this because creative assignments are not deemed “scholarly”? Is there a hierarchy of value in terms of which pursuits are most academic? It has long been acknowledged that creativity and critical thinking are connected and complementary, yet there has been very little integration of methods for stimulating creativity in higher education coursework. I have been endeavoring to find innovative ways for students to actively and reflectively engage with and apply their learning while striving to equally value creativity and critical thinking processes. This has involved crafting a greater diversity of assignments (both in and out of class) and the creation of a respectful, safe, and supportive environment for personal exploration and collaborative sharing.
This interactive workshop will focus on bringing creativity into the assessment piece of the teaching and learning puzzle, challenging and exploring together:
• the boundary of what is considered “academic” (How many pages?)
• the boundary of authentic sharing of self/personal experience in academic settings
• the boundary of who is learner and who is teacher (I do many of the assignments too)
• the boundary of hiding behind words (by going deeper than words)
While I will share some assignments and what students did with them, this is not a workshop where I’ll be handing out “tricks of the trade” or “plug in anywhere” projects. The innovations experimented with will be offered as an opening for our engagement with one another around the potential for better integrating creativity into our courses and course assessments, regardless of discipline. Such changes are risky for both faculty and students, yet offer the opportunity to challenge and stretch students’ creative capacities while developing their agency for social change.
CS4.15 - Opening up the classroom: Why and how you might try a bit of virtual team teaching!
S. Coyle (Cegep de Sept-Iles), N.Loewen, S. Jacmin (Vanier College) - Canada
Intended Outcomes of the Session: Participants will leave the session with a clear concept of the strategies and tools used in virtual team teaching. They should also understand the pedagogical motivation behind this approach.
The workshop will be presented in English but we will happily respond to questions and comments offered in French.
Outline of the Presentation: The Project J@nus team from Vanier College in Montreal and Cegep de Sept-Iles have refined their virtual teaching and learning strategies over six years of on-line classroom exchanges. They will share what they have learned about using communication tools to connect students and teachers from different classes (and in this case very different geographical locations). The physical boundaries of our classrooms need not set limits on the learning experience that takes place. Students can extend their personal boundaries through interactions with their peers in distant locations. In this, the final year of the project, participants are working on writing a guidebook to be used by teachers interested in starting their own virtual team teaching experiment.
How big is your circle? Picture a constellation of Venn diagrams; what is overlapping? Virtual team teaching is what happens in common learning spaces. You might find it is not so difficult to bring the outside world inside our boundaries, This six-year pedagogical experiment supported by Entente Canada Quebec can help you discover how collaboration; urban/rural contrasts; and on-line communication tools can help us reach out beyond ourselves and connect within and without our classrooms.
Level of Participant Participation and Presentation Approach: The workshop will include testimonials and data from teachers and students who participated. We will present tools and activities that might interest teachers who would like to try virtual team teaching. We will simulate active learning scenarios to help participants get a feeling for what helps students extend themselves beyond their existing, self-imposed boundaries, and what encourages them to participate in the wider world. The workshop will end with questions and open discussion about virtual team teaching.
CS4.16 - Crossing the boundaries from course outcomes to program outcomes
T. Piper, M. Tovar, J. Ferris, L. Winer, K. Hewitt (McGill University) - Canada
Designing a curriculum that will help graduates achieve explicit learning outcomes requires that individual courses be considered as part of a whole. However, learning outcomes are typically developed at the course level, which is not very helpful for curriculum design. It is here that program-level outcomes can serve a useful purpose. Developing useful program-level outcomes requires faculty to jointly engage in meaningful conversations and collaborations that go beyond the familiar boundaries of their individual courses and research interests.
For the past year and a half, we have been involved in a unique collaborative process of drafting undergraduate-level program outcomes, carrying out a curriculum inventory and conducting a curriculum mapping exercise in a law faculty. Our approach was based on the work of Wolf, Hill and Evers (2006). The use of program outcomes as a tool to examine the curriculum is a complex process, and we will share our experiences and lessons learned. The first step in our close collaboration (presenters are members of the Law faculty and the University’s faculty development unit) was collective visioning of the “ideal” graduating student’s competencies – knowledge, skills, and values. Next, we developed the outcomes related to these competencies and then mapped them onto the existing curriculum. This allowed us to identify the currently available (and missing) opportunities for students to develop the outcomes in the program.
The evidence-based and collaborative nature of this process has contributed to its success. We will discuss how this curriculum development process was informed by data gathered from multiple sources: focus groups, surveys of faculty and students, document analysis, and the faculty consultation strategies that we developed along the way to promote faculty ownership and involvement. We will emphasize the potential transferability of this process to other disciplines and institutions.
Session outcomes and methods:
In this session, participants will be introduced to a curriculum development approach that may be useful in their own institutions. This will include a discussion of factors to consider when approaching curriculum development, and participants will reflect on how a similar process of developing program-level outcomes and curriculum mapping could be adapted to their institutional and disciplinary contexts. We will be using several strategies to facilitate this exchange including brainstorming possibilities for transferability, think-pair-share and a one-minute paper (lessons learned, implications).
This session is recommended for educational developers, instructors and administrators with an interest in curriculum development, regardless of their disciplinary focus.
CS4.17 - The impact of conference participation on academic practice: outcomes from research
F. Campbell (Edinburgh Napier University), C. Popovic (York University) - United Kingdom/Canada
Why do we participate in academic development conferences? Do they impact on our practice or that of colleagues? What is it about conference sessions which positively affect our attitudes and approaches? Participants at this session – whether conference organisers or conference participants - will be able to learn and to share what works, why it works and what processes at conferences can make a difference to individual and institutional practice.
This session will enable participants to engage with the outcomes of research into the impact of participation in conferences on academic practice. Evaluations of impact are taking place with participants at over five international conferences (including Australia, America, UK and Canada) and over 15 UK institutional conferences between June 2011-May 2012. After attending one of these conferences, colleagues complete an online questionnaire detailing the sessions they feel will make a difference and why. Follow-on interviews are held some months later with a randomised selection of respondents to evaluate if any impact has resulted and, how the conference participation prompted this and what else has enabled or prevented hoped-for change.
We decided to conduct this research after several years’ experience planning national conferences with the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) as well as local conferences in our own institutions. We were aware from our conversations, evaluations and experiences what most participants valued but found there was a dearth of evidential research. This is surprising given how conferences can enable one of the main purposes of academic development: ’informed debate about learning, teaching, assessment, curriculum design, and the goals of higher education’ Gosling (2001). An investigation clearly due – and particularly given the actual and opportunity costs involved in conference participation. We reported on our preliminary work in 2010 (Campbell and Popovic), and then commenced our current research to investigate and identify systematically what works best.
The session will comprise:
• What has made a difference to me here? Quick fire contribution of STLHE participant experiences
• What we value in conferences. Short video of SEDA conference participants
• The impact of conference participation on academic practice. Brief outline of research and outcomes
• Your views of conferences: what has made a difference and why? Group discussion in which participants share their views.
• What now? Concluding discussion on how the research outcomes and participant experiences can be employed to enhance the impact of conferences.
After contributing to the session, participants will be able to identify what processes at academic development conferences can make a difference to individual and institutional practice and how to use the research outcomes in planning, organising or in preparing to participate in future institutional or national conferences.
For past and future SEDA conference see: http://www.seda.ac.uk/events
Campbell, F; Popovic, C (2010) Why are we here? What do participants most value in educational development conferences? International Consortium for Educational Development Conference Barcelona June 2010
David Gosling (2001): Educational development units in the UK - what are they doing five years on? International Journal for Academic Development, 6:1
CS4.18 - The evolution of your journal: The future of the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
D. Bateman (Champlain College St‐Lambert /McGill University), K. Meadows (The University of Western Ontario) - Canada
Members of the Editorial Board of The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning / La revue canadienne sur l'avancement des connaissances en enseignement et en apprentissage invite you to join them for a discussion about STLHE’s official journal. In this interactive session, we will outline recent changes to the structure of the journal’s editorial processes, which includes the introduction of four new Associate Editors and a Senior Editor. Be sure to attend this session because we need input from the STLHE membership as we refine the vision of the journal and attempt to increase readership, authorship, submissions, number of issues per year and the types of articles published. Come and learn about the evolution of your journal, ask questions, and make recommendations.