Pre-Conference Workshops

Full Day Workshops |  Tuesday June 19   |  9:00am - 4:30pm

PW.02 - Tour of active learning spaces at three higher education institutions in Montreal: What are the implications of such environments for teaching and learning?
Elizabeth S. Charles, Chris Whittaker (Dawson College), Adam Finkelstein (McGill University), Priscila Castillo, James Sparks (Champlain College Saint-Lambert) - Canada

View Abstract

Format: AM: tour of active learning spaces at three Montreal-area institutions; PM: first hand experience of learning in an Active Learning Classroom

Education research and the recent growth of active learning strategies clearly demonstrate that such approaches are both effective and viable in higher education. What is sometimes less clear, however, is how these approaches best fit within the classroom and what kinds of classrooms best fit the pedagogy. Active learning efforts at high profile institutions like MIT (Technology Enabled Active Learning - TEAL) and North Carolina State University (Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs - SCALE-UP) have attracted media attention. However, away from the spotlight,  a new generation of classrooms coupled with a better understanding of how to promote and leverage active learning within them is growing. This pre-conference workshop will introduce participants to several different active learning spaces in three Montreal institutions and allow educators to hear from the teachers who are designing, using and conducting research in them.

McGill University, Champlain College (CEGEP) and Dawson College (CEGEP) have made recent investments in designing and constructing a new generation of active learning classrooms. These range from smaller classrooms designed for 25-40 students to larger spaces designed for enrollments of 70 and higher. Some spaces focus on the layout and design of furnishings with the intention that students will bring in their own laptop computers, while others have state-of-the-art technology built-in.


8:30     –    9:00        Greetings & Welcome. McGill University, Faculty of Education building

9:00     –    10:30      Tour of McGill’s active learning classrooms and overview of faculty support systems

10:30   –    11:15      Bus to Champlain College, St. Lambert

11:15   –    12:15      Tour Champlain College’s active learning classroom and lab

12:15   –    12:40      Bus to Dawson College, Westmount

12:40   –    1:20        Lunch

1:20     –    2:00        Tour of Dawson College’s Active Learning Classroom (ALC) and labs

2:00     –    3:30        Hands-on workshop in Dawson College’s ALC

3:30                          Return to Centre Mont-Royal for the STLHE Welcome Reception

PW.03 - Enhancing your course with activities arising from educational research
Calvin Kalman (Concordia University) - Canada  


View Abstract

 Participants take part in five “miniclasses”:

1) Use of Reflective Writing to engage students before class.

2) Critical Thinking – Feyerabend’s view.

3) Use of Collaborative Groups to Promote Critical Thinking.

4) Critique: a writing tool to enhance Critical Thinking Skills.

5) The Course dossier: A supplement to or a replacement for a final essay/examination. This is based upon my book Successful Science and Engineering Teaching in Colleges and Universities.

This workshop utilizes research in the classroom that I have been conducting and publishing for many years using qualitative and quantitative methods. Participants learn by doing the very tasks that they can assign to their students.

Basically participants will be prepared to apply the various activities in their own classroom because they will experience doing the activities in the workshop. Participants will perform reflective writing on the introduction "Write a page on the introduction.  What do you think about her experience on her final examination? Have any of your students had similar experiences?" and on each of the other "miniclasses" including reflective writing itself:
"Write a page on reflective writing: What is it? Could you use it in a course?"
"Read the selection: Feyerabend on critical thinking. Freewrite on the selection. What exactly is Feyerabend’s argument?" etc.

Participants will see videos and video clips of students engaging in the activities and being interviewed about the activities. They will engage in the activities themselves:
Group exercise: Are Collaborative groups helpful in exploring issues. etc.

Towards the end of the workshop we have:
Take your six pages on:
  Introduction, hermeneutical circle, reflective writing, critical thinking, collaborative groups, the critique
Write an overview of this workshop using the steps required to make a course dossier. You will use one participant to act as a reviewer instead of the two suggested friends.

Note that the activities get the participants to not only view material, and participate in doing the activities themselves, but also to reflect on the activities.
Write a page on the critique: What is it? Could you use it in a course?

Background: Research shows that most students in a gateway course have loosely organized course concepts in contrast to the web of interconnections perceived by their instructors. Students have dropped out of courses not necessarily because of a lack of ability, but rather because their epistemology is not suitable for them to succeed. Bendixen, Dunkle and Schraw (1994) have demonstrated that the quality of student learning is affected by students‘ epistemological beliefs. Unfortunately, most instructors solely lecture or use some techniques such as group activities as a bag of tricks “for enhanced teaching”. The problem is not only to get the students to view the course in a holistic manner, but also to get faculty to teach in a way that scaffolds the students to achieve such a goal.

Morning Half Day Workshops |  Tuesday June 19   |  9:00am - 12:00pm

PW.04 - Learning with clickers: Integrating technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge
Meral (Demirbag) Buyukkurt, Ying Li, Robert Cassidy (Concordia Universiy) - Canada


View Abstract

This workshop introduces participants to pedagogical considerations with respect to the use of a learning technology known as Classroom Response Systems (a.k.a. clickers). Using the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) framework as theoretical base and clickers as an example of technology integration in the classroom, we will demonstrate how a constructive integration should take place at the boundaries between technology, pedagogy and content in today’s technology-rich classroom and what new skills are required of instructors to maintain and upgrade their scholarship in the current educational reform brought about by advancement in learning technologies. 

Target Audience: This workshop is intended for faculty members who are committed to improving the learning environment in their courses, and who are interested in pedagogical issues regarding technology integration in the classroom and professional development in this area. Thus, professors who have just started using clickers or are considering using them would benefit from this workshop.

Purpose: To inform the participants of the pedagogical potentials of clickers and raise their awareness about the importance of a pedagogy-centred approach to integrating learning technologies in the classroom; to inspire participants to go beyond subject matter expertise and technical competencies with learning technologies to aspire for integrated, content-specific pedagogical and technological knowledge in their professional development.

Methods/activities: Several group and individual activities will be integrated into the workshop not only to demonstrate benefits, do’s and don’ts of clicker use but also to give them an opportunity to apply them to their own courses. Most of these activities will involve clickers and peer instruction so that the audience has first-hand experience with them. TPCK framework will be used as the theoretical foundation of the presentation. A case study (a particular example of how clickers are used) will be used to provide an authentic context for deeper discussion.

Expected Outcomes: By the end of the workshop, participants will:

1) be familiar with the pedagogical potentials of clickers;

2) develop some ideas about how clickers can be used to address some of the problematic areas in their teaching and learning environment;

3) form a holistic view of technology integration in the classroom, including technology, pedagogy, learners and the larger learning context;

4) be motivated to improve professional skills drawing on an integrated technological, pedagogical and content knowledge framework for professional development.

PW.11 - Breaking down boundaries in patient education: Using plain language methodologies to teach
Julia Thomas, Myrna Cabaluna, Lyndsay Hodgson (McGill University Health Centre) , Nancy Posel (McGill University) - Canada


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Purpose: All patients and their families have the right to understand.  This pre-conference workshop will explore learning without boundaries from the perspective of clinicians’ responsibilities for ensuring comprehensive and timely patient education. These responsibilities extend to ensuring that patients and their families have the necessary information to understand their diagnosis, are able to collaborate with their clinical team in informed decision-making and consent, can self-manage their own care when timely, and can adhere to care regimens.

The workshop will highlight the challenges inherent in patient education that have changed learning, teaching and practice environments.  These include (a) new and fragmented healthcare delivery models, (b) shortened hospitalizations, with the increased likelihood of same day surgery and discharge, and (c) a lack of continuity of care and multiple points of entry into the healthcare system.  Further, patients themselves are older and more culturally diverse. They are faced with the need to learn under conditions that are mitigated by the stress of diagnosis, literacy and health literacy challenges, and a dearth of clinical personnel, resources and material. 

This workshop will provide participants with strategies and methodologies, based in instructional design and pedagogy, to help re-draw these boundaries. Discussion of plain language approach will include a comprehensive examination of its key elements and application. Moving beyond the simple analysis of words, it will ensure that clinician-patient teaching is clear, intuitive, patient-centered, and based in clinical, pedagogical and cognitive frameworks.

Methods: In interactive whole group and small group settings, workshop participants will examine and share current patient education projects and discuss their individual challenges and issues.  A small group activity will challenge participants to review and re-design existing patient materials, permitting direct application of the strategies presented.

Participants will:

1) Review health literacy and plain language literature

2) Explore the process of creating patient education materials that address 21st century challenges

3) Apply hands-on strategies for plain language writing with respect to organisation of content, language, multimedia, layout and design.

The session will be structured as follows:

1) Introductions and a review of health literacy literature, current practice, standards and guidelines (30 minutes)

2) Presentation of the plain language approach -interactive whole group discussion (40 minutes)

3) Assessment and revision of a patient handout currently in use - small group activity  (60 minutes)

4) Presentation of small group activity and interactive discussion -- whole group (30 minutes)

5) Wrap-up (20 minutes)

  PW.13 - Conferences: Communities of learning across boundaries - Workshop  
Linda Westphalen, Peggy Lynch (University of Adelaide) - Australia


View Abstract

The attendance of academics at conferences, particularly those with international standing, is considered an essential component of the working life of academics and regarded as crucial to their ongoing learning, knowledge sharing, promotion and Performance and Development Review (PDR). However, whether conferences are of pragmatic educational value is less certain. There is simply very little evidence from which to assess the contribution of conferences to professional knowledge and/or practice.

This workshop will begin with a presentation on the current literature on conferences and then provide an overview of the data to be collected during the conference intended to provide a rich understanding of the value of conference learning.  

Workshop participants will then engage in ‘round table’ discussions.  Based on focus questions developed in consultation with STLHE staff, participants will consider their own reflections and understanding of the value of conferences in the Tertiary Education context. 

The following themes will be explored:

• Conferences as sites of professional development and learning. Does engagement with international colleagues via networking, collaborating and sharing in face to face contexts matter? This question needs to be considered from two perspectives: first, the importance of conferences to professional development, reputation and academic standing, promotion and other work-related issues needs to be determined; second, from the point of view of learning, what, if any, education benefit do academics judge that they gain from attendance at conferences? These benefits could be explicit and pragmatic, such as a benefit to teaching pedagogy or knowledge. Implicit benefits, such as increased motivation or the development of friendships, need also to be ascertained.

• Communities of Learning and Practice: Is a conference a chance to come together as a community of practice so as to learn? Does attendance equate with learning or is more active participation required?

• Exploration of the media of the conference: Do conferences have the structure to deliver the previous two dot points? How does each ‘mode’ of conferences (plenaries, workshops, short presentations (30 minutes or less), long presentations (more than 30 minutes), social occasions, poster sessions and so on) contribute to learning? How could these be ranked in terms of their importance?

The preconference sessions will be recorded. The process of data collection will comply with the University of Adelaide’s Human Research Ethics Committee criteria, which include the security of the information gathered, informed consent, the option to withdraw from the research and the anonymity of the respondents.

Participants in this pre-conference workshop are encourage to attend a linked presentation towards the end of the conference entitled: Conferences: Communities of Learning Across Boundaries - Paper  Session during which the outcomes of the data collected from pre-conference focus groups will be reported.

    PW.14 - Exploring large classroom teaching:  A flexible resource for learning across boundaries
    Carol Rolheiser, Kathleen Olmstead, Kelly Gordon (University of Toronto), Clare Hasenkampf (University of Toronto, Scarborough) - Canada


    View Abstract

    Over the last decade, as societal pressures have resulted in a demand for increased access to post-secondary education, and as other factors such as tight budgets and limited resources have altered institutional environments, undergraduate enrollment and average class sizes have increased (Kerr, 2011, p.2).  In 2009, for example, about two thirds of Ontario universities reported that 30 per cent or more of first year courses had more than 100 students (Kerr, 2011, p.2).

    Therefore, addressing the challenges and opportunities of large classroom teaching is an issue that an increasing number of institutions across Canada face, including the University of Toronto.

    The Exploring Large Classroom Teaching initiative is aimed at building teaching capacity within large class settings. Spearheaded by the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI), our team worked with members of the Teaching Academy (winners of the President’s Teaching Award), with the assistance of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and external colleagues.  Our goal was to create a practical application that included a range of flexible resources and activities that could be used by the U of T instructors (and teaching assistants) and accessed by colleagues at other institutions, thereby building capacity for teaching and learning across boundaries. Utilizing the scope of knowledge and experience at the U of T, the initiative resulted in the development of an online module and facilitation guide highlighting the work and teaching methods already in practice at our institution. The module, developed over several months and a number of iterations, is now populated by over 100 short videos, print resources and online reference tools.  The resources, accessible to the academic community at large, are being used to guide instructor independent and collaborative exploration, as resources within CTSI programming and services (e.g., workshops, institutes, individual and program consultations), and for graduate student courses related to teaching. 

    This session will introduce the framework used to organize the online module, highlight the purpose and process in creating the resources, and summarize the challenges faced, feedback received and outcomes realized. Using sample materials from the module, participants will also have the opportunity to work through a facilitation guide developed to help instructors and graduate students leading large classes.

    Through large group presentation, small group learning activities (e.g., 3-step interview, discussions), and video and document review and analysis, participants in this interactive workshop will:

    1) examine their own experiences with large classroom teaching and generate questions and answers,

    2) recognize, based on contextual factors, the complexities involved in understanding large classroom teaching,

    3) experience activities connected to the Large Classroom Teaching module framework (including its four dimensions: planning, strategies, assessment, and technology) to analyze the flexibility of borderless learning,

    4) discover processes and resources illustrated through the U of T model that can contribute to participants’ specific institutional needs, and

    5) analyze enablers, challenges and outcomes with regards to their own institutions.


      Kerr, A. (2011).  Teaching and Learning in Large Classes at Ontario Universities: An Exploratory Study. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

        Afternoon Half Day Workshops  |  Tuesday June 19   |  1:30pm - 4:30pm

        PW.16 - And the walls came tumbling down: Bridging the academic disciplines and the self
         Virginia Lee (Virginia S. Lee & Associates, LLC), Jodi Cressman (Dominican University) - United States


        View Abstract

        Since the rise of the research university in the late nineteenth century, the academy has built ever higher and more impenetrable walls between the academic disciplines and the self. The ascendancy of the research agenda and its attending epistemology and ethics of objectivism (Palmer & Zajonc,  2010; Kronman, 2007) values the self that stands at arm’s length from experience. On the other hand, a small but growing number of voices are exhorting colleges and universities to prepare students for moral and meaningful lives in an increasingly interdependent world and to create a container in which our students can safely and genuinely experience confusion and conflict in all its complexity and can grow through and with it to greater wisdom and maturity (Walsh, 2006, p. 10). At the same time that students wrestle with the questions and problems of the academic disciplines, these voices argue, we should accompany them as they engage with pressing questions of life’s meaning and purpose (Baxter Magolda, 2001; Daloz Parks, 2000). 

        Recent research (Astin & Astin, 2011) shows, however, that at the same time that faculty members report that questions of meaning and purpose are central to their own lives, they do not see it as their responsibility (nor do they feel able) to engage these questions with students. But inquiry is an essential human activity that makes meaning from experience (Perry, 1970). The central challenge for institutions and instructors is reimagining the disciplines as sites of learning and meaning-making for students (Riordan & Roth, 2005) as well as sites of scholarship for faculty members.

        Interestingly, the assumptions underlying environments that support learning through inquiry also promote the development of self authorship (Baxter Magolda, 2001). In the proposed interactive workshop, the facilitators will introduce participants to a theory-based, user-friendly framework that integrates learning through inquiry in (Hudspith & Jenkins, 2001; Lee, 2011; Levy, 2011) and across the disciplines with students’ pressing questions of life’s meaning and purpose. In the interests of time, we will focus on a first-year seminar, the first of four required seminars taken over the undergraduate curriculum at one of the facilitator's institutions, but also consider briefly how the framework develops later in the curriculum.

        In the first year seminar, The Examined Life, students engage actively with these questions: What are the key influences on a person’s development? How does the self interact with a community? Using the course as an example, we will demonstrate how the framework balances appropriate levels of challenge and support as students wrestle with these questions in the context of different academic disciplines’ methods of inquiry.  As time allows, we will also consider selected institutional practices that support the bridging of disciplines and self, including advising and portfolio development. 

        Throughout the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to apply the framework to one of their own courses and to their institutional context.

          PW.17 - Visual practice: Learning by design
           Giulia Forsythe (Brock University) - Canada


          View Abstract

          Research shows that memory can be aided and intentions can be realized through visualization techniques (Ainsworth et al, 2011). This session will explore the benefits of sketch-noting during conferences and classes as a way of externalizing thought (Sachse, et al, 2004), enhancing engagement (Wilson, K. & Korn, J., 2007), maintaining focus (Andrade, 2010) and making connections (Biktimirov & Nilson, 2003). The same skills will be applied to researching, deep reading and planning activities for course design, lesson planning, research, brainstorming, guided reading and studying.

          In groups and individually, participants will synthesize complex ideas by expressing metaphors as symbols using basic drawing techniques on a variety of media. This session is designed for everyone: students, instructors and educational developers and is definitely not just for artists. The only requirement is an open mind.

          Participants are encouraged to bring paper/pen or a tablet computer. Apps such as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro or Brushes are recommended for those interested in converting their tablets into drawing and learning devices.


          Ainsworth, S., Prain, V., & Tytler, R. (2011). Drawing to Learn in Science. Science, 333(6046), 1096-1097.

          Andrade, J. (2010). What does doodling do?. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24(1), 100-106.

          Biktimirov, E. N., & Nilson, L. B. (2003). Mapping Your Course: Designing a Graphic Syllabus for Introductory Finance. Journal Of Education For Business, 78(6), 308-312.

          Chin, C., & Teou, L. (2009). Using Concept Cartoons in Formative Assessment: Scaffolding students' argumentation. International Journal Of Science Education, 31(10), 1307-1332.

          Ellamil, M., Dobson, C., Beeman, M., & Christoff, K. (2012). Evaluative and generative modes of thought during the creative process. Neuroimage, 59(2), 1783-1794.

          Sachse, P., Hacker, W., & Leinert, S. (2004). External thought—does sketching assist problem analysis?. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18(4), 415-425.

          Wilson K, Korn J. Topical Articles: Attention During Lectures: Beyond Ten Minutes. Teaching of Psychology [serial online]. Spring2007 2007;34(2):85-89.

            PW.18 - Application of positive organizational scholarship in a university setting: Use of strength and asset-based approaches to building capacity
            Julie Stockton, Maura Da Cruz (University of British Columbia) - Canada


            View Abstract

             Particularly in the field of organizational development, the concept of learning is associated with addressing deficits and gaps in order to prepare the learner to think critically, assume greater responsibility and exercise leadership. Most recently, new developments in Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) are starting to shatter the boundaries of our traditional understanding of how adults learn and develop in organizational settings. Firmly rooted in social constructivism, this shift in focus helps us examine and leverage the positive aspects at play in a learning environment (Cameron and Caza, 2004). The phenomena of asset and strength-based approaches to development are revolutionizing our understanding of how we manage, recruit, retain, and develop our employees, support learner centred curriculum development, build teams, solve problems, and provide appropriate resources for the work to be done. Research is showing that people who know what their strengths are and work from them regularly are up to 10 times more productive than the average employee/student, are less stressed, healthier, and are more engaged in their work (Buckingham, 2011; Cameron, Dutton and Quinn, 2003; Seligman, 2007; Spreitzer and Porath, 2012).

            Through a brief presentation of POS research, video scenarios that relate to engaged learning, and highly interactive exercises in pairs and small groups, participants will leave with practical ways to incorporate asset and strength based approaches in their own workplace and classroom by:

            • Understanding how asset-based approaches can change our relationship with learning itself, employees and students, as well as build capacity (through presentation of research and case-study discussion)

            • Exploring some of our assumptions and theories about how we grow and develop (through reflective paired exercise and video scenario)

            • Reviewing and assessing a variety of strengths/asset based resources available (such as Best Self Exercise; Strengthsfinder 2.0; Interview Guide questions, Core Clarity, etc).

              PW.20 - Group work on a grand scale:  Introducing long-term, collaborative projects into the large class context
              Natasha Patrito Hannon (Western University) - Canada


              View Abstract

              A first year class of 350.  A semester-long group project worth 60% of your final grade, culminating in a public presentation for the entire University community.  65 five-person groups.  Is this instructor nuts??

              Principles of effective instruction suggest that thoughtful collaboration among students is a key contributor to engagement in higher education. It is well established, however, that average class sizes are increasing across most institutions in Canada and increased class size is often cited as a barrier to the implementation of group projects, particularly in first year survey courses.  Group projects among groups larger than 50 students are often perceived to be unwieldy - difficult to manage logistically and virtually impossible to assess in any convenient way. 

              This presentation seeks to change that perception.  With creativity and thoughtful planning, the boundary of class size can be overcome and the benefits of group work can be fostered even among our largest classes.

              This interactive session will explore successful strategies for the introduction, management, and creative assessment of group projects in large classes.  The author will draw on a review of existing literature and concrete examples from her experiences introducing a semester-long group project into a first year Environmental Issues course of 350 students, to explore critical project planning decisions, including:

              • Setting of teams and establishment of productive group norms

              • Project structure and timing of activities and assessments

              • Assignment of TA roles and responsibilities

              • Role of learning management systems in the promotion of group dialogue, storage of project artifacts, and provision of logistical support

              • Mechanisms for evaluation:  formative, summative and peer

                Participants will explore, through the use of case studies, a variety of models for group projects in the large class context.  They will have the opportunity to brainstorm with colleagues and consider, in a very practical fashion, ways in which these general approaches could be tailored to their personal, institutional and disciplinary contexts.  They will leave the session armed with best practices for group project facilitation tailored to classrooms larger than 50 students, and a concrete project plan that will inspire and enable them to overcome the barrier of class size and foster thoughtful, productive collaboration among any group of learners.


                  Chickering, A.W. & Gamson, Z.F. (1987).  Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education. American Association of Higher Education Bulletin, pp. 3-7.

                  Kuh, G.  (2003).  What we're learning about student engagement from NSSE: Benchmarks for effective educational practices.  Change, 35(2), 24-32.

                  PW.21 - Seeking internationalized curricula: “Learning without borders” as an institutional strategy for transformative change
                  Teresa Dawson, Jim Anglin, Ed Ishiguro, Carolyn Hammond, Robin Scobie, Catherine Nutting, Olga Petrovskaya, Permjit Soomal, Traci Serzisko, Anne Cirillo (University of Victoria)

                  View Abstract

                   The University of Victoria’s strategic plan, as for many institutions, clearly emphasizes the goal of internationalizing the curriculum, as we prepare students for their roles as global citizens. To support this central goal, the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost, together with the Office of International Affairs and the Learning and Teaching Centre, collaborated to offer resources supporting faculty, instructors and academic units in integrating international elements into their curricula. Through the Learning without Borders (LWB) fund, proposals are made annually to redesign courses or components of programs by faculty member teams, with the understanding that their academic unit commits to permanently incorporate resulting innovations into curricula. Ten curricular re-design projects (including Nursing, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Teacher Education and Intercultural Service Learning) were selected for 2011-2012 based on their potential to effect broad and deep change. Participants agreed to serve as mentors and facilitators to future LWB cohorts and to other instructors university-wide. Thus, beyond just supporting changes to internationalize undergraduate curricula within different academic units, the fund seeks to create a growing multi-disciplinary community to foster world-mindedness across the entire university.

                  Our goals are that participants will:

                  1) Recognize and appreciate the innovative elements of the LwB model for curricular change, including the positive initial outcomes (such as the spontaneous development of a very active, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning community of teacher-scholars in the first cohort).

                  2) Apply, demonstrate and achieve internationalization goals within their own course and program syllabi, since they will have the opportunity to work with our faculty facilitators in a mini-workshop (please bring your course or program description with you)

                  3) Experience the positive possibilities resulting from the supportive model of reflective sharing of experiential learning by multi-disciplinary colleagues committed to common goals of world-mindedness in themselves and their students

                  4)  Have a chance to network with others with similar goals to enhance the internationalization of the curricula in their home contexts.

                  We propose the following methods:

                  • Workshop participant syllabi using sample methods and approaches from the LwB program

                  • Critique specific examples from a diverse range of UVic departments to explore further ideas for change

                  • Share reflective experiential comments from this year’s cohort of faculty from a wide range of disciplines (those who are present and those whose comments we can bring with us)

                  • Supply background resource materials and handouts (including the LwB call for proposals and sample syllabi)

                  In terms of expected learning outcomes, participants will be able to:

                  • Take a critical look at their own syllabus/program design and reflect on the successful implementation of their own goals for student-centred internationalization.

                  • Contact faculty colleagues from other institutions who have interests in internationalization across the disciplines and have the opportunity to network with them on an on-going basis.

                  • Identify/describe additional approaches to advocating for internationalization of curricula in their home context

                  • Describe the benefits of a collegial, multi-disciplinary, cohort-based approach to institutional curricula change

                      PW.23 - A classroom without walls: Enabling open online teaching and learning practices
                    Novak Rogic, Lucas Wright, Will Engle, Brian Lamb (University of British Columbia) - Canada


                    View Abstract

                    Over the last several years, the University of British Columbia has built a web publishing framework to support personal publishing, e-Portfolios, course blogs, communities of practice, open educational resource (OER) development, and other learning and administrative web needs. The open nature of the framework enables collaborative learning as well as leverages social networking in the context of teaching and learning.

                    The three interconnected core elements of UBC publishing framework are UBC Blogs, UBC Wiki and UBC CMS. UBC Blogs,, which currently has over 11,000 users, provides a framework for personal and group publishing at the personal, course, and group levels. The UBC Wiki,, is a shared community space that serves as a university-wide open course and knowledge-resource repository. UBC CMS,, offers a streamlined content management service that allows for the rapid creation of university-branded administrative and educational websites. All three elements are interconnected and provide a framework for delivering a rich educational experience.

                    This interactive workshop will provide an overview of innovative approaches to teaching and learning with web tools through focused group discussions. Participants will gain an understanding of the role that these tools can provide in enhancing active learning. For each topic, facilitators and participants will explore case studies on the following topics:

                    • Building e-Portfolios for life-long learning and assessment

                    • Using Microblogging for classroom engagement and discussion

                    • Managing and republishing academic and educational resources

                    • Leveraging social networking tools to break down learning boundaries

                    • Combining publishing channels to expand community engagement

                        PW.24 - Removing the boundaries between disciplines: A workshop on interdisciplinary approaches
                      Glen Loppnow, David Lawrie (University of Alberta) - Canada


                      View Abstract

                       Global warming.  Pollution.  War.  Poverty.  Cancer.  These are just a few of the problems plaguing humankind, difficult problems that cannot be broken down into and solved in simple steps.  We know that many of these problems have been addressed for tens, hundreds or even thousands of years, with no solutions.  Perhaps part of the reason such problems haven't been solved is that we don't encourage broad thinking in current educational systems.  Imagine what a different perspective humankind would have if they had to take 12 years of Poverty instead of English or War instead of Math.  Would this problem-based approach erode disciplinary barriers to solutions, develop greater empathy and yield a healthier society, or end in greater ignorance and impotence in solving these problems?

                      Within universities, colleges and technical institutes, clear boundaries of content, culture and value exist between disciplines, to the detriment of the student experience.  In some cases, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses, programs and initiatives have sprung up to build better connections between these disciplines.  This workshop will explore those boundaries to see what's working and what's not.

                      Purpose:  This workshop will allow participants to share best practices, evidence, and approaches for how various institutions have developed such interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary innovations.  The workshop is geared towards developers at all levels of interdisciplinary opportunities and those with an active interest in developing such initiatives.

                      The overall goal of the workshop is to develop a toolset of tactics and strategies for both short- and long-term cultural change.  The focus of the workshop will be on the pragmatic and the useful, with elucidation of learning outcomes and curriculum design to meet those learning outcomes.  Specific examples will be presented from the SCI 100 integrated science program at the University of Alberta.  Specific, short-term goals are:    

                      • Promote discussion

                      • Share evidence and outcomes from one approach

                      • Debate approaches to interdisciplinary programs

                      • Discuss barriers

                      Methods:  The workshop will use several methods to engage participants in an active sharing of ideas, practices, evidence, and strategies. 

                      Expected Outcomes: Participants will be able to:

                      • Identify, mitigate and solve institutional barriers to interdisciplinary post-secondary educational experiences.

                      • Identify, mitigate and solve discipline cultural barriers to interdisciplinary post-secondary educational experiences.

                      • Explain and debate evidence of successful interdisciplinary programs and approaches.

                        PW.25 - Crossing boundaries: Threshold concepts for scholarly teaching
                        Erika Kustra, Alan Wright, Michael Potter (University of Windsor) - Canada


                        View Abstract

                        Since the publication of Meyer and Land’s Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (2003), educational developers have steadily warmed to the importance of threshold concepts, especially for transformative learning.  Publications over the past eight years have explored the idea, teased out its implications for myriad disciplines, wrestled with it and used it to design and refine programs.  The role of threshold concepts in our own work as educational developers, however, has not been sufficiently addressed.  

                        We take it as a given that educational developers should try not only to help faculty members become effective teachers, but scholarly teachers as well (Potter and Kustra, 2011).  In some sense, we are inducting faculty members from across the disciplines into a new discipline or field, one with its own threshold concepts.  What are they?  Which concepts must faculty members learn in order to cross the threshold into scholarly teaching?  Which concepts transform the way they perceive and understand the world  with all of the frustration and irreversibility implied? 

                        In this half-day workshop, participants will: a) engage in the process of surfacing, discussing, analyzing and prioritizing possible threshold concepts for scholarly teaching; b) identify possible reasons why faculty members may struggle with such concepts; and c) plan scholarly teaching programs that intentionally, systematically, and developmentally address the sorts of threshold concepts they have identified.

                        By the end of this workshop participants should be able to:

                        1) Articulate possible threshold concepts for scholarly teaching

                        2) Analyze whether a concept or idea meets the criteria of threshold concepts

                        3) Identify approaches that may help or hinder the learning of threshold concepts

                        4) Embed threshold concepts in educational development programs