Thursday June 21, 2012 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Room: Salon Mont Royal
RT.01 - Is it a capstone? Problem based learning? Service learning? Yes, it's all three
A. Ballard (AUT University) - New Zealand
In the SIFE organisation students work to apply business knowledge and an entrepreneurial mindset to improve the quality of life and standard of living of people in need in their communities. The AUT branch of SIFE (SIFE AUT) has been highly successful over the 10 years of its existence, winning the SIFE New Zealand National Championships five times and placing runner up in all of the other years. SIFE AUT typically runs between five and 10 concurrent projects to benefit the community, with some of these lasting several years.
SIFE is present on around 1600 university campuses. What makes our university’s approach different is that this multidisciplinary applied learning is formally assessed in a full semester capstone paper. In other words, we don’t view SIFE as an additional activity, unrelated to the students’ classroom learning, nor do we view it as a simple source of credit for community volunteering. Rather we view SIFE as an integral part of our students’ learning; a service learning experience that is based on principles of Problem Based Learning, a Capstone experience structured around the principles of engagement theory.
The purpose of this session is to explain how this innovative paper works and how the student learning is assessed. The method used will be a presentation and Q&A, and by the end of the session participants should be able to appreciate whether they could apply a similar model in their own institution.
RT.02 - Revisiting the reflective journal – Bounded or boundless learning?
T. O’Connell (Brock University), J. Dyment (Univesity of Tasmania) - Canada/ Australia
Reflective journals are widely used across many disciplines in higher education, and have been a pedagogical mainstay in academia for a number of decades. However, research indicates the reflective entries written by students are of varying quality. Some research reveals that student journals contain primarily deeply reflective entries and offer boundless possibilities for learning. However, other research presents a less optimistic outlook, and suggests journals actually serve to inhibit learning. For example, some studies have found that a majority of student journals contain mostly descriptive or factual recounting of events, with little to no critical reflection, synthesis or analysis of learning experiences. Despite these hidden or unacknowledged challenges, many educators chose to integrate reflective journaling into course assignments believing the possibilities for learning are limitless. The purpose of this round table discussion is to explore these conflicting results and identify factors that may limit or enable high quality reflection in student journals. A second intent is to provide participants with suggestions for successfully implementing reflective journal writing assignments in their courses. To assist in this process, the presenters will guide the participants through a series of short activities and guided discussion. First, participants will brainstorm factors that serve to limit the possibilities for students to reflect at a high level in their journals, as well as factors that promote higher levels of reflection. Thoughts will be captured on paper for reference throughout the session. Second, participants will be asked to respond (in writing) to a number of brief questions (i.e., For you, what is the purpose of reflective journaling for your students? How does the journal fit into the overall course or program of study? Who will read the journal? Do the students know the answers to all these questions? Do you provide training on how to reflect? Do you provide structure for the journal or is it open to interpretation?). Participants will be asked to share their responses. Finally, the presenters will share an outline of factors that limit and enable reflective journaling with the participants, as well as a list of references and resources. These factors have been distilled from a review of the literature, research conducted by the presenters, and over 20 years of combined experience using reflective journals as a pedagogical tool with students. By the end of these sessions, participants will have gained an appreciation of how specific practices and approaches to reflective journaling either create infinite possibilities or restrict possibilities for deep and meaningful student learning.
RT.03 - Blurring the boundaries - Moving from the classroom to the virtual world and beyond!
J. Pagonis (Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security) - Canada
This 60 minute round table discussion will focus on blended learning by examining differences between classroom, online design and various collaborative methods that can be used to develop capabilities and build knowledge. Participants will examine how blended learning can achieve their training outcomes, discuss how to design blended learning, and assess which methods are appropriate for their organization.
• Define blended learning - what is meant by a blended learning approach
• Identify and assess when and how to use a blended approach
• Discuss and examine existing blended approaches
• Discuss challenges to using a blended approach
• Discuss and examine the future of blended learning
This session is ideal for anyone working in training and development that is looking at the possibility of incorporating blended learning solutions.
RT.04 - Best practices in teaching assistant training: A review of the scholarship
E. Aspenlieder (Simon Fraser University) - Canada
Since the publication in 1991 of Preparing the Professoriate of Tomorrow to Teach (Nyquist, Abbott, Wulff and Sprague), one of the first collections to attempt a comprehensive overview of teaching assistant training, scholarship on teaching assistant training has consistently returned to questions surrounding the boundaries of whether teaching assistant training should be mandatory or optional, pedagogical or professional, departmental or centralized, aimed at improving the undergraduate or the graduate experience, offered exclusively to graduate students or to all teaching assistants. That these questions remain open and undecided speaks not only to the complex and contextual institutional landscape of teaching assistant training, but gestures too, to the fluctuating priority placed on teaching assistant training within the scholarship of teaching and learning itself.
In this short paper I present a review of the scholarship on teaching assistant training in the last twenty years in order to define successful teaching assistant training, identify consistent recommendations for how such training might be best conducted and evaluated, suggest areas for further, or fuller, consideration, and argue for the vitality of teaching assistant training as a site of engaged scholarship.
RT.05 - L’apprentissage réfléchi dans l’enseignement. L’expérience du cours universitaire de littérature comme projet intégrateur
M. Vadean (Université Concordia) - Canada
La littérature demeure matière de base dans les programmes des sciences humaines. L’évolution continue du processus d’apprentissage et d’enseignement nous incite à nous interroger avec quelque urgence sur la transmission de la littérature au niveau supérieur, de nos jours. Le lien entre l’apprentissage et l’enseignement, il se tisse, pour la plupart des cas, comme modèle renversé, miroité, réfléchi. Ce qui était fonctionnel il y a quelques années ne l’est plus.
Dans un cours de littérature à l’université ou au cégep aujourd’hui peut-on engager les étudiants dans une pensée autonome qui aurait le mérite de les confronter à l’anticipation en plus de la planification et la rétroaction ? Peut-on aborder un apprentissage actif et durable qui ne soit plus une simple expérience monolithique restreinte à la durée d’une session ? Peut-on rapprocher les étudiants d’un savoir-faire qui est certes un pouvoir sur les choses, mais qui est aussi pouvoir autre chose dans le cadre d’une communauté d’apprentissage qui se forme (Reboul) ? Voilà quelques questions en guise d’amorce d’une discussion autour de l’efficacité de la méthode du projet intégrateur en littérature.
Comme point de départ, en m’appuyant sur des supports issus de ma pratique pédagogique (produits finaux des étudiants, synthèse d’évaluations), j’aimerais présenter le projet intégrateur tel qu’envisagé dans mes cours de littérature au premier cycle à l’Université Concordia. Dans ma démarche, trois gestes majeurs (le décloisonnement, la réintégration et la transposition des savoirs) ont ouvert le champ de la littérature au cinéma, à la photographie, à la psychologie, la philosophie, la traductologie ou au cyberespace. J’aimerais analyser avec les participants de cette table ronde l’efficacité de cette méthode du côté de l’apprentissage. Les étudiant(e)s développent des compétences élargies : 1) des compétences liées à la littérature –discipline ouverte qui appelle à la création et à l’inventivité différemment 2) des compétences relationnelles (par l’interaction, les activités en équipe requises), 3) des compétences communicationnelles et réflexives (par la présentation des exposés oraux et l’analyse autocritique de leurs propres travaux) et 4) des compétences organisationnelles (par la prise en charge de lectures et des tâches au sein des équipes). En s’impliquant différemment dans leur processus d’apprentissage, les étudiant(e)s réalisent des transferts d’acquis disciplinaires. Ils développent aussi des habiletés essentielles desquelles ils se servent pour poursuivre leur formation supérieure ou sur le marché du travail (même si leur emploi ne vise pas directement la littérature).
À la lumière de ces constatations concrètes, j’inviterai mes collègues à une réflexion sur l’avenir du projet intégrateur comme apprentissage de la littérature au niveau supérieur. Nous considérerons entre autres :
- sa capacité à convertir la littérature d’une matière vue comme peu pratique dans l’une très efficace
- l’ouverture du goût des étudiants à poursuivre leurs études au niveau supérieur
- les limites du projet intégrateur (que fait-il à la littérature dite « pure » ?)
- sa compatibilité ou son incompatibilité avec les programmes en place dans nos universités et cégeps.
RT.06 - Here, there, and anywhere: The Tao of Sam-I-Am in the work of instructional design
H. M. Ross, B. Schindelka (University of Saskatchewan) - Canada
Instructional designers (IDs) are basically professional problem solvers. Others come to IDs to help make their courses better, to help make their students’ learning experiences more effective, and to help keep balance and sanity in the lives of both teacher and students.
Many of the ideas that instructional designers implement into their design work come from formal training; through meetings with other IDs in our units or throughout the institution; from conversations with subject matter experts; from books and peer-reviewed journals; from conferences and from other sources that we traditionally consider to be “proper” idea-generating means in academia.
We hypothesize, however, that IDs actually find many, if not most, of our ideas through less -traditional venues, such as: informal encounters with colleagues through casual lunches or “popping” in to each others’ offices; conversations with family and friends outside of academia; meetings with teachers to discuss the education of our children; participating on social networking sites such as Twitter and reading the blogs of educators at all levels; observation of popular culture; and by reflecting on our own experiences as students and lifelong learners.
Informal learning environments, synchronicities and personal connections play a key role in the formation of ideas for IDs.The lines between personal and professional development have in some ways vanished. We chat on Twitter about education, politics, health, and maybe sometimes about lunch. We attend “working” gatherings over lunch by a fireplace. We find valuable knowledge in the blogs and teaching activities of elementary school teachers.
These informal opportunities take what can often be an isolating career and build connections that provide both knowledge and support. What is gained from those situations is often applied in our work, but is also passed on to those we connect with in other parts of our network.
The two authors are undertaking a small study to better understand our own methods, and those of a small group of our colleagues, for finding solutions to ID related problems by logging / journaling about our own experiences throughout a one month period of time. We hope to gain a better view and understanding of where our learning and ideas come from by answering the following questions: Where do we go to find answer (tools, places, etc.)? Who do we go to (colleagues, others on social networking sites, experts via journals and books)? Why did we go there and to them? When did we go (to prevent a problem, in reaction to a problem, curiosity)? What did we learn? How did we apply it?
The authors see this study as an initial framework for possible future research, and will share their study research and findings to date.
RT.07 - The role obligations of learners and lecturers in higher education
J-A. Regan (University of Chester) - United Kingdom
The current discussion of consumerism in UK higher education focuses largely on what the providers are obliged to do for the consumers, fuelled by the rising tuition fees. This framework does not always sit comfortably with lecturers in the context of a learning and teaching relationship, as it appears to ignore the reciprocal obligations lecturers and learners have to one another. There is a danger that this tension could provide unwelcome barriers in the learning relationship between lecturers and learners. The discussion at this Round Table will focus on a paper which offers an alternative view of what lecturers and learners are obliged to do in the learning and teaching relationship, if learning is to be effective. Attendees are asked to read the paper in preparation for the discussion in Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 46, No. 1, p14-24, 2012. Please contact the author above if you do not have access to this Journal.
The claims made in the paper are as follows:
• In higher education, both learners and lecturers have moral role obligations;
• These moral role obligations are derived from the functions of the roles being voluntarily undertaken by each party;
• Therefore, by ascertaining the functions of a learner and of a lecturer, both a descriptive purpose and a normative purpose will be revealed for each;
• Using moral role obligations as a basis for the student/lecturer relationship offers a less contentious alternative to the consumerist model; serving to build bridges not barriers.
Many delegates at this conference are from countries which have much more experience with fee paying learners, and their contribution to this discussion will be very helpful to those of us new to this situation.
RT.08 - Online teaching as an academic conference: Crossing the boundaries of the classroom
P. MacIntyre (Cape Breton University) - Canada
Traditional classrooms have well defined, physical boundaries, but teaching online eliminates classic restrictions of time and space, allowing for a different set of pedagogical approaches. In developing a new course in “Positive Psychology” at Cape Breton University, and at the same time serving as a STLHE conference co-chair, I thought that it might be possible to bring the excitement of an academic conference to the students. Drawing upon theoretical frameworks in psychology, including self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan) and the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotion (Fredrickson), the course design elements are made cohesive by overlaying a conference model.
Academic conferences are a major forum for learning across the post-graduate years, and given that they have to be attractive to potential participants, a well-designed conference taps into key motivational and learning processes that can be brought to online learning. Conferences valued for at least three reasons. First, plenary speakers are the most prominent scholars in the field and at the best conferences, one has an opportunity to see and hear them discuss their own ideas in their own words. Second, there is a competitive process to gain entry to the conference where participants are expected to contribute to the academic program, helping make the conference proceedings more personally engaging. Third, conferences present new ideas, describe new research methods, and inspire new thinking among the delegates.
Each of these desirable attributes can be brought to the online learning environment using the conference format as inspiration. Weekly plenary speakers, presented via web-based video (e.g., TED talks), extend the boundaries of traditional lectures by incorporating a set of different and impressive voices, with maximum credibility. Each plenary speaker receives an introduction from the course instructor and a viewing guide summary to support student learning. An online forum, called the Coffee Break, is provided for discussion and evaluation, and for challenging the views of the plenary speaker.
Second, participants in the Positive Psychology course are required to submit a proposal in order to attend the course-as-conference. Submission guidelines require presenting a foundational review article with a related, established exercise or method that can be empirically tested. Student papers are grouped into “concurrent sessions.” This approach extends the boundaries of the audience for traditional term papers.
Third, a set of assignments were designed to engage the students in new experiential learning (TRACK - The Random Act of Compassion and Kindness). The ideas in the textbook are linked to specific actions. After completing a task, students write about what they learned in a tweet, video posting, and/or discussion forum. The boundaries between thinking and doing are being crossed, back-and-forth.
Finally, the discipline of Positive Psychology is built on an empirical research foundation, with an emphasis on action. Student feedback will be critically examined to ‘unlock the course success code’ as Russo-Netzer & Ben-Shahar (2011) have done for a similar course at Harvard University.
Participants attending this round table session will discuss other ways of incorporating the conference approach into course development and the learning opportunities emerging for students.
RT.09 - View from the grad student cubicle: What does support for graduate students' teaching really look like?
C. Hoessler (Queen's University) - Canada
Through formal programs and workshops, teaching centers seek to support graduate students' teaching. Participation in available services often remains frustratingly low with even basic awareness hovering well below ideal. This session seeks to share insights into how graduate students seek and experience support for their teaching gained through one-on-one interviews and past surveys as part of my research on support for graduate students' teaching. By attending, individuals will be able to identify the wide range of resources graduate students access, recognize graduate students' initial focus on survival and reliance on the nearest source, and wrestle with how to prepare supports for graduate students who desire discipline-specific application yet inter-disciplinary perspectives on teaching and learning. With a mixture of setting the context, small-group discussion of quotes from the research findings, and engagement in developing questions about what graduate support could look like, this session aims to interweave the perspectives of graduate students and education developers. As a graduate student for six years and an educational developer for five, I am excited for this opportunity for a shared conversation about support for graduate students' teaching. If you ever wondered what graduate students are thinking, come to hear the views of over hundreds of survey graduate students and the experiences of twelve interviewed individuals who sought support for their teaching. If you are a graduate student, come learn what options for support are available and consider adding your experience to the discussion.
RT.10 - Can we cross it? With WAC we can: Developing a model for writing intervention across disciplinary borders
I. A. M. McLaren (University of the West Indies) - Jamaica
Attempts on the part of members of the English Language Section to enhance writing skills and learning in the sciences constituted the major part of an interdisciplinary project between the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences and the English Language Section of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica in 2006.
This ‘border- crossing’ came about as a result of concerns on the part of both science and English language teachers that students who had completed English language foundation courses in their first year, were not applying the writing principles learned in these foundation courses to their other disciplines, the sciences in particular. This resulted in writing which, in most cases failed to adequately demonstrate knowledge of concepts being taught and to effectively communicate scientific information.
The aims of this project were therefore to enhance science students’ communication skills and to better enable the science teaching staff to assume responsibility for students’ writing by ensuring that students learnt and practiced the discourse conventions appropriate for their level.. We held a series of workshops to introduce and familiarize staff with the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) “writing to learn’” and “learning to write” theory and practice in order to guide them in the process of incorporating these strategies in their courses.
An approach for an intervention in writing in the disciplines meant that the English Language Section had to plan a type of intervention which was focused on the needs of the discipline. This called for close collaboration with the academics within the sciences and developing with them, both intervention strategies for their students and a research programme which would examine the impact of the interventions.
The success of this crossing of disciplinary borders is evidenced by both English Language and science teachers development and adherence to a common cause which has led to strong and lasting alliances . This undertaking has also led to the development of a Implementation and Assessment Model which represents the context of engagement as well as level and type of assessment activities for a variety of WAC strategies.
It is our firm belief that this model is a beneficial tool for other similar undertakings in terms of its ability to visually and graphically represent the extent to which research was undertaken, the type of research conducted and the context in which these activities occurred. Futhermore an additional benefit of this model is its potential to represent assessment activities generated from multiple contexts which would allow for comparisons concerning the depth and extent of investigative undertakings and related types of assessment activities.
EXPECTED OUTCOME: Engaged discussion on crossing disciplinary borders and usefulness of Model
RT.11 - The walls come tumbling down: Expanding library boundaries to serve international and distance learning students
L. Gordon, J. Buckley (Arcadia University) - United States
This roundtable will address the challenge of providing library resources and services, traditionally limited by the boundaries of the campus-based academic university, for students who study abroad or via distance learning courses. As today’s society struggles to become more global, academic institutions have met that challenge by opening international centers, or by creating distance education and study abroad programs. Academic Libraries over the past ten years have prepared themselves to meet these challenges by expanding the boundaries of the physical library and traditional library services. However, the efforts of the library are not always well connected with academic programs or key administrators. This roundtable hopes to positively address this situation. Specifically, it will profile a recent collaboration between Arcadia University’s Landman Library and Arcadia’s College of Global Studies (TCGS), a national leader in education abroad experiences, to provide access, resources and services to TCGS students in over 100 programs throughout the world. By presenting this example, and by hearing from other institutions about their own initiatives to connect distance learners with library resources, this roundtable hopes to encourage administrators and faculty in non-campus based programs to take the initiative to reach out and collaborate with their own libraries.
RT.12 - When boundaries are crossed: Fostering positive public perception of teaching and learning in higher education
B. Strean (University of Alberta), L. Dickson (University of Northern British Columbia), M. Mancuso (University of Guelph) - Canada
The purpose of this session is to engage the audience in an ongoing project of the 2011 cohort of 3M National Teaching Fellows. During our retreat, we discussed the trend toward negative representations of Canadian higher education in the media. We formulated a project aimed at balancing the discourse by reflecting our experience of the depth of knowledge and ongoing commitment that creates positive learning environments at universities. Our initial contribution involved a series of advertisements, each one featuring an open letter from a 3M Fellow to an inspiring and influential teacher.
The implementation of the project included negotiations with multiple institutions, agencies and professional associations for supporting funding. One of the panelists of this session is currently serving as Provost and will offer her perspectives on both the current state of media impact on higher education and how to work with central administrations to forward the agenda explored in this session.
Our methods will include (a) brief presentation of the genesis of the project, the advertisements and other work to date; (b) an individual activity where each participant will consider a letter to an influential teacher; (c) a group discussion of other interventions that can enhance public perception of teaching and learning in higher education; (d) a small group activity considering how this project and related work can influence classroom practice; and (e) a closing summary presentation to foster a mood of appreciation and inspiration. If time permits, we will describe the "legacy" elements of this project, including a website where individuals can share stories of great teachers.
The expected outcomes include the following: participants will become more knowledgeable about the public discourse concerning higher education; they will learn how to use their own positive experiences to enhance public perceptions; they will develop other interventions to augment what we present; they will have specific ways of bringing these issues into their classrooms (should they so choose); and they will leave with a renewed sense of their individual value and our collective positive contributions.
RT.13 - What’s in a name?: “Leadership” in higher education
V. Ram (University of Calgary) - Canada
Leadership is trendy. Both academic and non-academic programs in higher education focus on leadership development to enhance student engagement and promote skill development. At the University of Calgary, for example, there has been an increase in programming over the past few years, with the addition of: a new Leadership and Student Engagement office that offers programs such as the Emerging Leaders Program, Camp Lead, and the University Leadership Certificate; the new Scholars Academy, geared towards academic leadership for high-achieving students; and the Graduate Leaders Circle, graduate students holding Killam and Vanier scholarships, to name a few. There are, at the University of Calgary, over thirty “leadership” programs, whether departmental, at the Faculty level, or extra-curricular. All claim to produce “leaders” and to help students achieve their potential.
But what is leadership? As the new 3M Student Fellowships describe in their terms, “‘leadership’ by itself is not a scientific term that has easily identifiable boundaries” (STLHE website). Students applying for the Fellowship are nonetheless requested to submit a “Leadership Profile” to be assessed by a selection committee. We are comfortable with selecting profiles out of a stack of applicants citing activities that represent “leadership,” but we remain uncertain about the definition of leadership itself. Why then use the term “leadership” at all?
J. M. Burns argues that “leadership” differs from “leaders” – his definition of “leadership” proves more communal than in common practice: “the reciprocal process of mobilizing…to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers” (425). Richard Barker astutely notes the more customary definition: “[v]irtually every definition of leadership encountered in both scholarly and practitioner oriented writings – that is, if one is actually offered – focuses on the knowledges, skills, abilities, and traits of the leader which are presumed to be the most successful in getting followers to do what the leader wants” (344). The impulse behind programming in higher education related to leadership is commendable and ought to be valued and enhanced; but how can we conceptualize leadership in order to enrich student services and support by making sure that the term “leadership” maintains its potential?
This topic will lend itself well to a Round Table discussion at the STLHE conference in June 2012. I am interested in how other institutions approach leadership and student engagement and how they deconstruct (or reassert) the boundaries of the term “leadership” to promote learning and success.
Barker, Richard A. “How Can We Train Leaders if We Do Not Know What Leadership Is?” Human Relations 50.4 (1997): 343 – 62.
Burns, J. M. Leadership. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.
“Leadership.” Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
RT.14 - Dispersing boundaries: Adventures in new media
P. Vitone (Dawson College) - Canada
--Fluid boundaries are inescapable in a media program.--
With new media relentlessly challenging and transforming the pedagogical moment, most in my department avidly consider, model and practice suitable responses. Time, space, topic, course – you name it – boundaries are all up for negotiation. No area or activity is exempt or without promise.
Students on Facebook? Great. Let’s pursue fruitful connections. Hooked to Youtube? Fine, what do we make today? What can be properly treated, made accessible and networked with this extensive database? Let’s do it.
--Define “time” and “place”--
What time does this class start? Don’t know? You pick. When does it end? I guess when you determine it’s time to move on.
At the end of a four-hour class, I have had students casually remark that given what we are doing, this class should last all day. Sadly, an unforgiving artefact from a dated educational culture – the timetable -- placed them elsewhere.
Yet, the notion of time shifting has become commonplace. The earliest iterations of e-learning were celebrated for permitting this. Distance learning made viable. But what distance? How about down the hall? Students can schedule study to not interfere with other commitments. But what about just because it makes sense? Tomorrow: it’s better, because all the ducks will be aligned.
The routine has been that you learn then you practice. Why not the reverse? You practice and it becomes a lab for learning. Don’t know how to do something? Start it up. See what happens. Go online and describe what happened, where you are. Check the hive responses and we go from there.
--Mine, yours or ours--
Where does work ownership begin and end then? Students do the same assignment. Why would the results be any different? Variance – usually on a bell curve- is the expected result. Is this an outcome or precisely something to examine and learn from? Post what you have done so far so that this person can see it; they have a handle on it. While you are at it, it would be in their interest for you to post what you are doing with this other thing.
--Then, now and later--
Thirty years of teaching and never fresher. Old school “new school” approaches resurface, but this time, ecstatically promoted potentials and enriching experiences are now deliverable through media and methods that articulate, track and review learning activity on an on-going basis. Moving beyond the boundaries of the classroom, institution, curriculum is not an idealistic venture, it is a mundane feature and expectation of e-education.
I would be pleased to have the opportunity to converse with others who are confronting – happily or otherwise – these pedagogical transformations. Definitely a conversational context is proposed, with a bundle of materials, examples and suggestions. I expect those attending would leave with an enriched sense of some of the cultural and technological forces impinging on the contemporary classroom and institution, with a possible set of contacts to further elaborate insights.
RT.15 - Redrawing the boundaries in university business school education; Application of transformative learning theory in three different courses
T. McAteer (McMaster University) - Canada
Today’s workplaces are evolving more quickly than ever before with resultant pressures on business education curriculum design and delivery. As organizations continue to emphasize emotional intelligence and authenticity as key factors in its new recruits (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2008), and as the millennials registered in and graduating from business school programs, demand more of a hands-on, practitioner-based and skill development focus, there are resultant issues of both content and process for business schools. Business school professors increasingly focus their time and energy on discipline-based research, which does not always translate into learnings for already or soon to be practicing managers and leaders (Bennis & O’Toole, 2005). Nor do many schools select professors for their likely skill at teaching or providing systematic development opportunities to broaden or improve their pedagogical skills (Gioia & Corley, 2002).
This current supply and demand scenario has produced a serious gap in business education -- one that requires bridging in knowledge, new and extended research agendas, and an evolution of pedagogy. More specifically, business school curriculum design and delivery needs to move away from the historical transmission model in which knowledge is transmitted from teacher to student. Instead, and in response to the aforementioned pressures, a new model of business education should recognize and honor that students arrive with valuable experiences to process and share, as well as learn best through experience, inquiry, critical thinking and interaction with other learners. Schools should be focusing on the market-readiness of its graduates and growing its business education components to encourage students to fully understand self-thought and resultant behaviors. Herein, integration and application of Transformative Learning Theory (Mezirow, 1978, 2000) is proposed as one possible response to closing the gap. Instructors using Transformative Learning Experiences (TLE) would be helping to build more authentic managers and leaders for the future and in so doing, redrawing the boundaries in university business school education.
The purpose of this interactive session is to share and dissect three examples of current TLE-based courses being taught at the university undergraduate and graduate business levels, all of which use strategic “disorienting dilemmas” as innovative instructional techniques to elicit critical reflection and potential perspective transformation in a classroom environment. It will also examine the implications for both instructor and students involved in TLE-based courses since this type of learning requires both to cross traditional teaching and learning boundaries – to take risks and have a willingness to be vulnerable and have one’s attitudes and assumptions challenged. Finally, the discussion will focus on how use of such an innovative teaching technique can have potentially long-lasting and life-altering impacts for students and instructors. The intended outcomes of the session are to encourage crossing the boundary from using traditional teaching and learning techniques into embedding more innovative methodologies such as transformative learning experiences into business course design and development. This session will also highlight the benefits of using TLEs in faculties and schools across many disciplines.
RT.16 - Beyond conceptual boundaries: Using student feedback to enhance teaching and learning in higher education
U. Luhanga, J. Leighton, C. Poth (University of Alberta) - Canada
Teaching and learning in higher education occur as part of a complex interacting system called the teaching-learning environment (TLE). Various theoretical and conceptual frameworks guide the teaching practices that instructors choose to utilize in the development a TLE and these frameworks have resulted in recommendations of developing "constructive" learning environments, "new" learning environments or "powerful" learning environments as alternatives to "traditional" learning environments. It has been argued, however, that attempting to focus on “traditional “versus “non-traditional” learning environments creates unnecessary boundaries to practice when in fact in the development of any TLE in higher education, it is more important to focus on those aspects that have been identified to influence learning: student characteristics, subject matter, and the TLE provided by the department.
Regarding the TLE provided, it is particularly important to note that results from student learning research have shown that the quality of learning achieved is strongly influenced by student perceptions of the TLE rather than by the actual TLE provided. Thus in order to enhance teaching and learning in higher education it is imperative that we obtain student feedback on their perceptions of their TLEs. As part of a large scale UK research project (http://www.etl.tla.ed.ac.uk/), several experts in the field of teaching and learning in higher education, developed a research-based student feedback questionnaire (SFQ), the Experiences of Teaching and Learning Questionnaire (ETLQ), to measure student perceptions of their TLEs. The ETLQ was used to guide collaborative initiatives that successfully enhanced TLEs in several undergraduate courses. These documented successes lead to further utilization of the ETLQ as a means of providing diagnostic information for enhancing teaching and learning in other university settings across Europe and Asia. Given the success of the ETLQ as a diagnostic tool across various cross-cultural settings, it is somewhat surprising that the utility of this tool has not been tested in a Canadian context. A small-scale study was therefore conducted at a western Canadian research intensive university and preliminary findings suggest that the ETLQ does appear to be a reliable and valid diagnostic tool that can be used in Canadian higher education settings.
Guided by these preliminary findings, the purpose of this round table discussion will be to provide an environment in which knowledge transfer and exchange can occur. In particular, through printed resource material and a PowerPoint presentation, participants will be introduced to the Canadian version of the ETLQ (C-ETLQ) used in the small scale study. The goal is to disseminate knowledge of this tool to a larger Canadian audience and thus stimulate discussion on the utility of the C-ETLQ within other higher education institutions. The session will use an interactive approach guided by three linked questions: Does the C-ETLQ, in its current form, appear to be a useful tool (for quality assurance or diagnostic purposes) in your course/institution? What needs to be added? What needs to be changed?
RT.17 - Teacher professional learning as a foundation for instructional development practices
A. Boelryk (Simon Fraser University) - Canada
While institutional resources to support development in teaching practice or instructional improvement have increased, teacher-centred/transmission pedagogical approaches, as opposed to active, learning-centred approaches, that result in deeper learning, persist (Christensen-Hughes & Mighty, 2010; Knapper, 2010; Trigwell, 2010). Along with others, I contend that one of the reasons that teacher-centred/transmission oriented pedagogical approaches persist in higher education is the lack of attention to the complex and multidimensional nature of teacher professional learning processes. If teachers are expected to increase their understanding of student learning processes, then more interest and effort needs to be devoted to understanding teacher learning processes, especially as they relate to development in teaching practice throughout teaching careers.
Although there are many ways of thinking about development in teaching practice, the idea of growth and development of expertise as involving a progression from focusing on oneself and delivering content, to focusing on facilitating student activity, to focusing on enabling student learning is well supported (Akerlind, 2003, 2005; Ramsden, 2003). In discussions of development in teaching practice, the individual, social, and contextual dimensions of this process are under acknowledged with the focus remaining primarily on principles, strategies and programs, as opposed to teacher learning processes.
I propose that by extending the boundaries of thinking, understanding, and research related to teacher professional learning, we are more likely to extend the boundaries of student learning. Drawing on empirical studies of higher education teacher learning and professional learning that are based on the experiences of professionals themselves, this session will promote reflection on instructional development practices through theoretical lenses that acknowledge the individual, social, and contextual dimensions of teacher professional learning processes.
In this session, participants will engage in discussion to help make meaningful connections between teacher professional learning research and instructional development practices in higher education. The goal is to encourage participants to consider how teacher professional learning research can act as a foundation for designing learning environments that support and promote continuous professional learning related to the development of teaching practice.
RT.18 - Creating a civil learning community
Z. Marini (Brock University) - Canada
The activities of teaching and learning could be counted on as being the main focus of attention from all participants. Now, however, teaching has to compete in the 500-channel universe and the ubiquitous connection-seeking behaviour of a social media world. In such a diverse and fragmented environment it is not surprising that students bring a variety of aptitudes, attitudes and belief systems to class, creating the conditions for misunderstanding, conflicts and incivility.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the nature of incivility in our classrooms and other teaching spaces with a view to understanding the nature of incivility and discussing prevention strategies dedicated to the development of civil learning communities.
Based on the research we have carried out over the last few years, our discussion will highlight the continuum in antisocial acts associated with incivility in the classroom, which can range from minor annoyances (e.g., the disruption that results from coming late to class or the ringing of cell phones), to serious occurrences (e.g., insulting and demeaning comments directed at students and instructors). Incivility is a growing concern for students, professors, and university administrators alike since it can affect students’ academic and personal development.
Using a pedagogical methodology based on a combination of didactic, small-group work and open discussion, in this workshop we will pursue three objectives. First, we will explore the nature of incivility by focusing on the identification of its form (i.e., what does the behaviour look like?) and function (i.e., what causes students to behave this way - why does it occur?). Participants will be invited to share their own experiences and, through our discussion, we will be able to place these events into distinct categories. We have developed a schematic representation of 4 quadrants, each capturing unique features of incivility. These distinctions are noteworthy for they help to point the way towards more targeted interventions. The second objective is to discuss a range of pedagogical interventions addressing the salient features of the 4 quadrants. It is becoming increasingly clear that, when it comes to interventions, one size does not fit all. To be effective, interventions have to address the distinct features of each quadrant. For instance, incivility based on antisocial acts that tend to be carried out directly (such as physical and verbal confrontations) require a different type of intervention than does incivility carried out indirectly and covertly (such as maligning another student or spreading rumours about the academic quality of a course). The third objective will be to guide the participants through the development of a pedagogical plan designed to create a civil learning environment so that the main focus of their classroom can be teaching and learning.
RT.19 - Revolutionizing the accelerated baccalaureate nursing program at Memorial University School of Nursing
R. Egan, C. Porr, A. Brennan-Hunter, K. Parsons (Memorial University of Newfoundland) - Canada
Students enrolled in our accelerated program have proven themselves to be independent, ambitious and self-motivated. They have high expectations of themselves, faculty, and the program overall. Given the attributes of this unique cohort, post-secondary institutions are being challenged to re-evaluate and revolutionize their accelerated program curricula, teaching approaches and delivery modes to adapt to the goals and innate abilities and resources of these adult learners. In January 2011, Memorial University School of Nursing (MUNSON) accepted the challenge, and engaged faculty in a comprehensive initiative to redesign the nursing curriculum. Our approach views learners as semi-autonomous self-directed knowledge creators. To maximize learner potential, courses, labs, and practica must reflect authentic professional practice contexts and compel critical clinical reasoning.
In just over a year, collaborative efforts between the MUNSON faculty and staff, and the Instructional Development Office (IDO) have resulted in a working committee dedicated to the creation and implementation of the Bachelor of Nursing as a Second Degree program. The committee has written a new mission statement and nursing education philosophy, in addition to developing program-wide learning objectives. The redesigned program is based on three philosophical principles: learning in context, professionalization and self direction. The principles will underpin an integrative design that we believe has broken through traditional boundaries within nursing education. Boundaries between classroom, laboratory and practicum opportunities will be more seamless. Learning objectives, instruction and evaluation will be synchronized to ensure a cohesive practice-based program.
The IDO has been collaborating closely with MUNSON to provide pedagogical, along with curricular and faculty support. In addition, we have consulted with teaching and learning professionals across Canada to further inform and to enhance our work. In this session, participants will be presented a brief overview of the curricular redesign process completed at the time of the conference. Specifically, we will focus on how we have had to cross paradigmatic boundaries in order to think outside the box in terms of how we ‘do’ nursing education. In addition, we will highlight the logistical challenges (including course ownership, intra-departmental collaboration, and faculty time commitment) that have been transformed into assets and opportunities. Finally, we hope to expand and to improve this revolutionized initiative through collaboration with the multitude of educational professionals who will attend STLHE this year.
RT.20 - The role of learner-centered practices in developing academic support curriculum for academically “at-risk” student populations
D. Lackeyram, J. Dodd (University of Guelph) - Canada
Current approaches to providing academic support include remedial, discipline specific, and non-contextual skill introduction. The latter usually includes a number of first semester transition sessions, and “one-off” skill introduction sessions that are often done outside of the course context in order to cater to a diverse student audience. When considering students who struggle significantly with their learning i.e. students deemed “at-risk”, the literature has shown that continued contact with any demographic within this group results in gains in grades and improved retention percentages (O’Neill and McMahon, 2005).
The focus of this contact is primarily on the “delivery” of academic skills for use by students. However academic skill progression is a cyclical and complex process that involves identifying the need for a skill, introducing ways of using the skill, providing opportunities to use the skill, reflecting on the learning experience, and assessing how the skill will be used again. It is also important for us to keep in mind how any given skill is integrated with other academic skills, the experience of the learner, and academic knowledge. Therefore understanding the complexity of this skill instruction, the changing attitudes of a learner to learning, and the challenges that students face when learning in academia outline the directions of our professional practice.
In this session we present the practice of learner-centered academic support curriculum as an efficient and effective means of supporting “at-risk” learners, by offering a means of (re)moving and (re)negotiating the boundaries associated with learning.
Adapted from Cobb (1999), Harden and Crosby (2000), and Cannon and Newble (2000), we offer a working definition of academic support curriculum as curriculum that provides both the environment and opportunity for students to foster ways of thinking and learning that emphasizes student responsibility, participation and action in learning. This paper presents the longitudinal data derived from different applications of academic support curriculum for at-risk student populations.
The purpose of this session is to identify the key elements of academic support curriculum, and methods for assessing them that go beyond the metrics of grades and institutional retention percentages. There will be an opportunity at the end of this presentation for discussion of the findings, and the authors offer the following for further discussion:
1. The elements that comprise the practitioner’s definition of academic support curriculum
2. Additional methods and strategies for assessing the effectiveness of skill and attitude components of curriculum.
O’Neill G and McMahon T. (2005). Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lectures? In O’Neill G, Moore S and McMullin B (Eds.), Emerging issues in the practise of university learning and teaching.
Cobb P. (1999). Where is the Mind? In P.Murphy (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment. London Open University Press
Harden RM and Crosby J. (2000). AMEE Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturer- the twelve roles of the teacher. Medical Teacher 22(4), 334-347.
Cannon R and Newble D. (2000). A guide to improving teaching methods: a handbook for teachers in universities and colleges. London, Kogan Page.
RT.21 - Curriculum networks: Building learning analytics for an holistic measure of student learning
S. Dawson (University of British Columbia) - Canada
The push for, and demonstration of continuous course improvement is now central practice for higher education institutions internationally. Arguably, the student survey remains as the dominant instrument used to guide course improvement and measure teaching quality. Surveys generally relate to individual course and teaching evaluation, however broader institutional measures have also been adopted such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), or the Australian Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ). While these student-centric instruments provide valuable data to benchmark and report on performance there remains a deficiency in terms of measuring the specific curriculum experience and the learning connections that are formed between and across course experiences. For instance, a feature of the higher education curriculum relates to the high degree of diversity of disciplines and learning experiences that are available to our students. However, the vast majority of performance measures relate to the individual course and/ or teacher without due reference given to the connections (networks) formed across courses and programs. Even the institutionally administered NSSE and CEQ fail to collect data related to the integration of the courses experienced. This is not to dismiss the value of the data collected from these instruments more so that an examination of a student’s pathway and experiences within a degree program can provide both explicit information that is essential for revising course and program level curriculum, as well as measures of the student learning experience and achievement of graduate attributes.
This presentation outlines an alternate yet compatible process for identifying the learning connections across courses and the diversity of learning experiences encountered and demonstrated during a student’s academic career. In so doing, we discuss the value of learning analytics and in particular social network analysis (SNA) as a methodology for visualizing curriculum networks that are established through the course relationships such as stated pre-requisites and student enrolment (course progression). The development of a curriculum network provides an opportunity to map and visualize individual student learning pathways as they progress through the available program. In so doing, there is an opportunity to report on the diversity of assessment undertaken, as well as learning outcomes and experiences encountered by an individual student on their degree pathway. Furthermore, by aggregating and analyzing these large historical data sets more predictive models can be proposed to better highlight patterns of behavior in relation to course selections.
The presentation will explore how research at the Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia is informing the analysis, visualisation and interpretation of learner data to evaluate course and program curriculum. Participants at this session will be engaged in discussions surrounding learning analytics, alternate visualisations, reporting processes and the various tools readily available to assist in the implementation of similar processes.
RT.22 - Breaking the barriers of research writing: Rethinking pedagogy for graduate research
J. Rosales, C. Badenhorst, C. Moloney, J. Dyer, M. Murray (Memorial University of Newfoundland) - Canada
Although written expression is the lifeblood of academic research, many scholars do not necessarily identify as writers. Because research writing is often assumed to be the end product of a static template, many researchers neglect the importance of continuing to develop their writing skills or exploring their writer’s identity. Even so, novice and experienced researchers alike typically encounter common writing barriers such as writer’s block and procrastination, as well as struggle to achieve clarity and brevity. Funded by an internal Instructional Development Grant, an interdisciplinary research team at Memorial University sought to break down some of the barriers that affect thinking and writing clearly about research, particularly for graduate students.
This paper will discuss the preliminary findings of “Thinking Creatively about Research”, a research project that developed and piloted an intensive multi-day workshop in Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 for graduate students in the humanities and in engineering at Memorial University. The program offered an experiential, collaborative learning environment to enhance the self-efficacy, confidence and productivity of graduate students for writing academic papers and dissertations. The key purpose of the accompanying research study was to explore a pedagogy of research writing that might transform graduate student perspectives on research and writing into an even more productive and personally empowering experience. Our examination of transformative pedagogy focused on three main research questions:
1. What does the writer need to know about research/academic discourse?
2. What does the writer need to understand about writing/creativity?
3. What does the writer need to know about him/herself as a researcher/writer?
“Thinking Creatively about Research” takes the position that developing one’s identity as a writer opens up areas of creativity and expression that also contribute to becoming a more effective and productive researcher. Our key evaluative tool was the students themselves and the writing they produced. We collected data on participants’ experiences, perceptions, and writing practices and used a blended pedagogy that combined traditional lecturing with group discussion, collaborative writing, and divergent thinking activities. Data collected included participant surveys, program evaluations, and participant-observer reports. Qualitative analysis of the data using the constant-comparison method indicates that students think and write effectively and productively when discursive practices are explicitly disclosed. Students found their “voice” and experienced “aha!” moments both about the content of their research and about their relationship to their research via elements of play and other non-traditional activities. Community and the social nature of writing also emerged as a key factor in developing writing confidence. Most importantly, the research showed that pedagogic pathways can be forged to deliver an effective learning environment shaped by an academic literacies approach.
Using the lens of academic literacies, this paper will explain and examine the pedagogy involved in helping academic researchers break the barriers to research writing. Attendees of this session will explore various possible ways to support both novice and experienced research writers in their pursuit to think more clearly, write with greater impact, demystify disciplinary discourse, communicate with a broader audience, and tap into well of creative potential.
RT.23 - Accessible immersion metrics for second language acquisition in an alternate learning environment
G. De Luca (Champlain College St-Lambert) - Canada
Learning does not have boundaries since they denote a limit or a certain threshold that cannot be crossed. Instead the term “frontier’ can more adequately define the concept that a certain boundary exists for any given level of learning and successful learning should propel one beyond the previous frontier. Indeed many exploratory endeavours (learning included) can be viewed as ever-expanding frontiers.
This short-interactive workshop proposal for the STLHE conference revolves around a new practice in second-language acquisition (SLA) and more specifically English second language (ESL). The idea is to present to interested parties an entirely new and previously unpublished way to go about teaching, learning and assessing these “frontiers” of development in language acquisition. The Forum Language Club concept is an alternate learning environment (ALE) that provides students with accessible immersion in language studies, focusing on performance-based challenges or “frontiers”. These challenges are the assessment framework and are asynchronous in the sense that students can accomplish them at any time during their studies. Student motivation is also assessed and a realistic study guide or AIM sheet (Accessible Immersion Metrics) is produced for each student. Students attend the club at their leisure and can come study for up twenty hours a week. Chief amongst the goals of the club is to promote the development of teaching second languages and to directly address the issues now prevalent in the traditional ESL classroom.
Participants will experience the Forum concept by taking on the roles of language learners in either English or Japanese. AIM sheets will be created for each participant and each of these will be asked to complete at least one challenge “frontier” in the assessment framework. The workshop will simulate the Forum environment, replete with our didactic materials and at least two trainers (teachers). The goal of the session is to inform and provide practice to those now working in language related studies as well as to demonstrate how this assessment framework and learning environment can be employed in any field of study or for any subject matter. The last ten minutes of the session will be used to garner feedback from the participants which will then be used as data in further research.
Minor research has already been done in relation to the Forum Language Club and a more detailed thesis will be produced within the next two years as part of the Master Teacher Program, hosted by the University of Sherbrooke.
RT.24 - International co-operative education placements: Experiences of Canadian college student
A. Hardacre Queen's University) - Canada
A number of international research studies have explored the benefits and challenges for post secondary students who have experienced an international co-operative education (ICE) work assignment (e.g., Bentley & Broons, 1998; Coll & Chapman, 2000; Coll, Pinyonatthagarn & Pramoolsook, 2003; Ward & Laslett, 2004; Wong & Coll, 2001). A small number of studies in this field have suggested that a well organized program includes pre-departure planning, focused orientation programs, and opportunities for reflection (Bentley & Broons, 1998; Ward & Laslett, 2004). Students developed personal maturity, growth, and resilience (Coll & Chapman, 2000) including highly developed independent living skills, effective conflict management skills, greater risk taking/problem solving abilities, and ultimately increased self-confidence (Bentley & Broons, 1998). The understanding of different cultures and enhanced language skills was a critical result of the international experience which would not be easily achieved with local work placements (Coll & Chapman, 2000). Mentoring relationships have also been shown to support the success of workplace opportunities (Collins, 1993; Thuynsma, 1997; Van Gyn & Ricks, 1998). However, the results of the research that highlight the development of various traits during the international experience do not distinguish between pre-placement and post-placement student characteristics that contributed to the students’ success in the international experiences. Therefore more research is required.
The purpose of this study is to understand and report on specific factors that contribute to successful international co-operative education experiences from the perspective of college students and the program co-ordinator. Three fundamental questions I set out to answer were: (a) What role does the pre-placement program play in students’ success in the international co-operative experience? (b) What characteristics of students contribute to successful international co-operative education experiences? (c) What role, if any, does mentoring by a workplace supervisor play in students’ successful international co-operative education experience?
In this research, I used semi-structured interviews as the primary data gathering tool, supplemented by document analysis.
This research will contribute to understanding from the perspective of the students and the program coordinator, the complex relationship among student characteristics, students’ working relationships with workplace supervisors, and the pre-placement program that contribute to student success in ICE placements.
This presentation will be interactive in format with discussions of my research findings. Experiences of students in unique international situations will be highlighted using my original research data. Small group work in the session will be critical for participants to form their own ideas of student characteristics for success. Intended outcomes of the presentation will be the learnings through discussion and case study examples of pre-placement programming and how the programming supports student success, the characteristics of students and how these characteristics contribute to student success and the role of mentoring by the workplace supervisor and how that supported students’ success in the international placements
RT.25 - Better living through indexing: Topic maps In language learning initiatives
K. Urbaniak, V. Venkatesh, I. Pelczer, E. Gatbonton, N. Padden, N. Segalowitz (Concordia University) - Canada
This interactive workshop will engage participants in evaluating two online repositories currently being developed for language learning initiatives. The repositories have been developed using an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)-approved indexing technology, Topic Maps (ISO 13250). The workshop will allow participants, who can range from university students to instructors to administrators, to learn first-hand about the development of such indexing tools using open-source software such as the Ontopia Knowledge Suite. In addition, the workshop will allow participants to navigate the repositories which will be installed on a variety of mobile devices (laptops, tablet and hand-helds). Below is a description of each of the projects which will be presented at the workshop.
Inuttitut Digital Corpus Project
The Inuit of Newfoundland and Labrador have launched an Inuttitut language teaching project aimed at adults. The teaching approach of task based learning focuses on everyday utterances that can be put to use immediately in the community by the learners. These utterances have been gathered from 30 Labrador Inuttitut speakers, digitized and stored to create a corpus of approximately 25,000 words, indexed by a topic map. Adult learners are being targeted because children are already learning the language in school, but most native speakers are of their grandparents’ generation, so the parents’ generation needs to learn Inuttitut for the language to thrive.
This corpus will act as a tool to support the task-based curriculum. The data in the corpus is a rich resource for both students and instructors giving insight into how the language is used in different forms, levels of formality, use in different contexts and so forth. The use of Topic Maps technology allows for the easy search and retrieval of the utterances and to our knowledge no such corpus has previously been constructed for an endangered language.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Essay Project
Writing is central to the learning experience of higher education and it is a crucial means of assessment. In this project 80 essays were collected from “ESL for Academic Purposes” courses at Concordia University and marked by 2 different readers. They are stored in an online repository and indexed by features such as overall grade from the first or second marker, subject of essay, type of essay, grade within a particular subset of marking such as mechanics as well as notable features of the essay, as identified in the comments. These in-essay objects are identified at both the paragraph and sentence level as appropriate, meaning users can search for example sentences and paragraphs as well as entire essays.
The Topic Maps technology allows users (students, teaching assistants, and teachers) to independently browse the essays and feedback and is designed to meet multiple needs. It can help novice/student teachers or teaching assistants understand how essays are graded as well as help students understand the criteria being used to grade them and what different types of academic essays look like.
RT.26 - Socially constructing knowledge: Graduate students contributing to wikipedia
N. Simmons (Brock University) - Canada
Michael Wesch’s (2010) opening keynote at STLHE raised important questions about the role of the professor (or any expert) in providing information and the role of students in the creation and editing of knowledge. For me, that keynote address coincided with two other events. One was a faculty workshop in which faculty members asserted the improvements to their syllabi since they had clearly stated that students were not allowed to use Wikipedia as a resource. The other was a meeting in which a professor reminded students that in graduate school, they were required to go beyond using existing knowledge to create new knowledge. This confluence of events caused me to think deeply about social construction of knowledge – and how that might flavour my teaching, particularly with graduate students in education. As a result, I gave my Master of Education students an assignment that required them to locate an education-relevant Wikipedia page and critique it, discussing its strengths and limitations along with their recommendations for improvement – and then to make the appropriate edits.
Students outlined significant learning as a result of this assignment. Not only did they become knowledgeable about the particular topic they had chosen as they researched further details for their recommendations, they also experienced frame of reference shifts as they reconstrued (Kelly, 1995) what they thought about knowledge creation. As one student put it “I came to realize that creating knowledge was actually about creating the self.” In this session, I outline the transformative learning (Mezirow, 1991) students experienced as a result of this assignment. I argue that it is not the use of Wikipedia that creates a problem, but rather the uncritical use of any sources, and I outline the paradigm shifts that can result when students engage in an experiential process (Kolb, 1984) of knowledge critique and creation.
Kelly, G. (1955). The psychology of personal constructs: Volume 1, a theory of personality. New York: W.W. Norton.
Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wesch, M. (2010). STLHE Annual Conference 2010 - Opening Plenary. Ryecast, Ryerson University. Available online at https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/21/watch/597.asp.
RT.27 - A/political education: Loosening the boundaries of citizenship education
N. Fournier-Sylvester (Champlain College/ Concordia University), A. Dahl (Concordia University) - Canada
There is no shortage of literature on the growing apathy of youth toward the political system. In Canada, this phenomenon is evidenced by a significant decline in voter turnout largely attributed to the abstention of young people. Despite the difficulties in coming up with a common definition of citizenship or what constitutes citizenship education in Canada and abroad, there is an agreement among researchers and educators that in order to facilitate the participation of youth in the political process, the goals of education must be more ambitious than knowledge acquisition. Given that the goal of this type of education extends beyond the traditional boundaries of the classroom and involves participation in the outside world there is a need for innovative new modes of teaching for civic engagement.
Teaching for civic engagement can happen at any age, in multiple contexts and through a variety of subject matters. The purpose of this paper presentation is to provide an overview of the literature on the teaching methods shown to promote civic engagement in youth. These teaching practices include setting up democratic and open classrooms, developing critical thinking skills, simulating the political process, participating in service learning and debating current events. Accompanied by concrete examples of civic education practices inside and outside of the classroom, participants will learn about how teachers from around the world have transcended the boundaries between class life, “real” life and political life. Many of these teaching practices suggest that boundaries should not be removed but rather shifted and redrawn as young students transition into their lives as citizens.
Participants will have the space to identify the challenges with the proposed teaching practices and discuss solutions and strategies for teaching for civic engagement. Through these discussions, new and innovative ideas from the participants can also emerge.
RT.28 - Interdisciplinary collaboration in mathematics and science
K. Jaffer (John Abbott College), E. Janik (Champlain College - St. Lambert), C. Farnesi (Dawson College) - Canada
The Mathematics and Science Collaboration Initiative (MASCI) is a Canada-Quebec Entente funded project that aims to promote active collaboration amongst Mathematics and Science educators at Cégep, Secondary and University levels in Quebec. As part of our project mandate, we have co-hosted disciplinary workshops (at the college level) over the past few years and have begun establishing local collaboration communities with educators from Cégep, Secondary and University levels. These community events have centred around keynote presentations or workshops followed by discussion sessions aimed at finding best practices for inspiring students to pursue Mathematics and Science-based careers.
This session will focus on the outcomes of these events, highlighting specific areas identified during the discussion sessions. These areas relate to the resources necessary to inspire students, the techniques which can be used to break stigmas associated with learning Mathematics and Science, as well as the current and future career areas which can prove inspiring when connected to the content taught in our classrooms.
We will discuss the framework for interdisciplinary initiatives, for sharing resources, expertise and experiences across the levels and across the disciplines, and examining the role(s) of Professional Learning Communities in Quebec.
RT.29 - Pedagogical practices for the 21st century university classroom?
M. DeBraga, C. Boyd, S. Abdulnour (University of Toronto Mississauga) - Canada
Scholarship or the ability of university graduates to pursue knowledge in a constructive manner is an essential degree level expectation for both undergraduate and graduate education. Historically, teaching practices have presented an environment where students are expected to master their critical thinking skills through a systematic process where the instructor delivers course material and then assesses student competence through assignments and examinations. The mastery of the material, however, was student directed in as much as each student was required to assimilate the course material with little additional support or instructor supervision. The built-in need for students to collect and recognize relevant information was a de-facto expectation. The development of various technologies over the last 15 years designed to effectively eliminate previous logistical barriers to the collection of information would on the surface appear to be welcomed by the university community. Yet as will be presented this technological leap may have inadvertently further encouraged surface learning and undermined the deeper understanding expected of university graduates (Biggs, 1996). Does this imply that technology is to blame or have teaching practices simply failed to grow in step with the arrival of the post-internet university learner?
The course under investigation is a third year biology course that has been taught by one of the investigators periodically over the last 15 years. In the past, the course was delivered using a traditional lecture style with little additional support other than basic labs/tutorials. The course was generally well received and the instructor was routinely ranked high in student opinion surveys (SOS). After a 10-year hiatus, the instructor returned to teach the same course in the winter of 2010 with rather disappointing results including an SOS score 22% below the standard. It was apparent that over the decade, what had worked for the instructor originally (i.e., 1995) was no longer effective. Changes were evidently necessary, but not withstanding the poor SOS score, it was necessary that these changes would not undermine the integrity and rigour of the course.
Last summer, the course instructor along with a course design specialist re-designed the third year course with an aim to alter the learning environment. The changes involved an assessment of the level of student engagement within the course through the introduction of a focus group, new assessment tasks, and an accessible syllabus, which more accurately reflected the degree level expectations at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). This presentation will detail the steps undertaken to develop this learning-centered pedagogically driven curriculum and will highlight key components for teaching success. Comparison of the instructor’s reflection on this iteration of the course, including an SOS score 10% above standard (a turnaround of 30%), with the less successful 2010 version of the same course further demonstrates how outcome based instruction and the learning-centered model is able to mitigate the apparent negative effects found the previous year. This talk will present some pedagogical strategies that we found essential to reducing barriers to learning in the 21st century classroo
RT.30 - Continuing the conversation: The multiplicity of boundaries in teaching and learning
J. Cammaert, W. Park (University of Windsor) - Canada
Freire (1994) believed that learning needs to occur in a context with critical thinking skills, and describes that educators need not only to have critical competence, a dedication to challenge assumptions and political clarity to separate oneself from dominant paradigms, but also to creatively engage students in this process of learning. Service learning is a type of partnership that moves beyond the boundaries of classroom learning by encouraging civic engagement to address community issues (Fisher, Fabricant & Simmons, 2005). Within service learning there is a multiplicity of boundaries that emerge in the teaching and learning process.
This presentation will utilize a dialogical framework to create a discourse around the mutual relationship and boundaries that emerge between a professor and doctoral student and the doctoral student and community partner. The perspectives of both the professor and doctoral student will be addressed utilizing Berry-Edward and Richards’ (2002) model of relational teaching, which highlights the importance of partnerships that facilitate mutual engagement, mutual empathy and mutual empowerment. The partnership between the doctoral student and the university professor and the course structure directly impacts, and often mimics, the type of partnership that develops within the community. The service learning experience offers doctoral students a way to integrate the course knowledge and the complexities of community university partnerships. The implications for higher education pushes beyond the boundaries of the ivory tower, and provide opportunities to integrate knowledge and practice through the art of civic engagement and service learning.
The following are the learning objective of this presentation: to learn the relevance, applicability and contributions of service learning in higher education; to discuss the multiplicity of boundaries in teaching and learning; to critically reflect on the importance of partnerships that occurs in doctoral education and to create a dialogical forum to discuss the experiences, relevance and application of this model of service learning.
The participant engagement will be an integral piece of this presentation as communication is an important facet to partnership, whether it is between the student and faculty, between the student and the community partner or the presenter and the audience, communication is the only tool that can address the strengths and difficulties for creating change.
Berry-Edwards, J., & Richards, A.(2002). Relational teaching. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 22(1-2), 33-48. Doi: 10.1300/J067v22n01_04 Fisher, R., Fabricant, M., & Simmons, L. (2005).
Understanding contemporary university-community connections. Journal of Community Practice, 12(3-4), 13-34. Doi: 10.1300/J125v12n03_02Freire, P. (1994).
Pedagogy of hope. New York: Continuum.
RT.31 - Helping Faculty push past barriers in teaching: A new faculty development program model and outcomes
L. Reid (University of Calgary), J. Sexton (University of Northern Colorado), S. Cannon ( University of Calgary) - Canada
A 16-month faculty development program was piloted at a large, research-intensive university in Canada. This program was developed as part of an institutional response to engagement scores and student feedback provided through the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The program’s purpose was to provide participants from the Faculties of Arts and Science support to redesign their first-year undergraduate course with a focus on student engagement. This program was part of a study investigating the effects of professional development on teaching practices, participants’ beliefs about teaching and the barriers and boundaries that affect teaching improvement.
The program had three phases:
1. Baseline Data Collection (4 months)
2. Professional Development and Course Redesign (8 months)
3. Redesign Implementation (4 months)
During phase one, data was collected from each participant on teaching and course design practices using the Classroom Survey of Student Engagement. Classroom observations were conducted using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol. At the beginning of phase two, participants attended a 3-day workshop where they learned about student-learning research findings and the Understanding by Design course design model, examined their data reports and identified aspects of their course for redesign. Participants then met monthly to redesign their course and to give and receive feedback from each other. In the final phase, participants taught their selected course again with their redesign element. Survey, interview, classroom observation, and student data were collected using the same instruments from phase one.
Following an overview of the professional development program and its outcomes, we invite participants of this roundtable discussion to share their perspectives on the boundaries that influence their teaching and learning. What barriers (if any) need to be overcome in order to offer or participate in this type of program? And what professional development opportunities are currently available at their institutions and how are outcomes measured?
RT.32 - Renunciation as pedagogy: Grades, neurosis, and relief
S. Vanessa (Marianopolis College) - Canada
Virtuous Bodies is a course about renunciation practices in Eastern religions. Students are presented with a wide range of renunciant traditions (from the giggling and ever-popular Dalai Lama to the Marathon Monks on Mount Hiei) along with their many disciplines (from regular fasting techniques to self-immolation). One of the definitions of renunciation comes from the Bhagavad Gita. According to this text, renunciation is not about releasing oneself of material possessions, but is a mental effort in which one lets go of the outcome of one’s actions. To encourage students to participate in the material directly, students are asked to become renunciants themselves, following the Gita’s formulation. In other words, students are asked to renounce seeing their grades for the duration of the semester. In return, and since renunciation is about perfection, they are granted unlimited re-writes in the hopes of attempting perfection of knowledge.
I have taught this course three times thus far, and each time, 100% of the students have agreed to participate by signing a contract and releasing themselves from their grades for the duration of the semester. For most, the experience is an unexpectedly profound liberation. For others, it is challenging and frustrating. For the majority, it has forced them to think about the relationship they have forged between their grades and their education.
The pedagogical results of Virtuous Bodies are striking. This paper will present some of the outcomes that have emerged from this unorthodox course. As a result of surveys and student paper responses, this workshop will present some of the concerns students have voiced about their education and will suggest possible applications of this method in other pedagogical contexts.
CANCELLED - RT.33 - Transformative learning in the ISW: Does it happen and how do we Know?
A. Macpherson (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) - Canada
The Instructional Skills Workshop is a 24 hour, experiential and participatory course, with assignments, that provides a helpful process to start and support teachers in becoming more reflective and intentional about their planning and application of learning experiences for their students. It combines the basic elements of lesson planning, instructional design, and the receiving and giving of effective feedback, with a brief overview of adult learning theory within a peer led process.
While this course has been offered worldwide for over thirty years, does it actually provide what it says it does? This course has proved to be quite robust in a variety of post- secondary education settings, yet there has been little formal research or dissemination done into this question. The course was developed in BC in the 1970’s and based on a number of educational theorists when it began, and more current educational theory seems to reside comfortably within the ISW boundaries. Still, an academic need exists to examine what the participants have done and how their teaching practices have changed after they complete this course to more fully understand the scope and depth the impact of the ISW.
To begin to answer this I have taken the embedded feedback processes built into the ISW and extended them to more fully encompass the steps of Kirkpatrick’s (1959) levels of evaluation through Lewin’s (1951) and Schein (1995) change process lens as it applies to learning. By conducting both a retrospective survey and in-depth interviews with ISW participants to dig deeper into their experiences with the course and how this has impacted their professional teaching practices over time and to find evidence of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1990, 2000; Cranton, 1994; Kaufman and Mann, 2007) I have developed a model of how the ISW supports transformation through both the application and stretching of boundaries.
Join in a conversation about what happened to these teachers and how we may identify ways to get at some of the forces of transformative learning that they identified, including what may drive and support changing boundaries in teaching practices.
This session will be of interest to: Educational Developers, ISW facilitators/participants, and faculty members who are interested in modifying their teaching practice.
- Identify processes and methods used in this research.
- Examine a model of the ISW that highlights boundaries and supports for change and transformative learning.
- Consider uses and applications of this information to ISWs in their own institutions or to other forms of Educational Development.
RT.34 - The collegiate learning assessment as a department or program assessment tool
J. Ens, R. Cassidy, B. Tucker, L. Ostiguy (Concordia University) - Canada
The Collegiate Learning Assessment is designed to assess students’ general abilities in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving, and communication. Results are primarily used to provide information at the institutional level about quality assurance and learning outcomes. This workshop investigates the usefulness of the CLA at the program or department level, for instance, as part of a data set examined during program appraisal. Participants will think collectively about the appropriate boundaries for the use of tools designed to assess generic academic skills and provide institution-level gauges of student achievement. They will also consider assessment frameworks that might incorporate generic skill assessments like the CLA in department- or program-level evaluations of student learning outcomes.
RT.35 - Simulation for stimulation: Using play, role-play and re-enactment for enriched experiential learning in the classroom and beyond
J. Bentley, L. Kay, S. Henle, S. Snow (McGill University) - Canada
Three faculty members from very different disciplines and an educational developer (technology) will come together to talk about their own unique experiences experimenting with the planning and creation of simulations and role-play in the classroom. Focus will be placed on round table, open group discussion based around examples of student engagement using the power of motivational play on the one hand and the potency of using simulations to teach trauma therapy/crisis management to undergraduate and graduate students on the other.
Dr. Steven Henle is an expert in play, play behavior and public recreation and so it’s no wonder he uses play in his teaching as a vehicle for cultivating experiential learning with his students. The often forgotten merits of play in adult life are brought to the fore using games and competitions to help students understand and think more critically about methodologies for improving human happiness through leisure and recreation. Practical application of play extends to sensitising students to the pitfalls of prejudice and an awareness of adult learning and development.
Prof. Linda Kay uses simulations in her journalism courses to explore news reporting in crisis situations in order to convey the intensity of covering a traumatic story in a professional manner. The simulation also helps explore how reporters can help or hinder recovery for the afflicted persons or communities. Students take on the role of individuals involved in the crisis situation, including eyewitnesses, emergency responders, victims, and of course, the journalist in the middle functioning in reaction to chaotic events. So how do students respond under pressure? The results are different every time. Find out more when we meet.
Dr. Stephen Snow is harnessing the power of playback theatre to heal both the psychological issues of individuals and communities in conflict. He also uses the approach with his students, highlighting the teaching-research nexus. Playback theatre as a method of Drama Therapy (Dr. Snow’s area of expertise) uses public performance as an approach to telling the real life events of individuals who have suffered personal trauma and crisis. Communities in conflict can also be healed and brought together to dialogue by way of a re-enactment of events from both sides, one that's designed to nurture empathy between groups polarized by hate and violence. The experience of actively using these techniques first hand in class with students is helping prepare them for the challenge they face in the field of trauma therapy and reconciliation work.
John Bentley is an educational developer with a background in media production and educational technology. His recent work with Stephen Snow involves experimenting with new ways of documenting and disseminating related content in the form of screencast-based learning objects. Discussion of experiential learning and interdisciplinary teaching are two of the bonus features of this cracker-barrel style conversation. Please join us for what is sure to be a lively conversation.
RT.36 - Turning community service-learning on its head: A truly antifoundational placement proposal
J. Simpson (University of Alberta) - Canada
Dan W. Butin has made the call for what he refers to as "antifoundational" service-learning in number of publications, most importantly in his recent book 'Service-Learning in Theory and Practice' (2010). Service-learning is antifoundational when it challenges deeply held conceptions and ideologies related to either or both the learning and the service encapsulated by the entire service-learning experience. Butin sees this as a valuable educational experience because there is little else that can so effectively bring into view the normal and suggest in a meaningful way the possibility that things could be otherwise. So goes the theory, but just what would a truly antifoundational service-learning placement look like in practice? This paper answers this question by describing an approach to service learning that destroys the traditional relationship between student and community partner by effectively reversing these roles. At the outset the consequence of considering this reversal is a series of troublesome questions--What could a community member possibly do to help the students as the students typically help the community? How would students be assessed? Who would actually choose to be part of this experience whether it be student, instructor, or community partner? It is through the process of providing answers to such questions that two things result. First, a plan for a truly antifoundational service-learning experience is constructed, ready for deployment in any classroom seeking to use service-learning to prompt a serious antifoundational educational experience. Second, a series of considerations around what engaged learning really amounts to and about the worry that current institutions of higher education are not willing to take the risks necessary to realize such engagement... even if it such a realization falls far short of the example provided here.
RT.37 - Exploring unchartered waters: Preparing for effective interdisciplinary learning and teaching “There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s the way the light gets in.” Cohen, 1992
M. Scoufis (University of Sydney), H. Dalton (University of New South Wales) - Australia
Much has now been written about systems, structures and processes that can place limits on interdisciplinary learning and teaching (Chettiparamb, 2007, Klein, 1996, Klein 2000, Trowler, Saunders and Bamber, 2012). Our research suggests that our individual psychological beliefs, attitudes, values can create significant boundaries to effective collaborative interdisciplinary learning and teaching.
Participants and academics involved in an interdisciplinary project were interviewed to explore their expectations and experience of working together. This research uncovered individual psychological factors that can together foster or limit the effectiveness of interdisciplinary learning and teaching. The critical importance of dispositions such as open mindedness and skills relating to communication, intercultural learning, critical analysis, negotiating problem solving and working collaboratively emerged. Klein’s model is used to explore these factors.
If psychological factors can either facilitate or inhibit willingness to change typically disciplinary practice, how might we best prepare ourselves, our staff and students to work within interdisciplinary horizons? How might we navigate across such potential limitations?
Participants to this session will be guided in exploring beliefs and self constructs under which interdisciplinary practice is most likely to be both a personally and professionally rewarding process. This exploration can highlight the position that “interdisciplinarity is first and foremost a state of mind requiring each person to have an attitude that combines humility with open mindedness and curiosity, a willingness to engage in dialogue and, hence the capacity for assimilation and synthesis.” (Chettiparamb, 2007,p.37)
RT.38 - Faculty, friend, or both? Faculty and student interactions in the Facebook domain and implications for policy and practice
C. Hank (McGill University), C. Sugimoto (Indiana University Bloomington), J. Pomerantz (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) - Canada/United States
Purpose: Faculty and students have always communicated informally. Typically, university honor code provisions and codes of conduct establish expectations for appropriate communications, whether in the classroom or outside of it, wherever this “outside” may be. Informal interactions in physical spaces do not typically leave evidentiary traces, nor are they broadcast. Interactions on the web fundamentally change and challenge this dynamic. This study examines faculty and student interactions in the Facebook domain. Facebook is deeply embedded in higher education, with adoption by faculty and students well reported in the literature. However, use by these two populations is usually investigated separately. Further, there is a lack of empirical evidence on how, if at all, students and faculty interact on Facebook. Interactions via Facebook are particularly compelling when considered from two angles. First, higher education institutions have codes of conduct and honor codes that, among other things, address communications and other types of interaction between students and faculty. Despite this, explicit social network strategies are the exception rather than the norm. Second, these interactions (or potential interactions) present a lens through which to consider dual relationships; that is, the multiple roles a faculty member adopts in their interactions with students. In the context of education, primary and formal roles for faculty are as teacher, advisor, supervisor, and employer. Dual relationships, however, also refer to a range of informal relationships that can exist between students and faculty, including friendship, whether that friendship is in the physical space or, in reference to Facebook, the social space.
Methods: This study, funded by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), adopts a multiple-case approach to examine library and information science (LIS) faculty and students’ practices, perceptions and expectations when interacting via Facebook. We developed and are pilot testing an approach at three American Library Association (ALA)-accredited, degree granting LIS programs. The data collection techniques and analysis comprising our approach are designed to move from the exploratory to the descriptive, investigating: a) LIS faculty, students’ and administrators’ perceptions, experiences, practices, and decision-making for managing communications with one another, if at all, via Facebook; b) their expectations for such communications, including issues related to disclosure and privacy; and c) the impact of class and institutional policies, if any, on such interactions. This paper reports findings from the study’s first two data collection activities: focus group interviews with faculty and undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students, and individual interviews with academic affairs administrators.
Outcomes: A direct benefit from this investigation is to describe and increase understanding of the extent and perception of faculty-student interactions via Facebook. Findings will contribute to a set of recommendations intended to inform policy decision-making activities in the higher education setting, at both the individual, faculty member level, as well as the institutional level. The session is also intended to be interactive, providing time for audience members to share their own experiences and perceptions on informal interactions with their students via Facebook.
RT.39 - Bridging faculty and student perspectives on the comprehensive examination process for doctoral students in education: An analysis and framework
S. Guloy, G. Hum, K. O'Neill (Simon Fraser University) - Canada
Purpose of the session: The comprehensive, or qualifying, examination process marks a critical juncture in the education of North American doctoral students. Those individuals who successfully complete the comprehensive examination transition into doctoral candidature and are qualified to begin original research via their dissertations. Failure to complete this process successfully will disallow students from proceeding to this next phase of doctoral education and may require that they withdraw from the program. Despite the importance of the comprehensive examination process to North American doctoral programs, limited literature exists on the design of this process and on how to support students in their successful completion of it.
The purpose of this session is to augment session participants’ understanding of faculty and student considerations in the comprehensive examination process. The framework that will be presented bridges faculty’s and students’ perspectives by comparing and contrasting respective understandings; approaches; and expectations at each stage of the process, from preparation to completion. The framework is based upon the comprehensive examination process at Simon Fraser University’s Educational Technology and Learning Design program.
Session methods: We will begin the session by situating the comprehensive examination process for our program amongst the wide variety of formats employed across doctoral education programs. This will be accomplished by presenting faculty perspectives on and rationale for the design of this particular comprehensive examination process vis-à-vis others being used within higher education.
We will briefly discuss the data analysis and collection methods used to develop the framework, including the examination of documents and interviews with doctoral students, candidates, and faculty. Session participants will have the opportunity to discuss the framework with the authors and discuss how it relates to their own contexts.
Participants will receive paper copies of the framework to review. The framework will be presented in three parts. Firstly, we will discuss students’ perspectives on the purpose of comprehensive examinations and contrast these with those of faculty. Secondly, students’ and faculty’s expectations for the preparation, writing, and defence of comprehensive examinations will be presented. Thirdly, students’ beliefs about the criteria used when assessing the comprehensive examinations will be compared to those of the faculty. We will then open discussion on how this framework can be used to reflect upon the comprehensive examination process and support students who are preparing for it.
Learning outcomes: Session participants will learn about how faculty and students perceive the purpose and design of a particular comprehensive examination process. Moreover, participants will gain an understanding of how faculty’s and students’ perspectives compare at each stage of the process, thereby enabling differences and similarities in perceptions about design decisions to be more effectively addressed. Session participants are expected to gain deeper insights into the comprehensive examination from faculty and student perspectives. Participants will also develop an understanding of how this framework can be used to improve the design of comprehensive examinations and more effectively support students who will be writing them.
RT.40 - A flatter hierarchy: Graduate students as major drivers of an education initiative
T. Bernhardt (McGill University) - Canada
The Tomlinson Project in University-Level Science Education (T-PULSE) is an initiative in the Faculty of Science at McGill University whose goal is to improve the learning and teaching of science at the university. One of the most novel aspects of T-PULSE is the way that graduate students are integrated in its structure. Whereas most science education organizations use graduate students to perform relatively minor tasks T-PULSE’s “Science Teaching Fellows” hold a vital position with a great deal of autonomy.
Fellows determine much of the content of the workshops and other projects of the unit. They also present the workshops themselves, allowing for peer-to-peer interactions that bypass the hierarchical boundaries often present between presenter and attendee. The Fellows also have a large amount of freedom in more personalized projects that they wish to initiate and carry out. This leads to projects being developed due to needs perceived by those on the ground and also creates a group of science graduate students with a great deal of experience in the field of science education by the time they graduate: the program is as much an investment in these students who will take their knowledge to other institutions as it is in the projects that they work on during their time as part of T-PULSE. It allows them to transcend discipline-specific boundaries and obtain a much greater knowledge of science education than is typical for graduate students studying science.
The turnover of graduate students as they finish their degrees requires a semi-regular hiring process in which group cohesion is a key factor; the more experienced students form a small community of practice into which new hires are integrated. T-PULSE's Fellows have more freedom and responsibility than is typical in graduate students in similar positions, allowing T-PULSE the advantage of different perspectives and approaches than most science education initiatives. This sort of "flatter hierarchy" is scale- and mandate-limited but can be extremely useful. This presentation will encourage questions as it covers how this setup works and how problems are dealt with. Participants will come away with a possible new structure for initiatives in any discipline that can self-sustain a dynamic educational culture in the students who in the future will become faculty.
RT.41 - General education: Math & science teaching & learning without disciplinary boundaries
C. MacConnachie. D. Hill (Mount Royal University) - Canada
All of Mount Royal University’s baccalaureate degree and diploma programs include a General Education component. Known as ‘Gen. Ed.’ on campus, these courses are organized into four thematic clusters, all of which build a foundation in critical thinking skills from a wide range of perspectives. The Gen. Ed. program is not another name for a collection of options within a degree; it is consciously designed to provide a progression of learning that enhances each student’s educational experience. Courses in the Numeracy and Scientific Literacy cluster seek to nurture an understanding and appreciation of the nature and methods of scientific inquiry, and the abstract notions of mathematics and logic and their importance in constructing knowledge from the physical world.
There are two introductory-level courses the Numeracy and Scientific Literacy cluster; all students are required to take one of these two courses and most will opt to do this during their first year at Mount Royal. Students are deliberately not divided into groups defined by their chosen degree programs or even by the faculty in which they are studying. Thus, each section of the course contains students pursuing degrees or diplomas from across the institution: justice studies, business, nursing, physical and geological sciences, health & life sciences, education, English, film studies among others. This provides a unique setting in which to teach science and math; it provides unique challenges but most importantly unique opportunities in such a learning environment.
This presentation will describe the outcomes and the methods in the introductory-level courses. Examples of classroom activities, of developing science projects for the non-science-students, of student experiences and perspectives will be presented. We will talk about teaching science without the restrictions of disciplinary boundaries and without the learning being content-driven. Content in these Gen. Ed. courses serves to provide illustrative examples and is not the centre of the experience. By the end of their first course in this cluster, students clearly understand the difference between science and pseudo-science in any of the disciplinary fields and are equipped to discern the two upon first encountering a topic. Students understand the collection, manipulation and presentation of data and appreciate the notion of bias. They gain the critical thinking skills to deal with a wide range of information, analysis and discussion as presented in the popular press and in some of the scientific literature. A non-discipline-specific approach to teaching science in an environment with a wide diversity of student interests and background can be more effective than teaching in what are often content-driven courses. We will highlight the differences we have experienced and show how Gen. Ed. teaching has enhanced our teaching in our home (science) departments.
RT.42 - Practitioner inquiry in a multimedia environment
H. Leaman, C. DiLucchio (West Chester University of Pennsylvania) - United States
Purpose: The purpose of this session is to engage K-12 researchers, teacher researchers, and teacher educators in discussion about extending the traditional teacher research model to integrate 21st century technology. Presenters will describe their work with seventy teachers who completed classroom research during the final course in their M.Ed. program using the MERLOT website (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) as an alternative to traditional paper submission of their research projects. Teachers incorporated audio and video, photographs, links to websites, and other multimedia options in each stage of the research process, augmenting the narrative presentation of their with a variety of visual elements.
The presenters will share findings from their research on beginning teacher researchers’ use of multimedia in practitioner inquiry. Analysis of data from a three year qualitative study revealed that the use of a multimedia platform strengthened teacher researchers’ work by a.) supporting organization of their research, b.) providing opportunities for ongoing review of their work, leading to improved writing, c.) enhancing the visual appeal of their work through multimedia applications, and d.) offering opportunities for creativity and personalization of the teacher research process and product. Participants reported that the online template developed for their use in the course facilitated the organization of each step in the teacher research process: research question, literature review, research methodology, intervention, data collection and analysis. Participants also reported that the nature of the multimedia format allowed them to access and continuously review their work from multiple sites (any internet accessible computer), thereby encouraging additional editing and revision. Reflections and completed projects also suggested that teachers found the online format and multimedia options made final research projects more visually appealing, creative and personalized.
Findings from this study suggest that the use of multimedia to construct and present classroom research can extend the boundaries of what is possible in using the traditional paper submission. Teachers may be encouraged to revise and edit their work continuously via online access and paperless format. Furthermore, teachers may be encouraged to represent data, findings and text more creatively, concisely and graphically through multimedia options. By understanding the ways in which integration of multimedia and technology influence teacher researchers’ work, we may draw conclusions about the nature of teacher research in a multimedia environment.
Presentation Methods: Through large and small group participation structures, attendees will examine the MERLOT website, view samples of teacher researchers’ work from the three year study, and consider how they might apply a multimedia approach in their own work as teachers and researchers.
Outcomes for Attendees: Attendees will discuss the ways in which a multimedia website may encourage a.) the use or development of technology skills, b.) increase interaction with the research process and written components of research, c.) facilitate organization of the research process, and d.) provide opportunities for creativity and personalization of one’s work. The presenters will demonstrate how multimedia applications can enrich and challenge established research practices.
RT.43 - Addressing the complexity of academic integrity
S. Kapchinsky, M. Sornberger, D. Syncox, L. Winer (McGill University) - Canada
How do you get graduate students talking about complex academic integrity issues? What strategies do you employ to address topics filled with misconceptions and potential severe repercussions? Academic Integrity is not usually on the tips of the graduate students’ tongues.
Many of the rules surrounding academic integrity at the graduate level are left unspoken and students learn them as they evolve in the graduate ecosystem. At McGill, we have found an innovative way of introducing graduate students to this complex and multifaceted world. Open to all graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, Academic Integrity Day is an interactive event that uses case studies and small group discussion to explore the complexities surrounding issues such as authorship, re-use of one’s own work, cheating and plagiarism, fraud and falsification of data. While these topics are often encountered by students, they are often not dealt with explicitly. Academic Integrity Day creates an open forum for students to explore these topics with peers from a various disciplines and faculty members from different disciplines, led by a trained student facilitator.
Information collected from three offerings of AI Day (2010, 2011 & 2012) will be presented to illustrate the evolution of the program format and content as well as student and facilitator feedback. The feedback will be presented, highlighting the areas of most interest, notably the disciplinary range of participants and examples, the highly interactive format and the realistic case studies. There will also be a discussion of the development process, one which involved university-based experts from senior academic ranks as well as students and other support professionals.
The McGill graduate Academic Integrity Day has succeeded in crossing disciplinary and student/faculty boundaries allowing all participants to explore complex topics and deepen their understanding of disciplinary and “cultural” differences.
RT.44 - The teaching and learning commons redux: Bringing faculty and student support services together
S. Ferguson, M. Wilson (Ontario College of Art & Design University) - Canada
An effective teaching and learning centre contributes to the promotion and advancement of educational excellence and the university’s ability to attract and retain the best faculty and students. As Nancy Van Note Chism suggests, however, the social and material organization of space profoundly shapes the context, perception, and experience of learning: “institutions of higher education are charged with fostering specific kinds of learning: higher-order thinking abilities, communication skills, and knowledge of the ways of disciplinary experts, to name a few. Educators must create structures that support this learning. Space can have a powerful impact on learning; we cannot overlook space in our attempts to accomplish our goals.”
While the co-location of student academic support services with Library and IT Services has received considerable attention during the past two decades, the boundaries between faculty and student teaching and learning spaces have remained more firmly entrenched. And yet, teaching and learning are intertwined activities and enhanced when they occur in reciprocal relation to one another. While many institutions seek to increase communication and collaboration across discrete teaching, writing, learning, numeracy, research, and educational technology service units for students and faculty, the Centre for Innovation in Art & Design Education (CIADE) at OCAD University elected to co-locate its student and faculty support units – the Writing & Learning Centre (WLC) and the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) – when it was founded during the spring of 2011, thus building an integration of service models, programs, and values into the mandate of these complementary units. OCAD University has also placed the CIADE in close partnership and proximity to the Library and an IT
Help Desk so that these directorates can form a strong alliance of values, programs, and resources. By highlighting the many ways in which diverse members of the university community – undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, technicians, teaching assistants, librarians, and professional staff – are engaged as both learners and teachers, we aim through this integrated model of student and faculty supports to contribute to the enrichment of OCAD University’s culture of learning.
The co-location of teaching, writing, and learning support services for students and faculty has presented a variety of challenges and opportunities. In this interactive roundtable session, we will provide an overview of our physical space, mission, and program models and share some of our reflections regarding how we have mobilized this unique integration of teaching and learning support services to inform the development of our pedagogical practices and organizational decisions in ways that benefit the university community. Drawing upon the experiences of session participants, we will together discuss the perceived risks and benefits of co-location with the aim of developing a shared understanding of some of the factors that can positively or negatively influence the success of co-located services. This session will be of interest to university educators, administrators, and other individuals interested in exploring novel and timely approaches to the organization of academic support services in higher education. Please come and join the conversation!
RT.45 - Curriculum et pilotage : implanter la cohérence
P. Gagné, S. Brunet, G. Boucher (Collège Vanier), L. Dumont (Université de Montréal) - Canada
L’objectif de cette table ronde est de brosser un tableau complet de la démarche liée à une analyse d’alignement curriculaire – une activité de pilotage d’un système éducatif – afin de savoir exactement en quoi consiste chacune des étapes du processus. Des diverses réactions initiales des membres d’un département jusqu’à la diffusion des résultats, les participants se familiariseront avec la démarche visant à implanter avec succès l’alignement curriculaire au sein de leur département.
L’évaluation étant au cœur des apprentissages, il est essentiel d’en mesurer le degré de cohérence avec les standards ministériels en suivant une approche fiable afin d’assurer la validité des contenus évalués. L’alignement curriculaire permet d’analyser, entre autres, cette relation fondamentale et d’amener les enseignants à « radiographier » leurs cours avec des outils qui raffinent leur compréhension des enjeux liés à l'évaluation. Ainsi, cette approche s'inscrit dans une démarche de développement professionnel ancrée dans la pratique autant qu'elle donne un moyen d'assurer l'équité à l'égard des étudiants quand plusieurs enseignants donnent le même cours, par exemple (Martone & Sireci, 2009). Le pilotage tel que nous le présentons est appliqué depuis de nombreuses années aux États-Unis dans les écoles primaires et secondaires (L. W. Anderson, 2002; Biggs, 1996; Hammerness, 2006; Pellegrino, 2006). Depuis une dizaine d'années, il fait son chemin dans le secteur anglophone du réseau collégial au Québec sous l'impulsion de Bateman et de son équipe (Bateman, et al., 2009).
La présente table ronde vise à répondre, entre autres, aux questions suivantes : comment former les experts disciplinaires, comment préparer les dossiers d'évaluations, comment choisir ou créer des taxonomies à utiliser pour la codification des items d'évaluation, comment assurer la fiabilité des données et les traiter, comment donner la rétroaction aux membres du département et comment amener tous ses membres à utiliser les résultats pour partager une vision commune des valeurs liées à l'évaluation des apprentissages.
Nous présenterons les taxonomies que nous avons utilisées lors de nos propres travaux. Ces taxonomies aideront les participants de tous les domaines à préparer des évaluations avec le souci de varier et de graduer la charge cognitive exigée. Elles favorisent aussi la compréhension des lectures, élément clé de la réussite dans tous les domaines.
Nous présenterons aussi brièvement d'autres méthodes utilisées dans le même esprit de même que les taxonomies mises de côté par la recherche au cours des dernières années, mais qui continuent d'être utilisées (L. Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001; Bloom, 1956) et celles qui ont le soutien des experts en évaluation (Marzano & Kendall, 2007; Webb, 2007).