Making Stress-Management Manageable: Ways to Overcome the Stressors of Personal and Professional Life
Jessica Lougheed, Department of Psychology; and Sharday Mosurinjohn, Religious Studies
Room E202, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
The goal of this session is to demonstrate techniques for managing common stressors. We will focus on two key areas: behavioural self-regulation (time management), and emotional self-regulation (stress management). One effective technique to promote well-being is to create a sense of intentionality through time management, both academic and personal. The session will begin with group brainstorming to identify relevant challenges. Building on that, we will organize into small groups for a reflection exercise, where we provide worksheets to help participants leverage their natural working tendencies to create an individualized workflow that caters to personal strengths.
Next, as a group, we will brainstorm common emotional barriers to well-being (e.g. avoidance, feeling fraudulent, work-related anxieties). Then, we will introduce participants to several emotion management techniques (e.g. deep breathing) and when to employ them, and we will demonstrate strategies for overcoming avoidance such as the "5-minute technique". The 5-minute technique helps individuals break daunting tasks into manageable pieces, and allows people to reward themselves for small accomplishments over time, thus addressing anxieties related to tackling large-scale projects.
The session will conclude with a group discussion about the challenges of changing personal habits. For example, many of us are already familiar with common stress-management techniques, but do not actually implement them in our day-to-day lives. We hope to discuss ways to seeing stress-management techniques as a path forward rather than an additional burden.
PANEL: "What I know now about TAing/Teaching that I wish I knew when I first started"
Room D214, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
A panel of TAs and new instructors will share their experiences in teaching undergraduate students. They will discuss what they wish they knew when they first started teaching, challenges they experienced as a first time TA/ instructor, and how they overcame these challenges. Following the introductions of the panelists, the floor will be given to participants to ask our esteemed panel their burning questions.
Building Research Competencies of First Year Students: A Collaborative Approach
Sylvia Andrychuk, Queen's University Library; and Christina Salavantis, Sociology
Room E230, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
It is often thought that because today’s first year university students or the “Google generation” are “digital natives” they are the most web-literate and therefore intuitively research literate. Research and experience has shown that this is in fact not accurate. Many students, at all levels, encounter significant difficulties across nearly every aspect of the academic search process, especially finding and evaluating sources of information.
In Sociology 122, a large research intensive first year course that employs 20 graduate teaching assistants, the curricula and assignments have been designed to foster enhanced engagement with the core ideas about information and scholarship in the discipline of sociology. In this session, the teaching assistant coordinator and the liaison librarian will discuss and demonstrate their collaborative approach to building research competencies of first year students through the use of online tutorials, hands on library labs, quizzes and assignments, with the goal of demonstrating that teaching information literacy in large classes is not only possible, but necessary.
Providing Effective Feedback on Student Writing
Susan Korba, Writing Centre; and Launa Gauthier, Centre for Teaching and Learning
Room D216, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is the need to grade students' written work; in particular, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of student writing and providing succinct and useful commentary can prove difficult. Teachers often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of assignments/essays to be marked and/or unsure about how to address students' specific problems; students often feel frustrated by a lack of specific feedback and a clear explanation of what they've done "wrong." In this session, we will discuss expectations (those of teachers and of students) around marking written assignments and explore strategies for responding to student writing that will result in fair and consistent grading, and specific and useful feedback.
Facilitating Online Discussions
Robert G. May and Drew MacDonald, Department of English
Room B201, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
As online and blended teaching becomes more popular, instructors and teaching assistants are often called upon to facilitate online discussions. In this session, May and MacDonald will reflect on some of the strategies they employ in facilitating online discussions in their online and blended courses in the English Department at Queen's.
Creating and Implementing Effective and Efficient Assessment in Higher Education
Attendees to this session will explore how to conceptualize, develop, and implement effective assessment in higher education. Specifically, the group will consider how learning outcomes can be embedded in measurement instruments, and in turn, how assignments can be structured to maximize the usefulness of these instruments. The conversation will also touch on the importance of alignment between assessment, instruction, and outcomes.
Preparing Your First Science Lab
Les MacKenzie, Rebecca Ataman, Matt Daalder, and Carolyn Rotenberg, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
Room D209, Mackintosh-Corry Hall
As teachers it is our responsibility to provide the best possible atmosphere to promote and induce active learning while at the same time establish that learning is ultimately the responsibility of the student. Traditionally, lectures impart theoretical knowledge and do not allow much opportunity to focus on active learning. In contrast, experiential learning can promote a deeper connection and understanding between theory and practice. This active learning technique is commonly used by science disciplines through labs, giving students a practical outlook of the theoretical knowledge through hands on experience and responsibility for their own learning. We should never lose sight of the fact that a good educator is not just an isolated figure at the head of the classroom but rather an active participant in the students' experience within their field of study. Thus, it’s of paramount importance that the educator, whether faculty or graduate student, carefully plan and construct the first lab class. This is the time to set the tone for the rest of the labs of the course which ultimately weaves the connections and understanding between theory and practice, establishing the experience of experiential learning for the student.
Active Learning in the Classroom
Come and take a tour of our innovative Active Learning Classrooms at Queen's! During this tour, participants will venture through the three Active Learning Classrooms in Ellis Hall (Rooms 319, 321 and 333), have the opportunity to see the classrooms through the eyes of your students, and explore the different active learning techniques that have been used over the past two years in these rooms. Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions, work with peers and colleagues, and come out of the session with new ideas that they can apply to their classrooms the following week whether they are in an Active Learning Classroom or not!