Concurrent Sessions 6: Interactive Workshops and Panels
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 2:00 - 2:50pm (50 minutes)
McArthur Hall, Queen's University
CON6.01 – Documenting and Transforming Institutional Teaching Cultures (Room A241-A242)
Peter Wolf (University of Guelph); Jill Grose (Brock University); Donna Ellis (University of Waterloo); Lori Goff (McMaster University) Debra Dawson (Western University); Paola Borin (Ryerson University); and Florida Doci (University of Windsor)
Transformation often requires a shift from one set of perceptions or beliefs to another. While many post- secondary educators value teaching and endeavour to support and promote it, the teaching culture at our institutions can be perceived quite differently by various stakeholders. What do these stakeholders believe about the culture of teaching in our institutions, and how can we help shift the way our institutions, faculty, staff and students think about teaching?
Institutional culture helps define the nature of reality for the educators and learners within the institution. It provides a lens through which its members assign value to the various events and efforts of their institution (Berguist & Pawlak, 2008). Documenting institutional culture with respect to teaching and the support of teaching can provide benchmarks for institutions to work towards in their ongoing enhancement of teaching and learning.
This workshop provides an overview of a project currently under development by eight Ontario institutions working collaboratively to identify a set of indicators that help define the value placed on an institutional teaching culture. We have adapted a survey tool (Teaching Culture Perception Survey) from “Fostering Quality Teaching in Higher Education: Policies and Practices: An IMHE Guide for Higher Education” (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012). The Teaching Culture Perception Survey (TCPS) aims to assess educators’ current perceptions of their institutional teaching culture, as well as their perceptions of the importance of various components that comprise a teaching culture.
The survey, currently being piloted by three Ontario universities, examines the perceptions of different groups, such as faculty members, administrators, and students. The survey responses are used to help develop a profile of the institutional culture with respect to teaching, allowing comparisons between different stakeholders’ perceptions, as well as a comparison of any changes over time. Institutions might also use the survey to choose and develop practices that will enhance their teaching culture. Ultimately, this project aims to raise the profile, recognition and value of teaching in universities.
Following an overview of the different phases of the project, as well as data collated to date, participants in this workshop will engage in a group discussion about additional ways to identify, document and enhance institutional teaching cultures.
CON6.02 – The Ethics of Collecting "Good" Curriculum Data (Room A227)
Gavan Watson and Natasha Kenny (University of Guelph)
With increasing pressures for evaluating the quality of higher education in Canada, individuals within institutions are increasingly engaging in processes to assess programs across curricula. Best practice in curriculum review advocates that curriculum improvements be based on systematic, evidenced based approaches, which rely on data collected from multiple sources using multiple methods (Wolf, 2007). Although most curriculum processes are considered outside of the purview of the 2nd edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2, 2010), the same ethical challenges remain with many methods applied to curriculum review. Further confounding this challenge are recent developments in the field of the Scholarship of Curriculum Practice (SoCP), which advocates for the dissemination of the results of curriculum review for the broader benefit of academe and program reform (Hubbal & Gold, 2007). This shift towards the SoCP represents an on-going transformation within the context of higher education. Collecting curriculum data informed by ethical practices will help to ensure curricular transformations and improvements are based on sound data that better-informs decision making processes.
Building on the principles described in the TCPS 2 and the four ethical guidelines presented by MacLean & Poole (2010), this interactive workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to explore how ethical principles for conducting research on human subjects apply to curriculum review. By the end of this workshop, participants should be able to assess the risks and ethical challenges to participants associated with typical curriculum review processes.
CON6.03 – Exploring a Model Using Networks and Leadership to Make SoTL Part of an Institution's Fabric (Room A339)
Roselynn Verwoord and Gary Poole (University of British Columbia)
For sustained and sustainable engagement with student learning, SoTL must be woven into the fabric of our institutions rather than relying on individuals operating in isolation. Unfortunately, the current global climate of fiscal austerity means that there are fewer faculty and these faculty have increased administrative and teaching responsibilities. SoTL champions are needed in order to bring about a change in institutional culture. By institutional culture, we refer to the entrenched behaviors of individuals working within organizations as well as the common “values, assumptions, beliefs or ideologies that members have about their organization or its work” (Peterson and Spencer, 1991, as cited in Kezar and Eckel, 2002, p. 142).
In order to effectively weave SoTl into institutional cultures, SoTL champions need an awareness of how to weave SoTL into institutional cultures. To support this, we have developed a multi-level model for integrating SoTL into institutional cultures (Williams, Verwoord, Beery, Dalton, McKinnon, Pace, Poole, & Strickland, 2013) describing how SoTL can become embedded institutionally and thus increase its impact. The model features networks and communities of practice, working within and across three levels of the institution (micro, meso and macro) and how SoTL practices get disseminated across these levels. To apply our model, we propose the use of three necessary and inter-related processes: (1) dissemination/ communication; (2) network development; and (3) sustained support. In our latest exploration of our model, we build on the work of Roxa & Martensson (2009, 2012) in the area of significant networks, to look more closely at the nature of networks and how their impact can be maximized to weave SoTL into institutional cultures.
In this workshop, participants will be invited to bring their institutional contexts to our models to determine what aspects of our model “hold true” across diverse institutional contexts and which aspects may need conceptual clarification. In this session, participants will work in small groups to discuss the realities of how well SoTL is woven in to their institutional cultures and where they place themselves in relation to the levels within organizations. Through small group discussion, they will be invited to apply Roxa and Martensson’s (2009) notion of significant networks to the model in order to maximize the impact of networks operating at the micro and meso levels. By the end of the session, participants will have a deeper understanding of how to weave SoTL into institutional cultures and will be able to articulate the components of one model to support the weaving of SoTL into their institutions.
CON6.04 – Using Well Structured Cooperative Learning to Develop Active Learners in a Diverse Community (Room A333)
Paul Vermette, Danyelle Moore, Cindy Kline and Tim Downs (Niagara University, USA)
Despite its overwhelmingly supportive research base, the use of Cooperative Learning by Professors in face-to-face and online environments is still in its infancy. Use of Cooperative Learning has been shown to increase retention in school, improve effort and conceptual achievement, increase the acknowledgement of the benefits of diversity, and promote the development of 21st century skills (Millis, 2010), yet relatively few faculty implement it well or regularly. Cooperative Learning student teams are relatively permanent, heterogeneous small teams created by the professor that actively engage in classroom learning activities. When this approach is used thoughtfully and in a well-structured way students grow as critical thinkers, effective problem solvers, and effective communicators. Diversity becomes a strength and teamwork and communication become valued skills while conceptualized learning for applied purposes becomes the norm.
In this session, advice to educators who are trying to assist change efforts in regards to Cooperative Learning will be highlighted. As the session develops, much will be made of the role SoTL can play in the assessment and dissemination of efforts by Professors to experiment with CL.
CON6.05 – Transforming Classroom Conditions to Support Student Well-being (Room A334)
Rosie Dhaliwal and Martin Mroz (Simon Fraser University)
Health and well-being are positively correlated with academic success and learning; however, this is rarely addressed within the learning environment. Student well-being and particularly mental well-being, are increasingly important concerns for Canadian post-secondary institutions. Not only are students experiencing higher rates of mental health problems, institutions have higher expectations to consider whole students, their diverse needs and prepare them for life in an ever-changing world.
In partnership with the SFU Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU Health Promotion is taking a forward thinking approach to enhance student learning experiences by recognizing the important impact of learning environments on well-being. This is in line with widely accepted health promotion theory that suggests the setting in which students learn plays a crucial role in their health and well-being. Through literature reviews with a foundation in Universal Instructional Design, and soliciting feedback from instructors, education consultants and students, an on-line resource has been created which highlights key conditions within learning environments that support well-being. These include opportunities for personal development and social interaction among students, within a positive classroom culture. Additional conditions for student well-being include making a valued contribution, experiencing an optimal level of challenge and feeling supported by instructors, among others. This new online resource is part of the SFU Well-being in Learning Environments initiative which aims to transform learning environments so they are more supportive of student well-being and whole-student development while equipping students for success in higher education and beyond.
This session will increase understanding about how post-secondary classroom conditions impact well-being. It will also provide examples, tools and resources for educators to recognize well-being within their teaching practice whether it be through course design, course delivery or student assessment. Participants will be invited to share their own practices and experiences that relate to the conditions for well-being, and contribute to furthering knowledge exchange and practice in this area.
CON6.06 – Welcome to my Classroom: On the Nature of Human Nature (Room A239)
Ken Cramer (University of Windsor)
In this WTMC session, I will showcase for attendants the opening class of Personality Theory and Research (a 3rd year class at the University of Windsor). Throughout the semester, the class explores the philosophies and perspectives of various personality theorists (viz. Freud, Jung, Allport, Rogers, Maslow, etc.). Because the class includes a high experiential component (personal self-analysis), it is important for students at the start of the year to uncover and explore their own implicit philosophies of human nature so as later to juxtapose them to more formal theories – are we basically good or evil, is behaviour the result mainly of genetics or the environment, are we the product of our past (early childhood experiences) or our future goals? Questions students discuss in small groups include:
What is personality?
What is the self?
What is a healthy personality?
What is an unhealthy one?
What makes us distinctly human?
What gives life purpose or meaning?
What makes us similar to each other?
What makes us essentially different from each other?
Can our personalities change?
Are our selves chosen or handed to us?
After class discussion related to these basic questions, students are ready to explore more formal perspectives on human nature, since the same questions have been asked (and answered) by various personality theorists. For instance, Jung will emphasize spiritualism as the road to mental wellness, whereas Adler will endorse volunteering and social interest). By juxtaposing their current thoughts with more formally espoused philosophies, students should hope to see their views of human nature from a new perspective. This exercise will transform students’ single perspectives (of personal philosophies) into more diverse worldview perspectives. Participants in this session will partake in activities similar to those experienced by students.
CON6.07 – Closing the Circle: Creating Program Assessment Plans to Transform and Enhance the Student Experience (Room A232)
Lynn Martin and Lori Goff (McMaster University)
As opportunities for educational innovation and technology evolve, how can we be sure that student learning is improving and truly transformed? Are the learning experiences we create aligned with the program outcomes and broader degree level expectations that we desire in our students? How do we develop and implement program plans to assess student learning and continually enhance student experiences?
This session will provide participants with an assessment planning framework that outlines a process for (a) ensuring that courses and learning activities are aligned with broader course, program, institutional or provincial learning outcomes, (b) selecting, implementing and analyzing the results of assessment methods to determine the extent of student learning or achievement of outcomes, and (c) using this information to enhance teaching and learning within the program.
During this hands-on workshop, participants will be introduced to the assessment planning framework, and apply the concepts to generic case scenarios in a variety of disciplines. The workshop will cover how to use both direct and indirect measures as part of the program assessment process. Opportunities will also be provided for participants to consider how these concepts can be applied within their own program.
This workshop is based on the “Program Review and Enhancement Guidebook” that was developed at McMaster University as part of the Paul R MacPherson Fellowship in 2013. The guidebook includes background information on developing and implementing program assessment plans, templates for application of concepts within the participants’ discipline, and a variety of resources for each topic covered. All participants will be provided with a copy of the guidebook.
CON6.08 – Transforming Language Arts Instruction Through Technology and Collaborative Inquiry (Room A236)
Ruth McQuirter Scott (Brock University)
This session will describe how teacher candidates in a pre-service language arts course experience the integration of educational technology throughout the 50-hour program. Samples of student work will be shown including infographics, collaborative inquiry unit plans incorporating blended learning, and various applications of technology in daily language arts activities. The use of the course Learning Management System will also be described briefly.
Workshop participants will use iPads to explore two popular apps used in the course. They will create an avatar and brief message with Tellagami, and convert a tweet to an illustrated haiku poem using Pic Collage. Participants will also explore a selection of word study apps for spelling, grammar, and vocabulary and will receive a list of recommended apps, websites, videoclips, and webcasts from the course.
CON6.09 – Transforming Teaching and Learning Environments to Increase Inclusion (Room A240)
Beth Marquis, Marie Vander Kloet, Gary C. Dumbrill, Anju Joshi, Winnie Lo and Vilma Rossi (McMaster University)
In light of the increasing diversity of college and university students, the importance of creating inclusive and equitable educational experiences has been recognized frequently in recent years (e.g., Jabbar & Hardaker, 2013; May & Bridger, 2010; Redpath et al., 2013). All individuals have complex, intersecting identities, and teaching and learning environments that respect and value these identities have been shown to enhance students’ learning and success (Burgstahler & Cory, 2009; Longstreet, 2011; Smith, 2012). However, in spite of a growing body of literature on the subject (e.g., Guo & Jamal, 2007; Gurung & Prieto, 2009; Ouellett, 2005), many instructors remain uncertain about how to teach inclusively (Caruana 2010; Cook, Rumrill & Tankersley, 2009; Grace & Gravestock, 2009). Both increased professional development focused on inclusion and ongoing research about students’ lived experiences are, thus, required.
In response to these imperatives, the authors are currently undertaking a study designed to collect qualitative data about students’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion in their educational programs at one Canadian university. Students from across the university, including women, LGBTT2SIQQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Two Spirit, Intersex, Questioning, Queer, Asexual)-identified students, students of diverse faith backgrounds, racialized students, First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, students with visible and invisible disabilities, international students, students from a range of socio-economic backgrounds and students of a diverse age range, were invited to participate in an interview or a focus group during Fall, 2013 or Winter, 2014. Participants were asked to share their perceptions and experiences of inclusion and exclusion in their courses and programs, and to offer any ideas they might have for enhancing the inclusivity of teaching and learning on campus. Data analysis is ongoing, and will be used to inform the development of teaching resources and professional development activities for instructors.
Drawing from and building upon this work, this session aims to provide participants with an opportunity to consider the relative inclusivity of teaching and learning within their own classrooms and institutions. By presenting preliminary data from our ongoing research and engaging attendees in structured discussion, we will explore common barriers to and facilitators of inclusive education, and encourage participants to brainstorm ways of translating these findings into effective pedagogical strategies and professional development programs. By such means, session attendees will engage actively with issues related to the conference theme of transforming classrooms into learning experiences that embrace diverse student needs. Participants will come away with ideas for enhancing the inclusiveness of their teaching practices and/or advocating for equitable teaching and learning on their campuses.
CON6.10 – Transition from a Distance: Delivery of an Online Academic Transition Course to Rural Students (Room A207)
Liv Marken, Jeanette McKee, Jordan Epp, Shannon Floer, and Robin Mueller (University of Saskatchewan)
Offering excellent first-year transition programming can be a challenge, often because the transition is delivered concurrent to students' first university courses. While students become accustomed to living in a new city, creating study schedules, or writing essays, they can be too overwhelmed to take in a workshop or go to an orientation. Transformation from high school to university cannot take place overnight.
In 2012, the University of Saskatchewan piloted a face-to-face, for-credit transition course, “Learning to Learn: Strategies for Academic Success.” This College of Arts and Science course covers reading and note taking strategies, writing, research, metacognition, memorization, test taking, and critical thinking. It is writing intensive, and includes experiential learning and reflective practice. To date, 465 students in 25 sections have taken the face-to-face course, including students in local high schools, mature students, at-risk students, and students in the college's Aboriginal Student Achievement Program. By May 2014, the first online section will have been piloted to rural high school students.
Briefly, the facilitator will review the course's objectives, structure, activities, and assessment. The course was developed with extensive research into the literature around first-generation learners with limited social and educational capital, and learners disadvantaged in Eurocentric educational models.
Participants will be led in a discussion about early transition at a distance, and whether the transformative powers of a face-to-face course can be replicated online. Participants will come away with ideas for implementing transition elements into their individual classes or programs, and with some considerations for matching the delivery of transition programming to diverse student realities.
CON6.11 – Re-Imagining the Scripts of Formal Academic Settings: Using University Classrooms, Lecture Halls, and Theatres as Risk-Free Rehearsal Spaces for Learning in First-Year Orientation (Room A234)
Kari Marken and Caroline Rueckert (University of British Columbia)
Students arrive to the university campus in their first year bringing with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, and cultural capital. Most importantly, they bring energy, idealism and a playful confidence. But as university staff, faculty, and administrators, we typically receive these students with an agenda of "filling in the gaps" of what they do not know about university life. Our assumption is that high school did not prepare them for the rigors of university and our job is to provide them, through orientations programming, with as much information as possible before class starts to compensate for their deficits in understanding.
What if we were to approach an orientation program as a rehearsal space? What if, to get the most out of this rehearsal, the actors (first-year students) would need to bring as much of their knowledge, risk-taking idealism, playful energy, and vulnerability as possible to ensure success in the 'performance' of their first week of classes? What if classrooms, theatres, lecture halls, and faculty offices were presented as 'sets' where, for two weeks, freshman students from around the world could rehearse the actions, scripts, relationships and motivations that we know (based on years of theory, research on teaching and learning, and emergent neuroscience) lead to increased academic engagement and achievement?
This workshop will explore the interactive, embodied, and performative approach that the UBC Jump Start (www.jumpstart.ubc.ca ) program takes to introducing and inviting first year students into the campus community of academic scholarship. Through this presentation, the workshop facilitator will lead the participants through simulations of the experience (through lived experiences in the session and through multi-media presentations) and connect the various approaches to timely, recent pedagogical and psychological research and theories.
CON6.12 – Entering the Dragon's Den to Teach Entrepreneurship: Using a Taxonomy to Leverage the Learning Value of Reality-Based Television in the Undergraduate Classroom (Room A342)
Brent Mainprize (University of Victoria)
This interactive workshop is an opportunity for delegates to learn through an interactive exercise how to transform reality-based television into a high-value undergraduate learning experience through the strategic use of taxonomy. Dragons' Den is a Canadian television reality show, in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hopes of securing business financing. The show debuted on October 3, 2006 on CBC Television. Over the past seven years, approximately 300 entrepreneurs have presented their business ideas to over 2 million viewers weekly. Despite the show’s popularity, it has been openly criticized for its lack of educational value.
The primary question to answer in this learning project is: How can the educational value be separated from the entertainment value of CBC’s Dragons’ Den in a way to help teach entrepreneurship to undergraduate business students? At a general level, my teaching goal is to provide the optimal learning environment for undergraduate students to rapidly advance from novices to experts in the domain of evaluating early stage business ideas.
I strive to achieve these teaching goals by breaking down the informational clutter, allowing student entrepreneurs to use a focused framework (in the form of taxonomy) for opportunity assessment and venture investment decision-making. The overall method used to answer the teaching development question was fundamentally taxonomic.
Classification of knowledge using taxonomy provides building blocks with which to construct understandings (Stefik 1995; Saracevic and Kantor 1997). The practice of taxonomy reflects the human instinct to organize and classify our experiences and perceptions of the world (Grove 2003: 2270). An essential contribution of taxonomy to a discipline is its ability to disambiguate terminology by representing the relationships between concepts and providing context in which to understand and use domain-specific vocabularies (Maity, Bhattacharya et al. 1992; Grove 2003: 2276).
Utlizing Dragons’ Den in an educational manner involved 24 teams of undergraduate students focused on classification and comparison of 81 Dragon’s Den deals from archived video clips on the CBC website. The learning activity was to classify each Dragon’s Den deal as a prelude to systematic comparison of their dominant, salient attributes.
There are only a few examples in the literature of using Reality TV in the undergraduate classroom. Slater (2012) used the Realty TV show Survivor to teach Prisoners’ Dilemma Strategies in economics. Burr, Vivien and King, Nigel (2011) document teaching research ethics through reality TV in Big Brother.
There doesn’t seem to be any discussion in the literature (to date) focused on the benefits of applying taxonomies to Reality-TV in the undergraduate classroom. The last part of this workshop will focus on discussing how other disciplines may benefit from this project as a model suggesting the use of: (1) Survivor in the Psychology Classroom, (2) Antiques Roadshow in the Fine Arts Classroom and (3) America’s Next Top Model in a Gender Studies, Fashion Design or Media Studies Classroom.
CON6.13 – Transforming Educational Development through Collaboration (Room A237)
Sarah Todd, Samah Sabra, Adrian Chan and Brooke Eagle (Carleton University)
This panel is inspired by the discussions between faculty, educational developers, university administration, and faculty association representatives that took place at the Faculty Engagement in Educational Development Summit at McMaster University in October 2013. The starting points for the panel are that collaborative efforts among faculty members and educational developers are necessary if we are to develop programs that (1) can capture the interest of and engage faculty at various stages in their careers and (2) move beyond the latest pedagogical and technological trends to offer faculty some stability over time. The main aim is to identify key considerations for creating a framework for faculty professional development that simultaneously provides some structure to improve teaching competence, while allowing sufficient flexibility for faculty to grow into pedagogical practices that feel authentic and fit with their personal styles. Panelists will be asked to answer the following question, which will then be put to discussion with the audience: What are the key elements of an educational development framework that might be simultaneously transformative and flexible? The panelists include a new faculty member, two mid-career faculty members, and an educational developer who will reflect on these questions and use them as an opportunity to begin a dialogue with the audience. We hope to use some of the ideas that emerge in the discussion with the audience as a way to guide the development of a larger research project based in collaboration between faculty and educational developers. Doing so will allow us to identify intersections and divergences in the needs and challenges expressed by faculty members and those highlighted by educational developers.
CON6.14 – Transforming the Role of the Tutorial in Large Classes: From Supplemental To Essential (Room A343)
PANEL Brenda Ravenscroft, Alan Ableson, Jill Atkinson and Grahame Renyk (Queen’s University)
With increasing enrollment and financial pressures on institutes of higher education, it is clear that high-enrollment courses are not going away anytime soon. Traditionally, the preferred mode of instruction for these courses was the lecture, which presents itself as an efficient way to teach large numbers of students. However, research shows that students often have low levels of engagement in traditional lectures and, thus, do not learn effectively (Deslauriers, Schelew and Weiman, 2011; Crouch, Fagen, Calan & Mazur, 2004), whereas small group active learning has been found to improve learning (Prince, 2004; Springer, Stanne & Donovan, 1999). The question is, how can we engage students and provide opportunities for active learning as large courses proliferate?
This challenge has led the panelists in this session to reconsider the design of their large, introductory courses, focusing particularly on the role of the tutorial. In past practice, tutorials were treated as supplemental, but they are often the best (and only) small-group learning opportunities available to students in large courses. As concerns about declining student engagement grow, the panelists believe we need to rethink the role of small-group learning experiences within these large classes.
Our panel discussion will examine several ways in which tutorials can be transformed. Each panelist has recently redesigned a large lecture course, endeavoring to increase student engagement by incorporating active learning into a blended model. The “tutorial,” rather than being supplemental, has moved into the very heart of effective course design. Small group learning opportunities now play a central role in increasing student engagement and deepening learning, and have become venues not only for active exploration and application of course concepts, but also for the acquisition and practice of new skills and knowledge.
Audience members attending the panel discussion will be stimulated to reconsider the relationship between lectures and tutorials. They will expand their conception of the role of the tutorial in course design, gain insight into effective ways to use small group contact time in their courses, and develop strategies for managing small group facilitation.
Each panelist will briefly present their perspective on re-visioning the small group learning experience, followed by a moderated audience discussion.
Grahame Renyk (Drama) will focus on reconsidering traditional relationships associated with tutorials: using lectures to explain what happened in tutorials (rather than the other way round), and inviting students to discover a concept first through active experience, followed by explanation.
Jill Atkinson (Psychology) will focus on developing effective approaches to small group facilitation: designing, administering and managing small group opportunities, selecting, training and supporting facilitators, and using facilitators to close the feedback loop between students and the instructor.
Alan Ableson (Mathematics) will focus on ways to design tutorials as places where students strive to connect mathematical theory with real-world applications. Approaches include using tutorials for larger-scale problems than those seen in lectures, and enabling engagement through personal interest by allowing students to choose their subject of application (e.g. choosing a tutorial stream in Math & Finance or Math & Biology).
CON6.15 – The Active Learning Ecosystem (Room A211)
Marisa Sergnese (Steelcase Education Solutions) * SPONSORED BY STEELCASE *