STLHE 2014

STLHE 2014 Conference

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Full Day Workshops

June 17, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
McArthur Hall, Queen's University

PC.01 -- Transforming our Learning Experiences through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (A232)
Janice Miller-Young, Karen Manarin and Deb Bennett, Mount Royal University
This pre-conference workshop will support participants in designing and/or refining a scholarly investigation of student learning in their class, from developing or refining a research question, through ethical considerations, methods, data analysis, and dissemination.
Part I (morning) Getting started
Participants will:
• Learn what SoTL is and how to get started    
• Discuss conceptual frameworks that can inform the study 
• Share, generate and refine research questions related to student learning
• Explore different approaches and methods for generating and analyzing data
• Think through ethical considerations involved in SoTL  
This 3 hour session will be a combination of plenary presentations and small group activities. After a brief introduction to the scholarship of teaching and learning, participants will work in small groups led by facilitators as they identify something in their teaching practice that they are curious about. The small groups will develop and refine research questions. Different research designs and approaches will be presented as individuals have a chance to see what features seem to fit their orientation and research question, along with discussion of the “fallacies of SoTL” (Grauerholz and Main).  Common ethical dilemmas will be explored through case studies. An ethical matrix (TLI 1.2) will help participants think through ethical concerns.

Part II (afternoon) I have data; now what?
Participants will:
• Learn more about approaches, methods and methodology 
• Practice analyzing data       
• Develop strategies for moving from data to evidence  
• Explore dissemination options     
This 3 hour session will be a combination of plenary presentations and small group activities. Participants will learn more about methods and methodology. Depending on participant interest, various methodologies will be explored.  These approaches could include traditional approaches of grounded theory and case study, the interpretive approaches, critical theory, quantitative approaches and experimental designs.  Participants in small groups will have the opportunity to practice analyzing data. Participants will also be led through strategies to move from data to evidence. The session will end with a discussion of dissemination options including conference presentations and publications.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:
• Articulate one or more questions about student learning that they could investigate through a SoTL project
• Provide examples of conceptual frameworks that inform their learning goals
• Compare and contrast various methods for assessing student learning
• Compare and contrast various methods for analyzing data
• Design a SoTL inquiry to investigate student learning
• Choose dissemination venues appropriate to their goals

We would like to acknowledge the SoTL Canada SIG, of which the presenters are members, for generating the idea for developing this proposal.

PC.02 -- Transforming our Learning Experiences: Paradigms and Paddling Pedagogies (Ahoy Rentals, 23 Ontario St)
Alan Wright, University of Windsor; Alice Cassidy, In View Education and Professional Development; Marie-Jean Monette, University of Windsor; William B. Strean, University of Alberta; Gavan Watson, University of Guelph

This day-long outdoor and place-based learning workshop features a return trip excursion between downtown Kingston and Cedar Island, where we will explore this haven of tranquility in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Place-based learning, which considers “how people connect with places and how those connections influence…engagement with the environment” (Ardoin, Schuh, & Gould, 2012, p. 584) will offer a framework for us to consider our own engagement with our environments of learning. In turn, we will engage with the conference theme of transformation, reflecting on the role, if any, of the natural environment as a catalyst for our own transformative learning (Walter, 2011).

We will paddle canoes and kayaks to the Cedar Island destination, explore various facets of the natural St. Lawrence environment under expert guidance, prepare a communal lunch, enjoying the use of a wood stove at the picnic shelter. Participants will undertake  a moderately challenging day involving physical activity and experiential learning (Kolb, 1984) consisting of active experimentation in place, reflective observation, recording impressions and drawing on personal experiences to conceptualize a sense of these activities in the context of  personal pedagogies.

This unique workshop aims to make the most of the Thousand Islands environment, creating conditions designed to offer memorable individual, small group, and whole group experiences for twenty-five STLHE Conference participants.

In the words of Baldwin et al. (2013): “the common thread running through all of our teaching is that place matters because it encourages new ways of questioning and being in the world.” P. 2. 

Note: Although the physical demands of the day may be described as “moderate” and no particular paddling expertise and outdoor skills are required, to take part you should feel comfortable in a kayak or canoe in varying weather conditions. The Cedar Island destination is not far from the mainland, but please be aware that the workshop will be held in a relatively isolated natural environment.

TAGSA One-Day Event (A234)
The Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Advancement (TAGSA) will be offering a full-day event focused on initiatives that develop teaching and professional skills in graduate students.  See Program.

Pre-Conference Morning Half-Day Workshops

June 17, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
McArthur Hall, Queen's University

** CANCELLED** PC.AM.01 -- Transforming Learning Experiences: Mind Mapping, Learning Objects, and Proverbs (A227)
Ernest Biktimirov, Brock University

This pre-conference workshop will present three innovative learning techniques that I have been practicing and publishing on over the last ten years: mind mapping, learning objects, and proverbs. Upon the completion of this workshop, the participants will learn a variety of ways of using mind mapping, learning objects, and proverbs for teaching and learning.

This workshop relates to the conference theme by suggesting different ways of transforming learning experiences to embrace diverse student needs. For example, mind mapping introduces colours and images into the learning process to engage visual learners. Foreign proverbs transform the learning process by establishing connections between new concepts and diverse cultural backgrounds of students.

In the first segment, a brief history of mind mapping, which visually depicts concepts and their interrelationships in a non-linear way, and its main rules will be discussed. I will show different ways of using mind mapping in teaching and learning based on my experience and the experiences of other instructors. I will also provide a review and summary of mind mapping computer programs, and will demonstrate the creation of a mind map with Inspiration mind mapping software. In the conclusion, participants will work in small groups to draw a mind map of the mind mapping technique. Several groups will present their completed mind maps to all participants. By the end of this segment, the participants will not only appreciate the pedagogical benefits of mind mapping, but also will be able to use this technique themselves.

In the second segment, I will define key elements of a learning object and present several learning objects developed at Brock University. I will discuss the results of my empirical study on the learning impact of a learning object. From these results, the participants will learn what type of students tends to benefit the most from the use of learning objects. Several major depositories of learning objects will be presented, and participants will explore them and identify objects for use in their disciplines. Several participants will present the identified learning objects to the whole audience.

In the final segment, I will share my experience with using English, Chinese, Spanish, and French proverbs in teaching finance to English and foreign-speaking students. I will also show different examples of using proverbs for teaching from other disciplines. The participants will practice the use of Chinese, Spanish, and French proverbs in the classroom. The participants will also learn where to find relevant foreign proverbs and how to incorporate into their teaching. In conclusion, the participants will have an opportunity to suggest English proverbs that can be used to illustrate concepts in their disciplines.

PC.AM.02 -- Transforming Teaching and Learning through Reflective Practice (A236)
Loretta Howard, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC), and Eleanor Pierre, EJPCommunications

Purpose and Participant Outcomes: Two critical aspects central to transformative learning (Cranton, 2006; Mezirow, 1981, 1994, 1997) are reflective practice and critical reflection.  Schön (1983) describes reflective practice (RP) as “a dialogue of thinking and doing through which I become more skillful”. Murray and Kujundzic (2005) define critical reflection (CR) as “the process of analyzing, reconsidering and questioning experiences within a broad context of issues”.  Learning is progressively more complex in a twenty-first century world that increasingly utilizes emerging technologies to provide expanded learning opportunities. This requires students to use educational technologies to apply knowledge to new situations, analyze information, collaborate, solve problems and make decisions and demands that educators reconsider traditional approaches to teaching practice.  Today, both learners and teachers are expected to demonstrate reflective practice and critical reflection, yet all too often neither is afforded the opportunity to develop skills in these critical processes.  Schön (1983) suggested that one of the defining characteristics of professional practice is the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. In this intensive, evidence-informed, practice-based workshop participants will engage in a collaborative process to:

1. Identify the critical components of transformative learning;
2. Discuss the benefits of, and common barriers to, critical reflection and reflective practice in a transformative teaching/learning process;
3. Experience several applied models and methods of RP and CR to promote transformative learning; and
4. Discuss how to incorporate opportunities for critical reflection and reflective practice in the design of 21st century learning.

Relevance of Proposal to Conference Theme: This workshop relates directly to several key aspects of the conference theme of transformation, including:  the transformation of students from passive to active learners; the shift in the nature of classroom learning experiences; the transition in the use of physical and virtual learning spaces into integrated learning environments; single perspectives into diverse worldview perspectives and, changing professional teaching practices within and beyond the classroom.

Informed by Theory, Practice and/or Research: This workshop seeks to model evidence-based teaching and learning theories (Petty, 2009; Pitler, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2007) in a learning-centred (Tagg, 2004) manner reflective of 21st century principals of education (Shaw, 2013). Drawing on Bolton (2010), Brookfield (2005) and Cranton (2006) the construct of transformative learning will be explored by several experiential processes to promote critical reflection and reflective practice.

Contribution to the Conference and/or to the Field: This workshop reflects the conference theme of transformation by exploring experiential methods and models to promote transformative learning by developing reflective practice and critical reflection skills. This practical session contributes significantly to the conference by creating opportunities to connect with others engaged in promoting transformative learning and experience formal and informal tools that can be immediately applied in teaching practice.

PC.AM.03 -- Practical Strategies for Designing and Conducting Program Evaluation (A240)
Chi Yan Lam and Laura Kinderman, Queen’s University

Educational developers and faculty members are increasingly expected to manage programs using evidence-informed practices. They must be ready to understand and communicate the impact of their educational programs in systematic, rigorous ways that go beyond simple metrics. In addition to satisfying accountability pressures, evaluation can help improve existing program models, develop new ones, determine the effectiveness and efficacy of programs, and demonstrate end-user impact. Program evaluation draws upon social scientific methods to determine the merit, worth, significance of a program.

In this workshop, participants will progress through a crash course on the principles and practices of designing and conducting program evaluation. Specifically, we will introduce the utilization-focused evaluation framework (Patton, 2008, 2012), a dominant approach to conducting program evaluation that ensures both the process and the output can be useful and meaningful to those who have a vested interest in the program and the evaluation:

Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE) begins with the premise that evaluations should be judged by their utility and actual use; therefore, evaluators should facilitate the evaluation process and design any evaluation with careful consideration of how everything that is done, from beginning to end, will affect use. Use concerns how real people in the real world apply evaluation findings and experience the evaluation process. Therefore, the focus in utilization-focused evaluation is on intended use by intended users. (Patton, 2008)

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • What is program evaluation?
  • What are five dominant purposes for evaluating program?
  • How is evaluation different from research?
  • What does quality evaluation look like? What are dimensions of quality to program evaluation?
  • Identify stakeholders and focusing an evaluation.
  • Question the underlying program logic, its theory of change, and theory of action?
  • How do student-level and course-level evaluation data feed into larger program evaluation?
  • Crafting an evaluation design that balances concerns of utility, feasibility, propriety, accuracy, and evaluator accountability.

Using practical, hands-on learning, participants will assume the role of a novice evaluator and work through a case scenario. In so doing, participants will be able to:

  • Design and make informed decisions concerning the evaluation of programs and services
  • Apply evaluative thinking about programs to every-day decisions-making
  • Craft a defensible argument for an evaluation design
  • Access the program evaluation literature, its major theoretical propositions, and its practical strategies

Participants are invited to bring to the workshop questions and issues related to program evaluation encountered in their own work contexts. Participants should have some working understanding of basic research methods (e.g. surveys, interviews, focus groups, basic quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques).

PC.AM.04 -- Zenify Your Presentation (A239)
Trent Tucker, University of Guelph

Explore the art and science of presentation design thinking and ideas from the world of storytelling. Learn how to apply principles from the “Presentation Zen” design philosophy to remake a tired presentation into something an audience can really connect with.

Let's face it. Presentation software (e.g., Microsoft's PowerPoint, Apple's Keynote, and others like Prezi) is a de facto classroom teaching technology. Publishers bundle pre-authored chapter summary PowerPoint slide decks with their textbooks, students clamour for copies of your slides, every meeting room at every conference (STLHE included) is set up with a data projector, a screen, and a computer capable of delivering a presentation. Presentation software is ubiquitous in higher education but it is rarely used as effectively as it could be. The purpose of this workshop is transform your thinking about presentations -- to give you the tools to put more "power" into your "PowerPoint"!

Using design principles from best selling authors Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen, The Naked Presenter) and Nancy Duarte (slide:ology, resonate) plus ideas from others like Edward Tufte  (The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information), we will do just that -- transform our presentations. It is important to stress that the CONTENT of the presentations doesn't change, only the DELIVERY of the content changes. Like the notion of the conservation of energy from physics: "Content is neither created nor destroyed through the presentation zenification process."

The first part of the workshop deals with the technical side of this transformation -- recasting the design of our slide materials. This is a BYOD (bring your own device) hands-on workshop. The device you bring (laptop / tablet) should be capable of editing / authoring presentations, not just displaying them. Also bring a presentation or two that you don't mind sharing with others and having dissected in the name of presentation "zenficiation"!

After introducing various design ideas and walking through the redesign of a typical presentation using a "before & after" approach, we will get into the hands-on work where participants will re-work various aspects of their presentations using the principles and ideas from the first part of the workshop. Like Miss Fizzle of The Magic Schoolbus used to exclaim: "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy." We will do just that. The technical portion of the workshop will conclude with "show and tell" where participants will share aspects of their redesigned presentations with everyone in the workshop.

The final part of the workshop will bring the "zenfied" presentation back into the larger context of a typical university course. In the course of transforming our presentations, we can also transform our lectures from places where our students are passive PowerPoint "consumers" to more active and engaged learners. To this end, I will present a case study of a management science course that has transformed from a PowerPoint-only approach to course content to an eBook + presentation approach.

Pre-Conference Afternoon Half-Day Workshops

June 17, 2014, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
McArthur Hall, Queen's University

PC.PM.01 -- Creating Concept Questions to Increase Engagement and To Improve Learning (A227)
Jim Davies and Kim Hellemans, Carleton University

In this workshop we describe how to effectively use concept questions in the classroom and interactively help educators create concept questions for their classes. The workshop will be a mix of lecture, group work, and feedback from the presenters.

The basic method of using concept questions follows. The instructor uses lecture to teach a particularly difficult concept and answer any questions. Then, a “concept question” and a multiple-choice answer set appear on the screen. Using clickers or some other polling software, the students choose what they believe to be the correct answer from the choices presented.  The instructor privately looks at the results.  If fewer than 70% of the students get the answer correct, then the instructor asks each student to find a classmate who picked a different answer and try to convince that classmate that he or she is right. The poll is cleared and after a few minutes the students guess again. Usually over 90% of the students get the right answer after consulting with their peers.

Concept questions (Mazur, 2009; Crouch & Mazur, 2001) have a wide range of benefits.  They break up a lecture to decrease boredom, and the discussion generates peer-learning. Instructors report increased student engagement (Mazur, 1997). It encourages deep processing of course material long before test time, which in effect forms a kind of spaced learning (Dempster, 1988) and interleaved practice, or, seeing information in multiple contexts (Carpenter, 2001). The immediate feedback provides self-regulated learning (Butler & Winne, 1995), and asking students to predict the outcome of an experiment increases their conceptual understanding of it (Crouch, Fagen, Callan, & Mazur, 2004). Further, it makes the students very interested in learning the correct answer. They also transform the learning experience by offering a novel, interactive engagement differentiated from lecture, videos, class discussion, and reading.

In this workshop, we will review the process of using concept questions and give advice, based on our own experience, on the best way to create them. We will review the efficacy of clickers, index cards, and for answer collection. We will discuss strategies for choosing which topics deserve concept questions, and how to make concept questions from difficult material (e.g., anatomy).

The workshop will be interactive. We will encourage participants to create concept questions for their own courses and as a group will give feedback to make them better. Participants will learn how to make concept questions and leave the class with at least two excellent ones for immediate use in teaching, and we will discuss the literature on the benefits of concept questions.

**CANCELLED** PC.PM.02 -- Your Professional e-Presence: Online Strategies for Academic Branding with Social Media (A236)
Sidneyeve Matrix, Queen’s University

According to the 2014 Horizon Report, one of the most significant challenges to innovation in higher education is the low digital fluency of faculty. Not having a professional online presence, digital media literacy, and social networking skills makes it difficult for faculty to use the web to disseminate research, teach socially, and find collaborators. For graduate students the stakes are even higher due to the fiercely competitive job markets in several industries and sectors.

Those academics who have an established online presence, social visibility, and platform reach may have an easier time sharing research, getting published, finding professional opportunities and project collaborators, discovering funding opportunities and grant reviewers, internships or mentors, and connecting with relevant publics.

This practical, hands-on workshop is designed to help you construct or update your professional e-presence using popular social media tools you’re likely already familiar with. The workshop is organized around a 3-step strategy to assess your existing online impact, design professional content to share online, and engage in purposeful social networking. We’ll consider examples of academic social publishing, content curation, and digital networking from across the disciplines. 

With its focus on the growing necessity of establishing a professional public-facing e-presence, this workshop will make one of the conference themes very personal, namely, the existence of new digital and social learning paradigms and pressures on faculty and students in higher education. It will deliver strategies and actionable ideas to inspire and help develop the professional you, online. This is a BYOD workshop -- participants are invited, but not required, to bring a mobile device to the session.

PC.PM.03 -- Implementing Large-Scale Institutional Pedagogical Change (A240)
Brenda Ravenscroft, Queen’s University
Educational institutions thrive on stability; teaching norms, practices and beliefs are well established, as is the infrastructure that supports them. In this environment, pedagogical change, such as innovative instructional strategies or the inclusion of the rapidly evolving world of technology-enhanced learning, is often viewed as disruptive and is challenging to implement (Mehaffy, 2012).
In the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University, a large-scale course redesign project, initiated in 2011, is transforming the student learning experience through high-enrolment introductory lecture courses being redesigned into blended models using evidence-based approaches (Garrison & Vaughn, 2008). Aimed at enhancing student engagement and improving student learning by focussing classroom time on active and collaborative learning and replacing some of the passive lecture components with online learning activities, the project currently involves 11 courses, in subjects from the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and nearly 9,000 students. Data from a longitudinal research study comparing student engagement in the traditional and blended versions of each course indicate that academic and pedagogical goals are being met, and there is evidence that the project is positively influencing the institutional culture.
The proposed pre-conference workshop will use this project as a case study to identify and examine the issues associated with the implementation of large-scale pedagogical change within a traditional institutional environment. An overview of the institutional context and of the project will be followed by two small-group discussion sessions in which participants will brainstorm solutions to specific challenges common to projects of this size and nature.
The first set of discussion topics will deal with structural and operational issues relevant to large-scale institutional change. What are the key strategies? What kind of support is needed from units across the institution to implement pedagogical change? How does one measure cost-effectiveness and ensure that a project meets those standards? How can course design changes be sustained instead of reverting to the status quo? How do you measure success?
The second set of discussion topics will turn to the institutional community and explore the challenges of buy-in from faculty members, students and institutional administrators. What incentives motivate faculty members? How does one manage student expectations? How can a project like this influence the learning culture at a traditional institution? 
For each topic, the issue will be presented to participants as a problematic scenario, with a series of questions to stimulate discussion and draw out a range of creative solutions. Following each of the two discussion sessions, individual groups will report back to the room and the workshop leader will respond to the emerging themes and strategies, as well as expand on solutions developed in the case study project.
This workshop offers other traditional institutions considering similar large-scale projects invaluable insight into the mechanics and approaches to enable effective pedagogical transformation. Through small-group discussion focused on developing solutions to common institutional challenges, and through the sharing of knowledge and experience by colleagues representing different perspectives, participants will learn a range of specific strategies to employ when embarking on large-scale, transformational projects.
The workshop will be structured in the following way:
  • Presentation by workshop leader
  • Introduction of implementation issues related to structure and operations 30 mins
  • Facilitated break-out groups: institutional support, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, evaluation 20 mins
  • Report back by groups 30 mins
  • Response by workshop leader on themes & strategies 10 mins
  • Introduction of implementation issues related to people 10 mins
  • Facilitated break-out groups: buy-in from faculty members, students, administrators 20 mins
  • Report back by groups 30 mins
  • Response by workshop leader on themes & strategies 10 mins
  • Final comments by workshop leader 20 mins
PC.PM.04 -- Realizing the Transformative Promise of "Experiential Learning" (A239)
Sheldene Simola and Louise Fish, Trent University

“Experiential learning” has become increasingly popular as a transformative pedagogical approach, with strong potential to facilitate the development of a diverse range of skills and values that are salient for citizenship and leadership at both local and global levels. However, despite its apparently obvious and commonsensical meaning, “experiential learning” is a contested term, in which various underlying philosophies are associated with different experiential methods and hence, different types of anticipated outcomes. Moreover, despite the potential benefits of experiential learning opportunities, various methods can also pose an assortment of ethical, pragmatic and risk management challenges, which sometimes go unacknowledged and therefore unaddressed. Understanding the differences among various experiential methods, being able to select the “best fit” for particular courses and learning goals, and, effectively planning for and managing the challenges inhering each method will help educators and students alike to more fully realize the transformative promise of experiential learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes:

Following completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the five defining characteristics of “experiential learning.”
  2. Describe three key (philosophical) approaches to experiential learning and locate each of these on a continuum of anticipated experiential change / transformation.
  3. Choose the experiential approach of “best fit” for their own discipline/course based on consideration of four questions comprising an experiential learning choices guide.
  4. Describe three key ways in which careful planning and preparation can enhance the experiential learning experience for both students and teachers.
  5. Demonstrate facility with three specific planning tools that can be used to anticipate and prepare for specific ethical, pragmatic and risk challenges that might arise when using experiential learning activities.
  6. Devise, implement and evaluate an effective and sound experiential learning activity that is relevant to one’s specific discipline/course.

Strategies for Audience Engagement:

The workshop will be highly interactive in nature and include the following:

  1. A “workbook” containing various reflection exercises, self-surveys, activities, planning tools, checklists and evaluation activities will be provided to each participant. It will be used to guide (and provide a place to complete) individual and/or small group exercises throughout the workshop. Some of these activities will involve “third objects” supplied by the workshop leaders.
  2. Some short video clips and brief slide shows of (~ 6) images will be used to introduce certain topics and as a starting point for individual reflection and/or participative discussion of certain area.
  3. Interactive discussion (vs. formal “lecture”) will be used throughout.
  4. Participants will have the opportunity to explore their own experiential teaching/learning interests; to develop experiential learning objectives specific to their own discipline/course; to identify potential experiential learning activities consistent with learning goals; and to complete the planning process using tools provided.