Past events

2017-18

Preparation and Participation: Strategies for Motivating Students

Dianne Ashbourne, Educational Developer, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Workshop, November 23, 2017 @ 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Understanding how and why students are motivated to learn can help us become more effective teachers. This session will share principles of learner motivation, and will provide an opportunity to consider and evaluate strategies aimed at encouraging students to prepare for and participate in class.

Dianne Ashbourne is an Educational Developer at the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. She holds an M.A. in Education from the University of British Columbia. Her current pedagogical interests include student engagement, articulation of learning outcomes, curriculum mapping, and active learning spaces.

Learning to Learn: Building Academic Tenacity in Our Students

Karen Smith, Faculty of Science, Microbiology & Immunology, The University of British Columbia

Seminar, November 9, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

There is growing interest and momentum from educators to explore how they can better support students throughout university. Student engagement, academic tenacity and wellbeing can be the foundation for success. This session will explore ways we can increase academic tenacity by encouraging self-regulated learning skills, promoting social belonging and supporting a growth mindset.  We will consider what issues and challenges we face in this role of supporting the whole student and how we can build capacity for all educators.

Demystifying the Dossier Series: Demonstrating and Capturing Teaching Success

Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, University of Toronto

Workshop, October 25, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

As part of the Demystifying the Dossier Series, this workshop serves as a pre-‘teaching dossier’ workshop, and is the companion to the Working with Your Course Evaluations session (registration open Fall 2017) and Preparing Your Teaching Dossier session (registration open early 2018). Faculty are welcome to attend one or multiple workshops in the series.

At the University of Toronto, a teaching dossier must be submitted as part of the formal review process for tenure and continuing status. Beyond the information included in an academic CV, a teaching dossier describes and documents an instructor’s teaching expertise and goals and priorities for teaching and learning. It also highlights personal contributions to course and curriculum design efforts in a department or program, evidence of student impact, and evidence of teaching leadership. Given the range of evidence that is possible, and the importance of the narrative that surrounds this evidence, the dossier can be challenging to produce if insufficient time or attention is allotted to the tracking of teaching achievements and the collection of supporting documentation. To build the best case around one’s teaching, a faculty member needs a strategy for identifying and collecting the best possible evidence. This workshop aims to help clarify such a strategy and shed light on the iterative and critically reflective processes needed to gather optimal material for the dossier.

This session offers practical tips on how to produce, document, collect and reflect on the materials necessary for the compilation of an effective teaching dossier, including course evaluation data, teaching support materials, and evidence of professional development and educational leadership. This workshop will not focus on how to draft  the actual dossier, rather, we will examine strategies for ensuring that you are ready to prepare a dossier when the time comes.

Megan Burnett began her time at the University of Toronto as a PhD Candidate in the Department of French. Over the span of 10 years, she taught as a TA, Course Instructor and sessional instructor. She then coordinated the TATP, overseeing a team of 15 graduate student peer trainers and a Curriculum Developer.  In her role as Assistant Director of the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, Megan provided support to faculty members working with TAs as well as guidance to those faculty members preparing teaching dossiers for tenure or promotion, or seeking to design/re-design courses or assignments. Megan routinely lead sessions on lesson planning, documenting your teaching and active learning for both the CTSI and TATP Workshop Series and co-facilitated the annual CTSI Course Design Institute. Nationally, Megan collaborates with colleagues across Canada on issues related to faculty and graduate student professional development. She is founder and Past Chair of a special interest group within the Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education that focuses on TA and graduate student development.

Making Curriculum Mapping Meaningful

Fiona Rawle, Associate Dean, Undergraduate & Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Biology, UTM

Seminar, October 5, 2017 @ 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location: DV 2094C

This workshop will outline how to engage in effective curriculum mapping, and will highlight the opportunities that can arise from the mapping process and dissemination of the maps themselves. We will discuss mapping at the assignment, course, and program level, and will explore different ways to both use and disseminate curricular maps.

Fiona Rawle is the Associate Dean, Undergraduate, at UTM, and also an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Dept. of Biology. Her pedagogical research interests include scientific literacy, student engagement, curriculum mapping, inquiry-based instruction, and active learning. She is currently leading the Biology Curriculum Mapping Project, as well as UTM’s Curriculum Mapping Initiative.

Ideas for Working with - and through - Student Writing

Michael Kaler, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream & Writing Specialist, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Workshop, September 28, 2017 @ 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

In this workshop, we will discuss ways to use student writing as a learning tool. We will discuss its use not just as a means of developing discipline-appropriate writing skills (though this is crucial), but also as a means of enhancing student assimilation and retention of course- or discipline-related content and modes of thought; we will also discuss how instruction related to writing can help develop students' critical reading skills. Sample exercises and ideas will be presented, and participants are encouraged to bring their own materials to share with the group.

Michael Kaler is an Assistant Professor and Writing Specialist at the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. He holds doctorates from Universite Laval (Quebec, QC) in sciences religieuse and York University (Toronto, ON) in ethnomusicology, and an MA in Sciences Religiouses from U. Laval; he is also is TESL-Canada and TESL-Ontario certified. He has published widely on such topics as ancient gnosticism, early Christian heterodoxy, the Grateful Dead, science fiction, and the musical expression of religious experience. He reintroduced the teaching of Coptic to the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, teaching there from 2005-2008, and has taught at McMaster and York as well. Since 2012 he has focused on teaching writing skills first through the Office of English Language and Writing Services at U of T), and for the past four years at the RGASC.

2016-17

Strategies for teaching large classes: lessons from Australia, New Zealand and the West Coast of North America

Michelle French, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto

Seminar, September 30, 2016 @ 2:00 p.m.

Michelle will present approaches to enhance the effectiveness of your large class teaching. These will include: active learning strategies to enhance student learning and skill development, approaches to prepare students for class, methods for assessment and teaching technologies. Many of the approaches come from the interviews that Michelle conducted with over 100 instructors and the 20 classroom visits that she made during recent visits to 18 universities in Australia, New Zealand and North America. Seminar attendees will leave with a list of resources and new strategies to transform their large class teaching.

Michelle French is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto (U of T). Over the past 16 years, she has taught university courses in physiology, genetics, cell and molecular biology, regenerative medicine and scientific communication. She holds a BSc and an MSc from U of T and a PhD in physiology from Western University. Her post-doctoral studies were conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne and at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Michelle is the recipient of several teaching awards including an Excellence in Life Sciences Award: Undergraduate Teaching from the Faculty of Medicine at U of T.

Giving Formative Feedback on Sentence Level Issues

Michael Kaler, Lecturer and Writing Specialist, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Workshop, October 12, 2016 @ 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Assessing student writing is difficult; turning that assessment into productive formative feedback is even more so. While this is true whether we are dealing with macro-level issues such as overall argumentation and structure, or smaller scale issues such as grammar and sentence level, many instructors and graders find the latter sorts of issues especially difficult to respond to. As experienced, professional authors in our respective fields, we surely know how to write correct and readable prose, but there is a distinction between knowing what “good” writing is and being comfortable with giving useful feedback to students. We know, but how do we put that knowing into words that our students will understand and respond to?

Beginning with a review of research-based best assessment practices (and taking into consideration the concerns of both native English speakers and English Language Learners), this workshop will provide an opportunity to collaborate and share ideas and approaches to address such concerns. Having been introduced to—or reminded of, as the case may be—some of the research literature on the topic, participants will then build collaboratively on this foundation through group assessment of writing samples and discussion of issues related to grammar and sentence-level clarity (with a special focus on English Language Learner issues). The workshop is open to TAs as well as instructors.

Michael Kaler is a Lecturer and Writing Specialist at the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. He holds doctorates from Universite Laval (Quebec, QC) in sciences religieuse and York University (Toronto, ON) in ethnomusicology, and an MA in Sciences Religiouses from U. Laval; he is also is TESL-Canada and TESL-Ontario certified. He has published widely on such topics as ancient gnosticism, early Christian heterodoxy, the Grateful Dead, science fiction, and the musical expression of religious experience. He reintroduced the teaching of Coptic to the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, teaching there from 2005-2008, and has taught at McMaster and York as well. Since 2012 he has focused on teaching writing skills first through the Office of English Language and Writing Services at U of T), and for the past three years at the RGASC.

Problem Based Learning in the Social Sciences

Sherry Fukuzawa, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, UTM

Nathan Innocente, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Sociology, UTM

Seminar, October 26, 2016 @ 10:00 a.m.

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a self-directed learning strategy where students work collaboratively in small groups to investigate open-ended relatable case scenarios.  Students develop transferable skills that can be applied across disciplines, such as collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking.  PBL is an active learning technique that has been associated with increased student engagement and intrinsic motivation.

In this session we will outline the fundamentals of Problem-based learning from the implementation to the assessment.  We will discuss some challenges of executing PBL in a traditional curriculum, and provide suggestions to successfully put PBL into practice for diverse student populations. 

Sherry Fukuzawa is a sessional lecturer III in the department of anthropology at UTM.  She has been implementing an online hybridized PBL project called the “Monthly Virtual Mystery” in a large first year undergraduate course since 2010.  Sherry is currently researching the relationship between intrinsic student motivation and PBL for diverse student populations in the Active Learning Classroom.

Nathan Innocente is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He teaches courses in identity crime, white-collar and corporate crime, crime and organizations, criminal justice, and introductory and experiential learning courses. His current PBL research assesses student attitudes to PBL and compares the knowledge acquisition and problem-solving skills of students in a PBL and lecture-based version of the same course. His disciplinary research examines the organizational antecedents for mortgage fraud and the intersection between mortgage fraud and identity theft.

Developing and Aligning Student Learning Outcomes

Dianne Ashbourne, Educational Developer, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Workshop, November 25, 2016 @ 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

This interactive workshop will introduce participants to best practices for developing course-level student learning outcomes (SLOs). Participants will have an opportunity to practice writing clear, measurable, and meaningful SLOs for their courses with support from other participants and the workshop facilitator. Alignment of SLOs to learning activities and assessments will also be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of a syllabus for a course for which they would like to develop SLOs or revise existing SLOs.

Dianne is the Educational Developer for the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. Her role on campus is to support the pedagogical development of UTM faculty members. She holds an M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia where she focused on higher education and research. methodology. Prior to coming to work at UTM, Dianne worked at Capilano University where she collaborated with faculty members to develop tools and processes to facilitate the assessment of student learning outcomes.

Experiential Learning and Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Cat Criger, Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Teacher and Mentor, Indigenous Centre, UTM

Nicole Laliberte, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Geography, UTM

Seminar, January 25, 2017 @ 2:00pm - 3:00pm in IB 370.

In alignment with the University of Toronto’s mandate for Aboriginal inclusion, the geography course on Indigenizing Space and Place was designed to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into our current curriculum. This course not only introduces students to literature on indigenous knowledges and indigenous place-based identity, it also strives to guide students through an inquiry-based learning process inspired by the current best practices in Indigenous pedagogical studies. Funding from the UTM Teaching Development Grant in combination with matching funds committed by the Department of Geography provided resources that supported the experiential and inquiry-based aspects of this course through Teaching Assistant training, on-campus Teaching Circles and off-campus field trips.  The effectiveness of these programs were assessed via student and TA reflections and surveys. Lessons learned from this project will contribute to future collaborations across disciplines and departments in a concerted effort to increase indigenous experiential learning opportunities at UTM.

Nicole Laliberté is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research draws upon critical geographic theory, feminist theory, and anti-oppression pedagogies to examine systems of violence ranging from the intersections of militarism, development, and human rights in post-war northern Uganda to violence in institutions of higher learning in North America. She holds a PhD in Geography and Women’s Studies from The Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Cat Criger is an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Teacher and Mentor from the First Nations People. He is Cayuga (Guyohkohnyoh), Turtle Clan of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouse. Cat has been working as a Traditional Teacher and Healer for more than 20 years in the Native and multi-cultural community in Canada, the USA, England, Germany, Poland, and Wales. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of an Aniishnawbe Elder (Zaawawagaabo) and other First Nations Elders, and was taught to do traditional ceremonies, teachings, circles, one to one work and to help all people to 'walk in a good way' though life.

Stress, Anxiety, and Failure: Normal or a Mental Illness?

Andrea Carter, Assistant Dean Student Wellness, Support & Success

Seminar, February 13, 2017 @ 12:00 p.m. - 1:00p.m.

In this seminar, Andrea will distinguish between when stress and anxiety is a natural reaction to events versus when issues might be related to a mental health need. Discussion will focus on how students engage during times of stress, how to respond to these challenges, and what to do when the concerns are more complex.

Participants will learn how to engage students during difficult times, techniques that can limit possible future disasters, and who at UTM can assist in challenging situations.

Andrea Carter is the Assistant Dean Student Wellness, Support & Success at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Over the past ten years, Andrea has address institutional crisis and critical incident response at the University of Toronto. Andrea is a part time faculty member at the University of Western Ontario, in the faculty of interdisciplinary studies. She holds a Masters of Counselling Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests are concentrated on institutional matters related to organizational policy, risk management and legislative compliance.

Assessing the value of integrating writing into a required methodology course in sociology

Jayne Baker, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Sociology, UTM

Tyler Evans-Tokaryk, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and Director, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Agata Pińôkosz, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Shannon Board, Undergraduate Student, Sociology and Criminology, Law and Society, University of Toronto

Seminar, April 7, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Writing across the curriculum (WAC) has been implemented in many universities as a way to address growing concerns around a decline in the quality of student writing. The Sociology department at UTM has always integrated writing in many courses, but only recently has targeted particular courses in our program where specific writing instruction could be introduced. SOC221 (Logic of Social Inquiry) is one of these courses. In this presentation, we review our assessment of whether the quality of a student's research question-submitted in each of three assignments (stages of a single scaffolded assignment)-improves over time. The goal of the research project is to assess whether students' writing improves from the beginning to end of the semester in the ways envisioned in the design of tutorials and writing assignments.

The assessment involves evaluating as a team the research questions of a randomly-selected sample of 70 SOC221 students, using a set of research question assessment criteria developed in the initial stages of the project. In addition, we use a survey of SOC221 Teaching Assistants, who receive training, do most of the assessment of student writing, and interact closely with the students.

Game-Enhanced Learning

Lee Bailey, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Economics, UTM

Tom Klubi, Learning Strategist and Program Manager, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Seminar, April 18, 2017 @ 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The use of board games as pedagogical tools has a wide range of benefits. Previous applications a game-enhanced approach consistently shows that students acquire a deeper understanding of the core curriculum content, and that students experience an expansion in their motivation and level of engagement within the course. High-engagement gameplay has the potential to produce within each participant an “emergent behavior” – that is, a more organic awareness of new meanings within the core curriculum and an increased accessibility to core concepts. 

In this session, Lee and Tom will describe a range of contexts in which of board games have been used as teaching tools in the post-secondary classroom, with emphasis on their experiences at UTM. Plans to use game-enhanced learning in Lee’s ECO 200 course this summer will also be discussed.  

Tom Klubi is the supervisor for the Peer Facilitated Study Group program, which applies the Supplemental Instruction peer mentoring model to the UTM community. Tom also coordinates the P.A.S.S. (Promoting Academic Skills for Success) Program for students who have been placed on academic probation/suspension and students entering the university under probationary status, where he incorporates games to help students develop their academic skills. Tom has wide-ranging personal board game collection on which he draws for the teaching and training approaches he develops.

Lee Bailey, is in an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, with over 20 years of experience teaching in the Department of Economics at UTM. He has a reputation for being an innovative instructor, constantly trying to improve his teaching by experimenting with a range of instructional strategies. This summer, Lee plans to add game-enhanced learning to his repertoire of instructional strategies by using economic simulation games to reinforce course concepts.