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Spring Perspectives on Teaching Conference - May 14, 2012

Spring Perspectives on Teaching Conference - May 14, 2012

Date: May 14, 2012
Location: Social Science Centre, Room 2050

Spring Perspectives on Teaching Conference Schedule (pdf)


Welcoming Remarks

Amit Chakma, President & Vice-Chancellor, Western University
Debra Dawson, Director, Teaching Support Centre, Western University

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

SSC 2050

Keynote Session

Student Engagement: The Key to Deep and Effective Learning

Alastair Summerlee, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph

There is considerable evidence to show that the amount of time and energy students engage in university and community activity outside the classroom is directly related to their ultimate success and performance. In fact, engagement activities that are intentionally linked to educational strategies lead to better student performance and higher levels of satisfaction. The implications are clear: we need to think deliberately about student engagement as a key to deep and effective learning.

Dr. Alastair Summerlee is the University of Guelph’s seventh president. President Summerlee, whose career as a scholar, professor, researcher and administrator spans nearly 30 years, joined the University of Guelph faculty in 1988 as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. He was named an associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, dean of graduate studies in 1995, associate vice-president (academic) in 1999, provost and vice-president (academic) in 2000, and president in 2003. He has continued teaching while holding administrative positions and was awarded a prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship in June 2003 for outstanding leadership in teaching, education and academic program development. His research in biomedical sciences is acclaimed internationally and he has attracted significant funding to support his research, published extensively and been an invited lecturer at universities and colleges around the world. He holds a B.Sc., B.V.Sc., Ph.D. and LLD, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

SSC 2050

Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Session A – Choose One Session

Session A-1

Improving Wikipedia improves more than Wikipedia: Using the Wikipedia Canadian Education Program to promote critical thinking, information literacy, and communication skills

Jonathan Obar, Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing
Tom Haffie, Department of Biology, Western University

The Canadian Wikipedia Education Program currently supports several faculty working with hundreds of their students on academic exercises designed to improve Wikipedia.  This session will use illustrative examples of coursework to showcase the Canadian Wikipedia Education Program as a framework for addressing a wide range of academic outcomes.  Participants will be invited to discuss why and how they might integrate Wikipedia editing exercises into their courses.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SSC 2036

Session A-2

And the Moral of the Story is … : The Use of Narrative in Teaching 

Nadine LeGros, Teaching Support Centre, Western University

Not all teaching narratives begin with the phrase ‘once upon a time,’ nor do they necessarily end with the happily-ever-after ‘aha!’moment that instructors seek.  In this session, we will examine many different forms of narrative which can be used in every discipline.  We will also introduce a model you can employ to ensure that you maximize learning and retention when teaching with narrative.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SSC 2050


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session B – Choose One Session

Session B-1

New OWL (powered by Sakai):  New Learning Management System Implemented at Western 

A panel discussion with instructors who were part of the winter pilot of the new OWL (powered by Sakai). Listen to their experiences with building and teaching with the new learning management system.  There will be opportunity to ask the panel participants questions.

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

SSC 2050

Session B-2

Promoting Student Socialization into a Discipline: A Curricular Innovation

Tom Haffie, Department of Biology, Western University
Tricia Gray, Department of Biology, Western University

The Biology Literacy Project, funded by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, is a curricular innovation designed to facilitate the socialization of first-year students into the discipline of Biology and the broader academic culture.  Through a series of lessons and exercises embedded within the course, as well as a voluntary extra-curricular activity, students learn the foundational knowledge of the course in the context of discipline-based issues such as ethics, information literacy and academic integrity.  The project articulates with a second year laboratory course that expands these goals. This session will highlight various lessons and exercises from both levels, including writing-to-learn, Journal Club, Discovery Café, peer-editing, and ethical behaviour.  Discussion will explore the broad applicability of this approach to promoting the socialization of novice students into their disciplines and the academy.

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

SSC 2036

Refreshment Break

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Plenary Session

Engagement and Deep Learning in the Disciplines: Examples from Exemplary Western Faculty

Chantelle Richmond, Departments of Geography and First Nations Studies, Western University
Christopher Viger, Department of Philosophy, Western University
Tim Wilson, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University

Join three of Western's most effective instructors for a demonstration of their teaching methods followed by a panel discussion about the strategies that they employ to motivate and engage students in their classrooms.  Reflect on the ways in which these approaches might translate to your own teaching context.

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

SSC 2050

Registration is free. Click here to register.
Refreshments will be available at 8:45 a.m. and during the morning and afternoon breaks.

Please note that some of the sessions will be video-recorded and made available on the TSC web site.