Upcoming Conference

Please join us on August 29, 2017 for our annual Fall Perspectives on Teaching Conference.


Fall Perspectives on Teaching

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Arthur & Sonia Labatt Health Sciences Building, Room 40

Welcoming Remarks 9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
HSB 40

Mike Atkinson, Teaching Fellow, Teaching Support Centre
Nanda Dimitrov, Acting Director, Teaching Support Centre

Keynote Session 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
HSB 40

Using Assessment to Nurture Critical Thinking

Garfield Gini-Newman, Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto

Keynote Powerpoint Slides (pdf)
Opportunites to Problematize a lecture of create an interactive asynchronistic dialogue (doc)
Assessing Critical Thinking Competencies Rubric (pdf)

A primary goal of virtually all educators is to help their students to think deeply about important concepts and ideas and to use their knowledge to construct innovative responses to complex issues and problems.  When assessment is used primarily to assess the end product or performance, important opportunities to support and extend student learning are often missed.  An important element of nurturing critical thinking in higher education involves self-regulated learning and collaborative thinking that are both enhanced through the use of “assessment for” and “assessment as” learning. During this keynote, Garfield will connect a framework for critical inquiry to effective assessment by examining how assessing the intellectual tools for rigorous thought can provide rich opportunities for students to peer and self-assess. During the session we will

  • Explore effective strategies for putting critical thinking at the core of learning;
  • Consider criteria for powerful assessments; 
  • Explore the opportunities for learning when assessment tasks are used to launch learning;
  • Understand the four fronts for critical thinking including: a) developing a community of thinkers; b) creating opportunities for thinking; c) teaching the intellectual tools for quality thinking (background knowledge, criteria for judgment, critical thinking vocabulary, thinking strategies, habits of mind); and d) assessing for quality thinking.
Garfield Gini-Newman blends humour with a deep understanding of effective curriculum design centred around the infusion of critical thinking for all. As an associate professor at OISE/University of Toronto and a senior national consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium, Garfield has worked with thousands of instructors in a variety of disciplines, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and authentic assessments. He has consulted with institutions in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean and across North America, and has spoken across Canada and internationally on critical thinking, brain compatible classrooms, curriculum design, effective assessment practice, and nurturing 21st century skills in a digital world. Garfield has also authored several articles, chapters in books and seven textbooks and has taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia. His most recent book, co-authored with Roland Case, Creating Thinking Classrooms has received widespread praise from leading educators across Canada and internationally.

Refreshment Break

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Plenary Session

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
HSB 40

Getting Students to Think Critically: Perspectives from the Disciplines

Moderator: Karyn Olsen (Teaching Support Centre)

Panelists: Burns Cheadle (Department of Earth Sciences), Angela Mendelovici (Department of Philosophy), Sandra Smeltzer (Faculty of Information and Media Studies), Anita Woods (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology), Garfield Gini-Newman (Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, OISE)

Join this interactive panel discussion with Western faculty members who will share personal experiences related to developing critical thinking skills among students in their home disciplines. The goal is to share concrete strategies for planning classroom activities and assessments. Our conversation will explore ways of promoting critical thinking that include: analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing information; evaluating ideas and arguments; considering perspectives, assumptions, and biases; and tackling complex questions and tasks.

Break 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions A

SESSION A-1 

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
HSB 236

Facilitating Learning in the Intercultural Classroom

Nanda Dimitrov (Teaching Support Centre)
Aisha Haque (Teaching Support Centre)

The cultural landscape of Canadian university classrooms has shifted dramatically in the past 20 years. In today’s classrooms, instructors are frequently called upon to include international perspectives in the curriculum and to teach students from multiple cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. In this session, we will introduce the Intercultural Teaching Competence (ITC) Framework to explore concrete strategies that instructors can incorporate into their practice as they engage students in intercultural learning. In particular, participants will (1) reflect on how culture influences teaching and learning norms in their discipline and (2) design activities to promote local and global engagement across cultures among their students.

SESSION A-2 

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
HSB 240

Flourishing in Your Teaching: Cultivating a Practice that Supports Your Well-Being

Mike Atkinson (Department of Psychology)
Tom Haffie (Department of Biology)
Ken N. Meadows (Teaching Support Centre)

Most of us invest our hearts and souls into our teaching and experience amazing highs, depressing lows, and so much in-between. But what can we do to bolster our well-being as teachers? What practices can help us thrive in our teaching? In this interactive workshop, we will work in groups to develop concrete strategies for how we can improve our well-being as teachers. We will draw on principles from Positive Psychology to explore how we can increase five aspects of our well-being in our teaching: Positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and sense of accomplishment.

Refreshment Break 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions B

SESSION B-1 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
HSB 236

OWL Upgrade: What’s new in Fall 2017

eLearning Technologists (Western Technology Services)
eLearning Specialists (Teaching Support Centre)

OWL’s been upgraded! Join eLearning Technologists from Western Technology Services and eLearning Specialists from the Teaching Support Centre to find out more about the new features and learn how they can be incorporated into your courses. You’ll learn how the new grade book, lesson tools and updated interface can save you effort as well as engage your learners.

SESSION B-2 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
HSB 240

Working Effectively with Teaching Assistants

Karyn Olsen (Teaching Support Centre)

Are you interested in starting the semester off right with your TA(s)? Do you want to know how to make the most of this working relationship? Join this workshop to learn more about establishing an effective teaching team. Through conversation and case studies, faculty participants will discuss how to:

  • Set up a contract of roles and responsibilities with TAs;
  • Implement strategies that will save time on marking and handling student questions;
  • Manage and mentor TAs successfully;
  • Identify the developmental needs of TA instructors and direct them to helpful resources.

Registration is free.

Refreshments will be available at 8:45 a.m. and during the morning (10:30 am) and afternoon (2:45 pm) breaks.

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