Concurrent Sessions # 1

The following 90-minute concurrent sessions will run on Thursday, February 23rd from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

1A: Curriculum Cartography: Methods for Mapping Multiple Aspects

Room: SSC 1504

Author: Michael Lockett, Educational Consultant, Simon Fraser University

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract: Curriculum mapping in educational development is often used to represent learning outcomes.  This seminar builds on these practices and explores how different mapping techniques can be used to portray curricular aspects and concepts beyond outcomes.  Informed by works in curriculum theorizing (Kliebard 2001, Pinar 2004, and Davis 2004), the session begins with an overview of curricular development perspectives pertaining to design and evaluation.  Following a brief discussion of fundamental mapping concepts, participants will experiment with mapping exercises and develop graphic representations of hypothetical or actual courses of study.  Thereafter, through small group conversations and a facilitated large group discussion, participants will share their findings and discuss methods from their own development practices.  In doing so, this session aims to provide participants with both techniques for mapping multiple curricular aspects and a critical dialogue about how such methods might be used for drafting and analyzing curricular designs.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • map multiple curricular aspects;

  • employ multiple mapping techniques;

  • use mapping methods to draft, portray, and analyze curricula.

1B: A Panel with a Twist: Engaging the Voices of International TAs

Room: SSC 1511

Authors: Laura Sloat, Educational Developer, University of Guelph; Alessia Ursula, PhD Student, University of Guelph

Session Type: Name Your Own Format

Abstract: You are standing in front of seminar class of 30 third-year undergraduate students as their teaching assistant (TA) two weeks after having arrived in Canada to begin your graduate studies. Almost all of the students in front of you speak a different native language, have different academic cultural expectations, and have had different educational experiences than you. The lead professor of the course has asked you to facilitate discussions using active-learning techniques, but this is not a pedagogical style that you are familiar with. Where do you begin? What skills will you need to develop? What supports do you have?

During this creative session format, titled ‘Panel with a Twist,’ hear from both new and experienced international TAs as they share their personal instructional challenges, the skills they need or needed support in developing, and their vision for TA support in higher education. But, here’s the twist! Panelists will only briefly speak in a traditional panel format. For the majority of the session, the panelists will engage in facilitated small group discussions with participants. Small groups will consider the challenges previously presented by panelists while further exploring one of two areas of consideration: 1) the development of skill sets of new TAs; or 2) the continuation and improvement of support of experienced TAs.  The goal of these facilitated discussions is to produce a series of strategies, ideas, or considerations that might assist educational developers, faculty members and other instructors support international TAs in their teaching.

By the end of this ‘Panel with a Twist,’ participants will be able to:

  • Identify the major challenges of international teaching assistants (TAs) in Canadian higher education

  • Explore a vision for support of international TAs that emerges from the voice of international TAs themselves

  • Implement and advocate for strategies, ideas and considerations to support international TAs in their work as instructors

1C: The Role of Educational Development in the Quality Assurance Process

Room: SSC 2303

Authors: Amy Gullage, Educational Developer, McMaster University; Erin Aspenlieder, Educational Developer, Program Enhancement Lead, McMaster University; Melec Zeadin, Educational Developer, McMaster University

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract: Quality assurance practices, regimes and systems have become a main priority for a number of higher education institutions both globally and locally (Altbach, 2010; Harvey & Green, 1993). With rapidly increasing student enrollment, economic shifts and the increased desire for international recognition, there is greater demanding accountability. Thus, discussions have intensified and led to the need for greater clarification with regards to how quality is defined, experienced and assessed. Various attempts have been made to delineate the term quality. However, the ways in which quality has been defined varies widely, particularly among those working within post-secondary institutions.

Given this context, it is important for educational developers to examine the complexities and tensions of providing support to faculty and staff as they prepare their quality assurance reviews. This workshop will encourage participants to examine and consider the various roles educational developers may play supporting the quality assurance process within their institutions. Participants will also connect their work with how faculty, students and administrators understand quality assurance and its function within higher education.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • discuss the various roles educational developers might play in the quality assurance process

  • examine these roles and how they support or contradict faculty, student and administrator understandings of quality assurance

1D:Visualizing our Pathways of and to Change

Room: SSC 2306

Authors: Shirley Hall, Educational Developer,  Wilfrid Laurier University; Laura Kinderman, Associate Director, Queen’s University

Session Type: Critical Café

Abstract: As educational developers in various traditional and non-traditional locales, we continuously rethink our roles and ourselves in practice and responsibility. We exist within and outside of communities: in centres of one, in association with large collaborative centres, in consultation with faculty communities, and beyond, in  regional and national partnerships. We affect change – because we build capacity in others (Grabove, Kustra, Lopes, Potter, Wiggers, & Woodhouse, 2012). This is how we do it: we live within and between communities in order to facilitate and create shared spheres of influence and collaborative inquiry, sharing the processes, approaches, initiatives and programming that may be implemented to move beyond traditional definitions and dissolve physical and metaphorical boundaries. What are our pathways of and to change? How do our locales impact change? Do they contribute to the presence of supportive, sustained, and functional communities that facilitate timely, effective, transformative educational change? Please join us at our Critical Cafe as two educational developers from different institutions share their pathways, highlight a successful change initiative from their institutions, and invite other Educational Developers to map their journeys and discuss challenges in building capacity and solutions in facilitating educational change. Our session aims to broaden and deepen collective understanding of our roles as change agents in the educational development landscape.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Investigate some of the ways in which 21st century educational development practices are rapidly evolving beyond traditional modes of teaching and learning;

  • Draw, discover and discuss examples of the diversity of our respective pathways as Educational Developers;

  • Explore through diagrams and dialogue transformative educational change and transformative leadership within the educational development community.

1E: Educational Development Evaluation: How do we use assessment evidence to inform our practice?

Room: SSC 2315

Authors: Veronica Brown, Sr. Instructional Developer, University of Waterloo; Kodiana Kolomitro, Educational Developer, Queen’s University; Robin Mueller, Educational Development Consultant, University of Calgary; Crystal Tse, Educational Research Associate, University of Waterloo; Carolyn Ives, Curriculum Planning and Development Coordinator, MacEwan University; Daniel Braun, Curriculum Planning and Development Coordinator, MacEwan University; Carolyn Hoessler, Educational Developer Leadership Award Winner, Program and Curriculum Development Specialist, University of Saskatchewan

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract: You are invited to consider how to adapt and apply one or more framework(s) to evaluating the work of educational development within your own settings through a series of discussions and working opportunities. Evaluation of educational development is essential for generating ongoing evidence to inform our practices.

Effective evaluation involves intentional design and collection of robust and varied assessment information. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in the data. How  do we prevent this from happening, and ensure that evaluation leads to meaningful improvements in practice? We will draw on existing evaluation frameworks and utilize examples from centers across Canada to illustrate how assessment evidence can be used to inform and make decisions on educational development practice. This session is an active, engaged workshop opportunity for you. We will briefly introduce four assessment frameworks that have influenced our work: Amundsen & Wilson, 2012; Bamber & Stefani, 2015; Chalmers & Gardiner, 2015; and Wright, 2011. We will invite and share stories about how using assessment frameworks helps address challenges of getting bogged down in data and coordinating data collection. Working in small groups, you will critically examine these frameworks and consider how they might be applied to your own contexts. There is embedded work time to revise or begin assessment planning for the coming year to integrate evidence into your educational development practice, with a final discussion about implications for putting your plans into practice.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Critically consider four assessment frameworks in the context of your own centre and audiences (faculty, students, administrators, and support units);

  • If you have an assessment plan, review and examine your centre’s approach to using assessment evidence; and

  • If you do not yet have an assessment plan, explore opportunities for adapting existing frameworks to create an assessment plan to inform your practice.

1F: Breaking Traditions: Intentionally Guiding Graduate Students in Educational Development

Room: SSC 3303

Authors: Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Dalhousie University; Jill McSweeney, Educational Developer, Dalhousie University

Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Traditionally graduate students have had visible roles in teaching and learning centres, primarily supporting graduate student teaching development. These experiences can provide an introduction to the field of Educational Development (ED) and an opportunity to realize the pursuit of non-traditional higher education careers. At a time when many graduate students are searching for alternative positions to the academic career track (Maldonado, Wiggers & Arnold, 2013), we  should examine more closely how supporting the development of ED skill sets can enable graduate students to cross the borders between student and professional, academic and administrator. Educational developers need to think more intentionally about shaping and guiding the identity of graduate students in the field of ED to sustain the development of the field and expand the capacity of teaching centres (Linder, 2011; McDonald, 2010).

Our session will focus on understanding how can we systematically mentor graduate students in the area of ED. We will invite participants to brainstorm through small group discussions and personal reflection about how graduate student positions within centres (e.g., GTA, research assistants, online support) and departments (e.g., teaching assistantships) provide a bridge into the field of ED for graduate students, and what we can do to nurture this transition. Through collaboration and dialogue, participants will be asked to propose approaches that could formulate a clear developmental path for graduate students to evolve as Educational Developers, moving them beyond the often serendipitous journey many developers take to ED careers (Stockley, McDonald & Hoessler, 2015).

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Contemplate ways in which to mentor graduate students into the field of educational development;

  • Consider their role in graduate student development within their centres.

1G: The Stories We Tell: Transforming Culture Through Celebratory Narrative

Room: SSC 3306

Authors: Jessica Raffoul, Research and Communications Coordinator, University of Windsor; Michael Potter, Teaching and Learning Specialist, University of Windsor; Erika Kustra, Director, Teaching and Learning Development, University of Windsor

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract: Across class, cultures, borders, perhaps we share most our reliance on stories – to understand ourselves, one another, and fundamentally, to give meaning to experience. Researchers have long written about the transformative power of storytelling: its capacity to build culture; challenge dominant discourses; reveal and strengthen new narratives; celebrate values; and build confidence (Williams, Labonte, & O’Brien, 2003; Shor & Freire, 1987; Sole, & Wilson, 2002). Berry (as cited in Boal & Schultz, 2007) notes that we can better understand the reasons behind an organization’s actions, patterns, and value systems, if we learn its stories.

In this session, participants will identify their success stories, building a common narrative with which we can transform institutional views and value systems regarding teaching and educational development. Join us as we foster a culture that inspires and encourages excellent teaching!

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • convey the importance of storytelling in shaping and transforming teaching, student learning, and institutional culture;

  • explore, identify, and evaluate their own practice to strengthen their connection to their values and beliefs;

  • compose their own success stories; and

  • build a common narrative with which we can transform institutional views and value systems regarding educational development and teaching

1H: Examining the Value, Outcomes, Critical Questions, and Ideal Structure for an Interdisciplinary, 4-course Certificate in Educational Development

Room: SSC 3307

Authors: Natasha Kenny, Director of the Educational Development Unit, University of Calgary; Lynn Taylor, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), University of Calgary

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract: Educational development continues to evolve as a field of practice, scholarship and leadership (Taylor & Rege-Colet, 2010; Taylor, 2005).  The scope of contemporary educational development is broad and, while elements of practice vary depending on institutional contexts, common elements include:

  • supporting graduate students and instructors in their growth as teachers;

  • facilitating course and program design;

  • consulting on quality assurance processes;

  • providing educational leadership on committees and in developing institutional processes that value and recognize teaching;

  • supporting and engaging in scholarship of teaching, learning and educational development; and,

  • advocating for teaching and learning across the postsecondary sector (Taylor & Rege-Colet; Gibbs, 2013).

In response to this increasing complexity, the EDC and its members have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to providing on-going professional development opportunities. As scholarship related to the practices, approaches, and influence of educational development continues to grow, an emergent question in multiple conversations is whether the time is right to build on this tradition by considering opportunities for colleagues from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to engage in academic study in the field.  In this session, participants are invited to join in a critical examination of the value, purpose, outcomes, critical questions, and ideal structure for an interdisciplinary, 4-course certificate in educational development to be offered through the University of Calgary.  Participants will actively provide feedback on how such a program can build on traditional EDC strengths of discipline diversity and context-specific practice to create a collaborative learning experience that contributes further to building community, practice and scholarship in educational development.

Participants attending this session will engage in collaborative dialogue regarding the development of a 4-course certificate in educational development.  By the end of this session participants will have:

  • reflected on their own professional learning goals

  • critically examined the value, purpose, outcomes, critical questions, and ideal structure for an interdisciplinary, 4-course certificate in educational development

  • collaborated to provide input that will inform the development of an innovative opportunity for academic study in educational development

1I: Harnessing the Dynamics of Curriculum Change: (re-)Thinking the Role of the Educational Developer in the UK and Canada

Room: SSC 3317

Authors: Alan Wright, Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor; Carole Davis, Head of Educational Development, Queen Mary University London; Erika Kustra, Director, Teaching and Learning Development, University of Windsor

Session Type: Interactive Workshop

Abstract:  Educational developers have become increasing involved in curriculum matters in their institutional settings. No longer pre-occupied mainly with enhancing the teaching practices of the individual instructor, developers have been called upon to work with program and curriculum development teams to contribute to educational change (Healey et al, 2014). The impetus for changes has also come from government departments and other agencies external to the university. This interactive workshop begins by using examples from institutional settings in the United Kingdom and Canada to re-examine the role of the educational developer in curriculum change and tackles the issues of the evolution and implementation of graduate attributes and learning outcomes (Hounsell,2011).The workshop leaders address with participants the central question of how educational developers can, ideally, occupy central roles in this process with the full confidence of senior academic administrators as well as deans, heads, and rank and file faculty, with examples shared from Queen Mary University London and the University of Windsor. Participants will then be actively involved and engaged in a series of facilitated activities which enables them to discuss barriers and opportunities characteristic of the dynamics and context of their own institutions. Participants will benefit from the perspectives of colleagues external to their organization through a constructive action planning exercise and exchange of personal experiences.

By the end of this session participants will be able to:

  • Identify and describe two or more conditions for making an impact on curriculum change in a given university.

  • Will be able to record at least one strategy to re-think or re-enforce their leadership in the curriculum change process at their own university.