Concurrent Sessions # 2

The following 60-minute concurrent sessions will run on Thursday, February 23rd from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

2A: Results of a Reflective Teaching Development Program: Faculty Perspectives, Challenges, and Successes


Room: SSC 1504


Authors: Alison Jeppesen, Faculty Learning Designer, Red Deer College; Brenda Joyce, Faculty, Red Deer College


Session Type: Critical Café


Abstract: How do we assess our teaching development programs? How do faculty see them? Where is the tension between teaching, content, and development? Join with us for a critical discussion of the impact of teaching development programs. The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Red Deer College introduced a three-year program, Excellence in Teaching and Learning, in 2012. In this blended program, faculty meet in interdisciplinary groups to discuss teaching and learning, supported by online resources and activities, their colleagues, and a facilitator. A multi-method research study was launched at the same time to explore the impact on faculty’s approaches to teaching. The transformative nature (Cranton, 2006; Mezirow, 2012) of the program was identified through faculty engagement in the research study. Their responses in focus groups, individual interviews, and through their assignments in the program illustrated challenges, positive outcomes, and  the tension between these. Time constraints and workload warred with the desire to devote the time and attention to the program that participants felt it deserved. In the end, despite concerns over workload, faculty discussed sharing power with students, giving students choice, and changing assignments (Weimer, 2013). The collaborative and collegial space created in the program was one of the strongest benefits seen by participants. In the end, did the positive outcomes mitigate the challenges? And, what are the tensions for educational developers in managing challenges with quality in our programs? This critical cafe will allow opportunity to discuss these questions and share experiences in teaching development programming for all participants.


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



  • Explore participant perspectives on teaching development programs

  • Discuss the challenges and benefits of teaching development programs for participants

  • Explore the tensions for educational developers in creating and offering teaching development programs


2B: EDC Campfire: Struggles of being an ED


Room: SSC 1511


Author: Victoria Chen, PhD Student, Queen’s University


Session Type: Campfire


Abstract: In this safe and judgment free environment, participants are invited to share their thoughts and struggles of being an ED. The activity will start with participants sitting around an indoor faux campfire and participants will introduce themselves. Participants will then write on a piece of paper a word or phrase that describes a struggle they face being an ED and be invited to share it with the group one at a time. This will flow into a group discussion that touches upon the various experiences in the group and evolve as the conversation continues. The aim is not necessarily to solve the challenges people face but to give participants the space to talk about what they are going through as an ED. Once the discussion is completed, everyone will crunch up their pieces of paper and throw it into the “fire”. Participants will then take a new piece of paper and write a word of a phrase they will take away with them after the experience that will remind them of this unique experience.


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



  • Feel a sense of ease of being an ED. The aim of the session is to give participants the space to talk about things EDs face that they may not be necessarily able to talk about at their own institutions. Participants will also leave having experienced a different kind of session format that they can use in their practices.


2C: Breaking Tradition: Developing team-based educational development practice


Room: SSC 2303


Authors: Melec Zeadin, Educational Developer, McMaster University; Julia Evanovitch, Educational Developer, McMaster University; Nancy Fenton, Educational Developer and Leadership in Teaching Program Lead, McMaster University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: In decades past, people at the highest levels of Universities asked big questions of teaching and learning, today as educational developers, we work with faculty members to help take pockets of innovation and excellence to achieve real and positive change. The goals of this interactive workshop are to present an overview of a new Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship program and to highlight the experiences (challenges, successes and insights) of implementing a team- based educational development model. Building up on Bergquist and Phillips’ framework (1977) that conceptualizes the individual role of educational developers as four integrated components – personal development, instructional development, organizational development and community development, we argue a team- based model introduces a team development component.


In this workshop, we discuss how a team-based approach ‘breaks individual tradition’ through building collective structures, processes, and supports at multiple levels of the institution to facilitate working together as educational developers to enhance our scholarly practice and build resource capacity. Through team dialogue and relationship building, we advance the scope of our practice (Bergquist, 1994). In this workshop, participants will participate in small group discussions to share ideas and strategies on various approaches to working as educational developers to advance change in teaching and learning. Using a dialogical framework, participants will engage in an open-ended inquiry into various ways of (re) thinking traditions of educational development.


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



  • Describe the team-based educational development model that is being used in the new Leadership in Teaching & Learning Fellowship program.

  • Communicate ideas and strategies on various approaches to working as educational developers to advance change in teaching and learning.


2D: Weaving Disciplinary Traditions into New Approaches to Educational Development


Room: SSC 2306


Authors: Sarah Louise Turner, Educational Consultant, Simon Fraser University; Janet Pivnick, Educational Consultant, Simon Fraser University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: Faculty are currently experiencing increasing demands for innovative teaching, shrinking resources to support their classroom practice, growing expectations from students and parents and greater scrutiny from society as a whole. In the midst of these pressures, an educational developer is asked to create clarity and support, to guide and encourage. If faculty have educational developers to support their practice, where is the support for the educational developer? Our philosophies, values and disciplinary perspectives shape the work that we do. Our colleagues and networks provide us with avenues to disseminate our findings, pose our conundrums and delve deeper into our practice. Yet still, at the core, we are tasked with working within institutions whose agendas and goals may be different from our own. How do  we understand our core philosophy independent of these structures? How do we begin to fuse these unique and rich visions with our colleagues to create meaningful change within the institutions we serve? Through a storytelling framework, this session will explore the ways educational developers develop and refine their philosophies. Participants will engage in a variety of reflexive exercises aimed at uncovering their unique histories and perspectives that they bring to their educational development practice.


Participants attending this session will:



  • Have a clearer sense of the influences that underlie their own approach to educational development;

  • Have identified the supports needed to align their practice with their philosophy of educational development;

  • Have tools to explore more fully the unique understandings that they bring to the field of educational development.


2E: Book Club: Mindful and Contemplative Practices in Higher Education


Room: SSC 2315


Authors: Jill Grose, Director of the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation, Brock University; Lianne Fisher, Educational Developer, Brock University; Stacey Jury, Academic Accommodations Coordinator, Brock University


Session Type: Book Club


Abstract: In this session we will explore what it means, both personally and professionally, to engage with mindful and contemplative practices both in the classroom and across the institution. Using the book Contemplative Practices in Higher Education (Barbezat & Bush, 2014) as the impetus for our discussion, we will share our thoughts and beliefs about the broader purpose of education, the learning impact of reflection and introspection, and the institutional and classroom strategies that can be used to foster mindfulness and contemplation in the university context. We will also explore the role of teaching centres, educational developers and others who support student learning to ascertain how we can facilitate this work in meaningful ways.


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



  • Identify the impact of mindful and contemplative practices employed in higher education

  • Reflect further on ways in which contemplative practices can be personally enacted in the post-secondary context.


2F: Making Learning Evident with E-Portfolios


Room: SSC 3303


Authors: Mary Gene Saudelli, Faculty Development, University of the Fraser Valley; Michelle Johnson, Educational Developer, University of the Fraser Valley


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: The University of the Fraser Valley is a teaching centred university with a strong tradition of emphasizing the learning experience with students. To that end, the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) is active in creating faculty development opportunities that engages innovative pedagogies, assessment and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The university is interested in e-portfolios as teaching, learning and assessment strategies and has changed the Arts and Professional Studies degree programs to embed ePortfolios in each year of study. To assist in the delivery of these program requirement changes, the TLC has designed and implemented various professional development workshops for faculty. This Welcome to my Workshop will present one of the faculty workshops that the TCL has created to obtain feedback from attendees in terms of their experience and understandings of the workshop.


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



  • Provide feedback in relation to their experience and engagements in the ePortfolio workshop.

  • Consider the nature of the workshop in relation to professional development for integration of ePortfolio curriculum change in Arts and Professional Studies.


2G: (re)Imagining the Professional Development of Educational Developers


Room: SSC 3306


Authors: Natasha May, Educational Developer, York University; Celia Popovic, Director of the Teaching Commons, York University; Mandy Frake-Mistak, Educational Developer, York University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: As educational developers we support and contribute to the professional development of our colleagues, but how often do we have the opportunity to develop ourselves as educational developers? For some of us, it is part of our job description. Others are not so lucky, and for all of us, with many competing priorities, professional development is often sacrificed, or put on hold to tend to more pressing responsibilities. Maybe it is time to re-imagine what professional development looks like for developers. In this 60-minute workshop session, you will have the opportunity to share your own methods of professional development, what you have engaged in and what you already know about. We will present opportunities, courses and resources that we and other colleagues have designed to support educational developers from all experience levels. After some small group activities and discussions in plenary, we’ll be primed and ready to get creative and brainstorm the future of our professional development. What do we need? How can we engage each other and induct new educational developers or expand our educational development community?


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



  • Describe how they continue to develop themselves as Educational Developers (EDs)

  • Identify existing professional development opportunities for new and experienced EDs

  • Develop ideas, imagine and illustrate what professional development of EDs could and should look like to fill a gap or need in our own and future EDs experiences.


2H: Revisiting, Refocusing, and Reinvigorating Formative Feedback for Teaching Development


Room: SSC 3307


Authors: Cheryl Jeffs, Educational Development Consultant, University of Calgary; Ykje Piera, Learning Technologies Specialist, University of Calgary


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: The purpose of this interactive workshop is to provide participants the opportunity to revisit the tradition of formative feedback processes for teaching development, refocus on the purpose and intent, and to reinvigorate the practice of formative feedback through practical strategies and techniques. Our focus of formative feedback is that it is an intentional, voluntary, developmental strategy for instructors to receive feedback about their teaching with the goal of better understanding and improving student learning (Smith, 2001; Weimer, 2013). At the University of Calgary, an initiative was introduced to reinvigorate this practice, and to provide instructors with a renewed sense of the value and purpose of formative feedback processes.


Our focus is on feedback for and to the instructor using Brookfield’s (1995) lenses of perspective, 1. Self, 2. Students, 3. Colleagues, and 4. Scholarship. Refocusing on formative feedback strategies as an effective means to capture real-time feedback about teaching can better equip instructors to revise or make adjustments during the course, instead of waiting for final summative evaluations.


The CARRA model (Jeffs & Piera, 2016) will be introduced and explored as a means to refocus on formative feedback process. Participants will revisit formative feedback strategies and techniques and discover how easily these can be implemented into teaching practice, how educational development centres can enhance their resources, and how instructors can embrace the tradition and reinvigorate it for their individual teaching development.


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



  • Revisit: define and describe the intent and purpose of formative feedback processes

  • Refocus: Identify various formative feedback strategies and techniques (traditional and new)

  • Reinvigorate: Explore a formative feedback model and framework to take back to their centres


CANCELLED 2I: Of Parasols, Parapluies, and Canopies: Perspectives on the Profession - Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner Presentation


Room: SSC 3317


Author: Eileen M. Herteis, Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner, Director of the Purdy Crawford Teaching Centre, Mount Allison University


Session Type: Interactive Presentation


Abstract: Canopies provide shade and shelter. They offer a sense of protection and community to those huddled beneath.  As a bonus, they also keep pests and inclement elements out.


Mary Taylor Huber (2002) called the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning a “broad canopy” under which a wide range of work flourishes.  Not coincidentally, Educational Development, the profession that has long supported and nurtured SoTL, is itself a capacious canopy. It encompasses (among others) instructional developers, curriculum specialists, TA mentors, researchers, educational technologists, and now even vice-presidents of teaching and learning.


In the last 25 years, I have witnessed a remarkable change in the profession. Through accident or choice, many of us are moving inexorably from the front lines to the back rooms, absorbed more now with institutional policy and change management than in connecting with “the small things”—the daily celebrations and vexations—that instructors face.  On reflection, I have tremendous appreciation for how far we’ve come, but also a few regrets about what might be falling aside.


How would you describe our canopy today?   I invite you to join the discussion.