Concurrent Sessions # 3

The following 60-minute concurrent sessions will run on Thursday, February 23rd from 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

3A: Book Club: Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education


Room: SSC 1504


Authors: Clarke Mathany, Educational Developer, University of Guelph; Mary Wilson, Director, Centre for Academic Excellence, Niagara College


Session Type: Book Club


Abstract: Kuh et al., in Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, argue that “gathering evidence and understanding of what students know and can   do as a result of their college experience is not easy, but harnessing that evidence and using it to improve student success and institutional functioning is even more demanding” (2015, p. 2). As educational developers, our work frequently intersects with these demands. The challenge of collecting evidence of student learning and supporting faculty, departments, and institutions to analyze that evidence in ways that support meaningful improvements to student learning infuses our work.


Kuh et al. provide numerous strategies and processes that can support institutions to effectively use student evidence and this book club session aims to discuss these propositions through the lens of an educational developer. The facilitators invite anyone wrestling with the relationships between student learning, assessment measures for continuous curricular improvement / quality assurance, and the associated institutional processes that support enhanced student learning to join our book club! While reading the book prior to EDC 2017 is encouraged, delegates who have not yet read the book are welcome to attend as well. The discussion will focus on identifying and refining tangible approaches and processes for supporting institutional engagement with student evidence and outcomes assessment. Using semi-structured discussion, participants will explore: • What suggestions in the book are already being implemented at your institution? Are they working? • What opportunities to enhance our work did the book elicit? • What arguments from the authors did you disagree with? • What actions will you take as an educational developer as a result of this book?


Book: Kuh, G. D., Ikenberry, S. O., Jankowski, N. A., Cain, T. R., Ewell, P. T., Hutchings, P., & Kinzie, J. (2015). Using evidence of student learning to improve higher education. Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education.  http://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2016.1139098


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



  • Explore the challenges and opportunities associated using student evidence of learning in continuous improvement curriculum processes

  • Discuss the implications of the book for their practice as an educational developer and the processes at their institution

  • Identify next steps to implement recommendations outlined in the book or throughout the discussion


3B: Just another silo (sigh…): Retaining our connections with the teachers across the disciplines.


Room: SSC 1511


Author: Russell Day, Faculty, Simon Fraser University


Session Type: Campfire Session


Abstract: There are some historic patterns in academe that members of the EDC community might wish to avoid. Academe now seems to be ruled by ‘splitters’ as opposed to ‘lumpers’, with each discipline being split into smaller and smaller fragments, all with their ‘necessary’ boundaries and the secret handshakes to be learned. New academics, despite institutional concern about the breadth of their learning when they were undergraduate students, find that their perspectives becomes narrower and narrower, not only in terms of the research that they produce (to be read by just a handful of others in their narrow field of study), but also in terms of the their teaching.  These are the ‘silos’ that many acknowledge (a ‘silos in higher education’ search results in 38,800 hits in Google Scholar), but few are able to do anything about. Are Educational Developers at risk of doing the same with the rush to ‘professionalize’ their practice? Are we seeing signs of it happening already (Amundsen & Wilson, 2012; Steinert et al., 2006)? How can we avoid being trapped in a silo with little or no connection or relevance to teaching and learning across the disciplines? During this discussion, we will brainstorm ways ED Professionals can continue to benefit from the cross-fertilization that occurs when we build community around teaching across disciplines and celebrate the differences we each bring to our practice! One tradition ED Communities need to nurture is acceptance of all people passionate about improving teaching, regardless of background discipline – that diversity enriches our young profession.


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



  • Articulate the fine balance needed to develop an ED Profession without losing the connections with the broader disciplines.

  • Accept as a genuine ED role the role of ‘community builder’ in their institutions by working across disciplines.

  • Engage cross-disciplinary colleagues in seeing the value of learning from each other, thus escaping the disciplinary silos.


3C: Uncovering Reputation: Gathering Feedback from our External Stakeholders


Room: SSC 2303


Authors: Donna Ellis, Director, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo; Veronica Brown, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Waterloo; Mary Power, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Waterloo


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: External reviews are becoming more commonplace for educational development (ED) centres, and practices used to review academic departments are being applied to our context. One key document needed for an external review is the self-study, which includes historical, contextual, and factual data about a centre (Beach, Kalish, & DeZure, 2013). Much of the data come from the centre’s records and staff members, but data from stakeholders outside of the centre are also important. Feedback from client groups, senior administrators, and colleagues from other units at our institutions is frequently sought. As we planned our self-study, we recognized that our ED community is an important stakeholder group that could help provide an external perspective on our work. While not a common approach, we adapted a model of the various dimensions of reputation in higher education (Suomi, 2014) to the ED context and developed a survey instrument. In it, we sought to uncover our reputation through feedback from our “critical friends” (Roxå & Mårtensson, 2009) who could provide both “an honest and well-founded response and…have the competence and ability to provide it” (Handal, 1999, p. 64). Our session will focus on our collaborative evaluation process, specifically engaging the ED community. Participants will analyze and make decisions about leveraging the expertise of their community of colleagues at other ED centres when developing a self-study as part of an evaluation process. We will also explore questions around utility and general feelings of acceptance about this type of feedback process within the ED community.


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



  • Determine the fit of reputation measurement with their evaluation plans

  • Identify reputational indicators they could use in a self-study or other evaluation plan


CANCELLED 3D: Leading UP in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Room: SSC 2306


Authors: Deborah Kiceniuk, Senior Educational Developer, Dalhousie University; Janice Miller-Young, Academic Director, University of Alberta; Catherine Anderson, Teaching Professor, McMaster University; Julie Mooney, Faculty Development Consultant/Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University; Jessica Riddell, Chairperson, Bishops University; Alice Schmidt Hanbidge, Assistant Professor, Renison College, University of Waterloo; Veronica Ward, Graduate Student, University of Guelph; Maureen Wideman, Director of Teaching and Learning, University of the Fraser Valley; Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute, University Chair in Teaching and Learning, Teaching Professor, English Department, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: In June of 2016, nine individual academics/educational developers from various institutions came together to write about leadership in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The outcome of those discussions was the development of a framework in which individuals working at the faculty or administrative levels  could find a ‘place’ to describe their work and to plan how SoTL is situated and subsequently could progress at their institution. In the article that resulted from our discussions we state, “Just as leadership is sensitive to a particular context, so too is SoTL.” (Miller-Young et.al, 2016, submitted). Therefore, the object of this workshop is to use this framework as a basis for discussion on how SOTL can be promoted, supported, and flourish in the context of educational developers’ work in each participant’s institution.


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



  • Describe the place in which their institution lies within the SoTL framework as a basis to facilitate and promote interest in SoTL work.

  • Understand the various types of roles of ‘leadership’ within the SoTL.

  • Situate and define their role as ‘leaders’ in promoting and facilitating SoTL through the educational developers lens within the context of their institution.

  • Participate in a discussion that will focus on the development of a national SoTL plan to promote scholarship in teaching and learning.


3E: Supporting Teaching and Learning in a Precarious Work Culture


Room: SSC 2315


Author: Melanie Greene, Teaching Consultant, Memorial University


Session Type: Critical Café


Abstract: Known by various names, such as contingent or adjunct faculty, per-course or sessional instructors, teaching term appointees, lecturers, and contract professors, this growing group of instructional staff can be distinguished from those with permanent academic contracts. Contract instructors teach an ever-increasing number of students in our institutions; at some universities they exceed the number of tenure track appointments. Despite being highly educated, and committed to providing quality educational experiences to their students, these workers are some of the most vulnerable, undervalued and under-resourced personnel within  academia.


Lacking job security and even basic resources to do their jobs effectively, many contract instructors often have very little opportunity to avail of professional development, particularly initiatives dedicated to teaching support. In some cases, contract instructors are intentionally shut out or ‘forgotten’ by administration; in other cases, due to the temporary nature of their employment, and/or because of time or financial constraints, they are unable to commit to these programs and services. This session will explore the difficulties faced by contractual instructors with regards to accessing and availing of teaching development support services and resources, given the precarious nature of their employment, and the role of educational development in addressing their most immediate needs, as well as adopting strategies towards the implementation of best practices for this specific group of educators. This session will be of interest to those working in the educational development field, including those holding administrative roles, as well as both tenure track and contractual instructors within the higher education system.


By the end of this session, participants will:



  • Learn about the nature of contractual teaching positions within post-secondary institutions, including key issues of concern regarding teaching and learning

  • Share their own experiences, roles and duties with regard to teaching development for contractual instructors

  • Discuss strategies and best practices in providing teaching and professional development opportunities for contractual instructors

  • Consider the changing nature of the teaching profession within higher education; employment contracts, expectations, and professional development opportunities


3F: Fake Course, Real Learning: Using an Underwater Basket Weaving Course in Faculty LMS Training


Room: SSC 1304


Author: Jennifer Martin, Educational Developer, Niagara College


Session Type: Welcome to My Workshop


Abstract: With Learning Management Systems (LMS) increasingly central to online, blended, and face-to-face teaching, providing effective training is crucial to faculty adoption.  However, training can be challenging given the diversity of technological experience, subject matter, and pedagogical needs among faculty.  This workshop will present one option for training that is centred on the development and use of a fake college course an exemplar and training tool. To demonstrate the benefits of this approach, this session will showcase the online Underwater Basket Weaving (UWBW1001) course that has become the centrepiece of Blackboard Boot Camp faculty training at Niagara College.


While the title and content of the mock course are deliberately humorous to reduce training-related anxiety (Anderson, 2011), UWBW1001 addresses a number of significant challenges with previous iterations of LMS training.


The course, which is incorporated into a three-hour boot camp, supports faculty through recognized pedagogical strategies, including:



  • Contextualizing the various tools and design approaches to demonstrate their uses (White, 2000)

  • De-coupling the exemplar course from a specific recognizable discipline so faculty can apply the examples to their own subject area

  • Presenting a variety of course modules that demonstrate tangible pedagogical options for different teaching areas

  • Providing content that can be modified by participants as they practice building a course (Parscal and Florence, 2004)


Using UWBW as a model, participants in this session will explore the course and identify ways that a mock training course can be used to mitigate these issues.


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



  • Discuss the challenges associated with LMS training for faculty

  • Identify ways that a mock course can be used to mitigate issues with LMS training

  • Apply the use of a mock course to their own training initiatives


3G: Telling the Story of Educational Development Work: Metrics to Mapping


Room: SSC 3306


Authors: Michelle Yeo, Educational Developer, Mount Royal University; Erika Smith, Educational Developer, Mount Royal University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: In educational development work, we often struggle to track the full impact of what we do. Traditional metrics such as numbers of attendees, types of workshops offered, programs developed, or participant testimonials fall short of expressing the full effect of our work within our institutions over time. In our centre, we have begun thinking about how one offering or point of contact often transforms and grows over a several year span into large faculty development, curriculum, or SoTL projects. These projects are sometimes sequenced, sometimes interconnected, and sometimes involve multiple aspects of educational development work. In this workshop, participants will discuss and create strategies to tell their educational development impact stories. We will provide some examples of this phenomenon from our institution, share the strategies we are experimenting with to track the impact and growth of such ideas, invite participants to share their own examples, and finally brainstorm intentional approaches that can expand upon educational development work within participants’ own contexts. The practice of listening for those moments of opportunity, and practical means of capitalizing on such experiences, will be explored. Strategies that promote responsive educational development practices, building from a single interaction to initiatives expanding over time, will be highlighted. We will also discuss, share, and apply creative ways to map our educational development practice that can better tell our stories of impact.


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



  • Discuss ways to describe and promote the importance of educational development through impact stories.

  • Apply strategies for mapping responsive educational development practices over time.


3H: Accredit a Program Through the Educational Developers Caucus: Time to Work on Your Submission With Support from the Accreditation Review Committee


Room: SSC 3307


Authors: Celia Popovic, Director of the Teaching Commons, York University; Alison Jeppesen, Learning Designer, Red Deer College; Cynthia Korpan, Educational Developer Leadership Award Winner, Professional Development Programs and TA Training, University of Victoria; Mandy Frake-Mistak, Educational Developer, York University; Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Dalhousie University; Erin Aspenlieder, Program Enhancement Lead, McMaster University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: In this workshop, participants will begin working on (with an aim to complete independently following the workshop) the Educational Developers Caucus Accreditation Framework for a program they wish to submit for review.The Educational Developers Caucus (EDC) EDC Accreditation Framework aims to provide a means to ensure high quality provision of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions. It is designed to be flexible enough to be used with any program, yet structured to provide a consistency of approach such that any program accredited by EDC may be assumed to have met EDC’s values of open community, collaboration, ethical practice, and scholarly approach. This is not accreditation of individuals who participate in programs.


Members of the Accreditation Review Committee will introduce the Framework and be available throughout the workshop to answer any questions as participants work on their submission. Participants should bring all relevant program documents (e.g. program learning outcomes, assessment methods, contextual information, etc.; see the EDC web page for complete information on which documents are required:https://www.stlhe.ca/affiliated-groups/educational-developers-caucus/accreditation-for-courses-or-programs/) so that they may use the workshop time to complete the Accreditation Framework. The aim of the session is to provide participants with dedicated time to work on their Accreditation Framework submission with in-person support from members of the Review Committee. Participants should bring all documentation to support their Accreditation Application and their own laptop or tablet.


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



  • articulate the aims and requirements of the EDC accreditation framework produce a draft protocol for one of their programs in preparation for EDC accreditation


3I: Learning Outcomes: Tried and True or Tired and Blue? - Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner Presentation


Room: SSC 3317


Author: Nicola Simmons, Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner, Faculty Member (past Educational Developer), Brock University


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: For decades, instructors have been exhorted to write specified learning outcomes for their courses (see, for example, Mager, 1965) and Educational Developers have long provided support in how to write them. To what extent, however, have we questioned whether specific learning outcomes for course material engage students in deeper learning? While we espouse notions of aligned curriculum (Biggs, 2012; Fink, 2003) do we know whether they result in greater academic success? The purpose of this session is to provide prompts to engage participants in a critical conversation about the use and misuse of learning outcomes. While I propose that students be engaged in co-creating learning outcomes, my hope is that other possibilities will emerge that might take us beyond instructor-created potentially distancing messages about teaching and learning. Recognizing that we will be critiquing something close to the heart of traditional educational development practice, this session comes with a warning: Not for the faint of heart! (references will be provided at the session)


The purpose of this session is to critique learning outcomes set without input from participants/students. With this in mind, the participants will be invited to negotiate intended outcomes for the session. While I recognize the challenges this will create for session reviewers, I hope reviewers will appreciate that my intention is to challenge this traditional practice!