Concurrent Sessions # 5

90-Minute Sessions

The following concurrent sessions will run on Friday, February 24th from 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

5A: Designing a Contemporary Interdisciplinary Teaching Development Program for Graduate Students


Room: SSC 1504


Authors:  Stephen Cheng, CTL Faculty Associate, University of Regina; Malin Hansen, Research Associate, University of Regina; Kathryn Ricketts, Assistant Professor, University of Regina


Session Type: “How to” Workshop


Abstract: University teaching certificate programs are offered to graduate students at post-secondary institutions across Canada. Most of these programs focus on the practical aspects of teaching as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning (Kenny et. al., 2014). These types of programs have shown to benefit graduate students regardless of their previous teaching experience. Participants have been found to show an increase in self-efficacy, positive attitudes toward teaching, and lower anxiety in public speaking apprehension (Boman, 2013).


At the University of Regina, we are offering a semester-long Graduate Student Teaching Development Certificate Program that focuses on the teaching practices for graduate students with limited previous teaching experience from all ten faculties across our campus. Since our students arrive from a broad range of teaching experience and practices as well as cultures and languages, we offer an innovative, accessible, engaging, and relevant interdisciplinary program that provides the participants with the theories on learning as well as the tools of the best practices of post-secondary teaching. This includes using props to create the space for effective collaborations, face to face scenarios to simulate classroom situations, and unique activities to facilitate self-reflections.


In this workshop, we will discuss the theories, methods, and strategies behind our program design. We will provide interactive examples coupled with discussions for participants to experience a few key elements from our program. We will also demonstrate how we determine the level of impact through formative and summative evaluations in order to ensure effective application of the program material. Preliminary results from the evaluation of our program will be presented.


The format of this presentation is meant to demonstrate the ways in which we set up our program with a three-part focus:



  1. Presentation of theories and methods as the foundation of best teaching practices including designing learning outcomes, formative and summative assessments, and interactive activities.

  2. Examples of interactive activities allowing participants to experience teaching strategies of our program.

  3. Incubation and application whereby participants synthesize the material considering various contexts and conditions in their own Teaching and Learning environments.


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



  • outline and discuss how to integrate innovative and effective teaching practices into teaching development programs for graduate students. Participants will also be provided with tools that can be used to develop and evaluate their own programs.


5B: Teaching as Performance: Using Theatre Methods to Address Teaching Fears


Room: SSC 1511


Author: Alli Diskin, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation/TATP, University of Toronto


Session Type: Welcome to My Workshop


Abstract: This workshop is part of the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program’s (TATP) Workshop Series (WS). The WS curriculum is, by design, iterative and responsive to participants’ needs/interests and facilitator expertise. This workshop receives consistent positive feedback from participants but receives a smaller audience than conventional offerings. This session opens with a concise overview of the workshop history, participant feedback, and the scholarly and experiential influences to its design and delivery.


Participants will then engage in an abbreviated workshop (60 minutes). We describe the workshop, entitled Teaching as Performance: Strategies for Self-Care and Self-Confidence, to participants as follows: As teachers, we are like performers held to the highest standards, and are often asked to execute what feel like dangerous and thrilling feats. We memorize. We improvise. We speak for long periods and cultivate connections with our audience. This requires patience and stamina and can provoke fear and anxiety. Rarely are teachers offered strategies to address the intermingling of stage fright and impostor syndrome that teaching brings out.


This workshop employs the use of theatre practices to equip educators with new sets of tools that they can use in the classroom. Participants will participate in, reflect on and consider application of multiple practices to their teaching contexts. Session participants will then debrief the workshop through 4 thematic areas: application of performance theory/practice to the classroom, participant experience, accessibility and application to local context. The debriefing of the workshop will be facilitated through small and large group discussion focused on 4 to 6 brief open-ended questions.


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



  • Critique and discuss a workshop that integrates theatre practice into classroom presence;

  • Experience a workshop that challenges conventional norms of teaching workshop engagement;

  • Consider how to integrate other adjacent skills and practices into educational development initiatives.


Welcome to My Workshop Outcomes:



  • Participants will practice how to sustain clear, expressive and resonant vocal production through supported breath; undertake activities designed to develop a confident and ‘at ease’ presence in the classroom; and be introduced to and practice methods pulled from the realm of performance that are applicable and transferable to the classroom stage.

  • Participants will practice how to sustain clear, expressive and resonant vocal production through supported breath; undertake activities designed to develop a confident and ‘at ease’ presence in the classroom; and be introduced to and practice methods pulled from the realm of performance that are applicable and transferable to the classroom stage.


5E: Enhancing Teaching and Disrupting Tradition: Implementing a Teaching Evaluation Framework in the Canadian Context


Room: SSC 2315


Author: Beverley Hamilton, Academic Initiatives Officer, University of Windsor; Jeffrey Berryman, Acting Associate Vice-President Academic, University of Windsor; Erika Kustra, Director of Teaching and Learning Development, University of Windsor


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: Teaching evaluation serves numerous, sometimes colliding, purposes in post-secondary institutions, including performance review, teaching improvement, and accountability, making it a contentious but pressing issue for stakeholders, provincial governments, institutions, and instructors (Jones, 2014). It is challenging to establish methodologically legitimate, institutionally feasible evaluation methods (Hénard, 2010; Wright et al., 2014a), while accommodating the competing purposes, concerns, and beliefs of those evaluated and those using evaluations. Consequently, implementing evidence-based change to traditional methods of teaching evaluation has been “slippery” at best (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012; Raffoul & Hamilton, 2016). Teaching evaluation frameworks offer universities and faculty members practical, flexible ways to reflect on and find consensus about what constitutes quality teaching. Seeking to establish systematic, transparent, and disciplinarily responsive approaches to identifying, supporting, and rewarding effective teaching, the University of Windsor adapted an Australian framework for the Canadian context. The original framework was built with intensive faculty consultation in Australia, and has been road-tested across many disciplines. It is  constructed around seven criteria (Chalmers, 2014), each described by a set of indicative standards matched to types of evidence an instructor might use to show achievement of that criterion. Departments can adapt the criteria and standards to reflect their context. This session will outline the Framework’s principles.


Participants will examine and modify the framework for their own contexts and purposes; gain insights into successes and challenges we have experienced so far in engaging the campus community with this new approach, and discuss possible application of lessons learned to their own challenging initiatives.


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



  • Describe the principles of the Teaching Evaluation Framework.

  • Examine and modify the framework for their own contexts.

  • Consider and discuss successes and challenges experienced in engaging the campus community and implementing a change initiative in teaching evaluation.

  • Identify potential applications of lessons learned during this initiative to projects of their own which challenge deep-seated, traditional ways of doing things in teaching and learning contexts


5G: Narcissus' Pool: Just How Deep is Reflection?


Room: SSC 3306


Authors: Allyson Skene, Educational Developer, University of Windsor; Jessica Raffoul, Research and Communications Coordinator, University of Windsor


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: Critical reflection is a cornerstone to educational development and the role developers play in the advancement of teaching and learning, as well as to their own professional development.   Not only is it considered key to effective teaching and a method to promote deeper (Rodgers, 2002) or even transformative  (Mezirow, 1990)  learning, it is central to the process of evaluating and revising everything from teaching methods to course and program design.


At the same time, research suggests that reflection is defined in many different ways, does not necessarily enhance competence, and the theory and methods for effective reflection are not well understood (Mann, et al 2009).   Further, reflection may be superficial “recipe-following” (Boud and Walker, 1998), or inauthentic (eg, O’Neill, 2002; Jung, 2011; Creme, 2005), and so rather than supporting learning, it may reinforce delusions, both positive and negative.  Because there can be inordinate risk to honest and authentic reflections that challenge norms, or that may not offer the “right” insights, many will simply construct the narrative that they want or that they expect others want to hear.


In this session, we will engage in short writing exercises, along with small and whole group discussions, to unpack the expectations and assumptions of critical reflection and the connections between reflection, myth-making, and story telling.  Together we’ll develop approaches and strategies to better clarify and situate the role of reflection in educational development practice.


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



  • Examine the use of critical reflection in the practice of educational development

  • Analyze the assessment of reflection to uncover assumptions about the role and structure of what constitutes “deep” reflection

  • Analyze the risks and obstacles to authentic reflection

  • Develop strategies to foster effective reflection and reflective activities


5H: Developing Strategies to Enhance Faculty-TA Relationships


Room: SSC 3307


Authors: Judy Chan, Educational Developer; Faculty Associate / Faculty Liaison (Land and Food Systems), University of British Columbia; Shaya Golparian, Educational Developer, University of British Columbia; Joseph Topornycky, Educational Developer and Manager of Graduate Student Programs, University of British Columbia


Session Type: Interactive Workshop


Abstract: Both instructors and teaching assistants (TA) play a significant role in students’ learning. TAs are often expected to teach, facilitate discussions, conduct tutorials and labs, grade papers, and perform many other duties to assist faculty members and inspire students. At the same time, faculty members have a lot of responsibilities in preparing for the course and often assume TAs already know how to fulfil their expectations. There is a lot of academic research in support of building an effective faculty-TA “teaching team” (Dionne, 2011; Rodrigue, 2012; Rushin, et. al, 1997). However despite the heavy impact of faculty-TA relationship on student learning, there seems to be little encouragement around the application of research (Nyquist et al., 1999) that offers practical support in this context. Our teaching and  learning centre has dedicated time and resources to supporting faculty and TAs in their individual roles. Drawing on the works of the Learning and Teaching Centre  at the University of Victoria (2012), we have designed and offered several sessions around building an effective faculty-TA relationship over the past few years. In this interactive session, we will model components of those sessions to explore the reciprocal expectations between TAs and faculty members. We will engage our fellow educational developers in conversations around different processes of developing professional development workshops in this context. Through brainstorming and small group activities, participants will walk away with strategies to bridge the faculty-TA expectation gaps and co-develop workshop activities that would address existing challenges involved in faculty-TA working relationships.


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



  • develop professional development workshops addressing the reciprocal expectations between TAs and faculty members

  • develop strategies to bridge the faculty-TA expectation gaps and co-develop workshop activities that would address existing challenges involved in faculty-TA working relationships.


5I: Turn and Face the Strange Changes


Room: SSC 3317


Authors: Mary Wilson, Director of the Centre for Academic Excellence, Niagara College; Celia Popovic, Director of the Teaching Commons, York University; Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Dalhousie University; Natasha Kenny, Director of the Educational Development Unit, University of Calgary; Stephanie Chu, Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Session Type: Critical Café


Abstract: “Change is not always easy, or welcome, or good. The challenge for developers is to be open to change, but not to be constantly swayed, to know when (and how) to force change, to facilitate it, to leverage it, and if necessary, to resist it.” (Popovic and Plank, 2016) Whether for good or ill, Canadian educational developers have certainly experienced a considerable amount of change in the nature of our work and in the mission, mandate and constitution of our centres over the past decade. For example, Gibbs (2013) notes educational development’s transition from supporting the teaching practice of individual instructors to transforming practice  through programmatic and institutional change and advocacy. Taylor and Rege Colet (2010) also describe educational development’s focus on building teaching and learning capacity through a wide range of development activities, across multiple institutional levels. As agents of change, educational developers have seen dramatic shifts in scope of their work and increasingly, in the need to be strategic, while accounting for their impact. Join a small group of Centre Directors from post- secondary institutions across the country for this critical café. We will engage in a reflective, thematically organized discussion about the ways in which the traditions of educational development, and our teaching centres across the country, have evolved over the last 5-10 years. Our retrospective analysis will be followed by a strategic foresight activity designed to identify some of the ways in which we might best manage and lead change in our individual and collective work. Together, we will explore themes such as: – the expanding research and scholarly agenda for teaching centres – our permeability to global influences – quality improvement meets quality assurance – becoming both facilitators and agents of strategic change – surviving and thriving, supporting our individual and collective growth and wellbeing – grappling with identity in teaching centres: practice, discipline or profession?


Join a small group of Centre Directors from post-secondary institutions across the country for this critical café. We will engage in a reflective, thematically organized discussion about the ways in which the traditions of educational development, and our teaching centres across the country, have evolved over the last 5-10 years. Our retrospective analysis will be followed by a strategic foresight activity designed to identify some of the ways in which we might best manage and lead change in our individual and collective work. Together, we will explore themes such as: – the expanding research and scholarly agenda for teaching centres – our permeability to global influences – quality improvement meets quality assurance – becoming both facilitators and agents of strategic change – surviving and thriving, supporting our individual and collective growth and wellbeing – grappling with identity in teaching centres: practice, discipline or profession?


Participants attending this critical café will deepen their contextual and historical understanding of changes in the roles of educational developers and the evolutions of the mission, mandate, structure and work of teaching centres in Canada over the past decade.


By engaging in conversation with centre directors from across the country and with colleagues, participants will be able to:



  • assess their own experiences of converging and diverging trends

  • consider how to respond to change forces influencing the nature of our work, within their personal and local context.


60-Minute Session

The following concurrent session will run on Friday, February 24th from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

CANCELLED 5F: Finding Meaning and Purpose in Y/OUR Work: Reflections of an Educational Developer - Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner Presentation


Room: SSC 3303


Author: Jeanette MacDonaldDistinguished Educational Developer Career Award Winner, Manager of Faculty Programming, Wilfrid Laurier University


Session Type: Interactive Presentation


Abstract: “The experience of work is saturated with feeling” (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995, p. 98). What energizes or depletes us, what gives us joy or grief, what frustrates or fulfills us is shaped and reshaped by ourselves, our peers, our workplaces, and our evolving (yet constant) scope of practice. In reflecting on my career (so far) as an educational developer and preparing my nomination package for the EDC Distinguished Career Award, I thought deeply about my beliefs and values and how they inform my approach(es) or “orientations” to practice (Land, 2004), give meaning and purpose to what I do, and fulfill me personally and professionally. In this session I will briefly share insights from my journey of reflection before engaging workshop participants, individually and collectively, through dialogue and a reflective exercise to elucidate for them what energizes, gives meaning, and drives what they do as educational developers.


30-Minute Sessions

The following concurrent sessions will run on Friday, February 24th from 9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

5C-I: Using Student Focus Groups to Inform Curriculum Change


Room: SSC 2303


Authors: Heidi Eccles, Graduate Student, University of Guelph; Terri O’Sullivan, Associate Professor, University of Guelph; Dale Lackeyram, Manager of Educational Development, University of Guelph; Kerry Lissemore, Associate Dean Academic, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph


Session Type: Research Presentation


Abstract: An open dialogue between educators and students is essential for understanding how a curriculum functions. Focus groups are a powerful traditional tool that can allow participants to relay their experiences in a deep and meaningful way because they allow for in-depth group discussion (Hendershott & Wright, 2016). There is an abundance of literature that has shown evidence that focus groups are a valuable tool that can be used to obtain feedback from students (Dillon & Barclay, 1997; Finlayson, 2014; Iam et al., 2002; Offstien et al., 2004; Peters, 2009).


In 2014, the Ontario Veterinary College refocused an aspect of the curriculum directed at rural community veterinary practice. In order to investigate the effect the curriculum change had on students, three focus groups were conducted with graduating students in April 2015 and 2016. Each focus group was coded and analyzed by thematic analysis. In this presentation, we will discuss how the methods on collecting and analyzing focus group data can be used to inform curriculum improvement. A comparison between the results of the 2015 and 2016 cohorts were examined to show how feedback can change over time.


Overall there was valuable information obtained in the focus group and the students showed positive reactions to the open dialogue created. The results obtained from this study provide evidence that open dialogue using student focus groups continue to be an effective method to collect valuable feedback for curriculum change because of the in-depth knowledge gained and positive relationship fostered with participants.


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



  • Identify the importance of continued open dialogue and the use of student feedback to redesign curriculum.

  • Describe a process for gathering and analyzing student feedback based on the example from the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum redesign


5D-I: An Adaptable Planning Tool for Educational Development


Room: SSC 1304


Authors: Beth Hundey, eLearning and Curriculum Specialist, Western University; Lauren Anstey, eLearning and Curriculum Specialist, Western University


Session Type: Silent Presentation


Abstract: As educational developers, we find ourselves managing and contributing to multiple projects and working with several different teams. The variety in the work we do as educational developers presents us with collaboration, project management, planning and reporting challenges.  In this silent presentation, participants will contemplate some of the challenges associated with managing our educational development work.  Participants can follow along and explore Trello on their own device while viewing the presentation.


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



  • Describe multiple ways of using Trello to support educational development projects

  • Create a Trello board for a current project


The following concurrent sessions will run on Friday, February 24th from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

5C-II: A Workplace Learning Approach to Learning How to Teach


Room: SSC 2303


Author: Cynthia Korpan, Professional Development Programs and TA Training, University of Victoria


Session Type: Research Presentation


Abstract: Research in the field of workplace learning has shown that if the learning process for each role in the workplace is not understood, too many factors can undermine the process (Cosnefroy & Buhot, 2013; Eraut, 2007). Eraut (2007) states that in order to enhance learning in the workplace, it is essential that there is clear understanding of the range of ways that people learn in the job. Once this is determined, it is then possible to identify the learning needs in the context and attend to the “factors which enhance or hinder individual or group learning” (Eraut, 2007, p. 420). This presentation will share the results from my PhD research that took a different approach to determining how best to support teaching assistants (TAs) learning to teach. Through the theoretical lens of workplace learning theories, I investigated the learning process that TAs underwent as they first began teaching (as the lead instructor in the classroom) in the academic workplace. The questions addressed issues related to workplace learning, learning to teach, teaching in higher education, and the complexity in understanding all of the factors that influence learning how to teach without significant prior instruction. I will first provide background about the research, discuss my key findings, and finally suggest strategies on how to best prepare new TAs for their new teaching role in higher education that can also be used to support TAs beyond their first term teaching. More importantly, this research addresses the obligation that universities have to ensure that those teaching are sufficiently prepared and supported for that work so that the aim of providing quality education may be achieved.


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



  • Consider the factors identified that impact TAs learning to teach.

  • Think about how these factors can inform their educational development practice.

  • Take away strategies that will enhance TAs learning to teach.

  • Reflect on the relevance of this research for applicability to their institution.


5D-II: Pedagogical Walk & Talk


Room: SSC 1304


Authors: Lianne Fisher, Educational Developer, Brock University; Jill Grose, Director of the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation, Brock University; Mike Brousseau, Educational Technologies Developer, Brock University


Session Type: Silent Presentation


Abstract: In this silent presentation we welcome you to experience a virtual Pedagogical Walk and Talk at Brock University, a campus situated on a UNESCO Biosphere. As part of our Centre’s Contemplative Campus programming we hope our Pedagogical Walks & Talks provide the opportunity to develop a teaching and learning community for individuals to engage with our Centre and other colleagues in an informal manner to talk about teaching and learning. By walking and being outside we also hope to contribute to mental health and positive well-being on campus. Organizations, such as Canadian Mental Health Association, have formalized programs (e.g., Mood Walks) to promote mental health through experiencing nature and walking outdoors (http://www.moodwalks.ca/about-mood-walks/). For many walking is also a meditative and reflective practice that has been shown to promote creativity (e.g., Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014). During this 20 minute presentation you will join two members of the Brock community engaged in discussion as they walk along the Bruce Trail — a pedagogical walk & talk. Following this, you will have the opportunity to virtually explore our trails while we will offer you some guided questions for reflection along the way. We hope this virtual walk and talk gives you a moment to pause and reflect, potentially generating some ideas about ways in which you can foster community and engagement – with positive wellness benefits — on your campus and in your work.


By the end of this session, participants will:



  • Have a virtual experience of a Pedagogical Walk & Talk at Brock University

  • Have the opportunity to engage in reflective practice in a virtual outdoor setting

  • Generate ways in which the benefits for Pedagogical Walks & Talks can be integrated into Teaching & Learning at their own campus