Monday, August 25, 2008
Pedagogy with a Point and a Purpose: Using Learning Outcomes Effectively
A course with defined purposes, in which each class and every assignment has a point relevant to that purpose, is a course that facilitates student learning. And a course that sets high standards, clearly and explicitly for all students, is a course worth taking. Students know this, faculty know this; effective courses are valued by all parties. Intended learning outcomes -- a well-established aide to successful, goal-oriented teaching and learning -- are a means to that common end. This workshop introduced attendees to the effective use of learning outcomes to design courses, plan classes, create assignments, and otherwise improve student learning.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Helping Students Survive First Year
The experience that students receive in the first few weeks of their post-secondary education often determines their decision to persist. The first year of university is a period of major transition to a new way of thinking and working, with new experiences, responsibilities, and stresses. Universities worldwide are grappling with the issues of improvement of the first-year experience and associated student retention strategies. While there are no silver bullets capable of ‘solving’ these issues, there are numerous strategies that have been successfully employed around the globe to address them. This workshop provided an outline of some of these strategies and suggested ways in which they may be incorporated into every day business of the University to assist students to survive their transition to university.
Ever-Growing University Classes: How to Cope Without a Debigulator
Teaching large classes presents many challenges for professors seeking to motivate and engage their students. This seminar provided an interactive setting in which individuals learned and shared proven strategies for stimulating student interest in course material. Participants came away with ideas on how to add life and a little electricity to the standard didactic lecture. Participants learned about "info-tainment," avenues toward active learning, student motivation, and individualized engagement. Finally, participants saw how to generate effective but fair classroom rules with their students.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Success for First Year Students
Data from universities across Canada and the United States indicate that many students have great difficulty adjusting to the demands of post-secondary education. The University of Windsor is no exception, as a large number of our first year students struggle to make it to second year. This workshop focused on the first year student experience, examining the nature of the difficulties encountered by students, reviewing the literature on concrete initiatives taken by universities across North America to support first year students, and exploring the many ways in which Windsor faculty, administrators, and staff can facilitate programs, policies, and practices designed to help first year students succeed in their academic programs.
Incorporating Authentic Experiential Learning Activities Into the Curriculum
Active, experiential learning has long been recognized as a desirable outcome of learning activity design which leads to deeper learning, better engagement, and greater student satisfaction with their studies. For many disciplines, such as geography, engineering, and the sciences, learning by practice is considered essential to enable students to develop the skills required to succeed in their field. This workshop provided an overview of some international and local approaches to incorporating experiential learning into the curriculum. Participants explored possibilities for including experiential learning activities in their own practice.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Transforming Practices: Addressing Prejudice and Discrimination in the University Classroom
The University of Windsor recognizes itself as a leader in social justice and equity research and education. What does a leadership devoted to justice and equity involve?
Despite commitments to equity and social justice there are occasions in a diverse community when conflicting perspectives, beliefs, and intolerances manifest themselves. When such circumstances are encountered, how should they be handled?
This workshop engaged participants in a discourse to help examine and analyze the multiple forms of oppression (such as race, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, etc.). Participants uncovered the concept of privilege, along with its implicit and embedded association with power. Participants engaged in a dialogue devoted to some of the fundamental principles of social justice education and inclusionary practices as they relate to the university classroom.
- developed a wider conceptual and policy framework of inclusion;
- investigated ‘neutral’ institutional policies and practices that perpetuate oppression;
- explored various social justice models (such as Friere’s notion of praxis, distributional and relational aspects of social justice, critical race theory);
- explored personal standpoints and perspectives;
- approached issues from global and empathetic perspectives; and
- practiced strategies of inclusion through case study simulations.
Using Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Learning
How can the technologies available on campus be used to enhance your teaching and learning activities in and out of the classroom? This session traced some advantages and disadvantages of classroom technologies available to faculty and helped instructors determine whether a technology is appropriate for their pedagogical needs. Topics included CLEW (Learning Management System), Audience Response Systems (clickers), SmartBoards, Videoconferencing and Podcasts, and selected software programs.
Friday, August 29, 2008
The View from the Senate
The presenters provided an overview of the Senate By-Laws and their impact upon learning-centredness, teaching and research excellence, academic freedom, and student conduct. Specific rules about confidentiality, academic/professional service, students with special needs, academic evaluation, and the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) were also discussed, as well as the challenges faced by faculty in implementing these rules.