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Workshops [clear filter]
Wednesday, December 9

1:00pm EST

Cultivating Collaborative University-Community Partnerships: Using the IMPACT (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful/Mentorship, Practice, Applied, Collaborative/Community, Transformative) Project Educational Model of Teaching and Learning (2-hour workshop)
The IMPACT Project (Interdisciplinary, Meaningful / Mentorship, Practice, Applied, Collaborative / Community, Transformative) provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students from diverse disciplines (Engineering, Biology, Occupational Therapy) to apply their knowledge to address problems identified in collaboration with community partners. Throughout this project, teams of students work on open-ended problems to explore, create, and assess ideas with the goal of developing potential solutions. Students mobilize knowledge and hone their communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills. Our IMPACT Project model serves to catalyze student creativity, innovation, and community engagement. During our interactive workshop, we will demonstrate the steps required for implementation of our IMPACT Project model using a simulation of educator / student activities, and administrative logistics to connect and network with community partners. We will conduct interactive brainstorming discussions with participants that will identify the uses of the IMPACT Project model for addressing the needs of community partners while engaging students in the learning process. We will also have representatives of our current community partners in attendance to clarify and clearly demonstrate the diverse benefits of our IMPACT Project model.


Megan Dodd

McMaster University

Robert Fleisig

McMaster University

Lovaye Kajiura

McMaster University
Lovaye Kajiura is an Assistant Professor (Permanent Teaching Professor) in the Department of Biology at McMaster University. Her pedagogical research interests focus upon interdisciplinary collaborative mentorship at diverse levels of education, integrated case-based studies, and... Read More →

Brenda Vrkljan

McMaster University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room 2

1:00pm EST

Dialogue (2-hour workshop)

Our department is undergoing a transformation. We are at a precipice: and aim to leap unswervingly into an unknown so vast it cannot be perceived.  The end intention; to build a tightknit learning community adept at self-directed learning …. in an online milieu.

And so we set upon a path of designing a high-quality online course inspired by the following advice of Puzziferro and colleagues in their eloquently stated definition of quality online courses:

“Quality online courses are well-organized into learning units; have clear learning goals and objectives; engage the learner through interaction with content… Most of all, online courses should be fun, engaging, pedagogically sound, and relevant.”(1)

We adopted a community-based approach to our online course design. Funded by the Ontario Online Initiative (OOI) - and in collaboration with MIIETL, Pearson and other faculty at Western University - we produced a preliminary prototype of our desired online course.

But what of the student experience? How do we provide a safe, nurturing environment on a platform so technologically advanced it can render the participant devoid of such community-based feelings of belonging? And so, to develop the sought-after online learning community we are employing a rather progressive approach: we want you. We seek YOUR input and YOUR ideas on what constitutes a nurturing environment in an online milieu.  This manifests as a 2-hour immersive Community of Practice (CoP) workshop.

This is a resolute immersion in the learning process at all stages of the learning journey. It will start out small and unassuming in order to adjust to such a thought, but our end intent is to gain momentum throughout the workshop. The end result? We cannot even fathom. The journey? Priceless….


Michelle MacDonald

McMaster University

Felicia Vulcu

McMaster University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room 5

1:00pm EST

Teaching and Assessing Skills in Academic Research and Writing, Critical Thinking, and Information Literacy (2-hour workshop)

While students are learning the important content and concepts in a university course, they are also developing essential skills in academic research, critical thinking, and information literacy. These skills are sometimes considered secondary, or it is assumed that students should be learning these outside of class with minimal instruction and no clear marks or credit given.

In this workshop, we will discuss academic research, critical thinking, and information literacy (IL) by providing instruction and guidance on developing, emphasizing, assessing, and providing feedback on research skills, all in the context of the essential content and concepts of a university course.  The workshop will be led by librarians with experience in designing curriculum that employ Backward Design, the new IL Framework from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and a variety of assessment practices.

Faculty, TAs, librarians, archivists, and writing centre staff will benefit from discussing considerations and aspects of teaching and assessment of skills in academic research, critical thinking, and IL.  Participants will consider the benefits of being intentional and transparent in communicating with their students the goals of teaching and assessing these skills.  By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Develop strategies for incorporating teaching of these skills into their courses, including through collaboration across the university 
  • Develop a process for collecting and documenting evidence of learning for assessing these skills 
  • Determine actions they can take based on evidence of learning
  • Create a lesson plan working through learning activities, assessment, and post-assessment actions


Colleen Burgess

Western University
avatar for Lise Doucette

Lise Doucette

Assessment Librarian, Western University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room D

1:00pm EST

The Role of Peer Reviews in the Evolution of SoTL (2-hour workshop)

In this workshop, we will initiate a discussion of the journal peer review as a specific genre that plays a significant role in defining the SoTL community. These brief writings have enormous power in defining the boundaries of the community, as they can ostracize potential members or facilitate a sense of belonging.  They can also affect the work itself, guiding manuscript content in one direction or another.

Workshop Activities

  1. The workshop will begin with our analysis of a random sampling of reviews from Teaching & Learning Inquiry
  2. Participants will be invited to identify the common characteristics of these reviews.
  3. Participants will consider how peer review in SoTL differs from peer review in their disciplinary contexts and reflect on how such reviews contribute to the identities of both author and reviewer. 
  4. Next, through a discourse analysis of a selection of reviews from TLI, participants will identify specific rhetorical moves and language choices that encourage both rigor and persistence--that effectively support revision for better writing while also cultivating a positive identity and a sense of belonging in the SoTL community. 
  5. Ultimately, workshop participants will draft a set of guiding principles for SoTL reviews. 

This workshop welcomes participants new to SoTL or to reviewing, as well as seasoned SoTL practitioners and reviewers.

avatar for Dr. Nancy Chick

Dr. Nancy Chick

University Chair in Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary
Nancy Chick is Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning and University Chair of Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. She is also founding co-editor of Teaching & Learning Inquiry, the journal of the International Society for the Scholarship... Read More →

Gary Poole

University of British Columbia

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room C
Thursday, December 10

1:00pm EST

Action Learning Sets: How to Cultivate a SoTL Research Community (2-hour workshop)

In this interactive session, we will provide a detailed guide to Action Learning Sets  (McGill and Brockbank, 2004). Action Learning Sets (ALS) is a structured approach designed to support groups of 5 to 7 people who are working on individual or institutional problems. Participants support each other in finding solutions to what might otherwise seem intractable problems while at the same time building community using a sustainable approach. The same approach may be used with students in a classroom or with faculty in a professional development session or in senior management fora.

We will take participants through an ALS cycle so that they experience the process for themselves. We will facilitate discussion of the benefits, pitfalls and potential problems that ALS may involve before closing with an overview of examples of ALS in action, in particular with regard to cultivating a SoTL research community.

We will invite participants to take part in a research project in which anyone who chooses to implement ALS in their institution will be able to take part in an evaluative study of the efficacy of ALS in Canadian institutions.

For this hands-on session we will require a computer with PowerPoint, internet connection, and audio.


McGill, I. and A. Brockbank (2004) The Action Learning Handbook, London, Routledge  Falmer.


Mandy Frake-Mistak

York University
Mandy Frake-Mistak (Session Organizer/Chair): Educational developer with the Teaching Commons at York University. With a research background in the political economy of HE, and as an ISW Trainer and Facilitator, she leads faculty courses/workshops on teaching and SoTL, and co-leads... Read More →
avatar for Genevieve Maheux-Pelletier

Genevieve Maheux-Pelletier

Educational Developer, York University
avatar for Celia Popovic

Celia Popovic

Associate Professor, York University
Popovic has a doctorate in Education from Birmingham University in the United Kingdom. She has a distinguished career as an educational developer, researcher, teacher and author. In collaboration with Birmingham University School of Education colleagues, she developed and taught a... Read More →

Thursday December 10, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room 5

1:00pm EST

Learning Before Interdisciplinary and Intersectoral Collaboration (2-hour workshop)
Interagency and intersectoral collaboration in the workplace, is often a solution to complex problems that an individual organization cannot solve alone. Providing students experiential learning opportunities specific to interagency collaboration is necessary to cultivating their capacity to support and navigate diverse workplace experiences. This workshop explores a Master of Education Capstone action research findings, exploring the elements of ‘learning how to successfully work within interagency collaboration.’ Research data results revealed that interagency collaboration requires learning specific skills, as an element for success and sustainability. The facilitator combines academic research with experiential knowledge as the ‘Director of Collaborative Partnerships & Education’ at a local community organization. This interactive and participatory workshop learning can be applied within the classroom and when fostering academic and community partnerships. Incorporating constructivist and social learning theory, the fundamentals of learning how to work in collaboration include: collaborative leadership skills, collaborative communication, and bridging workplace or disciplinary cultures, and learning how to become a new ‘collaborative’ community of practice. Navigating across traditional boundaries between disciplines, departments or organizations often requires flexible and spontaneous ‘learning by doing’ and possible ‘rule bending’ which will be explored within this engaging two hour workshop.

avatar for Patricia Regier

Patricia Regier

Director of Collaborative Partnerships & Education, Community Support Services Niagara
I am passionate about collaborative partnerships, experiential learning, community health promotion and quality adult education. I facilitate learning in a variety of contexts including: community, organizational and academic settings. Experience building collaborative projects/programs... Read More →

Thursday December 10, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room 2

1:00pm EST

Teaching and Learning through Social Arts: Creating Relational Spaces of Community Within the Classroom (2-hour workshop)

Our relationships with those we teach and learn from are often pushed into limited spaces in which our relational dynamics – listening, collaborating, awareness - become more routine and technical and less embodied and meaningful; we often see these dynamics as inherent to our work, allowing them to go unnoticed and become disengaged.   When our relationships with learners, teachers and community members are created and remain within this limited and inactive space, the rich complexities of human life and the many different ways of understanding the world and our relationships, are marginalized.

I will use arts-based practices, particularly improvisation, to provide an experience that allows us to make active the relational dynamics that have become the routine parts of being with people - in the classroom and in community settings. Engaging with the creative, un-scripted, in the moment, foundations of improvisation can challenge us to go outside of a limited way of understanding, experiencing relational dynamics as an active way into connection.  I am proposing a workshop that uses improv-based exercises and discussions to explore different ways of understanding everyday concepts of relating; in particular, the concepts of support, collaboration and awareness. This artful engagement results in meaningful experiences and discussions that connect personal reflection, relational dynamics, and larger, social change.

Rather than introducing a specific approach to teaching or a particular method of community-building, this research-informed workshop encourages a reflexive, active, and dialogic exploration between the facilitator and the participants and provides a reflexive and engaging approach to relational dynamics.


Cathy Paton

McMaster University

Thursday December 10, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room D

1:00pm EST

Why Do It Alone?: Finding and Collaborating with a Teaching Community (2-hour workshop)

For early career higher education instructors, teaching in a large institution can be a solitary task. Although we are surrounded by other teachers, we often find ourselves working alone, unable to access learning and teaching communities developed for both students and full time faculty members. This is especially true of educators in positions of precarious employment—an increasingly significant proportion of the teaching staff at most large universities.

This workshop will use games, structured small group discussions, and collaborative brainstorming to provide some hands-on strategies for building a community that can support and enrich the teaching approaches of early career educators. We will also explore and test a framework for putting that community to work in a collaborative way.

Participants will address the following questions: what are the strengths and weaknesses of working together, what kind of teaching work best lends itself to collaborative approaches, and how can you ensure that the process goes smoothly and has great results?

By the end of the workshop, participants will have practiced on the spot community building, analyzed factors that contribute to a successful collaboration within a community, and created a plan for collaboration that is specific to their own teaching context.


Sasha Kovacs

University of Toronto

Robin Sutherland-Harris

University of Toronto

Thursday December 10, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room C