Sophie Lavieri (top right), a senior lecturer in Chemistry, presented a poster at the Symposium along with Dev Sharma (top left), also a senior lecturer in Chemistry. Cheryl Amundsen and Esma Emmioglu (bottom left), a professor and postdoctoral fellow respectively in Education, were also happy to share their research during the poster session. Nienke Van Houten (bottom right), a lecturer in Health Sciences, did double duty as a presenter and member of the Symposium Planning Committee.
The 2013 Symposium on Teaching and Learning took place on May 15 and 16 at SFU’s Burnaby campus. More than 190 SFU faculty, staff, and students registered for the event, which featured 15 concurrent sessions and 13 posters in addition to plenary sessions.
Gloria Rogers, a scholar with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and a well-known consultant in the area of quality assurance, learning outcomes, assessment, and accreditation, presented the keynote address. Rogers tackled questions related to the implementation of learning outcomes in a direct and pragmatic way. The title of her presentation—“Satisfying mandates while honouring faculty time: Is it possible?”—demonstrated an awareness of the practical issues that are intertwined with the philosophical questions of learning outcomes and assessment. She emphasized the importance of building the definition and evaluation of learning outcomes into existing curriculum development and review processes rather than creating new (and burdensome) administrative structures. She also noted that learning outcomes should be approached within the context of programs rather than as a means of evaluating individual courses. Her presentation will be made available to the SFU academic community as an archived webcast.
Another plenary session featured a panel discussion on “Embracing, managing, or resisting change.” SFU’s Russell Day, a senior lecturer in Psychology and co-facilitator of SFU’s Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning, joined three panellists from other universities to facilitate a lively and provocative exchange that drew in audience members.
The concurrent sessions and posters covered a variety of areas, but many focused on new instructional approaches within the classroom. Among the approaches covered:
- Evidence-based teaching (Nienke van Houten, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Cindy Xin)
- Integrated, interdisciplinary, and project-based teaching in science (Uwe Kreis)
- Experiential learning and student-directed courses (Dan Burns, David Zandvliet, John Clague, Vance Williams)
- Active learning (David Kaufman)
- Team-based learning in science (Laura Hilton, Lynne Quarmby, Cindy Xin)
Many of the presentations and posters were developed with the help of Teaching and Learning Development Grants, which are administered by the Teaching and Learning Centre and the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD). PDF versions of some posters will be made available on the ISTLD website and on SFU’s institutional Teaching and Learning website.