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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 16, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Pre-conference Information




Home Call for Proposals Schedule
Keynote Speaker Accommodations Registration & Bursary Travel Location & Parking Contact


MORNING SESSIONS (3-hours each):

Session A:
Teaching Assistant Competencies: Increasing Potential
with Suzanne Sheffield (Dalhousie), Cynthia Korpan (University of Victoria), Svitlana Taraban-Gordon (uWaterloo), Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Advancement (Special Interest Group of the STLHE)

There are several movements currently affecting teaching assistant preparation:

  1. There is a growing expectation that graduate education programs provide professional development opportunities to complement disciplinary knowledge and more effectively support graduate students’ success (Professional Skills Development for Graduate Students, 2008), including teaching preparation.
  2. Graduate students, intent on “enhancing their human capital” (Saunders, 2010, p. 63), are seeking ways of incorporating teaching preparation skills training into their programs aiming to equip themselves for future employment.
  3. Universities are facing the pressing concern of ensuring high-quality undergraduate educational experiences within an increasingly competitive post-secondary education context, along with a push for increased enrollment of international graduate students and the increased use of online formats.

This session will consider these movements in order to begin development of a set of national competencies to guide educational developers as they design programming and TAs as they assume their teaching role. The competencies are inspired by STLHE’s (1996) Ethical Principles in University Teaching. During development, we will address the needs of all TAs, independent of their experience and the discipline involved, and we will consider the different relationships that TAs are involved in while performing their duties and responsibilities throughout their graduate degree.

The session will involve a mix of presentations, small- and large-group sharing, guided activities, and a lot of discussion.

The goal is for TAGSA members and other interested parties, from across the country and from a range of institutions, to begin development of a set of competencies.

References:
Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) (2008). Professional Skills Development for Graduate Students. Retrieved from http://www.cags.ca/documents/publications/Prof%20Skills%20Dev%20for%20Grad%20Stud%20%20Final%2008%2011%2005.pdf

Saunders, D. B. (2010). Neoliberal Ideology and Public Higher Education in the United States. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 8(1), 42-77.

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. (1996). Ethical Principles in University Teaching. Retrieved from http://www.stlhe.ca/awards/3m-national-teaching-fellowships/initiatives/ethical-principles-in-university-teaching/

Session B:
2013 Educational Development Institute
Perspectives, Values, and Ethics for Educational Development
(Five years of experience or less)
with Nicola Simmons (Brock University) and Ruth Rodgers (Durham College)

This year's EDC Institute focuses on values and ethics in the profession. The goal of the sessions is to create ethical practice statements and case study scenarios that can be used to inform ED practice at various career stages and in a variety of contexts.

The Institute will build on the work of an EDC subcommittee on Educational Development Ethical Practice statements. Results generated by session participants will be communicated to the EDC community for feedback and further development; the sub-committee will then submit to the EDC executive a final draft ethical practices document. Materials created during the sessions will be posted to the EDC website.

Each of the morning (newer developers up to five years) and afternoon (more seasoned developers over five years) sessions will comprise four parts. While the outline is the same for each, we anticipate that each group will focus on issues that are relevant to their respective career stage and position.

1.       Educational Development Perspectives

Using Land's (2001) work on Academic Development philosophies, we will build our Educational Development philosophies in Lego and discuss how these perspectives influence how we do our job, our values, and ethical considerations vis-à-vis that work.

2.       Values in the Profession

Keeping in mind the different perspectives from Land and the EDC value of Ethical Practice, which reads, "demonstrate integrity and transparency in all our interactions. We uphold the highest possible values in collegial scholarship, crediting others for their contributions, and undertaking all work according to accepted ethical practices and policies", we will create guiding principles statements that frame our ethical practice at our institutions. The POD statement on ethical practices will serve as a guiding resource and we will consider its application in our Canadian context.

3.       Ethical Considerations: Principles in Action

Small groups will create ED scenarios that illustrate ethical dilemmas and decisions. Some examples will be provided. We expect this section will highlight variations in policy and practice across institutions and regions and will also illustrate the different philosophies-in-action of various centres. These variations will be explored to ask the question "Is there a universal ED code of ethics?"

4.       Implications for Practice


What recommendations arise from our work today? Applying a micro/meso/macro/mega framework, we will begin with private reflection on implications at a personal professional level, and then consider jointly what implications there are at a department level, institution level, and EDC organization level. Small groups will work to create statements for each level around ethical practice.

References:
Land, R. (2001). Agency, context and change in academic development. The International Journal for Academic Development, 6(1), 4-20.


AFTERNOON SESSIONS (3-hours each):

***Click here for slides from this session***

Session A:
Creating a Community of Practice to Support and Strengthen Capacity among Community of Practice Members
with Mali Bain and Judy Chan (University of British Columbia)
Contributors: Joseph Topornycky and Roselynn Verwoord (University of British Columbia)

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are groups whose members "share a passion for something they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better" (Wenger, 2006).  The University of British Columbia Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) has found ways to adapt community of practice theory to the context of teaching and learning in higher education (Klein & Connell 2008).

Since 2003, 19 CoPs have been supported on a range of topics including - but not limited to - Course Design, Teaching and Learning for the Heart and Mind, Interdisciplinary Teaching, and TA Training. Communities of practice cut across silos and are open to all members of the teaching community, no matter their years of teaching experience, rank, or discipline. Facilitators of these CoPs come from academic units and service centres on campus; they play a key role in first identifying and then building trust and collaboration in cross-disciplinary communities. As the number of CoPs grew, CTLT established a CoP for CoP Facilitators, bridging thematic boundaries and building collective capacity to strengthen CoPs.

If you facilitate CoPs at your post-secondary institution, or if you are thinking of establishing a CoP, come join us!  You will experience this workshop as if you were a member of the CoP for Facilitators. Building on lessons from our practice and from relevant literature, we will model processes, activities, and approaches you can use as an initiator and/or facilitator of CoPs (Ackkerman, Petter & de Laat, 2008; Garavan, Cerbery & Murphy, 2007; Klein & Connell, 2008; Wenger & Snyder, 2000). You will have a chance to learn about CoP experiences among participants and share challenges and lessons learned. You will take home strategies and a draft plan to strengthen CoPs at your own institutions.

Mali Bain will be co-presenting this session virtually.

References:
Akkerman, S., Petter, C., & de Laat, M. (2008). Organizing communities-of-practice: Facilitating emergence. Journal of Workplace Learning, 20(6), 383-399.

Garavan, T. N., Carbery, R., & Murphy, E. (2007). Managing intentionally created communities of practice for knowledge sourcing across organisational boundaries: Insights on the role of the CoP manager. Learning Organization, 14(1), 34-49.

Klein, J. H., & Connell, N.A. (2008). The identification and cultivation of appropriate communities of practice in higher education. In C. Kimble, P. Hildreth and I. Bourden (Eds.), Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators, Volume 1 (pp. 65 – 81). USA: Information Age Publishing.

Wenger, E. (2006) Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

Wenger, E. C., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier. Harvard Business Review, 78(1), 139-145.


Session B:
2013 Educational Development Institute for Seasoned Developers
Perspectives, Values, and Ethics for Educational Development
(Six or more years of experience)
with Nicola Simmons (Brock University) and Ruth Rodgers (Durham College)

This year's EDC Institute focuses on values and ethics in the profession. The goal of the sessions is to create ethical practice statements and case study scenarios that can be used to inform ED practice at various career stages and in a variety of contexts.

The Institute will build on the work of an EDC subcommittee on Educational Development Ethical Practice statements. Results generated by session participants will be communicated to the EDC community for feedback and further development; the sub-committee will then submit to the EDC executive a final draft ethical practices document. Materials created during the sessions will be posted to the EDC website.

Each of the morning (newer developers up to five years) and afternoon (more seasoned developers over five years) sessions will comprise four parts. While the outline is the same for each, we anticipate that each group will focus on issues that are relevant to their respective career stage and position.

1.       Educational Development Perspectives

Using Land's (2001) work on Academic Development philosophies, we will build our Educational Development philosophies in Lego and discuss how these perspectives influence how we do our job, our values, and ethical considerations vis-à-vis that work.

2.       Values in the Profession

Keeping in mind the different perspectives from Land and the EDC value of Ethical Practice, which reads, "demonstrate integrity and transparency in all our interactions. We uphold the highest possible values in collegial scholarship, crediting others for their contributions, and undertaking all work according to accepted ethical practices and policies", we will create guiding principles statements that frame our ethical practice at our institutions. The POD statement on ethical practices will serve as a guiding resource and we will consider its application in our Canadian context.

3.       Ethical Considerations: Principles in Action

Small groups will create ED scenarios that illustrate ethical dilemmas and decisions. Some examples will be provided. We expect this section will highlight variations in policy and practice across institutions and regions and will also illustrate the different philosophies-in-action of various centres. These variations will be explored to ask the question "Is there a universal ED code of ethics?"

4.       Implications for Practice


What recommendations arise from our work today? Applying a micro/meso/macro/mega framework, we will begin with private reflection on implications at a personal professional level, and then consider jointly what implications there are at a department level, institution level, and EDC organization level. Small groups will work to create statements for each level around ethical practice.

References:
Land, R. (2001). Agency, context and change in academic development. The International Journal for Academic Development, 6(1), 4-20.