Spring Teaching and Learning Day: Pedagogical Innovation and Imagination

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Spring Teaching and Learning Day: Pedagogical Innovation and Imagination

Published on April 19 2011

CTLET is pleased to host its Spring Teaching and Learning Day: Pedagogical Innovation and Imagination on Wednesday May 4th, 2011. 

Our proceedings will open on Wednesday May 4th in the Sean O’Sullivan  Theatre 9 - 10:15.  Subsequent concurrent breakout sessions are scheduled for Thistle corridor, the Learning Commons, and the Centre for Digital Humanities for the morning and afternoon.

This year, our annual teaching and learning day is focused on “pedagogical innovation and imagination.”  It is both a follow up to the symposium last year on e-learning and an exploration of additional innovative undertakings in Brock classrooms and beyond.  As always, questions such as whom we are teaching, how we are teaching and, ultimately, why we are teaching the way we do will frame our discussions about instructional decision-making in tension with and in support of pedagogical imagination.
We start the day with an exciting opening plenary from a much sought-after speaker, Dr Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University.   His plenary is entitled, "From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able: Building New Learning Environments for New Media Environments."
You may know Dr. Wesch's work as a digital ethnographer from his immensely influential YouTube videos, Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing Us and A Vision of Students Today.  Prof. Wesch comes to Brock the day after his opening plenary for the Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford.  His media bio reads:
Dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, his videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions and translated into more than 15 languages. Winner of the Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.  Dr. Wesch was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.
If you or your colleagues have innovative or imaginative pedagogical practices that you would like to share in a breakout session with the other participants at this one-day event, please contact us at ctlet@brocku.ca.
Come out to hear this fascinating speaker and stay to learn about the unique practices that Brock faculty and staff are bringing to the classroom.

Please call the Brock Centre for the Arts Box Office for complimentary tickets:

Local calls:  905-688-5550 ext. 3257

Toll free (outside of Niagara): 1-866-617-3257

Event poster.

 Pedagogical Innovation and Imagination Symposium

Concurrent sessions
May 4th 2011
11:00 – 12:00 noon
1. The Promise of Reflective Journals
Location: CDH G
Tim O’Connell, Recreation and Leisure Studies
The promise of reflective journaling assignments lures many instructors to use them in their courses. Too often, both students and instructors are left dissatisfied by the outcomes – “it’s boring,” the entries are superficial, they take a lot of time… - the list goes on and on. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! This session will explore strategies to make your reflective journaling assignment more innovative and imaginative. Prof. Tim O’Connell will examine the pros and cons of the classic, tattered leather journal versus Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging, videos and texting, consider some pedagogical strategies to make journaling more fun and effective, and discuss ethical concerns with reflective writing assignments.
2. Students are not “customers” ... are they?
Location: TH 253
Michael J Armstrong, Faculty of Business
When thinking about who our students are and how we can help them learn, analogies can be sources of inspiration.  But they can also lead us astray if applied in the wrong context or taken too literally.  Prof. Michael Armstrong will discuss several analogies that have appeared in print, including student-as-customer, student-as-partner and student-as-client.  Each of these can offer useful insights when thoughtfully applied to the appropriate part of our educational mission.
3. Keeping It Real: Using Technology in Assessments For Learning
Location: TH 259
James Mandigo, Health and Physical Education; Kelsey Pinch, Health and Physical Education; Matt Clare, CTLET
Technology is changing our teaching and learning. The way we asses learning can also benefit from new technologies.

This presentation will highlight how technology can be used as a form of assessment for learning. Examples from professor Mandigo's teaching with Wikis, E-Portfolios, and Podcasts will highlight tools that are relevant to today's students and tools that promote and attribute student collaboration. Integrating these new technologies into a course brings material to life in authentic and applied ways.

4. The Supercourse Experience: Reflections and Observations of Students in an Accelerated First Year Course
Location: CDH C
Madelyn P. Law and Brent E. Faught, Department of Community Health Sciences, Brock University
Students continue to struggle with the desire to pursue their educational goals in the midst of competing personal priorities such as maintaining employment or family responsibilities, either as an adult learner or traditional university student. These personal and social demands and the understanding of the value of an accelerated learning environment in higher education led to the development of “Supercourse”.  This session will provide an outline of the course conceptualization and instructor reflections, together with data elicited from students on a pre and post course survey.
5. Engaging Students with Technology
Location: TH 244
Barbra Zupan, Applied Linguistic Studies
Prof. Barbara Zupan will focus on the use of TopHat Monocle, a new teaching and learning clicker and survey tool for the classroom that makes use of current technology to engage students and enhance their learning.


PM 1:00 – 2:00 pm
1. Interactive Project-Based Learning: A Capstone Course in IASC
Location: TH 253
Bill Ralph, Mathematics/Interactive Arts and Science (IASC)
Prof. Bill Ralph facilitates the IASC 4F00 capstone course, which is entirely project-based. The participants form a development team and together create a stand-alone interactive digital media object in the course of 8 months.
This session will highlight the pedagogical structure that Prof. Ralph provides for his students in this course as well as the creative process that his students go through. Student members of the team will also speak to the soft skills that they take away with them beyond the technical aspects of the course.
2. Toward the Development of Hybrid Teaching Environments: Examining First Steps      
 Zopito Marini, CHYS
Location: TH 259
This presentation will offer a report on efforts to formally introduce hybrid teaching components in CHYS courses. Through an analysis of student comments, Prof. Zopito Marini will discuss which components enhanced the students’ learning experience, with a view to improving course delivery for the Fall term.
3. Giving Feedback on Written Work: A Sound Approach
Location: TH 244
Tanya Martini and David DiBattista, Psychology
Prof. Tanya Martini and Prof. David DiBattista discuss the importance of effective feedback to support student learning. They will then describe the use of audio feedback in the context of a variety of teaching and learning situations, such as a large second-year statistics course, a third-year research methods course, and with fourth-year honours thesis students.
4. Brock BaseCamp
Location: TH 246
Anna Lathrop, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, FAHS, Tim O’Connell, Associate Professor, RECL, and Ryan Howard, PhD Student, FAHS.
Brock BaseCamp, an innovative outdoor orientation program for incoming first-year students, is the first of its kind in Canada. While BaseCamp’s primary goals are to enhance students’ sense of community and provide information about being successful at university, there are other outcomes that have a much broader impact. Come and find out more about how BaseCamp successfully integrates recruitment and retention strategies, student learning, research, and community-building to benefit students, faculty and the Brock community at-large.
2:10 – 3:00 PM
Closing Plenary: A Vision of Students Today reflected in the Voices of Students Today
Barry W. K. Joe, CTLET & students
Location: TH 244
Prof. Barry Joe will engage with a group of students as they respond to the Michael Wesch video, giving voice to their views on their education at Brock. The day wraps up with video collage of voices from event participants. Join us to add yours!

Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing Us

A Vision of Students Today