The conference season is quickly approaching and there are a number of great conferences this Spring and Summer for those interested in Research on Teaching (RT). One I would highly recommend attending is the University of Waterloo’s annual Opportunities and New Directions: A Research Conference on Teaching and Learning which is next week (i.e., Wednesday, April 28, 2010). OND is just a short drive away, is extremely affordable, and always includes very interesting presentations and posters.
This year, there are two presentations at OND that have particularly caught my eye. The first is the keynote presentation by Dr. Catherine Wehlburg from Texas Christian University entitled “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: You’re Already Doing It!”. The abstract for her session is as follows:
“Many post-secondary educators who are thinking about doing research on teaching and learning are dissuaded from doing so by the perceived extra work such research would entail. However, Dr. Wehlburg argues that this perception is misguided. If teaching, learning and student assessment are happening in your classroom (and they are!), then you’ve already done most of the work needed to be a scholar of teaching and learning. So why not take advantage of it? This engaging and interactive workshop will help participants develop the strategies they need to parlay course prep and assessment time into powerful “scholarship of teaching and learning” results” (Wehlberg, 2010).
Dr. Wehlburg’s session should provide excellent practical tips on doing RT without developing extensive additional assessments. I know this session will be beneficial for faculty with RT experience as well as those who have wanted to do RT but felt that they did not have the time or expertise to develop additional assessments.
The second is a plenary session by Dr. Tom Carey from the Higher Quality Council of Ontario and the University of Waterloo entitled “SOTL as a Strategic Support for Developing Innovation in the Student Learning Experience”. The abstract for his session is as follows:
“Our SOTL work has traditionally contributed to – and consequently been supported by – institutional agendas around the quality of teaching and learning and research agendas to “advance the general state of knowledge in the discipline”. A third focal point for contribution (and potential funding) has begun to emerge: SOTL work to support strategic government priorities around developing an innovation economy. This presentation asks the question: Can we use SOTL work as an exemplar to students of how research-informed innovation adds value to our work practices, to support their understanding of innovation processes, challenges and risks” (Carey, 2010)?
I had not really considered possible outcomes of ourRT work to include the development of our students’ understanding of innovation or their abilities to innovate but I am very intrigued by these ideas and look forward to exploring them during Dr Carey’s session.
As I mentioned, these are only two of the many interesting session that are scheduled. For more information about OND, please see the conference web site at http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/research_on_teaching_and_learning/index.html?tab=5 .
I hope I will see you there.
Ken N. Meadows
Carey, T. (2010, April). SOTL as a Strategic Support for Developing Innovation in the Student Learning Experience. Paper to be presented at the Second Annual Opportunities and New Directions: A Research Conference on Teaching and Learning, Waterloo, ON, Canada. Abstract retrieved from http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/research_on_teaching_and_learning/TBRG/OND/2010/OND%20abstracts%202010%20March%2022.pdf
Wehlburg, C. (2010, April). Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: You’re Already Doing It! Paper to be presented at the Second Annual Opportunities and New Directions: A Research Conference on Teaching and Learning, Waterloo, ON, Canada. Abstract retrieved from http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/research_on_teaching_and_learning/TBRG/OND/2010/OND%20abstracts%202010%20March%2022.pdf
Ken’s Musical Postscript: As I mentioned in my last blog piece, I have decided to add a musical postscript to each of my blogs to mention three songs I enjoy, including a classic song. I encourage everyone to dance when the mood strikes.
1) “Velvet” by The Big Pink
2) “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
3) “Headhunter” by Front 242 (the original – V1.0 – not one of the remixes…)