Teaching Excellence Academy 2009 – Trevor Holmes

This year marks the fifth time the Teaching Excellence Academy (TEA) has run at the University of Waterloo. Fifteen faculty members at a variety of career stages were nominated to attend this four-day course redesign workshop, culminating in an event to which their Chairs, Directors and Deans are invited to see the results, displayed as posters showing “before and after” course outlines. Continue reading Teaching Excellence Academy 2009 – Trevor Holmes

trevorholmes

As Senior Instructional Developer, Curriculum and Programming, Trevor Holmes plans and delivers workshops and events in support of faculty across the career span. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Trevor worked at a variety of universities teaching courses, supporting faculty and teaching assistants through educational development offices, and advising undergraduates. Trevor’s PhD is from York University in English Literature, with a focus on gothic literature, queer theory, and goth identities. A popular workshop facilitator at the national and international levels, Trevor is also interested in questions of identity in teaching and teaching development.

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CRAM the right way: How to improve student learning practices – Sara Ashpole

506769516_aece6182df_mImagine one of your students comes to your office door. It’s just before their midterm examination, and full of anxiety the student claims to have studied the wrong material.  As the instructor do we have any responsibility in this situation?  I believe as instructors, one of our responsibilities is to teach in a manner that promotes  effective learning practices that will support a student in a cram scenario.  As such, the instructor provides students with all the necessary tools to facilitate higher academic achievement. Continue reading CRAM the right way: How to improve student learning practices – Sara Ashpole

sashpole

As a Teaching Assistant Developer (2008-2009), Sara Ashpole is responsible for observing teaching events for participants in the Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program. Sara is a recent graduate of the CUT program (Summer 2008) and a doctoral candidate in the School of Planning. Sara’s research encompasses endangered species conservation planning and restoration ecology in degraded landscapes. Sara has taught as a teaching assistant at the University of Waterloo, a laboratory coordinator for the University of Guelph, and a workshop and seminar instructor for various governmental and environmental organizations.

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From Practice…to Research…to Practice – Sally Heath

Struggling to find a topic for my blog entry today, I decided that I’d write about my how teaching practice has informed my research, which has, in turn, re-informed my practice! Last winter, CTE colleague Sheila Hannon and I conducted a survey of all UW students who had taken an English course through Distance Education within the past year. Our motivation for undertaking this research stemmed from our own experiences co-ordinating Distance Education courses within our department. The goal of our survey was to determine whether students were satisfied with their distance learning experiences in the areas of interaction and assessment. Continue reading From Practice…to Research…to Practice – Sally Heath

Sally Heath

As the Acting Instructional Developer (2008-2009), Sally Heath oversees all aspects of the Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program and works with graduate students who are interested in developing their instructional skills and expanding their teaching horizons. In addition to working at CTE, Sally is pursuing a doctoral degree in English.

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Spring Forward: Circadian and Cognitive Shifts – Nicola Simmons

The spring clock change. For me, it’s a time of shifts and re-framing, some of it good, like stargazing for another few weeks on my early morning walk, and some of it challenging, like waking up an almost 14 year old daughter who’s sure it’s not time yet. There’s no question that it also disrupts our patterns – sleep patterns and cognitive patterns (Kamstra, Kramer, & Levi, 2000; Kuhn, 2001)(if you don’t have a teenager you may have noticed these changes in your colleagues or yourself!). Continue reading Spring Forward: Circadian and Cognitive Shifts – Nicola Simmons

Nicola Simmons

As Research and Evaluation Consultant, Nicola Simmons supports the design and implementation of research about teaching and learning at UW. In addition to co-ordinating the Teaching-based Research Group (TBRG) and LIF/PIF grants program, she assists faculty members with research-related activities: grant proposals, ethics proposals, conference proposals, and publications. Nicola pursues her own research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), doctoral student and new faculty identity development, reflective practice, and qualitative research methods and ethics, and holds a number of research grants related to program evaluation. Nicola is also a graduate advisor and teaches part-time in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, where she received her PhD for her study What’s different under the gown: New professors’ constructions of their teaching roles. Nicola and her husband, who live in Burlington, have a musical son and a horse-crazy daughter. Her hobbies include making willow furniture and judging science fairs.

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“If you keep your mind open, stuff will fall in” — Mark Morton

“If you keep your mind open stuff will fall in” — that excellent adage is the invention of Tommy Hunkeler, a grade-six student  at Elizabeth Ziegler Public School in Waterloo. Tommy, along with more than a hundred other people (ranging from elementary school students, to undergraduates, to university faculty members), participated in a contest that was part of the 2009 Loving to Learn DayContinue reading “If you keep your mind open, stuff will fall in” — Mark Morton

Mark Morton

Mark Morton

As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare.

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The Imposter Phenomenon in Academia – Sally Heath

“I am nothing but an impostor and a fake. I don’t deserve my success; I haven’t really earned it. I’ve been fooling other people into thinking I am a lot smarter and more talented than I really am.”

Does the above quotation sound familiar to you? Have you ever felt that your academic success was undeserved, or the result of luck? In the spring of 2008, I facilitated a workshop called The Imposter Phenomenon in Academia. The Imposter Phenomenon (IP) is a term coined in the 1970s by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes to describe a psychological pattern associated with fears and fraudulence and undeserved success. Common experiences associated with the Imposter Phenomenon include feelings of phoniness and self-doubt, the fear of being “unmasked,” a fear of making mistakes, and difficulty in taking credit for one’s accomplishments. Continue reading The Imposter Phenomenon in Academia – Sally Heath

Sally Heath

As the Acting Instructional Developer (2008-2009), Sally Heath oversees all aspects of the Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program and works with graduate students who are interested in developing their instructional skills and expanding their teaching horizons. In addition to working at CTE, Sally is pursuing a doctoral degree in English.

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Living the Student Experience – Donna Ellis

student1In my work as an educational developer, I look to the research literature to provide empirically based strategies to handle the myriad complex issues that we can all face in our teaching. But I also tend to draw on my experiences as a student. How would I like a course where I have three major assessments due in the last two weeks of the term when I have work to do for four other courses? How would I handle reading highly theoretical research articles in second year? To me, there’s a certain amount of teaching intuition that needs to stem from what Continue reading Living the Student Experience – Donna Ellis

Donna Ellis

Donna Ellis

Donna Ellis has supported the teaching development of Waterloo faculty members and graduate students since 1994. In her role as Director, she oversees the development and delivery of all the Centre for Teaching Excellence programming and services, which include individual faculty consultations; events directed at graduate students, new faculty, and established faculty regarding face-to-face teaching, blended learning, and emerging technologies; online resources; curriculum and program review consultations; and research support services. Donna has a PhD from Waterloo’s Management Sciences program and completed her dissertation research on instructional innovations. She also has an MA in Language and Professional Writing from Waterloo, and has taught in the Speech Communication program. Donna, along with her husband, spends time away from work raising three fine boys.

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