Learning about Teaching – Researching the Practice and Practicing the Research Nicola Simmons

674821361_e4025951ed1Two exciting events coming soon at UW – the Opportunities and New Directions conference (May 6) and the Learning about Teaching Annual Symposium (May 4 & 5).

The first annual “Opportunities and New Directions: A Research Conference on Teaching and Learning” will take place at UW at Conrad Grebel on May 6. Conceived by a sub-committee of the Teaching-Based Research Group (TBRG) and the Centre for Teaching Excellence, the event is supported by Geoff McBoyle, AVPA.

Dr. Gary Poole will give the keynote address, “The Promise of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Fulfilled or Unfulfilled?” to help us in focusing on the directions our scholarship is taking and the opportunities we might yet explore. Gary is the Director of the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth (TAG) from the University of British Columbia as well as the new President-Elect for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL).

Anyone interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is welcome to join this exciting opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues from multiple disciplines and to engage in conversations about new research, work in progress, and emerging ideas.

The early-bird registration deadline is April 3. Click here for more details of sessions and to register.

The second event, The Learning about Teaching Annual Symposium, is actually 3 sessions: the Presidents’ Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, which takes place on May 4, 2-3:30 pm in the Humanities Theatre, and is followed by a wine and cheese reception. Dr. Gary Poole’s keynote “…But Will That Be On the Test?” will look at the roles educators play in encouraging deeper learning, and how implicit messages we send may in fact encourage exactly the opposite.

Gary will lead two follow up workshops on May 5 in the FLEX lab. The morning workshop “Using door-opening concepts in our teaching” will examine key concepts within disciplines, and how they “encompass key ways of thinking”. The session will encourage you to think about making use of such concepts to open doors for student learning. The afternoon workshop, “We can promote deeper learning. Here’s how”, will provide an opportunity for a more in-depth exploration of the keynote topic. You’ll consider course activities and assessments to promote more meaningful learning, with the intention of supporting students in engaging more deeply with course concepts.

Click here for more details and to register.

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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.

One thought on “Learning about Teaching – Researching the Practice and Practicing the Research Nicola Simmons”

  1. You have indeed highlighted the theme of the Learning about Teaching events. This year’s event picks up on last year’s discussion of student motivation and the ways in which students are (and are perhaps encouraged to be) ‘strategic learners’ rather than choosing deeper learning strategies. I anticipate Gary Poole will nudge our thinking about what we can do as educators to address this issue.
    Thanks for promoting what we think will be an exceptional talk about a hot topic – and in case you or colleagues are interested, there are still spaces for the Tuesday morning workshop (sign up via web hotlink you list).

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