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

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

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

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

“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

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

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