Learning Through Peer Discussion – Mary Power

discuss-copy It seems intuitive that group discussion can enhance the learning experience. We (or at least I do anyway) almost often think of discussions occurring among a small group of individuals. Yet there is a growing body of research evidence indicating that discussion based collaborative learning is a powerful tool that can be used even in large class situations. Continue reading Learning Through Peer Discussion – Mary Power

Notes from a teaching developer conference 1: Mark Federman’s Keynote – Trevor Holmes

Several CTE staff members have been at EDC 2009, this year’s iteration of a conference specifically for Educational Developers. It’s a lively group, full of helpful people who prefer to collaborate and share (rather than compete and hoard). After the usual welcoming remarks and housekeeping notes, we had the unusual experience of dramatic readings from two publications (Making a Difference and Silences, both projects of the 3M Teaching Fellows’ Council of our parent organisation, the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education). Continue reading Notes from a teaching developer conference 1: Mark Federman’s Keynote – Trevor Holmes

Google Docs – Mark Morton

The purpose of technology is to allow us to do things more easily or more efficiently so that we have more time and energy to invent more technologies. That, at least, would seem to be one way of describing human history, from the invention of the wheel, to the steam engine, to the first vacuum-based hair-cutting systems. Whether this technological progress has had a positive impact on the human condition is, I think, open to debate. Personally, I rather doubt that we are any happier now than our predecessors were a century, three centuries, or thirty centuries ago. True, we don’t have to contend with the bubonic plague or demonic possession; but neither did our ancestors have to deal with TV shows involving Tyra Banks or with being on hold with Bell Canada  for half an hour. Continue reading Google Docs – Mark Morton

Slippery Fish – Jane Holbrook

fishI want to spend a little time … reflecting on time…How we spend or waste it, where we spend it and who we spend it with, is really the essence of who we are. We all have to make daily decisions on what we do with this very precious commodity. Our students make these decisions every day. Continue reading Slippery Fish – Jane Holbrook

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

Brainify.com: academic bookmarking for higher ed? – Trevor Holmes

Brainiac Dood Like on early Star Trek

If you haven’t heard of Murray Goldberg, you have probably heard of his major projects: Silicon Chalk and especially WebCT. Goldberg’s latest baby is a kind of social bookmarking site for academics, and it promises to democratize the classroom in a fully Web 2.0 sort of way. Students and faculty members can join and contribute equally to the building of their disciplines (if by building we mean gathering and annotating online resources that are better than what a search engine alone would find). Brainify.com encourages users to tag resources, but you can also watch for updates to subtopics, Continue reading Brainify.com: academic bookmarking for higher ed? – Trevor Holmes