Maryellen Weimer at 2011 Presidents’ Colloquium – Trevor Holmes

Annually, Waterloo’s two presidents (the President, and the Faculty Association President) host a special guest on campus to talk about teaching and learning. These guests are recognized specialists in some branch or another of higher education. This year we are honoured to hear from Maryellen Weimer, whom I’ve hosted in other settings and with whom I’ve been lucky enough to spend time at teaching conferences. Dr. Weimer is the long-time editor of the Teaching Professor Newsletter, and has also published books about pedagogical scholarship, learner-centered teaching, and techniques for instructional improvement. She manages both to be generously humane and caustically funny (sometimes in the same breath). Last time we spoke, I recall a debate erupting about why she rejected the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (SoTL) label in favour of “pedagogical scholarship”; and yet she has been invited to speak at a SoTL conference about SoTL work. I’ll be very curious to hear how she frames this more defined field of study now that its name and practices have become somewhat more solidified by way of journals, professional organisations, and books.

Can Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Actually Improve my Teaching?
Presidents’ Colloquium: Opening Keynote: Dr. Maryellen Weimer

“Books, journals, and articles on teaching and learning date back to the early 1900s – some even before that. All these materials have one thing in common: few educators read them. What can be learned from this literature? Is research a useful resource faculty need for self-improvement as teachers? Are fellow teachers the ones best suited to research and write about teaching and learning? How is this pedagogical scholarship alike and different from discipline-based research? In this keynote, Maryellen Weimer explores answers to these questions. Whether engaging in a thoughtful reflection of classroom experience or an empirical endeavour that answers a pragmatic question, post-secondary teachers can use the scholarship of colleagues not only to enlarge their understanding of teaching and learning, but also to increase their effectiveness in the classroom. Illustrative examples will offer a range of new ideas, interesting findings, and provocative points to consider.”

Please join us for the Presidents’ Colloquium April 27 2011 in Hagey Hall 1101 (the new wing of Hagey). No registration required for this special keynote event (a free and open part of the longer Opportunities and New Directions Conference, for which registration is required — we can still take a few more people for OND if you are interested!).

SCoPE out this rich international resource – Trevor Holmes

I’ve just returned from four days in British Columbia, where I had a small glimpse of Olympic fever in Vancouver as I passed through coming home from a conference in Kamloops. While Canada’s medal quest will be over in a short while, a site I’ve used before and was reminded of this past Saturday truly deserves the Gold. It’s called SCoPE, and it’s for anyone interested in higher education research and practice, often but not exclusively with an online flavour. There are synchronous seminars with live interaction, as well as asynchronous discussions and archives of past events. The content-rich site has documentary, wiki, and video resources from their early seminars to their latest offerings — currently, “Pimp your Post,” about that important first class message in an online course. It’s free to join, and an excellent use of resources through BCCampus (after a start-up grant ran its course through SFU a while ago). This was just one of many resources showcased at Educational Developers Caucus 2010 at Thompson Rivers University; in the coming weeks I’ll report on other useful stuff I learned (or re-learned — sometimes it takes Your Faithful Curmudgeon a few tries).


The Centre for Teaching Excellence welcomes contributions to its blog. If you are a faculty member, staff member, or student at the University of Waterloo (or beyond!) and would like contribute a posting about some aspect of teaching or learning, please contact Mark Morton or Trevor Holmes.