Teaching and Learning Centres Revisited: February 18-24, 2008

Welcome and Introductions

Welcome and Introductions

by Vivian Neal -
Number of replies: 7
Welcome to this one week seminar that will revisit and investigate ideas about the range of programs and services offered by our teaching and learning centres. I'm sure you will find the discussion relevant and informative, and I hope you'll find the time to share your ideas and experiences with others.

Last summer Alice, Amy and I were part of a two week SCoPE seminar in which participants shared information and ideas about their centres and the various configurations, missions, and services they provide. Concurrently, I visited 5 universities in the UK to learn about the various components of their teaching and learning centres and how they go about offering support within their institutions. Some interesting issues came to light, and in this week's seminar we'll revisit these along with new issues I'm sure. These are three highlights from last summer's discussion:
• the broad range of roles, such as researcher, project manager, instructional designer and workshop facilitator
• the interplay between conducting research and leading practice-based seminars
• the extent to which we serve undergraduate students.

On Friday this week, Alice, Amy and I will host a live workshop from 11am to noon that will include an in-person session at the EDC Conference, and an online component using Elluminate. We hope that the SCoPE seminar will focus our ideas resulting in even richer discussion of the issues during the live session.

Elluminate session Friday February 22, 11am to noon (see world clock)
Access to Elluminate session directly
To make sure your computer is set up, visit here. and follow the instructions.

First, please introduce yourselves - where do you work, what is your connection to a teaching and learning centre, what is your role, background and interests? Also, did you participate in the SCoPE seminar last summer? What are your thoughts about the issues facing teaching and learning centres?
In reply to Vivian Neal

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Emma Duke-Williams -
where do you work,
Portsmouth University, UK

what is your connection to a teaching and learning centre,

No direct link right now; last academic year (I.e. October-October) I was seconded to the ExPERT centre, a CETL (funded through the main UK funding body, rather than the University).
This year, I'm on their Operational Committe, but the secondment has finished. I am, however, an eLearning Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Technology - as well as being a lecturer in the school of Computing.

what is your role, background and interests?
In part, I've answered this above! I'm particularly interested in Social uses of Computing for learning, so (and I feel like I ought to say "this week...") I'm interested in blogs, wikis, RSS, SecondLife, Social Networking etc., etc., etc. (I'm rapidly going off the phrase "Web2.0", but am happy to use it if others like it)

Also, did you participate in the SCoPE seminar last summer? What are your thoughts about the issues facing teaching and learning centres?
Yes
Answering the last part with a (very!) UK centric point of view (and probably a Portsmouth one as well!) - often it's the difficulty of getting support at all levels; be it senior management, Network managers, lecturers and students - as with all things, some are very keen, some very anti, some not that interested etc.
That tends to lead to inertia when it comes to getting things going, which in some cases isn't a bad thing, as you have time to evaluate things, at other times it's a pain!
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Vivian Neal -
Welcome back Emma,

If I read your posting correctly, you are not in a T&L Centre per se, but you are an eLearning Coordinator within a Faculty.

I've recently started to realize the power of social software and how incredibly quickly it has become ubiquitous among undergraduates. Our centre (LIDC at SFU) is in a position of putting a good deal of resources into pre-Web2.0 applications such as WebCT, while at the same time getting requests for help with the new Web2.0 technologies. The question is how and to what level to support instructors in using the new technologies? Do you have a similar challenge?

Vivian
In reply to Vivian Neal

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -

Where do you work? Educational Support and Development, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

What is your connection to a teaching and learning centre? Uof S has the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre  and Medicine has ES&D for medicine specific teaching. I present workshops for both.

What is your role, background and interests? I specialize in researching and developing clinical teaching skills. I've been a post-secondary teacher for 36 years, starting with street kids, moving to technical schools, moving to university. Formally I have an MEd in educational technology. My interests are Active Learning and Higher Order Thinking Skills.

Also, did you participate in the SCoPE seminar last summer? Yes

What are your thoughts about the issues facing teaching and learning centres? The biggest challenge is the lack of emphasis on teaching in university academic carreers. I have seen too many wonderful teachers being turned down for tenure because they focused on becoming good teachers instead of good researchers.

In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Vivian Neal -
Hello Deirdre,

There was some discussion in last summer's SCoPE seminar about how a research intensive university can leverage its strengths to enhance teaching an learning. You are an example of a researcher who is also supporting instructors in the area of teaching. Could you describe how your research informs your work in educational development?

Vivian


In reply to Vivian Neal

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Barbara Berry -
Hello Everyone,
Although I didn't participate in your discussions about models for T & L centres that took place last summer I did "listen in" to the ideas and conversations. I am drawn to the themes Vivian has outlined for ongoing discussion and so will jump in and begin to share my experiences with the hopes of learning from everyone here.

I am a colleague of Vivian's and I am in my third year of providing "educational support and consultation services" to the new Faculty of Health Sciences (public and population health sciences rather than medicine) at SFU. I have worked "in situ" (2 -3 days per week) with this new faculty and over a three year period have concentrated on building relationships with the faculty as a group and with individual instructors, TA's, students to a lesser degree and support staff.

The "in situ" or "outreach" model of service delivery has been somewhat of an experiment for the LIDC in the sense that I am co-located in this faculty and the LIDC (central unit here at SFU).This arrangement has afforded interesting challenges as well as opportunities for a more "integrated" and wholistic service to what is essentially a community development approach. My role has largely been that of educational consultant, facilitator and change agent. I "broker" information, bring people together where possible to leverage networks and contacts within the developing faculty as well as between faculties. I have also provided educational consultation on specific aspects of the work in this new faculty such as program planning, curricular mapping, teaching techniques, student assessment, integrating technologies etc.

My work has evolved in response to the needs and workflow of the faculty. As in any project or development work, the plan is not for me to take up permanent residence within this group but rather to get things off the ground, to give them templates, to share my work and expertise, to bring them into conversations together, to support the endeavour of educational development broadly speaking. I have experimented with a faculty wiki as a vehicle for planning and other tasks faculty are engaged in such as accreditation. It's a work in progress....

I look forward to exploring these themes and others in the coming week.

Cheers Barb
In reply to Vivian Neal

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Emilio Polo -

Warm greetings from Colombia

I work as Biochemist at Surcolombiana university, located near Bogota , ours country’s capital. My main professional activity here is teaching, but always I am very interested in educational research. I am very glad to read your messages, indeed! Although my English is not as fluid as yours. Mainly for this reason I couldn’t participate in the SCoPE seminar last summer, but now I want to be active in discussions.

The world abruptly changed, mainly after 1995. There were five big revolutions, which changed our daily mode of life. The first one the arriving of these devices at the beginning of 80-ties of the last century. The second one the coming of the HTML language and the beginning of the internet era. The third, when a 13 years boy created a software for making more applications. Now all of us shall know how to make a computers’ program. All procedure, that you daily routinely make, can be programmed and done faster and better than you, by a computer. The fourth came in 1995 when the system masters created the scripts languages, and with them the work with theses engines is more productive and more interactive. Now we are living the fifth revolution with the web 2.0 tools, the free software era. I think it’s necessary to change our traditional methods for teaching and learning. It’s really exciting to work with web 2.0 tools. Now, we, all professionals, can collaboratively and free work around the world. But, what shall we do in order to change the social paradigm for education at all its levels? Why is very difficult to Obamize the traditional education system? Which web 2.0 tools do you have used in your practical educational life? Which has been the result?

Excuse me my spanglish. Best wishes to all!

Emilio Polo

In reply to Emilio Polo

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Vivian Neal -
Emilio,

Thank you for your contribution. Your English is very understandable! I like your ideas about Web2.0 technologies. At our LIDC, we do use some of these tools ourselves and we have been helping instructors learn more about how to use them to help students learn more effectively. We have run a short series about the various tools and it seems that there is a great deal of interest in Facebook.

Vivian