Pre-conference Workshops

Pre-conference Workshops [PDF]


Saint Mary's University
Concurrent pre-conference sessions

University of King’s College
Newcomers reception; Students reception; and Opening reception

7:30 am to 3:00 pm - Registration at Saint Mary's University, Main Entrance, Sobey Building (SB)
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm - University of King’s College


June 20, 2017
9:00 to 10:30 am

Three-hour morning pre-conference workshops

+ EDC Program Accreditation Framework: Introducing the First Canadian Framework for Educational Development Programs

In 2015 the Educational Developer's Caucus (EDC) of Canada launched a new initiative focused on the development of a Canadian framework for accrediting educational development programs offered by Canadian postsecondary institutions. The EDC Accreditation Working Group created the first Canadian accreditation framework for educational development programs which is now available on the EDC website:

This pre-conference workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the new Accreditation Framework, and to actively work with it while preparing an accreditation submission for their program. Participants will engage in both small-group and individual activities to move them through the process of preparing their accreditation materials.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have a draft of the accreditation submission which they can then complete and submit to the EDC Accreditation Committee.

  • Svitlana Taraban-Gordon, Senior Instructional Developer, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo
  • Celia Popovic, Director, Teaching Commons, York University
  • Mandy Frake-Mistak, Educational Developer, Teaching Commons, York University
  • Cynthia Korpan, LTC Professional Development Programs and TA Training Manager, Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Victoria
  • Carol Appleby, Director, Professional Learning, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Humber College

+ Reflective Pedagogies and Leadership Development in Changing Landscapes

To respond to ongoing and significant change in higher education, it is necessary to create leadership capacity across all levels within our specifics educational institutions. This pre-conference session focuses on the value of reflective and social pedagogies in developing such capacity. We begin with an overview of a leadership development series, which brings together professional services staff and faculty. Workshop participants then engage in an activity where they will identify and recognize the value of various leadership styles across differing contexts. The rest of the workshop combines time for structured personal reflection and small group discussions to allow participants to consider how they can apply their learning at their home institutions. The session concludes with a discussion about the place of reflective and social pedagogies in professional development activities that aim to produce a gradual culture change.

  • Samah Sabra, Professional Development Officer, Carleton University
  • Nancy Arnold, Senior Quality Advisor, Carleton University

+ Landscape of Accessibility and Accommodation for Students with Disabilities in Canadian Post-Secondary Education

The population of students with disabilities continues to increase in the postsecondary context. Although it is important to understand where we have come from in terms of enrollment rates of students with disabilities, we must also acknowledge where we currently stand in terms of supporting student success and graduation. Although the population of students with disabilities is increasing, the number of students with disabilities enrolling in and graduating from postsecondary continues to be lower than the rates of enrollment and graduation of students without disabilities. The purpose of this session is to first recognize the historical context of students with disabilities and to then discuss the current status of this population. The focus will then be a new national study that received funding to examine the current landscape of accessibility, services, accommodations, technical equipment, and supports for students with disabilities at publicly-funded Canadian institutions.

  • Kathleen A. Moore, PhD Candidate at University of Toronto; Research Associate at National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
  • Samantha Dubord, Researcher, National Educational Association of Disabled Students
  • Mahadeo A. Sukhai, Director of Research, National Educational Association of Disabled Students
  • Emily Duffet, Chair, National Educational Association of Disabled Students

+ Indigenizing the Academy MEANS First Recognizing & Reconciling Worldviews

The co-creators of this three hour workshop participatory workshop invite participants to join them in creating and engaging within an ethical space between Indigenous and dominant Eurowestern worldviews. Participants will learn a way of being that will enable them to work effectively across these differences. As a society we are being challenged to reconcile our problematic relationship with Indigenous peoples and establish new, ethical ways of relating. Universities are responding with initiatives to 'Indigenize the academy'. The facilitators take the stance that a genuine agenda to create space for Indigenous belonging requires a concerted effort at all institutional levels that first acknowledges and then to reconcile the differences in worldviews at play. Ultimately it means that individually and institutionally we must decolonize in order to truly transform our organizational and classroom perspectives and practices. Participants will engage in a variety of exercises that use discussion, critical reflection, and metaphors,

  • Gail Baikie, Department of School of Social Work , Dalhousie University
  • Carolyn Campbell, Department of School of Social Work (retired), Dalhousie University

+ Rethinking and Redesigning Feedback for Greater Impact on Learning

Student opinion surveys typically place assessment and feedback as one of the least successful aspects of higher education courses. This is still the case after more than twenty years of institutional efforts to address the problem. Doing more of the same does not work.

How then can we rethink feedback so that it can become much more effective without adding to the time taken to do it? Feedback is normally thought of as helpful comments provided to students. However, it can be more useful to think of feedback as a process in which students have and active role that leads to improved learning.

The session will explore new ways to think about feedback. While comments on students’ work is still important, what is more important for feedback purposes is what it leads them to do and how they can be actively engaged as a consequence. It will place emphasis on the design and location of student tasks to permit effective feedback it to take place, on the simple activities that can productively accompany it and on the nature and type of comments likely to have the most impact on students’ subsequent learning.

While the workshop will emphasize new ways of conceptualizing feedback, there will be many illustrations of feedback processes and opportunities to share effective practices. Participants are invited to bring along examples of challenges they have faced or still in feedback for discussion.

  • David Boud, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

10:30 to 10:45 am


10:45 am to 12:00 pm

Three-hour morning pre-conference workshops continue

12:00 to 1:00 pm


1:00 to 2:30 pm

Three-hour afternoon pre-conference workshops

+ Transforming Student Engagement to Meet the Needs of Changing Student Demographics

As universities address changing student demographics and internationalization, motivating all students to engage in an active learning process is of primary importance. Yet learning may be regarded by students as a passive process where they simply receive knowledge from authority. A specific set of mindfulness-based, peer learning activities for developing the courage to speak, understanding multiple perspectives, and generating new meaning from peer interaction was the focus of recent research with undergraduates. Session participants will engage an application of these practices to threshold concepts in their own disciplines. They will practice and apply mindfulness, active listening, reflective writing, non-judgmental inquiry, and generative dialogue. By the end of the session participants will be able to identify mindfulness and self-awareness practices that build on their own teaching methods and threshold concepts; value unexpected questions from their peers; and report on possible applications to increase student engagement and opportunities for transformative learning experiences.

  • David Sable, Saint Mary's University
  • Shelagh Crooks, Saint Mary's University

+ Episodic Narrative Interviews: A Methodological Gateway to Narrative Research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The value of qualitative inquiry is widely acknowledged; however, narrative approaches to SoTL research are still relatively rare within the field. Narrative research is notoriously time consuming and highly contextualized, which leads to difficulty with respect to identifying patterns and making claims that extend beyond a localized context. Episodic narrative interviewing is an innovative research method that allows researchers to delve deeply into the personal experiences and stories of university teachers and learners, while also enabling assessment of broader trends and themes across a number of research participants and locations.

This workshop will allow for an in-depth exploration of the episodic narrative interview method. It will feature a combination of presentations, collaborative group work, and time for individual development and practice. Following brief introductions to each aspect of the episodic narrative interview method, participants will work in pairs or small groups to explore options for application and implementation.

  • Robin Alison Mueller, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary

+ Learner-centred Design of Blended Courses: An Inclusive Model and Framework

With the implementation of the blended classroom, we have dramatically changed the way that post-secondary students learn (Means, Toyama, Murphy & Baki, 2013). These students are now expected to master much of their course content independently, outside of the classroom and without the direct teaching of the traditional lecture. Most post-secondary institutions are now grappling with the requirement to rapidly and fundamentally redesign many of their course offerings to include learner centred course design (Churchill, King, Webster & Fox, 2013; Johnson, Adams Becker & Hall, 2015). Design, delivery and assessment of this mode of teaching is complex, involving three primary partners: university teachers, students, and learning designers. This interactive pre-conference workshop will employ a model and framework (Author, 2016) designed to enable the inclusion of rich contributions from academics, students, and learning designers in the design, delivery and assessment of blended courses that are learner centred. The workshop will allow participants to define the optimal model for their own institutional requirements.

  • Carol Miles, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Newcastle, Australia

+ Implementing TRC’s Calls to Action: Teaching and Learning Opportunities for Colleges and the Community, in Partnership with a Reconciliation Committee (40+ agencies)

Attendees will develop insight into the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action, for personal and institutional assessment and implementation. The facilitators will share the benefits and resources of Reconciliation Saskatoon, a partnership with over 40 local agencies, and the framework used for their initiatives - Listen, Learn, Show Up and Share.

Métis Program Coordinator at Great Plains College, Robin Bendig, and Indigenous Relations Consultant with the Saskatoon Police Service, Janice Linklater, will guide discussion and group work to explore personal Calls to Action and share examples on how to enhance learning opportunities for staff, students and the surrounding communities.

The College, located in seven rural and urban areas, has enhanced their efforts in many areas. These include an Indigenous Engagement Committee, an Elder workshop series, Indigenous Awareness Workshops, an institutional inventory of initiatives, Elder consultation, and professional development, among other course specific initiatives. Considerations of Indigenous worldview and protocol when implementing initiatives will be shared.

  • Robin Bendig, Program Coordinator, Co-Chair, Indigenous Engagement Committee, Great Plains College
  • Janice Linklater, Indigenous Relations Consultant, Saskatoon Police Service

+ Oral Assessment as a Gateway to Learning: Optimizing Learning in Oral Presentations and Other Oral Assessments

Oral assessment can profoundly affect students' experience of learning and lecturers' experience of assessment. Many students have said to me something like this: “I will write any old rubbish and just hand it in, but for the oral presentation I will only say what I deeply understand and believe to be true." Vivas, group presentations, clinical examinations, oral project reports, moot courts and design juries all put student talk at the centre of assessment. This can be transformative or it can be humdrum. What makes the difference? Perhaps it's about the nature of speech itself. Or is it because oral assessment means coming face to face with your audience? Or is it the fear of appearing foolish in front of others if you aren't fully prepared? In this workshop we will be addressing these and other questions as participants apply research findings and recent online developments to their present or planned oral assessment tasks.

  • Gordon Joughin, Honorary Professor, Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

2:30 to 2:45 pm


2:45 am to 4:00 pm

Three-hour afternoon pre-conference workshops continue

5:00 to 5:30 pm

Newcomers Reception and  Students Reception

5:30 to 8:00 pm

Opening Reception