Themed Conversation Series

Themed Conversation is a series of noon-hour discussions hosted by the Teaching Academy exploring a range of topics related to teaching in higher education. 

Subject assessment in the classroom

Qualitative assessment is used throughout postsecondary learning in the grading of everything from papers to performances. It is often the best way and sometimes the only way to assess certain types of student work. Yet to students, the subjectivity of qualitative assessment can seem unpredictable, arbitrary and unfair, with questions about grading leading to potential points of conflict with instructors. In this themed conversation we will explore ways to use qualitative, subjective assessment fairly and in a way that students understand.

Presenters: Rod Squance
Date: January 28, 2019
Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Registration deadline for this workshop is now over.

Thinking outside the box: Exploring innovative program structures

As higher education evolves, what are some creative ways to provide innovative curriculum design/program structure to meet the needs of contemporary learners? Often when we think of programs, we default to the four-year, on-campus traditional program structure. However, there are many appealing possibilities that can exist to provide flexible programming. As an institution, we need to be thinking in creative and innovative ways to structure programs (e.g., stackable certificates, block week courses, online, intensive learning opportunities, embedded certificates and diploma programs). We invite you to join us in conversation to explore non-traditional program structures and the potential impact they have on student engagement.

Presenters: Patti Dyjur and Jennifer Lock
Date: February 25
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Creativity in the classroom

At a time when creativity and innovation are getting increased attention, there is still some reluctance to integrate them into classroom practice. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the perception that creativity might divert attention away from course objectives. Another reason might be instructors'  perceptions of their own creative capacities or creative competence. It is, in my opinion, vital to do integrate creativity, because it aligns with other qualities, skills and practices that we would want to model in the classroom and beyond.

Presenters: Patrick Hanlon
Date: March 25
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Safe/brave/ethical spaces in the classroom

We will briefly present our experiences, our conceptualizations and our developing practices as springboards for inviting participants to join in with questions, observations, sharing and expansion of ideas. The classroom situations we will address will be recognizable to all university instructors. We will utilize the conversational practices in the session to create the climate we hope to create in our classrooms—conducive to feeling “safe,” being courageous and being ethical.

Presenters: Sally St. George
Date: April 29
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm