Thank you for your participation!
Our PED Day event C3: Community – Collaboration – Conversation generated wonderful discussions and many promising initiatives.
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As a first outcome of our fruitful collaboration, here is a list of the initiatives compiled from the posters left over and the animators’ recollection of the workshops and wrap-up.
- To increase students’ level of critical engagement with the material, develop various initiatives such as self-assessments, surveys, grading rubrics, and in-class group activities, and bring the feedback to departments.
- To prevent students from tuning out and cast a wider net to meet various needs and interests, implement strategies to engage students in class and at home, such as group activities, the use of technology, and early recognition of students with learning disabilities.
- To enhance practical and more engaging use of the physical classroom space, determine “classroom profiles” that fit different teachers’ needs.
- To help teachers get better at classroom time management, develop a workshop in collaboration with PSI where teachers could model their strategies.
- Create a community of learning with the buy-in of students and provide opportunities for students to contribute to and direct class activities and evaluations.
- To accommodate different learning styles of the students, use different forms of assessments (orals, online, written, in-class tests, take-home assessments, etc).
- To get the students to apply what they learn, use formative assessment and feedback. Get the students to self-assess, compare with their teacher’s assessment, and use the comparison as a learning moment.
- To strive towards balance and efficiency in our teaching, set realistic course objectives that leave room for flexibility; share assignments and activities between teachers and implement iterative assessments using peer-self assessment.
- To improve student preparation and participation in class, implement 3-step plan in courses: 1-Clarify expectations and consequences; 2-Give the first assignment immediate feedback; 3-Employ active learning to foster student engagement with the material.
- To maintain a positive learning environment, promote a personalized classroom approach by using strategies such as wearing name tags, learning names, using the LEA class lists with photos.
- To foster appropriate use of technologies such as mobile phones in the classroom, involve the students in the process of developing guidelines for appropriate use.
- Get a group of volunteers to meet to set up a communications channel to share activities that people in the Vanier community can join in.
Collegiality and Relationships among Departments
- With the idea of improving the physical space and promoting interactions, beautify the space already in use (increasing comfort, greening the space, incorporating technology). To that end, the staff caf could be altered (and/or its location changed) to make it a space that encourages more conversation and collaboration, provides a wall on which different collaborative projects are displayed/shared, and provides a tranquil environment with a living wall to attract more teachers and thus encourage more communication across disciplines.
- To promote inter-departmental collaboration, create a sub-committee in a program (for example Science) to discuss the possibility of developing a cross-disciplinary assignment shared between a variety of disciplines and General Education.
- To address the lack of opportunities to connect and the lack of participation, form a committee to plan activities (such as weekly themed walks and bigger off-campus events where teachers can gather to get to know each other and exchange ideas) and collaborate with PSI to develop a communications plan using social media to inform people of activities.
- To respond to the perceived lack of information and knowledge among the teachers of what non-academic services are available to the students, run a survey of new teachers to find out what they would like to know or to point out information that they had a hard time finding, and from the information gathered, build an interactive F.A.Q. page for College staff that would be easily accessible. “Experts” in certain fields would be responsible for answering questions in their area of expertise, and the page would have a comments section to allow viewers to respond and interact with each other.
- To increase awareness of the General Education competencies and how the four disciplines contribute to the program, as well as to explain course sequencing and content, Gen. Ed. Committee members will run fun gamified information sessions in department and program meetings.
- To address the lack of a long term sustainability plan at the college, create a sub-committee of the VCACE to propose such a plan with regards to infrastructure and pedagogy at the College.
- Take advantage of the research community of practice and meeting space provided by PSI to organize and promote exchange of ideas and experience, with the intention that this will result in new collaborations.
- To support teachers who are new to research, create a mentorship forum through the Vanier research community of practice.
- To support student-led research, create an inventory of past, ongoing and future projects and facilitate the involvement of students through a group of teachers working in collaboration with the STEM centre.
- To promote research at Vanier, create an online space where people can find out through bios, short videos and published work who is doing research and what their interests are.
Thank you again for making this event a success and please let us know if and how these initiatives develop into concrete actions and further outcomes.