Anatomy of a 400-seat Active Learning Classroom

(This is adapted from a poster I presented at the 2018 Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Conference, Université de Sherbrooke, June 20-22, 2018.) Designing a Large, Active Classroom As class size increases, instructors face an increasingly difficult challenge. There is clear evidence that more students are more successful in classes with…Continue reading →

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Centers for Teaching professional development

Clarifying misconceptions about misconceptions in The Science of Learning by Deans for Impact. (Photo: Peter Newbury) My Centre for Teaching and Learning at UBC Okanagan “supports and promotes teaching and learning excellence, innovation and scholarship.” Many of our programs are offered as a form of professional development for course instructors. After some conversations with senior people here in my Centre – thanks JP and JH – I’ve realized my Centre staff should have professional development…

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Learning, Teaching, Conflict, and Freedom of Expression

(Each month, I write a “From the Director” column for the UBC Okanagan Centre for Teaching and Learning’s newsletter. This is from December 2017.) There’s a widening conversation about freedom of expression, sometime private and sometimes public, sometimes heated and sometimes calm, sparked by events at the University of Toronto, Wilfred Laurier, Dalhousie, and right here at UBC. I have an unorganized opinion and I’m struggling to express that opinion in a way that satisfies…

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The right tool for the job – BCIT Development Day

On October 31, 2017, I had the pleasure of giving the keynote presentation and also facilitating a workshop at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Transportation Development Day, “Tools of the Trade.” Thanks very much to Chief Instructor Eric Fry and BCIT Learning and Teaching Centre Instructional Development Consultant, Rosario Passos, for the invitation. Here are the presentations and other resources I used. They’re all shared under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)…

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Learning to Teach

(Each month, I write a “From the Director” column for the UBC Okanagan Centre for Teaching and Learning’s newsletter. This is from November 2017, adapted slightly for a wider audience.) In my conversations with faculty about teaching and learning, they often mutter, “…but I have no training in how to teach.” I’ve heard this from all ranks in the research and teaching streams. It makes people avoid discussions about effective and excellent teaching because it’s…

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September 6, 2017: the day I disappeared

Yesterday, September 6, 2017, was the first day of classes at UBC Okanagan. I’ve been Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning for just over a year so this is my first real experience with the beginning of the Fall term. On top of the usual visitors looking for help with their courses, we adopted Canvas as our learning technology ecosystem in June so this is the first term with the new LMS. The…

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Preparing for your Teaching Demo

Academic jobs are scarce. Candidates who make the short-list and get an in-person interview have a lot to prepare. You travel to the place, go to a lot of meetings with Department Heads, Deans, the Search Committee, have any number of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, give a research talk if you’re looking for a position with a research component, and do a “teaching demo.” Someone I’ve been helping just landed an awesome, tenure-track teaching position.…

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How (you can help) People Learn

On June 1, 2017, I had the privilege of giving the opening keynote presentation at the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) Spring Jam 2017 “Education by Design” at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. My thanks to @etug, Jason @draggin, Leva @levalee, and Janine @jhirtz for the invitation and opportunity. I wanted to talk about how people learn and active learning. Once upon a time, I gave a lecture about active learning. Not doing…

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