International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Volume 1, Number 2, 2007
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Using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Disciplinary, National and Institutional Levels to Strategically Improve the Quality of Post-secondary Education
The continual improvement of post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada requires at least three important elements: (1) an understanding of the forms that good teaching takes, with a focus on how these forms differ from one academic discipline to the next; (2) the use of well-collected data to inform decisions regarding constructive change, and (3) ready access to the collective body of knowledge about post-secondary teaching and learning produced across disciplines and institutions. Here, we examine these three elements, first by applying the notion of “signature pedagogies” to help understand the ways teaching differs among disciplines. Then, from institutional and national perspectives, we explore ways in which the benefit of research on the effectiveness of these pedagogies can be maximized.
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University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I received an MA from San Diego State and a PhD from Simon Fraser University, both in psychology. I am currently the Director of the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth and the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the University of British Columbia. I was the President of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from 2000 to 2004, and I am a co-author of Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education, and The Psychology of Health and Health Care. I have received a 3M Teaching Fellowship, an Excellence in Teaching award from Simon Fraser University, and a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for contributions to Higher Education. Research interests include the identification of valid institutional measures of educational impact.
As the Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie University, my responsibilities include an active faculty development practice, teaching, and scholarship on teaching and learning. My work has its origins in my doctoral studies (Ph.D., 1992), when I specialized in cognitive science theory and research methods, and in particular, in human problem solving. I carry this problem solving orientation into my practice and scholarship interests which include: teaching and learning in higher education, the scholarship of teaching and learning, academic integrity, and academic leadership. Within Canada, I am active in the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and currently serve as Vice President (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning).
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
From 1975 to 2005, I was a member of the Sociology Department, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan. From 1990 to 2000, I was college president. My research included: Charismatic Renewal among Roman Catholics; high quality marriages and family life in a culture of individualism; denominational affiliation and definitions of religiousness; Catholic press readership, orthodoxy, and parish participation; skills, abilities, and occupational trajectories of BA Sociology graduates. I taught sociology courses in introduction, movements, theory, and religion – on campus, through extension, by satellite TV – to more than 4,000 students. I received four teaching awards. Since retirement, I continue working with the University of Saskatchewan’s Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness. I am member of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Council of 3M Teaching Fellows.
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