Wednesday, April 29, 2009

March/ April 2008 EDC Resource Review

Resource Reviews from the Educational Developers Caucus

March/ April 2008


In this issue:

Book Reviews
:
Ross, C. , Dunphy, J and Associates (2007). Strategies for Teaching Assistant and International Teaching Assistant Development. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

Savory, P., Burnett, A. N., & Goodburn, A. (2007). Inquiry into the college classroom : a journey toward scholarly teaching. Bolton, Massachusetts: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.

Friesen, E., Kristjanson, C. (Ed) (2007). Teaching at the University of Manitoba. A Handbook. Winnipeg, MB: Art Bookbindery.

Journal Review:
Rindermann, H., Kohler, J., & Meisenberg, G. (2007). Quality of instruction improved by evaluation and consultation and instructors. International Journal for Academic Development. 12(2),73-85

Reflections:
From: Nicola Simmons, Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), University of Waterloo, My 2008 EDC Conference Highlights

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Book Review
Ross, C. , Dunphy, J and Associates (2007). Strategies for Teaching Assistant and International Teaching Assistant Development. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.
Submitted by: Dave Berry, Learning & Teaching Centre, University of Victoria.

This book is an excellent collection of teaching strategies, mini lessons and workshops intended for use in professional developmental programs. There are six sections: getting started, advanced skills, professional development, culture, pedagogy and language. The format of each submission (by a host of practitioners) lists goals, preparation time, execution time, resources, introduction, procedure, variations and references. Even if you don’t like the idea exactly as described, you will undoubtedly have created your own new version by the time you get to the bottom of the page. This is a great source of ideas that will deserve a revisit on a regular basis
Keywords: Teaching Assistants

Book Review
Savory, P., Burnett, A. N., & Goodburn, A. (2007). Inquiry into the college classroom : a journey toward scholarly teaching. Bolton, Massachusetts: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.
Submitted by: Penny Heaslip BScN, MEd, Coordinator, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Thompson Rivers University.

Classroom inquiry is a challenging idea for faculty to grasp if they have not had the opportunity to take a scholarly, disciplined approach to their teaching. Savory, Burnett and Goodburn (2007) address this challenge in their book by taking a pragmatic approach to inquiry into classroom teaching. They compare classroom inquiry to the tradition model of disciplinary-based scholarly research articulating the commonality of both investigative approaches. The authors lead the reader through the sequential steps of conducting classroom inquiry. Of particular value are the checks lists, and exhibits that illustrate each step in the process. Savory et al (2007) bring the process to life with examples of faculty inquiry into the problematic areas of teaching and learning in their classrooms. Through these examples the issues related to classroom inquiry are addressed. For example lack of sufficient data, or the interpretation, articulation and dissemination of the findings in a meaningful way.
For the faculty developer who wishes to encourage the scholarship of teaching and learning Savory et al (2007) have created a useful, clearly articulated approach for faculty development . A faculty development program with peer support could be built on this on this coherently written text on scholarly teaching.
Keywords: Classroom Inquiry, faculty development

Book Review
Friesen, E., Kristjanson, C. (Ed) (2007). Teaching at the University of Manitoba. A Handbook. Winnipeg, MB: Art Bookbindery A full PDF version of the book is available at
http://umanitoba.ca/uts/ A print copy can be purchased at the University of Manitoba Bookstore (1-204-8321) at a cost of $24.95.
Submitted by: Eunice Friesen, Associate Director,University Teaching Services, University of Manitoba

This is a collection of articles on teaching and learning. They are concise and succinct, based on a sound theoretical framework. The information is practical with many real life examples. The book is an excellent resource for new and experienced teachers alike. It is organized intuitively, with as little terminology as possible, making it user friendly for the professor with minimal knowledge of the educational terminology.
This is an excellent resource for one’s own practice of ED as it contains a collection of basic information on teaching and learning in one resource. It is a great tool to refer to instructors and professors prior to a consultation or as a follow-up to a consultation or workshop. It is convenient, portable and easy to use.
Keywords: Teaching, Learning, Student, Evaluation, Classroom management, Reflection and Assessment

Journal Review
Rindermann, H., Kohler, J., & Meisenberg, G. (2007). Quality of instruction improved by evaluation and consultation and instructors. International Journal for Academic Development. 12(2),73-85.
Submitted by: Erika Kustra, Centre for Leadership in Learning, McMaster University

Is teaching quality improved by student evaluation of instruction? Previous studies have shown that receiving the evaluations alone did not improve teaching quality. In this European study, evaluations were given mid-way through a course. The instructors met for a one hour consultation with the school manager who did not have pedagogical training, but who was a qualified Psychological counselor. The counselor provided both positive and negative feedback from the evaluations, asked for the lecturer's self-assessment, interaction patterns and discussed concrete ways to improve. The main focus was to suggest changes to preparation and teaching itself, and to provide support. The results were compared to evaluations collected the next year in the same course, but with new students. A significant improvement was found in teaching quality. Teachers with the poorest ratings, showed the most improvement, although rank orders did not change. Student reports of teaching competence, in particular, improved.
All instructors took part in this institutional initiative, and they have also noticed changes in student behaviours, including less absences, less disruption and greater reported commitment to learning.
This confirms that best practice with student evaluations of courses should include a meeting, although it does not necessarily need to be someone trained in pedagogy. It also suggests that when an entire institution takes part, they would likely see a change in student behaviour and commitment to learning.
Keywords: Student Evaluations, Quality, Research, Student engagement

Reflections
From: Nicola Simmons, Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), University of Waterloo, My 2008
EDC Conference Highlights

Preconference by Alice Cassidy and Ruth Rodgers - what a great chance to spend 'time on task' with a research question, be able to get feedback from colleagues, connect with like-minded others, and leave with a workable plan - fantastic!
Dieter's "Oh the Places You Will Go" provided a great opportunity for tangible data analysis (on ED career stages) activity in a short workshop. Dieter did a fabulous job of presenting his work, and equally, inviting participants to interact with it.
Russ Day's roundtable: "What's in a Name? The STLHE (Scholarly Teaching has Little Effect?) Dilemma" was a very interesting open discussion about how our titles include/exclude others. While based on whether colleges feel welcome at STLHE events, the discussion was relevant to how we name our workshops, our centres, etc.
Poster Sessions - I loved the interactive poster framework - congratulations to University of Windsor people for showcasing this! Loved adding to Beverley's poster. The UBC poster data re: comparing signed up and attended at workshops made me think about what data we're collecting, and how we're using it. If you missed seeing Jill's wonderful photos and hearing her story about Namibia, you missed something great.
Gary's closing plenary "Patience versus Urgency in Educational Development" focused on how to decide what to do now, what to do later, and how we each choose to use our personal resources while accomplishing what matters. I loved the presentation of the opposing perspectives - really highlighted the tensions we face. I'm still thinking about how to be as patient as a tree (or as unmoving as a rock?)
Overall, a fantastic conference! Looking forward to the presentations being up at the conference.

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