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Transforming Teaching

Course Description

Teaching is challenging, exciting, maddening, absorbing—and potentially joyful. Every day, you have the opportunity to reach into the minds of your students and help them mature as learners. Transforming Teaching is a professional development course that was designed to help you take your teaching beyond the mundane, and turn it into a deeply satisfying and meaningful experience for you and for your students.

Our multi-modal course on teaching theory and practice is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of existing faculty members, sessional lecturers and post-doctoral fellows who want to further develop their teaching. This professional course runs from September to December; register early to secure a seat. This course is free of charge to U of S faculty members, sessionals and post-doctoral fellows.

Through this course, we hope you will:

  • Appreciate what it means to you to be a teacher in higher education,
  • Debate the basic principles of teaching and learning in various disciplines and instructional settings,
  • Reflect on the design of your courses, including your lessons, learning objectives and outcomes, assessment strategies, student involvement, and activities,
  • Transform your teaching portfolio into an opportunity to continually reflect on and improve your teaching,
  • Synthesize some of the current research on effective teaching and learning in higher education.L
  • Connect with peers to create a supportive community of practice

Registration

This course is targeted to support term or tenure-track faculty, sessional lecturers, and post-doctoral fellows in their early years of teaching (while all are welcome, priority is given to term and tenure-track faculty in the first three years of their appointment). The course runs weekly from September to November.

Enrollment is limited, so apply early! Preference is given to first-, second-, and third-year faculty.

To register, print the above form, fill it in, and mail or drop it off to:

The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness
50 Murray Building
3 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A4

OR

Fax to (306) 966-2242 (Attn. Transforming Teaching)

Philosophy

Learning to be an excellent teacher is a career-long undertaking, because a great teacher is never a finished product but rather always in the process of becoming." -- T.E. Cronin

Teaching, at its most elegant, grows through dialogue and conversation, whether it is with students, peers, or mentors. Our hope is to build a community of teachers within this course who will learn from and inspire each other through discussions and applications of teaching beliefs, values, approaches, strategies and experiences. We call this “transformation” because this course is about growth, change, and lifelong learning. Great teachers are passionate teachers who inspire their learners, but they are also driven by a desire to continually transform themselves, no matter their level of expertise, into the best teachers they can possibly be.

Instructors

Jay Wilson is an Assistant Professor of  Educational Communications and Technology in the Department of Curriculum Studies, at the University of Saskatchewan. He received the 2012 international Desire2Learn™ Innovation Award for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Wilson works at improving the experience of pre-service and graduate teachers. He has extensive practical experience in the area of technology and its application to teaching and instruction. He is also skilled in the areas of multimedia production, program evaluation, and delivery of professional development.

Format

Transforming Teaching features self-directed learning opportunities, resources, weekly guided course meetings, and ongoing peer feedback about relevant teaching and learning concepts and issues in higher education. You will sharpen your understanding of who you are as a teacher, address teaching issues you will confront as an educator in higher education, and how you can become more effective your teaching role.

Part of your course achievements will include incremental work that will culminate in a teaching portfolio that you will use to communicate your teaching successes in the tenure/promotion process, and that you will also use in your own professional development as a teacher scholar.

Timetable

Beginning September 19 and ending December 5, the group meetings will be held weekly on Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Gwenna Moss Centre classroom, Murray 50.12.

The topics explored are:

  • Teaching portfolios
  • Your teaching identity - authenticity and defining yourself as a teacher
  • Learning styles and teaching styles
  • Student motivation
  • Designing a course syllabus
  • Creating lesson plans
  • Student assessment
  • Lecturing well
  • Discussions and group learning
  • Academic honesty and integrity
  • Broadening the learning environment

Accolades

The following comments have been sent to us from Transforming Teaching participants:

For many people at the start of their academic career it's difficult to find the time to devote to developing the essential skills that will help transform you from scholar and expert in your field to teacher and enabler of students to enter that field. The Transforming Teaching course at the Gwenna Moss simply provides a comfortable, structured space to exchange with your peers, your fellow new faculty, the hopes, fears, secret weaknesses, emerging strengths and common experiences from the day-to-day of your new classes. The course is guided with a touch by a dynamic duo of instructors each with their own range of insights, techniques, wisdom and humility to share. The work done in class and outside is always at the service of the group's needs while organised around a lattice of practical and elemental issues facing new university teachers. I began the course needing to exteriorise, recognise, confront and accept all the anxieties and doubts that rattle around in my head when I am alone with and in my class. I completed the course chastened, heartened, emboldened and convinced of how much I am unlike any other teacher and how much I am just the same, and knowing that that's okay. In front of my class I am still a novice but I am not afraid to be that novice. I no longer feel so alone in my classes. I hope I will enjoy such company as the course provided in some other way, at some other time, again."
Overall, this has been a very positive experience for me. It has reaffirmed what I love about teaching and those areas I need to work on. I liked being a student again. Thanks!"
I have found the course readings and the assignments most beneficial. The readings have been diverse, engaging and of a reasonable length. The assignments have been challenging but I see that as a good aspect. I have had to examine (and reexamine) and reflect on my teaching-which is very fruitful for me."
I really liked the assignments. They helped me examine what I think about teaching and how I view myself as a teacher. They were creative and structured-a very difficult balance to achieve."
I have taken various teaching-related workshops offered by the Gwenna Moss Centre which were all very useful on a practical level, but what TT gave me was very different from the practical approaches learned those workshops (and much appreciated because of this). It was a chance on a regular basis to reflect on teaching, share ideas, fears and excitement with others in a similar position to myself, and with a similar passion for teaching. That's not to say it wasn't practical because it was and I learned many tools during the course, but it was more than practical. The course participants and instructors were a source of support and I was encouraged to reflect on myself as a teacher and on teaching in general. I can honestly say that I will take TT with me everywhere I go as I walk down my path as a university teacher."

--- Transforming Teaching Graduates

TRANSFORMING TEACHING REGISTRATION FORM
TRANSFORMING TEACHING SYLLABUS 2014

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