Higher education conference coming to Queen's
By Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer
Faculty, students, administrators, librarians and educational developers will gather on campus June 17-20 to share their research and experiences around teaching and learning.
The theme of the 2014 Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education conference is “transforming our learning experience.” Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), says the focus is particularly apt given the ongoing transformations in postsecondary education.
“The technology turn is upon us as courses are redesigned to blended or online modes and classrooms are being repurposed as active learning spaces,” Dr. Scott says. “Transformative also refers to the best learning experiences our students encounter — the best learning should transform students and educators in profound ways.”
Queen’s has endeavoured to address those changes in its recent Teaching and Learning Action Plan. Dr. Scott says having the conference in Kingston is a way to continue the discussions around the action plan and its bold recommendations that aim to enhance the student learning experience.
The university has partnered with the Royal Military College of Canada, St. Lawrence College and the Canadian Defence Academy to host the conference this year. Between 500 and 600 people from various disciplines are expected to attend the conference.
“When Queen’s last hosted the conference in 1987, we began talks about the need for a teaching centre, and the creation of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) was the direct result. In that sense this conference feels like it’s come full circle,” says Dr. Denise Stockley, the chairperson of the conference and interim director of the CTL.
This year’s conference features two keynote speakers. Dr. John Smol (Biology), Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, will discuss ways of integrating research into teaching. Dr. Eric Mazur, Dean of Applied Physics and Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University, will present on the disconnect between classroom assessment and real world skills.
The conference will conclude with presentations by the 3M National Student Fellows on student leadership in post-secondary education.
Those interested in volunteering or attending can find more details on the event’s website.