Concurrent Sessions

February 19: 1:00-2:00pm

“I don’t have the time to improve my teaching!”: An Educational Developer’s response

Cosette Lemelin and Graeme Pate, University of Alberta

The majority of instructors, with whom we collaborate, carry out some of their teaching responsibilities during their evenings and weekends (in excess of a 40 work week), and report work-life conflict. Both the teaching quality of teaching and student learning are diminished over time when instructors are unwell or unhealthy due to stress, burnout, or lack of life-work balance (Watts & Robertson, 2011).This session will facilitate a discussion on the importance of instruction in boundary setting, reframing of challenging situations, and social support networks among instructors as integral parts of the Educational Developer role.

Polished Pebbles, Bashful Barnacles, and Sashaying Sea Kelp: Finding Resilience in the Tiny Treasures of Educational Development

Les T Johnson and Tereigh Ewert-Bauer, Dalhousie University

Both newcomers to the coast, the workshop facilitators are taken by the small beauties to be discovered in an otherwise dramatic marine ecosystem. In our work, coming up against challenges can leave educational developers feeling ‘at sea.’ However, between the waving sea fans and showy staghorn coral are the small, sustaining rewards – that roomful of engaged learners, a successful faculty consultation, a well-attended workshop, or a simple “a-ha” moment. In this collaborative, interactive workshop that takes full advantage of the online environment, participants will explore those aspects of our work that bring us despair, will collectively identify the many uplifting moments that bring us hope, and consider how we can be more mindful of those small treasures because of the resilience they foster. Workshop participants will walk away with a plan they can use and share to bolster the resilience within themselves and the broader educational developer community.

February 20: 1:00-2:00pm

ED and Faculty Resilience on the Long Winding Road of Curriculum Projects

Veronica Brown, University of Waterloo; Carolyn Hoessler, Ryerson University; and Jessie Richards, University of Toronto

Curriculum development, as a process, holds keys to coherence, collaboration and meaningful education. The focus of this session is on engaging in curriculum work healthily, and sustainably. Building on the rationale and the initial guides on how to engage in curriculum development (notably the 2007 New Directions in Teaching and Learning special issue), this session draws on insight from literature in stress-coping mechanisms and beliefs (e.g., Iwasaki & Mannell, 2000), change theory (e.g., Knoster, Villa & Thousand, 2000), and rapport-building, as well as the years of lived experience of facilitators and attendees. This session invites EDs engaged in curriculum development to collaboratively and reflectively identify their own challenges (anonymously), name common challenges, and unpack a scenario through guided questions. These activities will allow participants to identify strategies for healthily engaging faculty healthily in a long-term process of curriculum change, resiliently and sustainably for them and for ourselves as EDs.

Supporting and Fostering Our Faculty Resilience

Dana Wetherall, Natasha Hannon and Jenn Martin, Niagara College

Given the increasing demands of faculty – from managing high teaching loads and learning new technologies, to engaging exceptionally large classes and teaching students with highly diverse backgrounds and needs – there’s no doubt that their resilience is challenged, which can not only result in them leaving their jobs but also affect the quality of their teaching.

In 2018, Niagara College developed a needs assessment to explore how it supports and fosters resilience in its faculty.

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify potential stressors and protective factors that exist within their education institution
  2. Reflect on how they currently support faculty resilience, including areas of strength and potential gaps
  3. Leverage the tools and processes used for Niagara College’s assessment
  4. Increase awareness of protective factors they can use for fostering their own resilience

General trends from the assessment may also be shared.

February 21: 1:00-2:00pm

Intentional Evidencing within multiple stakeholders’ goals: Evaluating what matters for our centre’s identity, our institutional needs, and our ED souls – EDC Evaluating Educational Development Action Group

Carolyn Hoessler, Ryerson University; Carolyn Ives, MacEwan University; and Paul Martin, Marquette University

Educational developer roles are continuously evolving in response to shifting faculty and institutional needs, creating challenges of scope, sustainable workloads, and for meaningful and manageable evidencing of our contributions and identification of areas to grow.

At the heart of the challenge is the need for constructive alignment of the multiple layers of goals (within and beyond centres), diverse activities, and feasible evaluation. Our session invites centre directors and EDs to consider how EDs can operate intentionally within these multiple layers of goals to define our work and tell our stories of valuable contribution.

In this session, we will practice identifying multiple layers of goals and natural overlaps, and we will plan meaningful multi-audience evaluations. By articulating goals and discerning what evidence to collect to report on your work, you will be able to tell the story of your contribution —and you’ll be equipped to articulate boundaries and priorities.

Exploring the use of fixed-term contracts in Educational Development

Stephanie Verkoeyen

The purpose of this session is to report on preliminary survey results on the use of fixed-term contracts (FTC) in educational development. In order to build resilience within the educational development community, there is a need to consider the appropriateness of the work expected of FTC employees, as well as supports that are or could be made available to promote contract employees’ professional development and well-being. This session will engage participants to consider these questions in the broader context of the rise in contract employment, and the impact this may have for educational development as a field of practice.

February 22: 12:00-1:00pm

Promoting resilience in university teachers through teaching philosophy statement (TPS) development

Gesa Ruge, University of Canberra; Dieter Schönwetter, University of Manitoba; Coralie McCormack, University of Canberra; Robert Kennelly, University of Canberra; and Nicole Gareau-Wilson, University of Manitoba

While the stresses facing university teachers have been well researched, research on resilience is more recent (Beltman, 2011; McDermid, 2016; Gu & Day, 2007). For universities managing an international and mobile cohort of expert employees, resilience in university teachers has emerged as an important contributor to teaching quality. The research drawn upon for this session investigated, through in-depth interviews, the value of a TPS statement written in the context of the Australian HERDSA Fellowship Scheme (nine Fellows) and the Canadian 3M Teaching Fellowships (seven Fellows). This research suggests that, as an evolutionary journey, developing a TPS offers university teachers three opportunities to grow their resilience.

• Critical reflection through self-questioning (Who, What, How and Why) to make          visible and clarify values and beliefs that underpin a teacher’s sense of self.
• Capacity building that increases professional confidence and competence.
• Collegial relationships through mentoring or EDC supported communities of practice building cross-institutional networks.

W2W:  What Women in Educational Development Can Do for Each Other

Laura Cruz and Angela Linse, Penn State

The field of educational development is dominated by women. Our demographics provide the field with the challenge of defying the marginalization of women’s work (represented by the pejorative ‘pink collar work’) faced by other domains inside and outside of higher education. Simultaneously, women academic developers have an opportunity to serve as role models for other women in higher education. Educational developers have the skills and abilities necessary to defy marginalization, including collaboration within a hierarchical system, consultative skills, highly developed perceptive abilities, and the ability to advocate for others. Our goal is to enhance our resilience to the challenges inherent in the gendered environment of higher education. Join us to evaluate gender influences on our field and our behaviors, practice evidence-based strategies that women in educational development can use to clarify, protect, support, and amplify our own and each others’ work.

February 22: 1:00-2:00pm

Veteran-friendly campuses: Navigating towards a second career

Darryl Cathcart, Western University

Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) has recently introduced a Veteran Education and Training Benefit (VETB) for retiring Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) service members, which has the potential to reshape the Veteran transition landscape. Dormant since the mid-1950s, comprehensive federal government training and education support has been limited to those soldiers, sailors, and aviators who suffered a wound, catastrophic injury, or could no longer serve as a result of an illness. In a recent follow-up survey, VAC found that 65% of Veterans ample versus 5% who identified as being on training (Veterans Affairs Canada, 2016) indicating that the majority of Veterans are actively seeking a second-career vice fully-retiring. The introduction of the VETB provides financial support for qualifying Veterans during the pursuit of post-secondary education. The combination of sponsored education and the cultivation of a Veteran-friendly campus may lead to academic success within this unique student population.

Building bridges instead of walls: Drawing on collective wisdom to navigate the contradictions of educational development as an early career professional

Jessie Richards, University of Toronto; Dianne Ashbourne, University of Toronto Mississauga; Lisa Endersby, York University; Ellen Watson, University of Alberta; Jacqueline Hamilton, Guelph University; and Deborah Chen, University of British Columbia

Educational development work is a collection of contradictions: we support individual faculty members while advancing the goals of our institutions; we are simultaneously characterized as chameleons who can fit in anywhere and as ‘others’ who don’t fit anywhere; we have a strong national support structure while often feeling isolated in our own institutions. Navigating these contradictions, and developing the resiliency to sustain educational development work, can be particularly challenging for early-career EDs. This session will begin with an overview of literature on the identity and positionality of educational development undertaken by the newly created Early-Career Educational Developers Action Group. Following the literature overview, participants will be asked to explore contradictions they encounter in their work, and the informal theories (as defined in Love, 2012) we apply to navigate those contradictions. Our goal is to consider how we, as individuals and as a community through EDC, can better support educational developers’ resilience in their navigation of the contradictory nature of the work, with special emphasis on supporting EDs early in their careers.