Past Co-Chairs, 2015
Natasha and Mary are colleagues in Niagara College’s Centre for Academic Excellence (CAE). Natasha manages the Educational Development Unit and Mary is the Director of the Centre. The CAE was founded in 2013 and supports both academic program quality improvements through faculty and curriculum development and academic program quality assurance through facilitation of the cyclical review and new program development processes.
Natasha arrived at Niagara College in July of 2014 and over the past two years has, in collaboration with her wonderful colleagues, established the service model of the ED unit and has collaborated with the Western Region colleges on the redesign of our two-year College Educator Development Program. Previously, Natasha served as an Educational Developer in Western University’s Teaching Support Centre where she supported faculty and graduate students in the exploration of conditions that lead to enhanced student learning. She is the editor-in-chief of the Teaching Innovation Projects journal, a founding organizer of the Western Conference in Science Education, and a certified Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) trainer. As a physical chemist and science educator herself, Natasha will contribute greatly to the development of the physical science and engineering related fields of study at Niagara College.
Mary arrived at Niagara College in March of 2013 and has had the privilege of building the foundations for the CAE from two units – Academic Quality and the Centre for Professional and Organizational Development – that were brought together and reconstituted by the Vice-President, Academic. Mary also hails from the university sector, having spent three years as the founding Director of the Centre for Innovation in Art and Design Education at OCAD University, and many, many years at the University of Guelph as an Educational Developer for Teaching Support Services (a precursor of OpenED) and the founding Manager of the Supported Learning Groups Program in Guelph’s Learning Commons. Mary also served as the Canadian representative for the International Center for Supplemental Instruction and brought the Canadian centre to the University of Guelph – one of six national centres world-wide. Mary holds a doctorate in education from OISE/UT and has also earned recognition for her teaching in Guelph’s First Year Seminar Program by the Student Senate Caucus of the University of Guelph.
Both Natasha and Mary place great value on collegial networks such as COED and feel that our provincial council plays a critical role in shaping the ways in which Educational Developers can support each other, collaborate on research and practice initiatives, and guide our communities in ensuring that our students and faculty benefit from well-developed curriculum and rich teaching and learning experiences.
Past Chair, 2014
Dr. Gavan Watson, Western University
Communities of practice such as the one facilitated by COED, support and grow our critical practice as educational developers. In Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, the impact of teaching and learning has been the focus of much attention. Increasingly, educational developers are being asked to provide facilitative leadership and expertise in addressing this topic. As the role of educational development continues to evolve, and as others draw upon our experience, it will be important that Ontario educational developers have a strong collective vision and voice for communicating why and what we do to support teaching and learning.
Beyond resting on our geographical boundaries to define our membership, it is my intention to foster meaningful discussion to establish and articulate a clear vision and strategic directions for COED. I believe that it will be important for us to explore other opportunities, beyond our annual meeting, to collaborate and strengthen communication amongst our membership. I am are in a strong position to do this with extensive experience leveraging technology and providing facilitative leadership to create community.
With a strong community and a clear vision, it is my intention to leave COED a clear advocate for meaningful educational practices in Ontario’s post-secondary education system. Through our term we would ensure that the value of our collective voice and expertise in COED is recognized and sought out, through developing and articulating a clear identity and vision that reflects the membership.
I am the Associate Director, eLearning at Western University’s Teaching Support Centre. Before joining the TSC team, I was an educational developer at the University of Guelph.
Past Chair, 2013
Director, Teaching Commons, York University
I joined York University from the UK in November 2011. In July I took on the role of Director of the newly formed Teaching Commons. This is an exciting and challenging position as I have been tasked with forming a new team of developers, building a faculty engagement structure and generally raising the profile of teaching at York.
Before coming to Canada I was an independent consultant, and worked with a dozen universities across the UK. Prior to that, I was the Head of Educational Development at Birmingham City University (BCU). I have a strong record in course design and delivery, mentorship, facilita
tion and development with my work in institutions and organizations. I have bee
n deeply engaged with SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) for many years where I was Co-Chair of both the Conference Committee and the Scholarship, Research and Evaluation Committee. While at BCU, I was the project lead from a $600,000 HEA (Higher Education Academy) funded project into employability. As secretary for HEDG (Heads of Educational Development Group) I was active in influencing the shape and content of bi-annual meetings. I am an active published researcher, and I contribute to the profession through my involvement as a reviewer for several academic journals and book reviewer for IETI (Innovations in Education and Teaching International). I gained my Masters of Education from Birmingham University in 1995, and my Doctorate also from Birmingham in 2007. My most recent publication was co-authored with David Green – Popovic and Green (2012) Understanding Undergraduates, Routledge, London, and was published as part of the SEDA series.
Since arriving in Canada I have been surprised by the number of parallels between my new home and the UK. I recognize that many of the challenges faced by both countries are similar but there are significant cultural differences. That said I am pleased to be able to bring my experience from elsewhere as a lens for my new context. Ontario is on the cusp of significant changes in education in general and PSE in particular. I am excited by the challenges facing us all, and looking forward to contributing to the wider educational development community through COED.
Past Co-Chairs, 2012
Lori Goff, Educational Consultant and Kris Knorr, Instructional Designer
Centre for Leadership in Learning, McMaster University
Kris and Lori have been engaged in curriculum development and educational development work for a combined fifteen years, within the Faculty of Science and at the Centre for Leadership in Learning at McMaster University. Together, they bring a broad range of experiences and perspectives on teaching and learning.
Kris coordinates nine of Communities of Practice at McMaster which bring together groups of faculty, staff, and graduate students to regularly discuss and engage with a variety of teaching and learning topics (e.g., Accessibility in the Classroom and on Campus, Community Engaged Education, Pedagogy, Teaching with Technology, Research on Teaching and Learning, etc). He has been involved in supporting a large number of teaching and learning research projects and has himself conducted extensive research on faculty development needs. He supports educators across campus as they engage in innovative formats of teaching with technology.
Lori has been supporting program level initiatives at McMaster, working with departments who are developing new programs or who are in the process of reviewing their undergraduate and graduate programs in accordance with the Quality Assurance Framework. Her focus has been on helping programs to identify ideal graduate attributes, to articulate program learning outcomes, and more recently to develop program assessment plans that can be used to assess achievement of learning outcomes. This experience, together with her current research focus on quality assurance, has led to her increased interest and involvement in provincial level initiatives involving the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, and the Council of Ontario’s Quality Council group.
Both Kris and Lori are passionate about their educational development work and are very willing to collaborate and share their experiences with educational developers across the province. Both have been attending STLHE and COED meetings for several years, and have been members of COED working groups, but are looking to become more involved with COED at a leadership level. Together they plan to continue COED’s efforts in promoting and advocating for educational development, teaching, and learning; building upon the strengths and successes of past chairs. They will encourage and enable collaboration and communication within COED while ensuring that members are kept informed of provincial developments that impact higher education (COU, MTCU, etc).
Past Chair, 2011
Educational Consultant, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor
I’m an educational consultant at the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Windsor, where much of my time is spent supporting early career faculty and teaching assistants, coordinating our University Teaching Certificate program, and helping people work on outcome-based curricula. I see myself as a slowly-constructed bridge between the worlds of educational development and philosophy, still just a few pillars poking out of the water. But if there’s a new brick every year, well, that’s progress.
I’ve not been in educational development for very long. Before coming to the University of Windsor I spent four years working part-time for the Centre for Leadership in Learning at McMaster University, where I created and coordinated the Teaching Assistants Network. Splitting my life between sessional teaching and educational development, I began to feel myself torn between worlds. The EDC conference in Guelph (February 2007) toppled me off my fence. The sessions I attended were gratifying, but more to the point I realized, finally, that there was a stark contrast between the worlds of educational development and traditional academia. Educational developers are, by and large, genuinely passionate about their work, friendly, devoted to practical projects that could make a difference, informal and unpretentious. And theirs is a culture that truly values resource-sharing and collaboration for the greater good.
Now I’d like to become more involved in the educational development world through COED. I support Trevor’s plans to focus on assessment and collaboration, which can, together, help us move forward while recognizing and safeguarding our present strengths. As the complexity of the educational development and academic landscapes increases, our challenge will be to adapt to meet those challenges with integrity, mindful of what we already do well, that the culture of educational development has strengths of its own.
Past Chair, 2010
Senior Instructional Developer, Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo
Contract Academic Staff, Cultural Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
Currently I am Senior Instructional Developer, Programming at the Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo. I also teach Cultural Studies 101 at Wilfrid Laurier University each Winter Term. Most recently, I have been very involved in curriculum processes within academic departments.
On some level, my career in educational development has been a happy accident. Nearly ten years ago, I found myself running a teaching centre at Trent University. I was also in charge of advising part-time and Oshawa campus students, and teaching in Cultural Studies. It was overwhelming. I drew on experiences as a TA developer at York, where I completed the University Teaching Practicum; however, what helped me most was the mentoring I had through the IDO Ontario and the Eastern EdTech groups. Since then, I’ve relied annually on our November “IDO” meetings to recharge my batteries and to gain new wisdom in my roles first at Guelph, then at Waterloo Universities. My service to the COED community is meant, in part, to start giving back to the people and the organisation that got me on my feet. As well, I find this to be a really fascinating time to be involved in higher education locally and globally. Two things I tried to focus on in my term as Chair included:
the landscape of assessment as it plays out in our daily work (through UDLEs, iterative curriculum and course design, and evaluating our own centres) collaboration within our group (through a working group model with Vice-Chairs) and with other groups, such as OUCEL, OCUL, OCULL, OCAV, EDC, STLHE, ICED: what framework makes most sense to leverage the great talents of our colleagues within COED and around the country, or the world?