The above poster is not something I myself created but captures the culmination of months of planning, a process I drove at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in order to make the first annual CMCC Teaching & Learning Conference at my institution a reality.
This conference has been on the wishlist for Curriculum & Faculty Development for years, and over the past nine months I led a team to plan the first annual offering of this conference. Planning a conference was a new and exciting experience. I thrive on detail-oriented work and enjoyed the challenge of planning an experience that would be enjoyable, inspiring, and informative for the participants of this conference.
The learning objectives of this conference were to:
- Share best practices in the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based teaching methods
- Strengthen existing understanding of evidence-based teaching
- Develop new ideas about evidence-based teaching in teaching practice
Our program featured a variety of evidence-based, participatory sessions ranging topics from educational technology to thinking skills to simulation to large classroom teaching; these sessions were facilitated and attended by presenters and attendees from three different institutions. Our setup for meals and the day’s end wine-and-cheese allowed for these individuals to connect beyond the active learning opportunities in the sessions they attended that day.
Conference feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and many faculty from our institution stopped by in the following days to share just how much they enjoyed this new faculty development opportunity on campus. Within the two weeks after the conference, the planning team and I met to review feedback and discuss revisions for the next year. Lessons learned include issues related to clarity in the program regarding the welcome address, acquiring more volunteers to make the day run more smoothly, and to request explicit instructions from our presenters/facilitators what materials they need printed for their sessions. All very manageable logistical changes that will help make next year that much more great.
In addition to leading the planning team in this endeavour, I also facilitated a session at the conference called Best Practices for Teaching Online. This session was based on ten best practices derived from The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips by Judith V. Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad (2010); in the session, participants gauged their level of engagement and comfort with their institution’s Learning Management System (LMS), familiarized themselves with the ten best practices, and partnered with fellow participants to determine ways they could implement 2-3 best practices in their LMS course site(s). A copy of my sessions slides and lesson plan are linked below.
Overall, I am very proud of the first iteration of this conference. Leading the project was a joyful challenge, and I can’t wait to see how this conference evolves over the years!