Rebecca Taylor

I am an Educational Developer on the Program & Educational Development team at the MacPherson Institute (MI) (formerly MIIETL) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In this role, I am responsible for supporting teaching and learning programs for faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate students, as well as contributing to various program and educational development initiatives. This includes:

  • Designing and delivering development opportunities for McMaster educators, with a particular focus on designing, launching, and facilitating seminar opportunities within the Educator Enhancement and Enrichment program for faculty and staff;
  • Relationship-building with McMaster educators, including welcoming and orienting new faculty;
  • Supporting and collaborating with faculty and staff across McMaster University in addressing their various teaching and learning pursuits and queries; and
  • Facilitating Instructional Skills Workshops for faculty, as well as for graduate students as part of the Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program.

Previously, I worked as an Instructional Designer on the Educational Technologies team at MI, during which I developed and implemented online learning opportunities, leveraged educational technologies, and was a key contributor to the launch of Finance for Everyone, a McMaster-offered MOOC. Each of these roles at the MacPherson Institute have allowed me to reach and support life-long learners from my neighbourhood to regions around the globe, to form meaningful relationships with educators across the McMaster community, and to contribute to an environment focused on enhancing learning experiences and facilitating student success – I truly love being part of this team.

Outside of the workplace, I have sought to complement my professional experience with continued education. I completed a Graduate Diploma in Post-Secondary Education: Community, Culture, and Policy at York University (convocation October 2014); the Teacher Education Program, grounded in adult learning principles, at my prior workplace  Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; and have also engaged in MOOCs, having most recently completed Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence, offered by Case Western Reserve University, and Better Leader, Richer Life, offered by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to my current role at MI, I worked as the Coordinator, Technology-Enabled Learning for Curriculum & Faculty Development (CFD) at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in North York, Ontario. In this role, I worked to operationalize CMCC’s eLearning Strategic Goal, develop and deliver faculty development programming, and support other curriculum development products and processes for CFD. I also have prior experience as a Program Coordination Assistant at the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University, and Graduate Student Program Facilitator for the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology and Sessional Lecturer for the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at The University of British Columbia (UBC). In these roles, I fulfilled the logistical needs of a variety of professional development workshops, facilitated Instructional Skills Workshops and other teaching seminars for graduate students, and taught undergraduate courses which fall under the broad umbrella of environmental and earth sciences, respectively.

As I launched my career in teaching and learning, I concurrently worked to complete a M.Sc. in Biological Oceanography with the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at UBC (convocation May 2012). A life-long fascination with water, coupled with a genuine concern for environmental health, led me to pursue a thesis project related to an oceanographic paradigm that sits at the perfect intersection of these two umbrellas: iron fertilization of ocean waters as a strategy to abate climate change. Though the academic community saw the rise and fall of this paradigm before my contributions to the field of oceanography, questions of phytoplankton iron nutrition still remain important to predicting the effects of climate change, such as those addressed in Taylor et al, 2013, the culmination of my Masters studies. While working toward this achievement, I took on a variety of roles to complement my dual passions for ocean science and education, including Head Teaching Assistant for a graduate-level course titled Teaching and Learning in Earth and Ocean Sciences, School Programs Volunteer Educator at the Vancouver Aquarium, and Graduate Council Coordinator for the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences’ Graduate Student Council, all of which provided me with teaching, facilitating and educational programming experience. For a more comprehensive view of my academic, professional, and extracurricular experience, please consult my Curriculum Vitae.

Overall, my career as a teacher, facilitator, and educational developer has been extremely rewarding, and I continue to develop my professional skills by expanding my knowledge of the teaching and learning context in higher education (ex. COED, EDC, and STLHE participation and membership), familiarizing myself with various educational technologies (ex. D2L, Sakai, Articulate Storyline) and seeking out opportunities to develop professional skills (ex. conferences, MOOCs).

In addition to pursuing these passions, I am an avid reader and am passionate about creating; currently I tap into my creativity as a dedicated knitter/crocheter. I welcome you to check out a crochet pattern I designed and published (for free!) in fall 2015. I also invite you to listen to music I wrote and recorded between 2006-2007 – a major “crafty” undertaking of yesteryears.

Photo credit: Thank you to Blue Olive Photography.