The Queen’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is working to support faculty and teaching staff coming out of the pandemic.
CTL is celebrating its 30-year anniversary since its inception in 1992. The Centre’s primary objective is to support the advancement of teaching and learning which, in turn, supports the student learning experience.
Interim Director of Educational Technology and Teaching Spaces Andrew Leger explained in a statement to The Journal the Centre follows four guiding principles to support students.
Placing learners at the heart of the educational experience is paramount, along with a commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII), decolonization, and Indigenization. CTL works to promote active learning and aligned assessment alongside experiential learning.
“The CTL has three dedicated Educational Developers who are focused on Indigenous Pedagogies and Ways of Knowing; Global Engagement in Program and Curriculum; and Anti-Racism and Inclusion [sic],” Leger said.
“[The developers] support teaching teams with professional development initiatives such as Foundations to Indigenous Pedagogies; Developing Intercultural Teaching Competence; Developing Globally Engaged Curriculum; Facilitating Difficult Conversations; Anti-Racist Pedagogies.”
CTL’s guiding principles also include working with instructors to play to their strengths as educators, which helps ensure academic freedom while expanding the repertoire of available teaching strategies.
These guiding principles are being used as students return to campus after two years of online and hybrid learning.
“Good course design aligns approaches to teaching, learning outcomes, resources, and assessment. These elements are key to helping students engage and learn regardless of whether the course is delivered on-line or face-to-face,” Leger said.
The CTL is encouraging instructors to adopt strategies which worked well during the pandemic. Leger said this is in hopes of augmenting the “meaningful” connections which come from connecting with students in a classroom.
“Thoughtfully combining online resources and course material with face-to-face opportunities can provide meaningful and effective opportunities for learning. Remote delivery inspired many professors to become more creative and innovative in their efforts to engage students.”
Leger said the online school era helped facilitate the use of more diverse educational technologies while increasing opportunities for workshops, drop-ins, and consultations.
Recognizing the impacts of the pandemic on student and instructor mental health, the CTL has placed emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, promoting flexibility in how students can engage with course material and demonstrate their learning, according to Leger.
Speaking to student teaching staff, the CTL has specific programming in place to support these students in their work.
“Programming for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows includes workshops such as Teaching for All Students: Introduction to Inclusive Pedagogy for TAs, Anti-Racism in the Classroom,” Leger said.
Further courses highlight teaching assistant roles and responsibilities, and professional development through graduate courses.
Leger believes the CTL’s work is important because it’s an integrated centre working to support institutions, faculties, and individual instructors. Interested instructors can access more information through the CTL’s calendar.
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