Spotlight turns to teaching at conference

The students of today are somehow ‘different’ than they were 30 years ago … but how? Do they approach the university with a different set of goals? Do they have different expectations? How do they learn? Western Psychology professor Mike Atkinson will explore these questions during his keynote address at the Fall Perspectives on Teaching Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Presented by the Teaching Support Centre, the one-day conference runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Social Science Centre (SSC), Room 2050.

In his session, entitled The New Science of Learning, Atkinson will consider the implications of cognitive science for today’s – and tomorrow’s – universities.

Atkinson is an expert on large-class instruction and the use of multimedia in the classroom. He is a recipient of the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006), the University Students’ Council Teaching Award of Excellence (1996), the 3M National Teaching Fellowship (1998), and five-time recipient of the Western Psychology Professor of the Year Award. He has delivered more than 300 presentations and talks on teaching in higher education.

Atkinson will be joined by numerous other presentations during the conference, including:

  • How We Learn: Western Students Share Their Perspectives, led by Atkinson, 10:45 a.m. in SSC 2050;
  • What’s in Your eLearning Toolkit?, led by Shawn Foster, eLearning Technology Team, ITS; Deanna Grogan, eLearning Technology Team, ITS; Gavan Watson, Teaching Support Centre; and Jane Winkler, eLearning Technology Team, ITS, 10:45 a.m. in SSC 2036;
  • Copy That!: Grappling with Copyright @ Western, led by Tom Adam, Copyright Librarian, Western Copyright Office, 1 p.m. in SSC 2050;
  • Educational Leadership: Extending Your Teaching Beyond Your Classroom, moderated by Ken N. Meadows, Teaching and Learning Services, featuring panelists Dan Belliveau, Health Sciences; George Gadanidis, Education; Sarah McLean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry; and Bethany White, Science, 1 p.m. in SSC 2036; and
  • Theatre of the Oppressed: Enacting Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms, a closing plenary session moderated by Kim Solga, English and Theatre Studies. In this session, participants will watch a short scene in which actors from Toronto’s Branch Out Theatre present issues of oppression and exclusion sometimes encountered in the university classroom.  Participants will then be encouraged to brainstorm strategies to address the oppression and volunteers will be invited to change the outcome of the scene by stopping the action, coming on stage to replace the actors, and enacting alternative solutions with the help of the collective experience of the audience. 2:30 p.m. in SSC 2050.

Visit the conference website to register.