Highlights from the Symposium on Teaching and Learning

Jul 05, 2012

by David Rubeli, Educational Consultant

On behalf of the Teaching and Learning Centre, I would like to thank the Beedie students and faculty who contributed to the success of this year’s Symposium on Teaching and Learning:
• Sanistha Bhujun and Doris Zhang, who shared their experiences as “Generation 1.5” and English language learners at SFU;
• Stephanie Bertels , who participated in a fascinating panel discussion on engaged scholarship and education for sustainable development; and
• Andrew Gemino, who moderated a stimulating and well-attended conversation on engagement at SFU.

The panel discussion on engaged scholarship and education for sustainable development was a highlight of the conference. The three panelists described how they invite their students to engage with complex, real-world problems, to work with community partners and clients, and to complete career-oriented assessments. Stephanie Bertels and Mark Roseland’s (Centre for Sustainable Community Development) pedagogical approaches resonate with the ideas on project-based learning in MIS that Nilesh Saraf shared in his seminar at last fall’s Teaching Luncheon last Fall and Eric Gedajlovic’s community-oriented entrepreneurship learning activities OpportunityFest and OpportunityQuest.

Three key educational features stood out in the panel discussion. The panelists offer their students opportunities to
• work with real-world, high-stakes industry and community partners on complex problems;
• practice and refine their work through multiple iterations, regardless of whether they are writing position papers, presenting a pitch, or designing a simulation; and
• receive feedback from real-world decision-makers and clients

Although planning and orchestrating community-engaged learning is challenging for instructors, I have yet to encounter better examples of what Dee Fink calls “significant learning experiences” for students . As Beedie’s Educational Consultant, I look forward to working with faculty members interested in engaged pedagogy and community-based learning to continue refining these educational approaches.

You may review highlights and resources from the Symposium, including a video archive of Julia Christensen Hughes’s keynote on the TLC website, or view a summary of Christensen Hughes’s keynote that I created.

[View the story “Highlights and Commentary on “Education and the Cross-Roads: An Imperative to Change” on Storify]

I am looking forward to attending my first Academy of Management annual meeting next month in Boston. If you would like to connect during the conference or can recommend a session, you can reach me at 778-782-2278.