SALTISE Community Newsletter
Vol. 1 No.4, April 2013
Member’s photo: Bixi season is back! Paris, France


Dear Member,

Spring is finally here and with it begins the Conference Season! This April’s newsletter is a Special Issue aimed at helping you take advantage of the many opportunities offered over the next two months as Montreal becomes conference central.

Among these opportunities is our very own SALTISE Annual Conference on June 10th and 11th, which has been carefully designed with you in mind. In fact, this month’s feature story will describe what awaits you and why you shouldn’t miss a minute of these conferences.

So put these days into your calendar now and find out how you can get involved! Read on…

Best wishes,
The SALTISE team


2013 SALTISE Conference 
 Dawson College, Montreal
 June 10 & 11

Conference Theme: Pedagogical Change in Higher Education: Building New Models of Learning and Teaching

The call for Presentation Proposals is now open! 
We welcome abstracts of the presentation proposals from individuals or groups, from faculty or graduate students, in English or French. See complete details on our website. All accepted presentations will be considered for our “Best Presentation” Awards.

Presentation types:
* Mini-papers (15 min. talks)
* Interactive posters (5 min. talks & group discussion)
* Posters (display)

Abstract submission deadline: Wednesday May 8th, 2013 
Sent to:

Abstracts must be minimum 250 words – maximum 500 words. Content may be based on best practices or on research findings, focusing on the conference theme or on topics including but not limited to:

Pedagogical Change: Teaching & Instruction

  • Changing Teaching Practices
  • Science Teacher Education
  • Communities of Practice
  • Reflective Practice
  • Curriculum, Evaluation, and Assessment
  • Student engagement
  • Visualization of knowledge
  • Group work & collaboration
  • Scaffolding knowledge construction
  • Evaluating active learning
  • Teaching for understanding and conceptual change

Pedagogical Change: Learning and Technology

  • New learning environments
  • Blended learning models
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Role of Technology in Learning
  • Educational Technology

Find more detailed information about submissions and format requirements on the official Conference HOMEPAGE.

Early-bird Registration starts: Wednesday May 1st 

Summer Conferences and Workshops
you might enjoy

May 13-15

The Canadian section of l’Association Francophone Internationale de Recherche Scientifique en Éducation (AFIRSE) at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Conference theme: Recherche en éducation: Continuité, rupture ou limites ? Find more information, including registration, here.
May 30
CAP-DPE Conference (Canadian Association of Physicists-Division of Physics Education), at the Université de Montréal. Special SALTISE-sponsored day on May 30. Read more below!Early Registration is now open – May 10.
(Admission isFREE for CEGEP & High School teachers.)
Find more information on conference details here.June 4-6
AQPC Annual Conference (aimed at college teachers, professionals and administrators), at the Centre Sheraton in Montréal.

The conference will feature 123 communications, including 6 lectures with simultaneous translation and 13 communications in English. Among them :

  • Thomas Henderson: Towards Inclusive and Successful Learning for All : Universal Design in the College Classroom
  • Catherine Fichten: 15 + Years of Research on College Students with Disabilities
  • Lee Anne JohnstonBuilding a Program Evaluation Community of Practice
  • Nathaniel Lasry, Michael Dugdale and Elizabeth Charles: Ooops ! I just flipped the classroom
  • Paulette CakeOnline Testing Software

See the complete program here. Registration online by clicking here.

June 22-23
2nd Annual Learning Science Workshop, Research and Innovation for Enhancing Achievement and Equity, June 22-23 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA. Find more information on the workshop here.

Call for Participation is now open until May 5, 2013.
(NO COST to attend.)

July 1–3
EDULEARN13, the 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, in Barcelona, Spain. This year’s theme is: New Technologies in Education, E-learning and methodologies applied to Education and Research. Read more details here.

July 9–11
Western Conference on Science Education 2013, Western University, London. ON. Although the deadline for submissions has technically passed, WCSE has raised deadline extensions to a high art form.  If you would like to present, but need a personalized timeline for submission, just contact the next time you come up for air.

Additional information and Registration is available here.
Read more below!


Feature Story


The Value of Conference Attendance

What’s the value of attending and getting involved with conferences? How do you justify the investment? What’s the return? Here are 5 reasons why we believe you should attend the SALTISE conference, and the many others listed:

5 Key Benefits:

1) Networking potential: While difficult to quantify, networking has to be at the top of the list! Imagine being able to share with others facing similar challenges or triumphs, learn from each other, and move forward with a sense of being part of a community and something larger than yourself. Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, creating a quality network is a great asset, and conferences provide the space to make and keep these connections going.

2) Gained Insight: By attending conferences where you connect with and listen to peers from diverse backgrounds – other institutions, geographical settings, etc. – the exchange of ideas helps to challenge the status quo, further your own goals, and can even set your imagination free to develop new insights.

3) Learn Smarter: Conferences provide opportunities to learn from top researchers, practitioners and thinkers, all within a short time period. In many cases, they bring the world to your door and with it the innovations and resources that increase your knowledge capital in the most efficient ways.

4) Opportunity to Shine: Conferences provide you with your own opportunity to be a star in your own backyard. By presenting what you have learned through experience or research, you can contribute back to your local communities.

5) Collegiality: And, even if you’re not presenting, conferences allow you to be proactive, to take back what is learned and share with colleagues back home. Your insights could be a catalyst for meaningful improvement and growth- institutionally, departmentally, and personally.

Here are some of the specific benefits of attending some of the conferences in your own backyard this summer….

SALTISE 2013 Annual Conference – June 10-11
The conference will feature leading researchers in education, learning, and educational technology. To list a few, we have confirmed speakers from Singapore (Manu Kapur) and Spain (Yannis  Dimitriadis, GSIC, School of Telecommunications Engineering),  from Ontario (Jim Slotta from UofT, OISE), as well from our local Québec network (Thérèse Laferrière, Laval University; Roger Azevedo, McGill; Bob Bernard & Vivek Venkatesh, Concordia University; Laurent Poliquin, UQAM).

This month we shine the spotlight on our first keynote speaker, Manu Kapur, Head of the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore. Kapur conceptualized the notion of “Productive Failure” ─ a new way of thinking about improving learning and teaching. His current research extends this line of work to the investigation of pedagogical change, which he will highlight in his keynote. Furthermore, he will focus on the steps we need to take to support new approaches to learning and teaching in the 21st Century ─ i.e., the Knowledge Age.

CAP Congress – May 30
In just one compact day (Thursday, May 30, from 08:45-15:30), SALTISE members can hear from some of the superstars in Physics Teaching! This day-long event, designed especially for SALTISE members, will be held jointly with the CAP Congress. Sessions will be given not only by leaders in Physics Education Research, like Edward (Joe) Redish from the University of Maryland, but also from physics-teaching award winners (such as 3M National Teaching Fellow, Bob Hawkes from Mount Allison University, and from this year’s still-to-be-named CAP’s 2013 Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching). There will also be talks by some physics faculty members from around Canada, and from SALTISE members themselves, sharing their experiences (and sometimes their own research) from the classroom. An educational event not to be missed!

Western Conference on Science Education 2013 – July 9–11
Although the WCSE organizing committee is seriously committed to improving the experience of post-secondary science education for instructors and students, they try not to take themselves too seriously.  So their conference theme of  “Doing More With Less” was offered somewhat tongue-in-cheek as a spark for creativity. A featured keynote will be given by Tony Bates, and an array of contributing talks with speakers from across disciplines and across Canada, with titles and themes of: “more transforming”. Something we could all use more of. And, what better way to be transformed than networking with like-minded people on a summer patio?

Our Member’s Recent Conferences

NARST Conference

The The 86th National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual International Conference, held April 6-9th this year in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, was attended by three of our community members: Gale A. Seiler (faculty) & Terry Wan Jung Lin (doctoral candidate), from McGill University, and Silvia d’Apollonia (faculty) from Dawson College. All three presented papers pertaining to in-service teacher education and pedagogy:

Developing Ambitious and Culturally Responsive Science Teaching Practices with Pre-Service Teachers
Gale A. Seiler, McGill University,

New Ideas for Preparing University Teaching Assistants: Drawing from Secondary Science Teacher Education
Terry Wan Jung Lin, McGill University,
Gale A. Seiler, McGill University

If we Build them… : Can Active Learning Classrooms Promote Changes to Teaching Practice?
Elizabeth S. Charles, Dawson College,
Silvia d’Apollonia, Dawson College
Maria Claudia Orjuela Laverde, McGill University
Chris Whittaker, Dawson College

Here’s what Terry and Silvia had to share about their NARST experience:

“The 2013 annual conference organized by National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) was held on April 6-9 in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. As a first time attendee, I was struck by the amount of energy and excitement from the participants.

The conference is organized around strands of research topic, which provides a greater coherence in the talks and addresses similar interests from the audience. Gale and I presented their work in strand 5, College Science Teaching and Learning, on preparing teaching assistants and peer learning facilitators to promote active learning in undergraduate students. The feedback received about this research was quite positive and it engaged the audience in reflecting on how to better prepare these key personnel in supporting students’ learning.”

– Terry

Photo: Exploring the palm ferns in Puerto Rico, with Gale using her iPad to capture photos.“Puerto Rico was an amazing place to hold the conference. I had not realized the richness and diversity of natural reserves. Here is a picture of Terry and Gail wondering in awe through a Mangrove Nature Reserve. Gale is using her iPad to take photos of the amazing ferns, termite nests, etc.

I gave a paper (a joint collaboration between Elizabeth Charles, Maria Claudia Orjuela Laverde, Chris Whittaker, and myself) on faculty and student experiences in using an Active Learning Classroom. It was sponsored by Stand 8: In-service Science Teacher Education. The discussion emphasized the length of time that it takes for changes in practice to occur and the need for support.”

– Silvia

Photo: Mangrove Nature Reserve in Puerto Rico, by Silvia d’Apollonia.



Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning Events

Photo: Richard Moog at MacDonald Campus Active Learning LabDr. Richard Moog, Director of the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) project, author, and Professor at Franklin & Marshall College, recently conducted two workshops in Montreal; one at Dawson College on April 4th and another at John Abbott College/McGill University’s MacDonald Campus on April 5th.
Both workshops were well attended, with Dr Moog having attendees participating in a POGIL activity which demonstrated active group engagement. Participants learned about social constructivist models of education and discussed Dr. Moog’s large-group student data results which indicated that active learning strategies promote long-term memory retention and improved student academic performance.  Dr. Moog answered many questions and was well received by all participants.

Photo: Richard Moog working with participants, by Murray Bronet.
A big THANKS to Murray Bronet, John Abbott College, for organizing these events!