SALTISE Community Newsletter
Vol. 1 No.6, Summer 2013
Photo by Julian Darby Lobo: Keynote speaker, Dr. Manu Kapur, waves to the appreciative audience as he wraps up his talk.
Dear Member,

Welcome back! A big THANK YOU to you, as well as all the volunteers, sponsors, keynote and invited speakers at this June’s SALTISE Conference. Your participation helped to make the 2013 event a resounding success.

Bringing practitioners and researchers together was the hallmark of the conference. Referring to our enthusiastic crowd of college and university instructors, Manu Kapur, our morning keynote is quoted as saying:

It’s wonderful! Here are people who actually practice what we [pedagogical researchers] study!” 

For more on this story read our special newsletter editorial below.

With Fall 2013 around the corner we are already thinking of how we take our SALTISE community to the next level. To start, we are counting on you to keep the momentum of your local communities going. We are hoping to hear about your news. Please forward us any stories or interesting projects you are part of that relate to pedagogical innovations. Additionally, if you would like to be part of our 2014 Conference Planning Committee, the Newsletter Committee, or wish to volunteer in any other way please send us an email.

Lastly, we are saying goodbye to Joy Morgan, our dedicated and hard working graduate student assistant who guided the team through the conference organization process. Her contribution to SALTISE has been immeasurable. We wish her much success as she strikes out with a teaching position at a school in New York state – also newly married. Best wishes Joy and keep in touch!

Until the next time, enjoy some photos from the Conference. Please note you might need to view the email in your browser.

Have a great semester!

Best wishes,
The SALTISE team

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SALTISE 2013 Conference Highlights

June 10 & 11, Dawson College, Montreal

June 10th Workshop Day:

June 11th Conference Day:

Vivek Venkatesh, Concordia (left), Roger Azevedo, North Carolina State University, and Maria Banner, visiting researcher at McGill’s Faculty of Education (right)

Silvia d’Apollonia, Dawson (far right), really getting into the spirit of peer discussion!

Pierre Dussol, John Abbott (center) proudly presents his poster on active learning.

Networking opportunities filled the hallways during the coffee break.

Award Winners:

  • Chris Whitaker (Dawson) was presented with the Shifting Minds National Award from the C21 Canada organization. The award is presented to recognize the distinctive achievement of individuals who have been instrumental in advancing  21st Century models of learning and innovation. The presentation was may by John Kershaw, the President of C21 Canada, at the conclusion of the SALTISE conference on June 11.

  • Murray Bronet (John Abbott) SALTISE/AVYA Best Practices & Pedagogical Innovators Award, College level.
  • Edward Awad (Vanier)SALTISE/AVYA Best Practices & Pedagogical Innovators Award, College level.

Susanne Koltai – winner of our “Digital Photo Viewer” drawing!

Conference Clips & MORE!

Did you miss a keynote? Check out our website (coming soon!) for videos of the 3 keynote sessions from this summer’s conference!

We will also be uploading presentation materials from this year’s conference presenters, including those from our SALTISE Mini-Grant holders.

This month’s feature “Mini-Grant MUST-SEE“:

Dawson College Chemistry Professor Yann Brouillette and Independent Filmmaker Christian Viel have produced a first collection of twelve short interactive chemical experiment videos. Each “Chem Curious” video is free, easily accessible on Youtube and allows web-experimenters to choose the outcome of “real-life” experiments by clicking ON the options ON the video. You can access the videos by clicking on the ChemCurious menu under each video or directly click on the links below. Enjoy!

Check out Yann’s videos here: Chem Curious MENU

Members’ News

Cheryl L. Walker, Bruce M. Shore, and Diana Tabatabai (McGill) published in the June 2013 issue of the International Journal of Educational Psychology: “Eye of the Beholder: Investigating the Interplay between Inquiry Role Diversification and Social Perspective Taking” :

Conference Presentations
College Chemistry Canada Conference, held in in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. Yann Brouillette (Dawson) presented a paper entitled: “Chemistry and Superheroes”. (

Association québécoise de pédagogie collégiale (AQPC) Conference held in Montreal, Quebec.
A first at AQPC, two English presentations that drew over 100 conference goers and ranking in the top BEST presentations at the 2013 AQPC congress. Congratulations!
Nathaniel Lasry and Mike Dugdale (John Abbott) presented a paper: “Ooops, I just flipped the classroom!” (
Chris Whittaker (Dawson) presented a paper entitled “The perfect marriage: Technology and Pedagogy in a Next-Generation Active Learning Classroom”. (

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference, held in Madison, Wisconsin.
Roger Azevedo & Susanne Lajoie (McGill), Allyson Hadwin & Mariel Miller (University of Victoria), and Elizabeth Charles (Dawson) presented the workshop “Designing for Distributed Regulatory Processes in CSCL”. These Canadian researchers brought together participants from the US, Europe and Asia for a lively discussion on the topic of group regulation, an extension of the idea of self-regulation. Papers can be obtained at

Western Conference on Science Education, held at Western University in London, ON. Claire Trottier and Sylvie Fournier (McGill) represented SALTISE at the second Western Conference on Science Education this July. They presented their SALTISE-funded project on the redesign of an undergraduate immunology lab class. They enjoyed a positive learning experience and met some fantastic science educators from across Canada, including a few from Montreal who have now joined our local community!

New Appointments
We congratulate Roger Azevedo on his new appointment at North Carolina State University, Department of Psychology. Good luck and hope we can continue collaborating!

We congratulate Joy Morgan, our 2013 SALTISE Conference Coordinator, on her completion of her M.A. studies at McGill, her marriage, and her new appointment as a French teacher at Cortland Central School in Cortland, New York. She wishes to thank the SALTISE community for the positive experience she’s had and the many wonderful people she’s had the pleasure of working with. (^_^)

Sharing with the SALTISE Community
We’re excited to continue building our SALTISE Community, and one way to do so is by your sharing your news! If you have any news to share – updates, opportunities, cool reads or pedagogical tools, etc. – please e-mail us at

Conference Editorial
Milos Kovacevic’s
report on the 2nd Annual SALTISE Conference

Combining practice and research: An ongoing mantra of success!
Gauging from how far the SALTISE conference has come from its humble beginnings just last year, the notion of starting from basics is an idea taken truly to heart. From an event centered on a single presentation by renowned Harvard professor Eric Mazur, it has mushroomed to include dozens of events packed over a full two days that aimed to bring together likeminded educators from a wide array of fields who practice, or are curious about, active learning.
To bring structure to it all, the first day was designated as a time for workshops showcasing practical, hands-on concepts. These events animated by several of our keynote speakers who took the opportunity to introduce their ideas more fully to the lucky workshop attendees; and, our very own pedagogical innovators who generously donated their time. The interactive, group-oriented exercises also served as icebreakers between the more than the hundred and twenty plus individuals who signed up to participate, and fostered an easygoing environment perfect for exchange and exploration. (See the conference program for specific names and details).
“It’s wonderful,” says Manu Kapur, researcher at the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore. “Here are people who actually practice what we study.” Singapore’s (and Asia’s) conservative teaching style, he says, is slow to change and firmly hierarchic, where teachers expect to be obeyed and are loathe to update practices they see as having inherited with a long history of success. Another structural difference is the people studying learning and teaching, like himself, aren’t teachers, but researchers. This limits the transfer and application of their results into the practices of normal classrooms.
“In university we have this schizophrenic situation where we normally do research on a topic, and we teach on another topic. Normally the research world is totally separated from the teaching task. Your promotion and your recognition is based on how much you publish. This mixture of practitioners and researchers was really nice. [A] very interesting experience,” says fellow presenter and researcher Yannis Dimitriadis of Valladolid University, Valladolid, Spain.
For both Kapur and Dimitriadis, the conference has provided the opportunity to see just how the various ideas they investigate in their day-to-day research pan out in the real world. They were clearly enthusiastic and encouraged by the initiatives of SALTISE members.

Besides being invited to present, Dimitriadis says he came here to see how the role of technology in education, a passion of his, is changing pedagogy and being changed by it. “I was amazed that [the workshop participants] came out with some designs that were especially sophisticated. This showed they were working on these things in practice, so it was natural,” says Dimitriadis.

This very idea formed the backbone of his workshop where the idea of orchestration – integration of technology in the classroom – was explored with help and input from the audience. With their help, Professor Dimitriadis is staying ahead of the ever changing curve. “There is no way to keep up, even if you are a specialist. [I am here to] try to find out some of the common practices.” 

For more information on this editorial, contact Milos Kovacevic.