PROMOTING DEEP LEARNING IN LARGER CLASSES AND WINTERFEST 2018
“Join us for WinterFest 2018, where we’ll take on the problematic of introductory/foundational courses. Foundational courses are intended to initiate the uninitiated into our discipline. Students face the challenge of learning difficult interrelated concepts and reshaping their mental habits into disciplinary ways of thinking. Professors are tasked with promoting this ‘deep learning’ while also facing large class sizes and a wide range of student motivation and performance abilities. In this context, deep learning—the process of making sense of and organizing knowledge within the discipline—often gives way to surface learning—the seeming rote memorization of disjointed facts—even in motivated students. WinterFest 2018 brings together professors, instructional designers, educational researchers and others to explore the challenges and the unique opportunities presented by foundational courses.
With a specific focus on large, introductory courses, we’ll address the pivotal role of assessment in promoting and shaping deep learning, with presentations on Jan 26th, a panel discussion on Feb 2nd and special guest speaker David Creelman (UNB) topping it off on Feb 5th. Also on tap are pressure-tested teaching methods that promote deep learning in large classes, with 3 presentations on Feb 9th and 3 more, including special guests from McGill Physics and Engineering, on Feb 16th. We look forward to exploring this issue with you.”
ROBERT CASSIDY, PhD
Director, Centre for Teaching & Learning