Post-Conference Workshops

This year we offered 5 post-Conference workshops. These half-day events provided an opportunity to work closely with local and national leaders in active learning. We limit registration to small groups (20 per workshop) to maximize attention and time with instructors.

Day and Time – June 4th Tuesday, 14h00-17h00

Workshop Fees – Half-day workshop – $50

Workshops Descriptions

Workshop #1: This is your brain on active learning: A rethink workshop with practical strategies for your dynamic active learning classrooms 

Workshop leaders:
Joan Butterworth, Educational Developer, Leadership Development/training & Experiential Learning (McGill University)
Tannia Ditchburn, Pedagogical Counsellor (Marianopolis College / EMSB)

This interactive workshop will guide participants through various essential active learning practices for teaching small and large classes and offer an opportunity for participants to experience their brain on active learning. By engaging in this student-centered pedagogical approach, educators will engage in students’ learning processes (i.e. on what students do to learn).

The facilitators will incorporate pedagogical transparency (explaining to participants/students what we will do, how we will do it and why we will do it) to further demonstrate how educators can incorporate an approach that allows students to take ownership of knowledge and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Some of these essential active learning practices for teaching small and large classes are:

  • Day to day practices
  • Setting the tone for active learning
  • Establishing group norms
  • Organizing group roles
  • Creating effective debriefing opportunities
  • Assessing group collaboration and learning artifacts

If you are interested in this workshop you likely already acknowledge that teaching is more than a simple transfer of knowledge. Educators come to understand that it is also a remarkable art through which strong personal and stimulating relationships are created that will empower students and teachers alike. This workshop’s goals are to re-visit how exciting and powerful active learning can be and motivate participants to strengthen their teaching muscles and sharpen their minds.

Workshop #2: myDALITE 101 for beginners  

Workshop leaders:
Sameer Bhatnagar & Yann Brouillette (Dawson College)

Peer Instruction is an evidence-based active learning strategy that dramatically improves conceptual learning and promotes deep thinking by getting students to engage in targeted conversations with their peers in the classroom. myDALITE is an online application that reproduces the Peer Instruction process asynchronously so that teachers can extend the benefits of Peer Instruction beyond the walls of the classroom. In myDALITE students answer teacher-set questions, rationalize their answers and then interact with other students’ rationales before re-assessing their own answers through a browser; Moodle or other Learning Management System. myDALITE was developed at Dawson by the SALTISE research team and has been used in disciplines such as English, French, History, Ethics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and more, as well as across a number of CEGEPs and universities, including McGill, Harvard, and MIT. It is free and easy to use. This workshop will introduce participants to myDALITE and allow them to start using it in their classes right away.

Intended audienceThis half-day (3 hour) workshop is intended specifically for instructors new to myDALITE.

Workshop #3: myDALITE for intermediate users 

Workshop leaders:
Sameer Bhatnagar & Yann Brouillette (Dawson College)

myDALITE has been in development as a research tool for several years and it is currently being developed as a full-fledged tool for instructors. With a new user interface, new features and a robust system of analytics and assignment building features it is ready for prime-time. This workshop is intended for instructors and teaching assistants who already use myDALITE and want to enrich their experience with this powerful collaborative peer instruction tool.

Workshop #4:  Integrating learning portfolios into your teaching: The Messy world of applying active learning strategies 

Workshop leaders:
Eva Mary Bures, School of Education (Bishop’s University)
Teresa M. Hernandez Gonzalez, Education (Concordia University)
Pamela Gunning, Education (Concordia University)
Elizabeth Warwick (contributor) Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance

In this interactive workshop, participants will explore the many different ways that learning portfolios can be integrated into their classroom teaching to support active learning. Research shows that portfolios can improve students’ self-regulatory skills (including planning, goal-setting and reflecting) as well as improve their learning outcomes in a range of disciplines, but how can we effectively integrate them into our teaching?

Questions will be raised and discussed including: what challenges do students face in becoming active students engaged in ill-structured tasks, what strategies are most helpful in implementing portfolios, what are elements of outstanding portfolios, and how do we support and scaffold student engagement with portfolios?

Several faculty members from Concordia University, Bishop’s University, and Dawson College will share their experiences using portfolios in person and through video-clips, offering their perspectives on the challenging, messy, and rewarding process of integrating portfolios into post-secondary classrooms.

Participants will develop or refine strategies they can explore to integrate portfolios effectively into their teaching.

We will briefly introduce participants to an electronic portfolio platform currently being developed at the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance at Concordia University, showing wireframes of the prototype. In small groups participants will discuss issues, concerns, and questions about using such a tool. 

The act of creating a portfolio does not necessarily mean that students effectively engaged in active learning. Actively creating a portfolio is a meaning-making activity where learners engage in self-regulatory problem-solving processes and complex decision-making. Nonetheless research suggests that portfolios are not always meaningfully constructed and a portfolio assignment can be reduced to a well-structured task producing mere collections of work. Research and practice suggests that coaching may be essential to support students in creating thoughtfully constructed portfolios. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore how to use learning portfolios in their teaching and how to support students in engaging in this form of active learning.

Intended Audience: This workshop should appeal to people from all disciplines. It should appeal to a broad range of people from those with minimal to no experience with using portfolios in their teaching to people who are actively engaged in using portfolios in their teaching.  

Workshop #5: Making linkr enhance your own courses 

Workshop leader:
Gabriel Flacks, Co-Founder and Head of Education at linkr (Champlain Regional College) 

linkr is a free global educational network and platform for online publishing, active learning with computers, international collaborations, and student portfolios. Started in Quebec, it has now served thousands of teachers and students from over 25 countries and is providing a home base for the Saltise community. This workshop enables attendees to explore real-life examples of classes, assignments and completed student work that have taken place on linkr. Then, each attendee can create their own assignments and consider how introducing linkr into courses can enhance almost any course in any discipline.
If you attended the morning interactive presentation workshop, this can further your development of coursework on linkr; if you didn’t, it will be a fine introduction to the power of linkr, a free and impactful global educational network and teaching and learning space.

These workshops will not be running – We apologize for any inconvenience

Workshop #: Innovate to teach and play to practice: Tips and tricks for using games in language-learning classes 

Workshop leader:
Dr. Mayy ElHayawi, English Department (Ain Shams University)

Can you turn the boredom of traditional teaching into sheer fun? Can you create a friendly learning atmosphere enlivened with competitiveness, collaboration, motivation and enjoyment? Can you use classroom and online games to be hardly visible while autonomous learning is enthusiastically going on? Are you confident enough to take the backseat, share control with learners or even hand it over entirely to them?

To help you answer these questions, this workshop will investigate how the boredom of ‘chalk and talk’ can be turned into an exciting expedition for intellectual discovery and emotional inspiration. Through examining ways for planning, running and managing games in ESL classrooms, the workshop aims at helping ESL teachers create a positive learning atmosphere wherein students feel excited, confident and ready to take risks. No longer acting as the benevolent dictator who possesses all knowledge, and no more playing the role of passive subjects who cannot undertake the responsibility of their own education, both the teacher and his/her students will generate productive environments valued most for less teaching, more learning, and greater enjoyment.

Workshop #: Turning the tables: Using sorting and jigsaw strategies to encourage student expertise 

Workshop leaders:
Cory LegassicNew School / Humanities (Dawson College)
Cate PayneEnglish Department (Dawson College)

This three-hour workshop breaks down two active learning strategies that help to shift student engagement by playfully encouraging students to take up the role of expert. In the first half, we will experience how Frameworks encourages students to see the patterns that drive theoretical frameworks. This inductive strategy in an Active Learning environment cultivates a larger share of student agency and ownership in appropriating the theorizing process.  In the second half, we will deconstruct and further develop the popular Jigsaw strategy with an activity that involves creating specific expertise within individuals who subsequently work to share that knowledge within small mixed-expertise groups By the end of this workshop, participants will have everything they need to try these strategies out in class.