York U hosts Educational Developers Caucus Institute at the Keele campus

Celia Popovic addresses the STAY participants
Celia Popvic, director of York Teaching Commons
Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons

Some 50 educational developers from across Canada are visiting York University’s Keele campus this week to take part in the Educational Developers Caucus Institute (EDC Institute).

Described as an “intense, extended, development opportunity for newer and experienced educational developers” the institute, which runs April 13 to 15, offers a rich opportunity for Canadian educational developers working in the postsecondary sector to interact with others in the profession and engage in personal development.

York University was an early adopter of educational development, which Popovic says holds benefits for faculty and staff. “Our goal is to enhance the teaching practice,” she says. Educational developers work one-to-one or on a pan-institutional basis to develop and support teachers.

In Canada, educational developers work with others in their profession to share what they’ve learned through initiatives such as this week’s EDC Institute. “Teaching is very much a community of practice,” she says. “As such, these institutes are beneficial and offer tremendous professional development opportunities.”

The three-day institute is split into novice and experienced streams with common networking and mentoring opportunities. “The institute is very important for those in the profession and it puts York University on the map in terms of the importance the University places on the classroom experience and the role of an educational developer in enriching the classroom experience for faculty members and students.”

Educational developers offer a diverse array of services, teaching resources and they develop programs to promote and support teaching and learning, from those implemented at an institutional level such as York University’s Teaching Commons, to embedded developers who work at the faculty and individual level.

The conference program features sessions led by a number of faculty in the Teaching Commons at York University and other institutions. To view a full program, visit: http://edc2015.info.yorku.ca/program/.