York U’s Teaching in Focus conference returns May 21 and 22

Teaching in Focus 2015
Teaching in Focus 2015

Teaching in Focus, (TIF) is a professional development opportunity for faculty and teaching assistants that is completely free. It features a carefully curated program with expert presenters, many of whom are York professors.

York University’s third annual Teaching in Focus (TIF) conference presents a fabulous professional development opportunity, says Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons at York University. “It’s completely free and offers the latest information on innovations in teaching techniques and the classroom experience, and the presenters are leaders in their fields,” she says. “The Teaching in Focus conference is always the highlight of our year. This year we have an incredible variety of presentations and keynotes. This has to be the not to be missed event at York University!”

With just a few spaces still available, demand is high for this annual conference. Faculty and Teaching Assistants are encouraged to register today avoid disappointment. Click here to access the registration form. The conference is open to all full- and part-time faculty, adjunct and contract faculty, and teaching assistants.

The two-day program is broken into seven sections with five parallel rooms. The panels and workshops are organized around key themes: Enhancing Teaching and Learning; eLearning; Experiential Education; Student Transition and Engagement; and Approaches to Teaching.

Punctuating the day are two dynamic keynote presentations. The morning keynote on May 21 will be delivered by Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin. Day one closes with a plenary on the first-year experience featuring highlights from the annual First Year Experience Conference held in Dallas, Texas on Feb 6. Day two opens with a panel featuring the recipients of the 2015 President’s University-wide Teaching Awards. The panel will be moderated by York Provost and Vice-President Academic Rhonda Lenton.

The York U faculty, TAs and staff presenting at TIF are:

  • Dawn Bazely: Why and how Twitter improved student learning in my upper year Biology courses
  • Alena Barysevich, Marie Elaine Lebel, and Usha Viswanatan: Experiential second language teaching and learning: case of French in Glendon
  • William (Bill) Gleberzon: How I Organize My Courses
  • Diane Woody and 5 colleagues: Online Formative Assessment: Thoughts emerging from a pilot project in LA&PS
  • Karl Schmid: Teaching and learning through students developing their own engaging and educational videos
  • Gillian Helfield: My Big Fat Online Film Course: Chronicles of Collaborative Development in Online Teaching and Course Design
  • Alexandra Flynn: Experiential teaching: unleashing creativity in the classroom
  • Veronique Tomaszewski: Intersubjective Contemplative Education
  • Brenda Orazietti and Mina Singh: Effectiveness of EAQ Quizzes & HESSIE Exit Exam to Prepare Nursing Students
  • Sophie Bury and Ron Sheese: Embedding SPARK in Undergraduate Courses, Activities, and Assignments for Better Results
  • Christina Phillips MacNeil: Teaching Intermediate Science Education Online: An exploration of instructor and student perspectives
  • Janet Melo Thaiss: The Innovation Game: Bringing Entrepreneurial Spirit into the Classroom
  • Kamilla Pietrzyk (Petrick): From the Ivory Tower and into the Streets: experiential learning for democratic engagement
  • Ann Henley: Engaging First Year Students – How to Capture the Interest of the texting, Facebooking Enchanting and Disarming First-year Student
  • William Woolrich: Teaching and Tweets
  • Jelena Zikic and Gunjan Sondhi: Study abroad – a medium for internationalization, experiential education and community based research
  • Elias Brettler, Asuman Duatepe-Paksu, Marc Husband and Tina Rapke: Co-teaching with colleagues in higher education
  • Ingrid Splettstoesser: Midterm Analysis – Sharing and enhancing self-analysis
  • Nicole Bernhardt, Rehanna Siew, Pat Breton, Sandra Smele and Elena Chou: Equity Reading Group
  • Tania Xerri and Pat Bradley: Online Continuing Education Pilot: Matching Technology with Experiential Learning Needs
  • Deborah Davidson, Heather Garrett, Julie Chambers, Ghazal Haidary, Laura Abate, Alex Dunsmuir and Leah Warren: Experiential Learning Beyond the Classroom
  • Michael A. Gilbert: Beyond Critical Thinking
  • Sara Koopman: How to make Wikipedia edits work as an assignment
  • Jennifer Sipos-Smith: Answering the call for leadership curricula – How new demands for leadership will shape our teaching and learning
  • Kerry Doyle: The New Luddite: Adventures in Online Teaching
  • Krista Hunt: Violence on Campus: Strategies for Change
  • Yael Machtinger: Why I Won a Teaching Award
  • Thiru Kanagasabai: Prezi basics for engaging your students with creative presentations
  • Dana Craig and Barbara Kerr: From Tweed to Twitter: popular media and academia
  • Celia Popovic: What are Threshold Concepts?
  • Wendy McGuire: Helping Students Tolerate Uncertainty and Advance Critical Thinking Using Non-Violent Communication Tools
  • Ataur Rahman, Yelin Su and Sairam Chinnam: Encouraging collaborative learning in the classroom

For the full program and abstracts, visit the Teaching in Focus Conference website.

More about the Teaching Commons at York University

The Teaching Commons brings together like-minded individuals who are interested in exploring and sharing teaching and learning innovation across York University. The Teaching Commons team is based in Room 1050 Technology Enhanced Learning Building (or “TEL”) on York University’s Keele campus. It maintains a virtual presence via the Teaching Commons website and Moodle courses. More than a presence, the Teaching Commons is built on the power of networking that is focused on a collegial, collaborative environment. Staff within the Teaching Commons works across and within all of York University’s Faculties and Support Services.