Twenty members of the York University community have been selected to serve on a new Joint Task Force on the Future of Pedagogy with a mandate to re-examine the 2020-2025 University Academic Plan priority 21st Century Learning.
The task force – announced in February by the Senate Academic Policy, Planning & Research (APPRC) and Academic Standards, Curriculum & Pedagogy (ASCP) Committees together with the Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs – includes senior and junior tenure-stream faculty members from across Faculties and campuses. It will draw on the expertise of contract course directors, a teaching and learning librarian, an undergraduate and graduate student and non-academic staff from the Teaching Commons and University Information Technology units.
This year, the task force will host a number of community-wide consultations to get a sense of what the University can prioritize to scale up successful innovations that enhance quality learning experiences.
York Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps said “There is a need in this moment for the University to take stock of how to scale up approaches to teaching and learning that prepare students to navigate a world where change is the only constant. Quality must remain at the core of the innovation that is taking place and the task force is really championing this.”
Task force co-chair Anita Lam, associate dean, teaching and learning, says she is delighted to serve alongside Michael Moir, Chair of APPRC.
“Given the ambitious timeline, the task force will be reviewing various environmental scans and literature reviews, as well as gathering key insights from collegial discussions with faculty members and through consultations with students,” says Lam. “My hope is that we will be able to provide empirically grounded, pedagogically sound recommendations to help the university prioritize its actions to facilitate and support 21st century learning across a diverse range of teaching and learning contexts.”
The task force will examine the role of in-person learning as a core part of what York University offers along with how the University can support the growth of high-quality technology-enhanced learning to create added flexibility for students, while protecting instructor time for pedagogically valuable activities.
It will also prioritize advancing decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion in the design of future pedagogy along with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Finally, it will examine ways to grow experiential learning and work-integrated learning opportunities for students and maintain academic integrity in an era of technological disruption.
The group will convene in the coming weeks. Its success in meeting the goal to deliver a strong set of recommendations will depend on the individual and collective contributions from faculty members, course directors, staff and students. The community will be invited to share their ideas in planned focus group consultations led by the task force when dates are announced.
Everyone is invited to watch for announcements on opportunities to collaborate on an initiative that will help shape the University’s teaching and learning plans at this critical juncture for the University. To support the feedback gathered by the group, progress reports from Senate committees will also be shared with the community at appropriate intervals.
When the work is complete, the task force will issue a final report that includes key recommendations to support the achievement of the 2020-2025 University Academic Plan priority 21st Century Learning: Diversifying Whom, What, and How We Teach.