Wednesday, June 13, 2007

STLHE 2007 - Day One The Pre-Conference Workshop - "Learning By Example - Teaching Through Facilitation"

Today was the pre-conference workshops here at STLHE 2007. Other than waking up at 4 AM Edmonton time (7 AM Halifax), the day got off to a good start. I'm right across the street from the "Butterdome", the university's fieldhouse, and boy it's bright first thing in the morning!

Conference registration went smoothly, I got my bag of goodies, and I was off to my first workshop - "Learning By Example - Teaching Through Facilitation". a really good intro to the conference, presented by two excellent facilitators from the University of Alberta, Sharla King, and Liz Taylor. The university has had an Inter Professional Initiative for many years and it includes facilitation instruction for both faculty and learners in the many different health related fields - dentistry, OT, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, etc. This inter-disciplinary approach is doing great things to prepare learners for their professional careers, and the recognition that they are part of a bigger health care team. The course that is run at the University of Alberta is INTD 410 Health Team development and it is a required course for the nine Health Science programmes at the university.The workshop looked at four main things:
  • Defining the Role of the Facilitator
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Evaluation
The workshop was very hands on with the opportunity to explore these areas. they have created some great video resources for feedback and evaluation, and are using rubrics and peer feedback as key elements of their evaluation process.

They have created a tool called the Team Objective Structured Exam (TOSCE), a document that measures team processes, team outcomes, and team evaluation (by team members) - this is a great tool that I know I could use during our Applied Portfolio course or any team-based learning opportunity.

There is a lot of effort being spent at many Canadian universities to assist faculty and students with facilitation - getting away from the "sage on the stage" and more towards guided, experiential learning, and in some cases pass/fail competency-based learning - great things to hear. All in all, a very productive morning and a good introduction to the conference.

One thing that I did get out of this morning is that both NSCC as a college and myself as a facilitator are doing a lot of the "right" things, and in fact are ahead of many other institutions in our use of facilitation, team and group work and the use of rubrics in evaluation. It is always reassuring to learn that you are doing the right things for learners

This is the Central Academic Building (CAB) - Conference Central. Lots more pictures up on my Flickr site.

Now off to lunch...

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