We've been sending faculty and staff to the STLHE (Society For Teaching and Learning In Higher Education) annual conference for three years now and NSCC is a STLHE institutional member. This year's conference is at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. I attended STLHE 2007 last year at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
The STLHE conference celebrates teaching and learning at the university and college level in Canada and attracts presenters and attendees from all over Canada and the world. It is a jammed-packed conference, like most, and for many the hardest thing is how to "attack" it and get the most out of the conference.
For the past two years we have taken an interesting approach to preparing our attendees before they attend STLHE. Current attendees along with past attendees are brought together off campus in a hotel meeting room to have a conversation and a meal - the conversation is "How to get the most out of STLHE (all of the attendees at STLHE (and any conference that we send people to) must prepare a report on their return to share what they have experienced and learned with the larger College community). the conversation strats with everyone introducing themselves and for the previous attendees adding what one thing they got the most of at STLHE.
We then talk about tips and hints - how to select what to see, how to "translate" the abstracts in the programme to get a quick understanding of the presentations, how to work together to maximize learning, what works and doesn't work while attending the conference and any other thoughts that come to mind. It gives the new attendees a sense of comfoert as they head off and builds our "STLHE alumni" community within the college.
As our president, Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair says, it's "a community of learners supporting a community of learners". What a great way to share knowledge and to ensure that learning opportunities are maximized - thanks very much to our Organizational Learning stff for including me in the process - it was a great way to reflect back on STLHE 2007 and to lok forward to hearing about what was learned at STLHE 2008...
STLHE 2008 logo from the conference Web site