June 20, 2019
By Mark Stoiko
At the annual conference for the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) held in Winnipeg, MB June 11 to 14 I had the privilege of representing the Faculty of Business. The theme of the conference was Learner-Teacher-Learner, the interweaving nature of learning and teaching. The conference begged the question, as teachers how do we learn in our relationship with learners?
I presented a poster on a research project entitled Breadth v Depth: Exploring Learning Experience. The research is a study of the tension between offering a breadth of content versus the opportunity to engage in a narrower range of topics at a deeper level. The poster describes student attitudes toward each of these delivery approaches in a fourth year “Strategic Management” course. A poster is a visual depiction of your research including the research question, methodology, results, discussion, and next steps. The more visuals you use, the more engaging the poster.
About 200 conference delegates attended the two-hour poster session to engage with 20 researchers and their posters. The discussions I had proved most valuable. I received counsel on how to present the research for publication. Many words of encouragement were offered, making me feel that the research project was making a contribution beyond my own interests.
What of the conference theme? The theme was exemplified by Heidi Marsh, Director of Scholarship for Teaching and Learning, and, Siobhan Williams, Program Administrator for Internal Funding, in a presentation they made at the conference, When Teachers Become Learners. Teachers become learners when they engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), through the Teaching Innovation Fund (TIF), has afforded me the opportunity to raise my learning experience. By conducting research, I was exploring learning in an unforeseen direction, and elevating my comprehension of learner-teacher-learner to that of understanding.
I close with a word of encouragement to my colleagues. The Teaching Innovation Fund is an excellent way to make a contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning. CTL is there for you, step by step, from idea to data collection, data analysis and presentation. The program has made me a better teacher.