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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 6, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Headlines (Campus Updates)

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

And the Pat Rogers award goes to…

Jul 3/14

And the Pat Rogers Poster Prize goes to…Pat Rogers’ own staff team from the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence!

The award was named after Rogers, Laurier’s associate vice-president: teaching and learning, by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) in 2008 to commemorate her “considerable contributions to learning and teaching in higher education.” The poster prize recognizes the best poster at the STLHE annual conference, which this year went to Rogers’ Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (CTIE) team for their poster outlining best practices and lessons learned in supporting faculty in active learning classrooms.

Rogers is not involved in selecting the recipients of the prize, and sees the humour in her own team winning an award named after her. Yet despite the lighthearted twist, she is quick to point out that the project is deserving of the recognition.

Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost, agrees.

"It is terrific to have the recognition by STLHE‎ of our collaborative approach to active learning at Laurier,” she says. “It speaks to the enthusiasm for communication and engagement of our CTIE colleagues. That the award is named after our own Pat Rogers for her career-long contributions to the national teaching and learning organization is icing on the cake."

The poster details Laurier’s first active learning classroom (ALC) project. The classroom departs from the standard lecture-hall layout and contains round tables, interactive projectors, mobile writing surfaces, video conferencing, and open spaces to encourage student movement. The model reflects the “built pedagogy” philosophy, which suggests that the physical environment of a classroom can either “enable or prevent flexibility, autonomy and freedom.”

The team says the project was successful in large part because of the collaborative efforts of administrative and academic units and a CTIE support model that evolved to focus on customized technical support for faculty, creating opportunities for faculty to share instructional experiences and ideas, and providing faculty with consultation on course redesign and teaching modification to take full advantage of the ALC’s features.

Following the success of the first ALC, the Faculty of Arts is planning a larger ALC classroom for the fall term, and plans for additional ALCs are underway for the Brantford campus and three classrooms in the GIE building.

The CTIE will continue to collaborate with faculty to contribute to ongoing scholarly research on the connection between flexible learning spaces, instructional practices and student learning and success.

The winning CTIE team included Sally Heath, manager: academic program development and review; Jeanette McDonald, manager: educational development and Michael Daly, quality assurance coordinator. Rogers served as the president of STLHE from 1995 to 2000.

Click here to view a video of faculty and students talking about the ALC.


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