Pedagogy x Support: An Up-and-Coming Collab in the Classroom


The passing of a family member and brief hospital admission marked my first two months at McGill. (Please keep reading, I promise I won’t regale you with a tale of woe here.)   Thanks to an advisor at the Office of Advising and Student Information Services (OASIS), I was able to withdraw from courses or defer exams, finishing my first year largely academically unscathed.  My situation was not unique – almost all of my peers have experienced some difficulty that was detrimental to their wellness.  After speaking with more students, I realized that I was incredibly fortunate to have accessed and been supported by resources at McGill (OASIS, McGill Counselling, McGill Students’ Nightline).  While a variety of on-campus services for student support exist, many students are either unaware of or are unable to access them for a variety of reasons.  As a result, some students do not receive support from McGill and the challenges they face significantly hinder their ability to learn. (Read student testimonials here, here and here.) Continue reading Pedagogy x Support: An Up-and-Coming Collab in the Classroom

‘Tis the season: reviewing multiple choice question exam results at the end of term


If you teach at McGill and give students multiple choice question (MCQ) final exams, you’ll be receiving a “Test Item Statistics Report” from the Exam Office sometime after the end of term. This report, also known as an “item analysis report,” is sent to you along with the exam results. The report lets you know all kinds of interesting things about your exam, such as:

Exam
Photo credit: “Exam” by Alberto G. is licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
  • how difficult your questions were
  • how well your questions discriminated
  • how well your distractors worked

Continue reading ‘Tis the season: reviewing multiple choice question exam results at the end of term

Which Moments In Canadian History Do Undergrads Believe Matter?


That’s what McGill Prof. Laura Madokoro wanted to know. Laura teaches Canada Since 1867 – Interrogating the Nation: Moment by Moment (HIST 203). This semester, students working in small groups have been assigned the task of selecting a “moment” they believe really matters to the history of Canada and then presenting an argument to support their choice. Each group has selected one moment from 1930-1979 and one from 1980 to the present. Students present their arguments in class and publish them in a blog called Moments that Matter: Canadian History since 1867, along with photos and embedded videos. Continue reading Which Moments In Canadian History Do Undergrads Believe Matter?

What is my teaching approach (or philosophy)? Prompts to help you identify underlying beliefs and values.


Many instructors putting together a teaching portfolio for tenure or promotion find themselves stumped by this question. Maybe you are still relatively new to teaching. Maybe your approach is part personal experience as a former student, part trial and error. Maybe you have found your groove, but you never actually spent any time pondering about your underlying philosophy. So what are you supposed to write in your teaching portfolio? How do you begin? Continue reading What is my teaching approach (or philosophy)? Prompts to help you identify underlying beliefs and values.

Varied approaches to implementing peer assessment


A number of colleagues at McGill have been thinking about how peer assessment (PA) can be integrated in courses and have generously shared some of their reflections on the topic.

Dr. Maria Orjuela-Laverde is an Academic Associate at Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) who works on the Faculty of Engineering’s eLATE (enhancing Learning And Teaching in Engineering) initiative. In a conversation about her experience supporting instructors with their implementation of PA, she shares how varied PA assignments can be, describes her collaborations with instructors, reflects on peer assessment of teamwork, and provides advice for instructors thinking about trying PA in their courses. Continue reading Varied approaches to implementing peer assessment

The Lunch Spot: Let’s talk teaching


What do 2 prize winning instructors, 10 instructors from a variety of disciplines and TLS staff have in common? They recently came together for an informal lunch to share experiences, ideas, questions, and tips about teaching. As a newcomer to the TLS team, I was glad to be able to join them. It was an opportunity to hear about TLS services in depth, as well as what was on instructors’ minds. Together, they engaged in a spirited exchange on a variety of topics. Continue reading The Lunch Spot: Let’s talk teaching

Discussing what matters in higher education.