Pedagogy before Portfolios (Part One)
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Pedagogy before Portfolios (Part One)

It is easy to be distracted by shiny new toys. Post-secondary instructors are no more immune to the latest and greatest in digital learning tools than their students are to the latest iPhone release or social media platform. But be warned – slick interfaces and pretty graphics are just fancy wrappings over an empty box if sound pedagogy is not contained within.   Well-presented professional development…

From practitioner to researcher: My journey from open education advocate to research fellow
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From practitioner to researcher: My journey from open education advocate to research fellow

“Do I really have to buy the textbook?” That question echoed in my ears in my first semester of teaching at KPU. I lost count of how many times students would ask me if they really had to buy the textbook. Each time I answered “yes,” I felt uncomfortable. The textbook was expensive (around $100),…

Rethinking Rigour
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Rethinking Rigour

When I advocate for Universal Design for Learning, I often get questions about academic rigour. Does offering flexible deadlines and approaches, options for assessment, and supports to reduce barriers diminish rigour and prevent students from developing necessary skills? Are we expecting less of our learners and reducing their ability to overcome challenges? In my experience,…

Where Hummingbirds Take Flight: Restorative Justice & the Post-Secondary Classroom

Where Hummingbirds Take Flight: Restorative Justice & the Post-Secondary Classroom

My name is Alana and I offered to write this blog to share some of my personal experiences and research findings related to the field of restorative justice and post-secondary education that might have resonance with other faculty.  I am KPU alum and completed my first two years at Kwantlen College before transferring to the…

The Pedagogy and Practice of Peer Review
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The Pedagogy and Practice of Peer Review

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about peer reviews? Ponder for a moment and write down a few thoughts before you proceed. Did you think about peer reviews as a tool for students to assess the work of their peers, or a way to evaluate peer contributions towards…

Looking back and Looking ahead: Building on the lessons from the pandemic
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Looking back and Looking ahead: Building on the lessons from the pandemic

Recently, I gave a virtual keynote at the 2021 OLC Accelerate Conference. The title of my talk was 20/21: A Pedagogical Journey. In it I reflected on the journey of higher education over the past 18 months, including the many lessons learned and some of the lessons that have gone begging. In this post I share two…

Now is the Time to Be Brave: Pedagogy for a World in Transition
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Now is the Time to Be Brave: Pedagogy for a World in Transition

For many of us, the last 18 months have been a time of transition and turmoil as we have faced a global pandemic, a growing climate emergency, increased racial violence, and the impacts of historical and ongoing colonization (to name just a few of the issues that have arisen in 2020-21). As a university community…

Introducing the Foundations in Teaching Excellence program: KPU’s new framework for faculty development
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Introducing the Foundations in Teaching Excellence program: KPU’s new framework for faculty development

The Teaching and Learning Commons offers a broad range of supports to our faculty and instructional staff, including workshops and learning opportunities, a suite of learning technologies, funding opportunities, and pedagogical consultations. Over the past 18 months we have experienced record-levels of engagement with our university community, as hundreds of instructors took advantage of our…

Lessons from the Pandemic: Embedding open in your practice
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Lessons from the Pandemic: Embedding open in your practice

Many of us come to our work with complex and multifaceted values. For those of us engaged in work around open education, a common and shared value is the unwavering belief that education should be a public good. For many of us, this means that the learning taking place within our institutions should be as…

Pandemic Pedagogy and the Labour of Care
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Pandemic Pedagogy and the Labour of Care

“Take care” — it was probably one of the most used phrases of 2020. As we worked through a pandemic, environmental catastrophe, social and political unrest, and economic uncertainty many of us started to think more deeply about the role of care in our classrooms and institutions. Pedagogical care is not a new concept, of…