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Thursday, June 23 • 15:00 - 16:00
CON08.07b - Teaching to learn, learning to teach: a pedagogical course for undergraduates

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By examining the development and reception of a fourth-year undergraduate course in pedagogy, this session will provide a high-impact, student-centred model for experiential learning that should appeal to faculty, educational developers, program chairs, and administrators. Medieval Studies 402 is a for-credit course that supplies outstanding undergraduate students (who must apply for the opportunity) with intensive pedagogical training delivered simultaneously with a practicum component where they serve as discussion leaders in a first-year course.

The session will first provide background on the rationale and development process of the course. Similar models at other institutions are often the work of individual instructors (Gordon, Henry, and Dempster, 2013, p. 104), but Medieval Studies 402 is embedded in the curriculum and delivered with support from our institution’s Educational Development office. The session will share survey data that explores student responses to the course’s formal assessment structure and to the informal methods of self/peer assessment that took shape within the classroom, as well as observations from the lived experience of the instructor within this unique classroom environment. Finally, we will discuss the logistics of a model focused on developing the student, rather than utilizing student labor; as Socha (1998) discusses in his evaluation of a similar program in a communication studies program, this type of model “should not be considered a means to save time and money… [it] is far too labor-intensive” (p.81). By the end of this session, attendees should have a clear understanding of how this model can provide senior undergraduates with a pedagogical role that will benefit them and enhance the first-year experience. They should also have generated ideas about how this model might be adapted in other programs and its strengths as a student recruitment tool.


Alicia McKenzie

Alicia McKenzie is an instructor teaching in the Medieval Studies Program and the History Department at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Thursday June 23, 2016 15:00 - 16:00 EDT
UCC 60