More than 250 faculty, staff, and students from institutions across Canada and the US gathered on campus May 1 and 2 to debate the future of university teaching.
Sponsored by the provosts of the two universities, the University of Windsor-Oakland University Teaching and Learning Conference featured the Provosts’ Forum on the Future of University Teaching, workshops and sessions covering a wide range of topics related to teaching and learning, and the annual Dr. Wilbert McKeachie International Poster Prize.
The day-long Provosts’ Forum welcomed 16 panelists from seven universities—who ranged from graduate students to provosts—focused on teaching and learning now and soon: what they envision, dread, and what they’re doing about it.
“I came away with a lot to think about – a true reflection of a successfully provocative program!” said UWindsor human kinetics professor Dave Andrews, one of the panelists. “I am not sure if I have ever had a comparable experience at a conference before.”
Provost Leo Groarke, who attended both days of the conference, was enthusiastic about the level of campus engagement and debate.
“The record attendance at this year’s event reflects the University of Windsor’s status as an institution which is on the forefront of developments in teaching and learning,” he said. “There’s a great deal of interest in—and concern about—the direction in which universities are headed.”
He listed demographic trends, budget issues, internationalization, and the approaches and embellishments enabled by new technology among the factors coming into play.
“One of the great things about an event like this is the chance to talk, argue, and explore problems and ideas with people who come at the issues from radically different points of view,” said Dr. Groarke. “We don’t have many opportunities to exchange views so widely on campus.”
Watch a post-conference video by producer Peter Freele highlighting the days’ events: