The 2017 Educational Developers Caucus Annual Conference took place in Guelph, Ontario.
This annual conference is a key event for educational developers across Canada, and beyond.This year was no exception. The two day conference is preceded by pre-conference events and meetings. This includes a meeting for Directors of units such as the Teaching Commons, and is a valuable source of support, inspiration and information.
The conference keynote was a somewhat provocative and highly engaging presentation by 3M winner Andrea Buchholz in which she asked educational developers to be more faculty centric in their practice - something that we are keen to continue and grown in our work at the Teaching Commons. The closing keynote was delivered by two highly experienced educational developers, Trevor Holmes and Joy Mighty who shared their thoughts and questions that arose over a lengthy email exchange.
The theme of Rethinking Tradition was clear in both keynotes, as assumptions and practices were questioned, and new ideas presented. Throughout the two days there were multiple presentations on a wide range of topics. The Teaching Commons was well represented as we had 5 sessions and a poster, between them sharing our work on supporting TAs, Postdocs in teaching and learning and leading, the scholarship of teaching and learning and contingent workers in PSE, and an accreditation system for educational development in Canada.
Those of us who attended left Guelph with our heads buzzing with new ideas, a sense of shared community and a skip in our stride as we too rethought some of our traditions, and purposefully clung to some others.
Celia Popovic, Mandy Frake-Mistak, Natasha May, Jerusha Lederman