Team based learning and more

I was recently asked to take on a pretty major responsibility organizing the organizers (“chairperson” sounds too formal!) of the education portion of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association annual meeting in June 2008.  Sure, a bunch of accountants hanging out together doesn’t sound quite like Woodstock or a JT concert but all-in-all its a pretty good time.  The exciting part is that lately education has got some real respect from the “research” crowd.  My role is to put a committee together (mostly done), make sure all the tasks get done (not done), and organize a full day session on a chosen education topic.  I’ll post later this week to let you know who will be leading that session.  I have a few ideas and I’m hoping that the rest of the committee will be as excited about them as I am. Now, on to team based learning.  On Friday I attended a small but productive workshop on Team Based Learning hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning at UBCO.  Unlike similar workshops at UofA that I have attended, there was no preplanned script that needed to be followed.  Six teachers sat around and discussed our experiences and concerns and I actually felt support.  That sounds weak but if you try new things as a teacher, support is critical.  It is doubtful that your students will support any change, and in most cases teachers won’t share what they’re trying.  I suppose that’s because if they share the idea, they may be required to also share any stories of failed success later on.  Anyway, back to the point.  Although each of the teachers at the workshop use team-based learning differently, the experiences shared by each were invaluable.  To those of you that were there – THANK YOU!  I look forward to the next workshop!  If you want to find out more about team-based learning, check out this site: http://www.teambasedlearning.org/.

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