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Sharing tips for excellence in teaching via podcast

MRU faculty broadcast globally with Teaching Strides

 

Teaching Strides Podcast Season 1
(L-R) Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning Jim Zimmer, PhD; Faculty Development Consultant and host of Teaching Strides Julie Mooney; Episode 3 featured guest Ada Jaarsma, PhD; Episode 5 featured guest Deanna Wiebe; Episode 2 featured guest Glenn Ruhl, PhD; Episode 1 featured guest Karen Manarin, PhD; Episode 4 featured guest Jennifer Solinas and Theresa Matus, Director, Academic Development Centre. ~Photo by Bree Smith

 

The Academic Development Centre (ADC) is bringing Mount Royal University faculty together to engage in a collegial exchange of teaching practices in higher education.

On September 23, the ADC launched a podcast series named Teaching Strides, which features MRU professors sharing some of their finest teaching practices.

In keeping with MRU’s Strategic Plan, the Teaching Strides podcast series recognizes the value of high impact practices in teaching and learning, and offers a platform to showcase and celebrate teaching excellence and innovation at the University.

The initiative was spearheaded by Julie Mooney, faculty development consultant with the ADC. With previous podcasting experience in-hand, Mooney successfully pitched the idea to her colleagues.

“When Julie presented the idea I was intrigued because I knew she had been successful in developing podcasts at her previous institution. I saw this as an opportunity to draw on Julie's creativity, expertise, and previous success with podcasts, while at the same time providing an innovative and engaging way to tell stories and celebrate publicly (via podcasts), institutional goals that celebrate teaching and learning excellence,” says Theresa Matus, director of the ADC.

The ADC’s role within the Mount Royal community is significant, as it serves all MRU faculty by fostering teaching excellence and innovation in support of learning. The podcast series aligns with the goals and mandate of the ADC by sharing innovations in teaching and learning, and encouraging faculty reflection and collegial discussion of teaching practices.

In its first series, the podcast will feature five MRU professors sharing some of their most effective teaching strategies. Mooney says that, “most of our faculty come to their work as subject matter experts and they don’t necessarily have a background in teaching methods or the learning sciences, yet they take that very seriously and they want to engage their students effectively and they develop great teaching methods and learning environments.”

It can be difficult for any professional striving for excellence to discover new ideas and concepts to improve a skill. This podcast will assist busy professors by presenting them with new approaches to teaching as each episode offers quick and valuable hits of information that can be listened to while they go about their day.

“We’ve designed each episode to be relatively short … it’s the kind of thing we want people to listen to when they’re commuting to work or while walking their dog,” says Mooney.

In the spirit of drawing on Mount Royal faculty talents, MRU biology Professor Trevor Day, PhD and Calgary-based musicians Steve Dodd and Josip Vulic, were invited to compose and record an original track to be used as the podcast theme song. The energizing theme song they created is featured in the opening and closing of each podcast episode.

Mooney is relatively new to the University and developing Teaching Strides allowed her to quickly become acquainted with faculty members from different disciplines, and realize the passion that each of them have towards their craft.

“It’s been a lovely way to get to know the faculty and to really witness the pride that our colleagues take in their teaching,” says Mooney. She adds that, “people here really do care and take a lot of pride in being very good teachers.”

Teaching Strides – Episode 1: Research Posters to Scaffold Essay Writing featuring Karen Manarin, PhD launched on September 23, 2016. Listeners can stream the episodes directly from the Teaching Strides website.

Subsequent episodes will be released in October and November. The episode schedule is also available at Teachingstrides.ca. And already in the works is season two of Teaching Strides, which will be released in the winter semester of 2017.

September 29, 2016 – Rob Petrollini