The ICoP February meeting took place at the Seminar Room at CTLT on February 12, 2014.
1. Welcomed new faces to the iCoP.
2. The call was put out for a new co-facilitator to work with community members to develop and plan iCoP events. There was a creative conversation around ways to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations in this community of practice. (To get involved as a volunteer ICoP co-facilitator, please send a brief statement of interest and qualifications to current ICoP facilitators, Hanae Tsukada (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jacqueline Davis (email@example.com).
3. Our guest presenter was Jennifer Xenakis from Pathology & Laboratory Medicine who discussed how inviting an outside lecturer can contribute to the value of a course which in this case was on toxicology.
Jennifer spoke from her breadth of experience as an educator. She began by taking the perspective of today’s students who often ask, “Why should I attend classes when I can learn online?” The added value of the classroom, Jennifer pointed out, is interaction with others and learning to work together. An instructor should not only teach material, but has a moral obligation to create an environment conducive to positive change. To facilitate interactive learning, an instructor needs interdisciplinary tools to help a diverse group of students connect with each other, open their minds, and break down the silos of disciplinarity that can impose limitations on bigger thinking. An instructor can model bigger thinking herself by recognizing that there are things she doesn’t know and bringing in an expert as a guest teacher.
For her course on toxicology, students learned about biological and chemical toxins and their uses in terrorist attacks. Jennifer brought in Dr. Richard Price professor of Political Science at UBC specializing in international conflict, peacekeeping, and security. To help students apply their understanding of biological and chemical weapons, Dr. Price will be preparing and delivering a lecture/interactive session with students March 2015. Using skills previously learned in the course, students work collaboratively in small groups to compile a literature review to critically analyze the biological or chemical weapon designated to their group and prepare and present a 20 minute presentation on the topic while their classmates prepare thoughtful questions for the presentations.
Having guest lecturers come and interact with students adds more value to their physically being in the classroom and can help make their education feel more worthwhile.
~ Thank you, Jennifer!
4. Networking time over coffee, tea, and cookies!