MacPherson Memo: 07/24/2019
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Bringing Computing into the Classroom

Computing is integral to many subjects we teach at the undergraduate level – from creating multimedia, to harnessing big data, to modelling complex processes. A barrier, however, can be accessing the software when and where you need it. In this presentation, Dr. Nick Bock (Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour) will share approaches to delivering software and data to students’ own devices in a classroom with a focus on enhanced student and instructor experiences.  Specifically, Dr. Bock will demonstrate a cloud-computing method used recently in an undergraduate course on campus that successfully taught programming to students from a range of backgrounds.  Participants are encouraged to discuss their own computing needs for their courses and to share experiences.

August 12, 2019, 11:00am – 12:30pm
(MacPherson Classroom)
A pizza lunch will be served.


Please register for the event at:

Share your feedback in our Avenue to Learn LMS Review

Are you interested in helping us make Avenue to Learn better? Do you have an opinion you want to share about Avenue? Have you had a great experience, or are you struggling with the features of Avenue to Learn? We want to know!

Please fill out the Avenue to Learn (LMS, or Learning Management System) survey here: Results from this survey will help us identify gaps in service, opportunities to provide better support and tools to the McMaster community as well as critically examine the existing educational technology on campus.

Results will be published first to McMaster’s Provost then publicly on the MacPherson website.

Student Partners Program Fall/Winter 2019-20

Undergraduate and graduate students from across campus who are interested in working with faculty and staff on teaching and learning projects are invited to apply for the Student Partners Program.

Applications for Fall/Winter 2019-20 are due by 4:30pm on August 6, 2019. For more information, and to apply, see the Call for Applications.

Visit our website for more information about the Student Partners Program

Call for submissions:

Honouring Dr. Del Harnish

McMaster University established an undergraduate programme in Health Sciences (BHSc Hons) in 2000 with the explicit goal of fostering student-centered learning. Sadly, the architect of that program, Dr. Del Harnish died in November 2018. To honour his memory, a collection of Commentaries dealing with the theme of student-centred learning, a topic that was central to his vision is being put together. You are invited to contribute to that volume.
 We recognize that all of you are very busy, so we are requesting only brief comments (500-1000 words). We have proposed three prompting questions to trigger your thinking on this issue:
 (a) Can one truly promote student-centered learning in a standards-based world?
 (b) Will respecting an individual student’s autonomy as a learner still do justice to all other students, particularly in a world of limiting resources?
 (c) In 1969, Postman & Weingartner published Teaching as a Subversive Activity with the goal of envisioning “an education that develops in youth a competence in applying the best available strategies for survival in a world filled with unprecedented troubles, uncertainties, and opportunities.”  In 2019, 50 years later, what does “teaching as a subversive activity” look like?
We invite you to provide some comments on one of these questions, or refashion the sentiments expressed in any way you choose.
The collection will be compiled by the end of 2019, with a launch event to be held in February 2020.  Please let us know no later than September 1, 2019, if you intend to write a piece for the collection, by emailing; we would require your final submission by November 30, 2019.
Fall 2019 Course Materials Adoptions

Please follow the instructions found here:
Submitting your adoption as soon as possible will help us make sure the booklist we build will give students the information they need.  And, it allows us the time needed to source used copies, find alternate formats and negotiate pricing, which helps us provide options to students that will best suit their learning style and budget. 

No textbook? Let us know!We will include this in the booklist, and it will help our staff answer questions.

Using iClickers? Please include this in your adoption.

Contact if you would like to use Custom Courseware for your course.

Using OER materials? We want to include this in the booklist!We can link to most OER materials and produce print copies on demand.

Required supplies (i.e. lab coats, goggles, lab books, mineral kits)? Email 
Campus Store Course Materials Team  
Phone: 21913   


Instructional Skills Workshop for Faculty and Instructors
The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is designed to enhance the teaching effectiveness of both new and experienced educators. Participants review basic ideas about teaching, check current practices, and try new strategies and techniques. During the 3-day workshop, participants design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive verbal, written and video feedback from other workshop participants.

In fulfilling the time and participation requirements of the ISW, you will earn an internationally-recognized Instructional Skills Workshop certificate.

Upcoming ISWs at McMaster

August 2019
August 13th - August 15th 
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thanks for reading!
Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching
Mills Library L504, McMaster University,
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Ontario, L8S 4K1

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