MacPherson Memo: 09/19/2019
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Decolonizing the Syllabus - First Steps in Transforming the Learning Space

The Level 1 Educators Teaching and Learning Network is delighted to host guest speaker Dr. Rachel La Touche, a Teaching Stream Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at UofT, presenting Decolonizing the Syllabus – First Steps in Transforming the Learning Space.
The talk is aimed to support faculty and administrators in providing students with diverse design, pedagogy and scholarship in the classroom. Grounded in interdisciplinary literature, this talk will review current issues in classroom design (including scholarship, policies, and practices) which marginalize minority experiences in the classroom. The talk will conclude with a discussion of strategies that instructors can employ in their course design, syllabus and classroom activities to actively decolonize the learning space.
This talk is open to all in the McMaster teaching and learning community. Registration is free, and space is limited! Please register to attend here:

Tuesday, September 24th  at 11:30-12:30 
Connections Centre (L113, First Floor Mills Library).
This room is accessible and near accessible washrooms.

Invitation to Participate in Research about Equity-Focused Pedagogical Partnerships

Are you a current or past student, staff, or faculty member who has participated in a pedagogical partnership?

Did the project(s) on which you partnered focus on enhancing equity and inclusion in higher education or result in equity-related impacts (as defined by you)?
We would like to invite you to participate in a 45-60 minute in-person or Skype interview. You will also be asked to complete an optional demographic form. We are interested in learning more about the impacts and experiences of partnering on projects to enhance equity and inclusion in higher education. We hope to contribute to the growing body of literature about student-staff partnership, and to the development and refinement of a pilot stream of the SPP that focuses on equity and inclusion more specifically. Please see the Letter of Information for further details.
You will receive a $10 gift card for either Starbucks or Amazon, in recognition of your time.
This study has been reviewed and cleared by the McMaster Research Ethics Board. Please email the research team at if interested in participating.

Hacking Exercise For Health MOOC Launches

McMaster's Stuart Phillips and Martin Gibala translate the latest science on the benefits of strength training and interval training for health and fitness in McMaster University’s latest massive open online course (MOOC). They provide practical tips on effective exercise strategies that are accessible to all, including older individuals and those with time-pressed schedules. 
Together they share their wisdom and offer insights to give you the tools to build an effective and realistic exercise routine to maintain fitness throughout your lifetime.

We encourage you to sign up and share this valuable learning opportunity widely:

Invitation: User Testing for Echo360 Sandpit

Echo360 is an online learning space which promotes Universal Design for Learning. This online learning space allows for the accommodation of students with varying needs, and makes courses much more inclusive to students in various situations. Echo360 is fully integrated into Avenue To Learn and offers lecture capturing, formative assessment like multiple choice, short answer and numeric question slides to be included in presentations (free, no fee involved for instructors or students), an easy to use video recording tool (available to instructors and students), searchable transcripts with all videos captured or uploaded, an anonymous multimedia discussion board, note taking linked to specific presentation slides or video content, the ability for students to flag confusing content, rich analytics, and much more.

This initiative is called the Echo360 Sandpit. Its goals provide instructors with:
  • experience using Echo360 as a Student, while learning about the range of features that could help you increase student participation in your course/s
  • access to a safe space where you can practice as an Instructor using Echo360
  • an online community of Echo360 users/support
  • access to research and funding opportunities 
If you would like to learn more, experience what it is like to be a student using Echo360 (online or on a mobile device), and/or join an online campus community of Echo360 users and support, please contact Contact Christa Morrison, Digital Pedagogy Specialist at to get access to the Echo360 Sandpit on Avenue To Learn.
Join the SoTL Scholars Teaching and Learning Network
Interested in discussing and hearing more about the scholarship of teaching and learning at McMaster? There is a TLN for that!

All McMaster educators that would like to engage with peers regarding SoTL are welcome to join our Teaching and Learning Network (TLN). The NEW SoTL Network provides opportunities for SoTL Scholars to share knowledge and experiences within an informal space creating possibilities of inquiring about and reflecting upon SoTL practices. The goal of the Network is to build SoTL capacity, exchange ideas, create a repository of resources and develop meaningful partnerships amongst educators. Any McMaster faculty/staff working on a teaching and learning research project or simply interested in learning more about the scholarship of teaching and learning is welcome to join the network.  

Monday, October 21st at 11:30am-12:30pm
Monday, November 18th at 11:30am-12:30pm (MacPherson Classroom)
Please Contact Julia Evanovitch to join our listserv and to receive meeting updates.

Pilot program aims to set new science faculty up for success
The MacPherson Institute and the Faculty of Science have partnered on an innovative pilot program to provide new faculty members in the Faculty of Science with a host of mentorship, career development and networking opportunities aimed at helping them succeed in their first years at McMaster and throughout their careers.
The new faculty will work with mentors from the Faculty of Science to create a customized professional development plan, which will include recommendations for mentorship meetings as well as peer observations of teaching. They will also have the opportunity to participate in the Educator Enhancement Program offered through the MacPherson Institute, which is designed to help instructors improve and enhance their teaching and learning practices through seminars, advanced practicum opportunities and a capstone portfolio.
To learn more about the pilot program, read the full article here.

Paid Experiential Learning Opportunity with eCampus Ontario

The eCampusOntario Student Experience Design (SXD) Lab is an innovation hub that tackles some of the most complex problems facing post-secondary education today. The focus is on student-led innovation. Why? Because students have historically been excluded from meaningful participation in the design and operation of the higher education system that exists to serve them. 

Find the details here.

Call for Abstracts:
Research on Teaching and Learning Conference

The Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching is excited to announce the return of the Research on Teaching and Learning Conference.

December 5 - 6, 2019
Location: David Braley Health Sciences Centre

The theme for this year focuses on Research on Teaching and Learning Within and Across the Disciplines. Disciplinary connection is a defining feature of research on teaching and learning. This conference provides an opportunity for a 'deep dive' into current issues and trends within different disciplinary contexts while simultaneously providing spaces to discuss points of convergence and connection across disciplinary boundaries and contexts.

The deadline for submissions is 5:00pm on Monday, September 30, 2019
Find all of the details.
Comments, feedback or notes regarding the MacPherson Memo can be emailed here.
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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