As stressed out students prepared for their first class and parents attempted to tick off everything on school supply lists, a three-day training session organized by uOttawa’s Teaching and Learning Support Service was helping another group of people prepare for the start of classes—the University’s new professors.
The workshops and seminars were designed to familiarize first time professors with resources that are available to them, including multimedia tools and innovative pedagogical approaches already used by their new colleagues, as well as to lay the groundwork for collaboration between faculty members and the university community as a whole. They have proved to be extremely useful to professors like Valerie Harbour and Ernest Kuekam.
“The tutorials on how to use the in-class technology like Blackboard Vista/Learn and Virtual Campus were extremely helpful. They definitely alleviate some of that ‘first class’ stress,” said Harbour, who will be teaching in the Faculty of Social Sciences this fall. “I also found the idea of conducting a mid-term evaluation of the class really useful. It provides students with an opportunity to have input into the direction of the course before it is too late to change.”
“I really appreciated how the trainers and speakers organized their blocks,” said Kuekam, who will be teaching two marketing courses at Telfer this fall. “Their dedication will push us to produce deliverables that meet University standards and new teaching guidelines. I particularly liked the advice and accounts of former professors who shared their experiences at the University.”
For over ten years, uOttawa’s Teaching and Learning Support Service has offered the orientation program, which concluded with a campus tour given by chief archivist Michel Prévost and archivist Jacinthe Duval.
“We want to ensure that all of our professors feel completely supported as they begin their academic career at the University of Ottawa,” said Yves Herry, TLSS associate vice-president. “We want to provide them with all of the tools necessary for them to succeed, so that they in turn provide our students with the highest quality academic experience.”
TLSS provides ongoing support to uOttawa’s professors through the Centre for Mediated Teaching and Learning, the Centre for e-Learning, the Centre for University Teaching and the Multimedia Distribution Service. For more information, contact Marie-Anne Burgess.