Workshops

Fall 2021

PDFs at McMaster University receive world-class discipline-based training. The aim of the professional development workshops is to provide complementary skills that are necessary to become a complete academic leader of the future, excelling in research, teaching and service. Every other week, Program members will meet for a focused, 2-3 hour workshop led by a McMaster faculty expert or invited facilitators.

Focusing on what really matters: A reset for workplace productivity (Joe Kim, September 9)

During the course of a busy term, we are pulled in multiple directions with increasing demands for our time and attention. Without a game plan, confusion, procrastination and “busy work” dominate over moving toward higher goals. Research from psychology can provide effective strategies to choose priorities that separate signal from noise, focus attention to engage in deep work, and develop habits that invest limited resources on what really matters. In this workshop we will:

      • Explore how understanding the cognitive architecture of the mind leads to developing a working plan to handle daily challenges with optimized solutions.
      • Develop a culture for productivity that promotes deep work and movement towards a goal.
      • Learn about digital tools to integrate into workflows to shift our resources to important tasks like strategic planning which also deserve attention.
The importance of OpEds (Wade Hemsworth, September 16)
    • This workshop will prepare Program Members on how to write an Op-Ed article on the topic of their choice. Writing an Op-Ed will help members fine-tune their communication skills by writing for a lay-audience about a complex topic. Op-Eds can be published on the McCall-MacBain program website and submitted to other publication outlets (The Sil, The Spec, etc.)

Introduction to the LEAD Chat Series (Monique Armstrong, September 30)

    • As McCall MacBain postdoctoral fellows, you know the importance of leadership and education development to your future success. You also know how important it is to continuously stretch yourself to strengthen your capabilities, increase your confidence, and have a greater competitive advantage. After all, you have been identified as the next generation of potential world-class instructors. 

    • The truth is that teaching and academia are already facing rapidly evolving demands and a changing work landscape. And now, a global pandemic turns everything upside down. To succeed, you will need to be agile, innovative and to try out best practices from other walks of life. 

    • With this in mind, the McCall MacBain Program has added a “Learning From Industry: Chat Series” to our offerings. A micro-learning experience, the series begins with an overview session that includes a participant self-assessment and then provides a forum where fellows learn from, and engage with highly successful business professionals and industry leaders.

Taking the big 3 into the classroom (Faria Sana, October 28)

  • The scientific study of human learning and memory consists of thousands of experiments dedicated to identifying cognitive processes fundamental to learning. The big three to emerge from the lab are spaced learning, interleaved practice and retrieval practice. The bigger question is how do I go about implementing these methods into my teaching? In this workshop, we will explore activities and exercises for implementing these methods into your classroom.

LEAD Chat Series - Leading with your value (Scott Armstrong - Brainrider, November 4)

      • Leading with your value. A look at developing your personal brand to highlight your strengths, build trust, and communicate your unique value proposition.

Delivering powerful presentations, part 1 (Joe Kim, November 11)

      • Among the many different teaching strategies to consider, we can impact student learning by improving the organization and design of your presentations. Think about the ineffective lectures you have sat through as a student, researcher and instructor; lectures that lack organization, clarity, and engagement fail to connect with students.  Students stop listening and turn to copying slides verbatim with little critical thinking. We will explore the underlying multimedia learning principles that guides good slide design. We will practice as we learn about redundancy, segmentation, signaling, and coherence.  In this workshop, we will explore the cognitive constraints of attention and learning, learn how to organize critical content, and develop a cohesive story structure that connects with an audience.

Developing your academic brand (Teresa Chan, November 18)

Delivering powerful presentations, part 2 (Joe Kim, November 25)

      • Applying findings developed in controlled-lab and classroom-based studies can lead to improved slide design which translates into durable learning that extends from short-term tests to beyond the final exam. Building on the previous workshop in which we learned how to organize the lecture structure, we will next explore the underlying multimedia learning principles that guides good slide design. We will practice as we learn about redundancy, segmentation, signaling, and coherence. Together, these workshops will provide a practical plan for delivering lectures with a cohesive message.

Social media as an extension of your scientific self (Teresa Chan, December 2)


Winter 2021

Introduction to Public Policy (Alex Lawson, January 20)

  • Alex Lawson will introduce you to public policy and explain why we want to talk to policy makers. At the end of the workshop, you will walk away with a 30 second elevator pitch about your research aimed towards policy makers

LEAD Chat Series: Engaging your team (Monique Armstrong, January 27)

  • Engaging your team. Tips, strategies and key do’s and don’ts for building and leading a high performing team.

Mini Instructional Skills Workshop Part 1 (Kris Knorr, Jenny Williams and Jennifer Faubert - MacPherson Institute, February 3)

  • In this workshop, we’ll cover the BOPPPS model and constructive alignment. We will use these strategies in Pt. 2 to develop a lesson plan.

Introduction to Public Policy in the Digital Age (Vass Bednar, February 10)

LEAD Chat Series: Aligning your work (R. Alex Dejong - Trival Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation, February 17)

  • Aligning your work to the organization’s strategic priorities. Understanding what project strategic alignment is and why it matters.

Mini Instructional Skills Workshop Part 2 (Kris Knorr, Jenny Williams and Jennifer Faubert - MacPherson Institute, February 3)

  • In this workshop, we will be broken up into three groups. Each of you will present a 10-minute lesson plan, followed by 30 minutes of discussion and feedback.

Writing Effective Test Questions (Joe Kim, March 3)

  • The primary goal of testing is to measure the extent to which students have learned the facts, concepts, procedures, and skills that have been taught in the course. In many university courses, instructors use multiple choice questions (MCQs) for some or all of the student assessment. However, many of the questions used by instructors contain critical flaws and most will do no more than test factual recall. Fortunately, writing high-quality MCQs is a learnable skill.
  • In this hands-on workshop, we will:
    • Learn about how to employ the best practices and avoid common pitfalls of writing measurably effective MCQs.
    • Explore how theories of learning such as Bloom’s revised taxonomy can help us determine the level at which a question should be written.
    • Practice writing MCQs and providing valuable feedback to peers.

Develolping your teaching philosophy (Brandon Woolridge - MacPherson Institute, March 17)

  • In this workshop, participants will be provided with an overview of a teaching philosophy statement and will consider how this statement provides a foundation for a teaching portfolio. Participants will be encouraged to critically reflect on their teaching beliefs, strategies, impact, and goals, and will be encouraged to engage with their peers to further develop their teaching philosophy statement.

Becoming a leader (Maureen MacDonald - Dean of Science, March 17)

LEAD Workshop Series: Developing Relationship Part 1 (Rachel Ingram - McCain Food Group, March 31)

  • Developing strategic relationships and personal grit. A look at practical strategies and tips for building the relationships and resilience you need to succeed. (This is a 2-part chat.)

LEAD Workshop Series: Developing Relationship Part 2 (Elizabeth Pawluk, April 14)

  • Developing strategic relationships and personal grit. A look at practical strategies and tips for building the relationships and resilience you need to succeed. (This is a 2-part chat.)
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