"McMaster is built on a bold and innovative past and now it's time to look to the future," says McMaster President David Farrar. "I invite the McMaster community to share their big ideas and their thoughts on what audacious goals we might set for ourselves."
"What do students need to thrive in a rapidly changing world?" is one of the weekly questions David is asking over five weeks. Answers will help develop the university's strategic plan and overall direction for the next 30 years.
But the EdCog planning committee chose to move the two-day conference online and wound up drawing a record number of attendees. Based on overwhelmingly positive reviews, the committee's already begun planning for a "hyflex" EdCog in 2021 with several day one workshops offered exclusively online to complement livestreamed events on day two.
"Attendees who don't have the budget to travel to McMaster will get to fully participate in our conference at a fraction of the cost and from the comfort of their home or office," says EdCog founder Joe Kim. "We anticipate that our conference will continue to draw record numbers of attendees from across North America and around the world."
Joining Joe on the planning committee is Michelle Cadieux, Paulina Rzeczkowska and Connie Imbault. Joe, an Associate Professor with the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior, launched EdCog in 2013 after attending an event at Washington University in St. Louis. That event led to the formation of a group that brought together cognition researchers and educators. Joe wanted to build something similar at McMaster that would establish the university a hub for discovering evidence-based practices in education.
Based on the EdCog's successful move online, Joe has seven tips for colleagues who are thinking about launching online events:
- Pick a conference theme that resonates with attendees.
- Recruit the best presenters who'll connect with the conference theme.
- Strategically add breaks throughout the day to allow everyone an opportunity to restore their energy, motivation and attention resources.
- Mix it up. Instead of a wall of back-to-back talks, plan a variety of conference activities including concurrent workshops, plenary talks, data blitzes (5 minute talks) and panel discussions.
- Add networking and fun, interactive components to keep attendees engaged.
- Encourage and guide speakers to make their presentations interactive through polls, breakout rooms, Q&As and follow-ups on social media to encourage attendees to make active contributions.
- Work with the best people behind-the-scenes to get the technical and organizational details of the conference done professionally.
To gain a better understanding of what's working and what can be enhanced moving forward, McMaster is asking for feedback through an online survey about early experiences with remote teaching and learning in the fall 2020 semester. The survey will be available until Oct. 12 at 11:59 pm.
Survey results will shape discussions about how McMaster can best support remote teaching and learning for the remainder of the term and into the Winter 2021 semester.
This short, voluntary and anonymous survey gives students, teaching assistants and instructors the opportunity to share their experiences with online learning and teaching this fall term. If you have various roles at the university (e.g. you are a student and a teaching assistant), you are encouraged to repeat the survey to capture each perspective.
Anonymized, aggregated raw data and summary reports gathered from this feedback will be shared with faculty deans, associate deans, chairs, directors, the MacPherson Institute and the Provost’s Office. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Dr. Lori Goff, Director, Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching at email@example.com.
GIVE FEEDBACK ON REMOTE TEACHING AND LEARNING