Article Title

Faculty and students as collaborators, co-creators, and makers

Streaming Media


What are the skills, areas of expertise, habits and values a teacher in 21st century higher education needs to posses and refine in order to not just survive, but to thrive? Taking mastery of subject knowledge as a given, I would suggest the list includes areas such as an understanding of what research can tell us about how people learn, an awareness of the promise (and limitations) of technology to support teaching and learning and a scholarly approach to the business of teaching. But probably most important of all is an openness to collaboration, for most faculty cannot be expected to be experts in all of these other areas, yet most departments or institutions have people who are already experts in precisely these areas. In this keynote, I will make the suggestion that one source of a fruitful collaboration is with students who are taking or have recently taken a course you teach. I will highlight three different examples of how students can become collaborators and co-creators, including work from courses I have taught in which students have created original learning material and assessment content that has been used in the course itself.

Speaker Biography

Simon Bates joined UBC in the summer of 2012, and was previously Dean of Learning and Teaching and Professor of Physics Education at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland where he also established and led the Edinburgh Physics Education Research Group (EdPER). As Academic Director of UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, he is responsible for the provision of academic support services to the teaching and learning community, and part of the leadership team of the Flexible Learning Initiative, a major teaching and learning transformation program at UBC. He is a tenured Professor of Teaching in the Physics and Astronomy department and teaches on the Physics 101 course, a first year course on energy and waves delivered to 1700 non-­‐majors annually. In the most recent iteration of this course, he led a project in which students created their own learning content and authored portions of the course midterms and final exam.

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