Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) 2014: Transforming Our Learning Experiences
TITLE: Documenting and Transforming Institutional Teaching Cultures
AUTHORS: Peter Wolf (University of Guelph); Jill Grose (Brock University); Donna Ellis (University of Waterloo); Lori Goff (McMaster University) Debra Dawson (Western University); Paola Borin (Ryerson University); and Florida Doci (University of Windsor)
ABSTRACT: Transformation often requires a shift from one set of perceptions or beliefs to another. While many post- secondary educators value teaching and endeavour to support and promote it, the teaching culture at our institutions can be perceived quite differently by various stakeholders. What do these stakeholders believe about the culture of teaching in our institutions, and how can we help shift the way our institutions, faculty, staff and students think about teaching?
Institutional culture helps define the nature of reality for the educators and learners within the institution. It provides a lens through which its members assign value to the various events and efforts of their institution (Berguist & Pawlak, 2008). Documenting institutional culture with respect to teaching and the support of teaching can provide benchmarks for institutions to work towards in their ongoing enhancement of teaching and learning.
This workshop provides an overview of a project currently under development by eight Ontario institutions working collaboratively to identify a set of indicators that help define the value placed on an institutional teaching culture. We have adapted a survey tool (Teaching Culture Perception Survey) from “Fostering Quality Teaching in Higher Education: Policies and Practices: An IMHE Guide for Higher Education” (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012). The Teaching Culture Perception Survey (TCPS) aims to assess educators’ current perceptions of their institutional teaching culture, as well as their perceptions of the importance of various components that comprise a teaching culture.
The survey, currently being piloted by three Ontario universities, examines the perceptions of different groups, such as faculty members, administrators, and students. The survey responses are used to help develop a profile of the institutional culture with respect to teaching, allowing comparisons between different stakeholders’ perceptions, as well as a comparison of any changes over time. Institutions might also use the survey to choose and develop practices that will enhance their teaching culture. Ultimately, this project aims to raise the profile, recognition and value of teaching in universities.
Following an overview of the different phases of the project, as well as data collated to date, participants in this workshop will engage in a group discussion about additional ways to identify, document and enhance institutional teaching cultures.