Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Free PD - Focus on your Foundation

As an instructional designer I routinely receive questions around common themes: course design, teamwork vs individual work, assessments, rubrics, best practices in conducting discussion groups, team-based learning, etc. So I am always on the look out for free resources that can be good references when helping instructors in their practice of teaching. A good resource just came across my desk this week from Queen’s University. It’s called their Focus on Foundations program. The objectives of the program are to:
  • Promote conversations among instructors about teaching
  • Encourage the exchange of ideas and practices related to teaching
  • Encourage instructors to explore alternative teaching practices
  • Allow instructors to serve as resources for one another

The great thing about this program is that it is comprised of nine core self-study modules that are freely available to anyone. You don’t need a username, a password or anything. There is no need to register whatsoever. You can painlessly go and study these modules and learn all kinds of interesting ideas about these topics:
  • Assessing Student Learning
  • Course Design
  • Evaluating Teaching
  • Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Lecturing
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching for Active and Deep Learning
  • Teaching with Discussions
  • Team/Group Learning

This is definitely worth adding to your Delicious Bookmarks so that you can visit this website on a rainy day. Awesome. Special thanks go to the staff at the Centre for teaching and learning at Queen’s University for providing this open access material to the world. That’s my kind of professional development resource!

Do you know any other fantastic resources like this? If so, be sure to leave a comment below.

1 comment:

Marc Tremblay said...

This kind of practice, what we call Professional Learning Communities, has become a standard in elementary schools. My own school implemented it in 2006. Here is an article in the Ontario College of Teachers' magazine: