AIF Teaching & Learning Celebration: Experiential Education

AIF Teaching & Learning Celebration: Experiential Education


[ Silence ] [ Music ]>>[Background music]
Experiential Education gives students the opportunity to apply their theoretical
knowledge in a manner that not only supports
deeper learning but can potentially be a vehicle
for community engagement. Through a series of pilot
projects the Faculty of Health seeks to
develop an infrastructure that is affordable
sustainable and replicable. Our intent is to
expand our capacity to deliver curricularly-embedded
activities within the classroom or within the community. The Faculty of Health’s
Experiential Education Pilot Project serves as a potential
model for the development of curricularly-embedded
Experiential Education across a number of undergraduate
programs within a faculty. A number of factors
have contributed to the ongoing momentum
of Experiential Education within the Faculty of Health. These are a collaborative
governance and planning structure in
the form of a work group that includes representation
across our academic units; a long-term vision for
Experiential Education within the Faculty of Health;
the subsequent development of unit-specific strategic plans that incorporate Experiential
Education at the program level and finally a strategy
that’s based on consultation that fosters stakeholder buy-in
into Experiential Education. Our project allows
us to recognize share and celebrate the work
that’s already been done within our faculty. [ Music ] [ Silence ]>>Good morning I’m Lorne
Sossin; I’m the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. It’s a great pleasure to be
participating in this day and again, I share the
congratulations to Sue and congratulations to our
Provost Patrick Monahan, as well, for the initiative
to fund this whole enterprise. Experiential Education is
the theme of this session. It’s one of our animating
cash-ins at Osgoode and so for all those reasons I’m
really pleased to be your host. And we’re going to meet some
remarkable students some remarkable project leads. It will be a bit of an adventure into the diverse
spectrum the continuum of Experiential Education
and I hope by the end of it including a Q and A session again there’ll
be not just food for thought but a real sense of catalyst to
grow this field that you’re — and I hope that by the end
you’ll see the relevance of this to each of your areas
and spheres of university life, as well. Those of you who know me
will know I’m a pretty unscripted person. So I thought I would
come up and just ramble about things I care about. Organizers very gently
pointed out to me while that would be great, lots
of people would love that, given all the people
coming and going, there’s queues we’re going
to have, some videos, it’s cutting edge, you know, [background noise] multimedia
type of presentation. The rambling might not be
ideal for this setting. So I will — it’ll be seamless
from your point of view. You won’t even know
I’m looking down to see when the queue is happening,
[background chuckle] but like with the cards you know I pick
the jack of diamonds too — I don’t know how it disappeared. [Background chuckle] So
it’s all going to be good. So Experiential Education and you’ve already heard this
resistance to the idea of trying to capture things on a
continuum or a spectrum that construct definitions
of things and categories and then squeeze, you know,
the way we teach into them. But of course there’s
a rhyme and reason to why we want to do that. And variety is not
just the spice of Experiential Education it’s
the bread and butter; the meat and potatoes it’s
the essence of it. It comes up in settings that
might be inside a classroom with an exercise or assignment. It might come up with taking the
students out of the classroom into the community to work in a
collaborative way with partners on their issues and problems,
and it may come up with students on internships learning
on the job. The theme is as its name
suggests it is education through experience. It is learning by doing. But it’s not just
learning by doing. The second piece of Experiential
Education is equally important and that is the learning by
reflecting on what you’re doing. It’s the conversation
between theory and practice that makes it such a distinctive
and I believe successful way of imparting not just knowledge but perspective empathy
compassion critical thinking getting outside your
shoes into the shoes of others you’re learning about. So for that reason
experimentation is key — risk taking trying new
ways of constructing that learning experience. And for that again
we thought it helpful to cluster Experiential
Education into a few points along a
continuum but understand that there’s not just three
there are multiple points. So again our continuum
you’ll notice is a bit cooler than the E-learning one. It has a crispness and symmetry
that all the words happening, you know, not on straight
lines — didn’t have last time. That’s again to show there are
different ways of doing this. They have their continuum;
we’ve got a better one. [Laughter] So ours you’ll see — and again, there’s different
ways of capturing a continuum. It could be about pedagogy
it could be about size large and small classes,
different fields. We’ve tried to capture
this idea of moving from what happens
inside the classroom to what happens inside
the community and again where there’s lots of blended
opportunities along the way. So in course experiential
learning will involve addressing real-world problems and issues
within a classroom context. Placement in the community often
involves working with partners but always involves trying to
gain a better understanding of the world outside the
walls of the university and often involves trying to solve problems working
together on solutions. And we’ll hear examples
of that before we’re done. So there’s in course — there’s
placement in the community and then there’s the idea of
externships and internships where students leave the
classroom environment fully behind and are in
service delivery or workplace public
private settings and again, take back from that experience
the raw material on which to not just reflect but
obviously build the foundations for their own careers and
their own aspirations. So for this brief session
we’ll see here about a number of the models, here at York. You’re going to meet four
remarkable students as I said and project leads that cover the
various points on the spectrum. And I hope this is not
just informational. You know I’m here also,
as an ardent advocate for moving in this direction. I believe it’s a differentiating
aspect at the law school and at many parts of
the university already, and I’ve been learning through
this initiative a tremendous amount about what else is
going on at the university. It’s been simply inspiring. It enhances the intellectual
foundation of the university’s
mission, and of course, leads to a more engaged
university community. But you will know already and
see more evidence of the fact that it’s never self-executing. It takes a lot of thought takes
a lot of work can take resources to put this together but
there are ways to start off down this road in every setting in which we teach
at this university. And so most of all it’s
not the resources and time and thinking it’s the attitude
the passion and it’s that sense of wanting to take risks for better outcomes
for our students. And I think that was the opening
theme putting students first. So with that there’s no better
way to put students first than to bring students
out to speak in their own voice on this. You’ve heard students in videos. We’ve got the [background
noise] live version. Please join me in welcoming
Jesprit Odolcue [phonetic] and John Craig McKenney
[phonetic] from the Health [background
noise] Faculty right now to get their seats. [ Applause ]>>So both Jesprit
and John Craig are in the health management
program. John Craig is finishing up. Jesprit has one more year
to inspire and be inspired. Let me get right
to some questions that I’m hoping you can
enlighten us on especially those who haven’t come across
this in course variety of experiential learning before. So Jesprit can you describe a
bit of the in-class experience in your Healthcare Ethics
course which again both of you were students in?>>The in-class model
worked, very well. Our course instructor Dr. Nancy
Davis-Halifax included various EE activities including
videos, documentaries, case studies, and discussions. Students — so ten students
were able to gain knowledge from a variety of different
sources of information. Oftentimes students wonder how
their course material is related to the world outside. So these EE activities
facilitated knowledge translation and helped us relate
that knowledge that content in the course to
the outside world. And we were able to see how
patients’ healthcare providers and healthcare organizations in general are experiencing
ethical dilemma in everyday life, whether it’s in healthcare settings
or at home. We were also able to
directly apply our knowledge. When we had a chance to do case
studies with our group members and we had an opportunity to resolve ethical dilemma
using ethical theories and principles in our groups. The class was very engaging. Most often in typical classes
what you’ll see is there’s always this wall between
professors and students but in this course, it is very
engaging so there is no barrier. And yeah I had a
fantastic experience.>>I have to imagine the
scariness for faculty of not having that wall but it
sounds like this [chuckle] — this worked clearly well and
we’ll hear more about it. One of the reasons
I know this is such a success Experiential
Education is when I meet alumni and say “What do you
remember 10, 15, 20 years ago about your legal education?” Invariably the take-away
memory is from the clinical experience
the intensive experience. And so you’re close
to it but if you have to imagine I’m having
this conversation with you at a York alumni event
20 years from now. What’s the memory
you’re going to take away from this healthcare ethics
experience John Craig?>>It’s funny you say that
because often prior to coming to York I did four
years at Queens and being a new student
here at York and a new faculty I often talked at the healthcare
organization I work out about my experiences
here at York. And I think they often attribute
or assume it’s from Queens but when I do mention that it is from York University they’re
sometimes taken back a step to say “Oh wow you’ve
learned this at York that’s really
interesting.” [ Laughter and applause ]>>You’re done; that’s
all we need [laughter].>>But it changes — it’s
slowly changing the attitude and perceptions of how people
view York through these courses that people are taking. I don’t think that
many people know that these little
gems actually do exist within the York community
and students are taking them and benefiting from them, so
I’m a huge advocate for it.>>That’s terrific, and I know from the short description
you’ve already given, Jesprit, that there were memorable
moments in this ethics course
for you, as well. Do you want to share
the one that you think or anticipate might stay
with you for a long time?>>Yeah so our course instructor
showed us a documentary in one of her last classes I
think possibly in December on eugenics particularly
focusing on Sterilization Act in Alberta which was in
effect from 1929 to 1972. I wrote a research paper
on this topic in October and I conducted an extensive
amount of literature review. And as I was expanding
my knowledge through literature review I got
very emotional by various things that occurred in Canadian
history and things that are still happening
today which are placing people with disabilities at a higher
disadvantage in society. However what I realized watching
that documentary was the impact that the literature review
had on me was nothing compared to the effect that the
documentary had on me. I remember that I had
tears coming down my eyes and there was even a point where
I wanted to leave the class because I got very emotional. I was really able
to see the pain that almost 3000
Canadians felt when they had to undergo forced sterilization. So I was visually able to see
the struggles that they had to go through after
sterilization. I mean many of them were not
even aware they were sterilized and some of their body parts
were used for research purposes without their consent. So the — and when we had, like, a video finished we had our
group discussion, as well. I know many people were upset to
see how this Act impacted people with disabilities in Canada. And rather than individual
research or textbook EE activities
are able to connect us better to the world outside and
help us learn it better.>>I think one of the results
it’s not hard to understand or imagine why that will stay
with you for a long time. And I think it generally has
Experiential Education this amplifying effect the parts
of the course that are light and fun become more
light and more fun. The parts that are compelling
sobering disturbing become that much more so. I think that’s why the memories
go deep and stay with you. Another goal of course is
then to head into the rest of the material and
not the entirety of your university
education will be experiential and have your engagement with
that other material affected by this sense of connection. And John Craig did it have that
impact in your own studies? Did it change how you
looked at other aspects of your Health Management
studies let’s say?>>It did in a sense. From my own peer group of being
in that class there’s a couple of us who we took
several classes with. And we often continue the
conversation from that class into many of the other
health management classes. So whether it would be
actual management itself, or measuring healthcare
system performance or research what was
actually talked and discussed about was a foundation for many
of other aspects of healthcare. It was the only class
I can probably think of that the conversation
did not stop when the classroom
started or stopped. It always continued
to the next week. The professor was
available to talk about it. It was an open dialogue
open conversation. And it was something of an undergraduate experience
I haven’t received before. And it probably will
be the most memorable.>>I just can’t believe I
took International Relations when I could have taken
Healthcare Ethics. [Laughter] You get the sense of
wanting to go back and do it all over again when I hear that. Jesprit, feel free to
offer another thought on the impact it had but I
think we’re getting a taste of why this is significant
as an in-class environment and I thought it would
be great to close with you having a general
thought about why you think it’s so important not, just
in your own learning but for York generally to
embrace this kind of model.>>Right so I think all
professors are competent [chuckle] no doubt about that. I think I’ve been lucky to be
taught by such a fantastic group of professors here at York. I think everything comes
down to the quality of the delivery of lecture. So for instance if a professor
is standing behind the podium and just reading off the slides
then we do really wonder why we’re paying such a high
tuition fee [chuckle].>>Podiums aren’t free of course
[background laughter] we all understand that.>>Oh, yeah.>>There’s a cost
involved there.>>Just hiding behind the
podium that’s what I’m referring to here. [Background chuckle] So I
think EE is extremely critical for students here at York and
it provide them with a platform where they can get
engaged in class and they comprehend the
material effectively. And students actually
want to learn when these EE activities are
incorporated into their classes. I’m currently taking a summer
course and a lot of students that are enrolled
in that class was because the course instructor
really believes in EE. And most people are
taking this course because they love how the
instructor is incorporating the EE component within that course. You know sometimes many
professors complain about students’ behavior
in class. A few students they say that
you know they sleep in the class or they play games
on their computer and talk to their peers. I mean, this is not
particularly related to one university
but others, as well.>>Queens, for example, we don’t
have that problem [laughter].>>If professors would like to
change students’ behavior then they should certainly
give EE a try. It’s crucial to acknowledge that you’re building tomorrow’s
leaders, tomorrow’s scholars and the quality of professor’s
lecture will have an impact on student’s future and their
career and society in general. So it could serve as
a social good rather than just doing a job. And students — I’ve also
discovered as students who are part of EE are likely
to perform better, as well. So you never know students might
make their professors proud one day and perhaps they
already are. And I hope that our president
our VP and associate deans and deans continue to support
this wonderful initiative.>>No I think you couldn’t — well you did say it exactly the
way one would hope students come out of classroom saying it. In fact your point goes to
maybe the thought I’ll close on and of course we’ll have Jesprit
and John Craig back for the Q and A, which is a theme in the
E-learning session, as well. And that is when you do
something really remarkable and noteworthy special
and distinct in a class there’s
always the danger of raising student expectations
so, that when they walk into the next class like
renovating you know one part of your apartment or house and then you find the
rest just feels a bit drab so I think that’s a great — coals beneath our feet
to keep us thinking and compelled to move forward. I think when you have that kind
of experience it’s great to know that it raises the
expectations for the rest and I know we’re going to hear
more from each of you in the Q and A. Let me take this
moment to thank you both for sharing your
thoughts and that — hold on to some more answers
because we’ll have questions at the end of the session. [ Applause ]>>In that sense of a seamless
cue I’m now going to call on an Osgoode student
Daniel Basili [phonetic] to come join me. By the way I don’t know
if I’m the only one but that theme music
is now just infectious. [Chuckle] It’s embedded
my subconscious. Welcome have a seat. We should have CDs or
something for the event, but I hope it’s Canadian
content. [Background chuckle] You know
I would hate to put a spotlight on music and it could be — anyway Daniel [laughter] you
know, at the risk of again, asking you questions in
this case I know the answer to because as I’ve said at Osgoode this is a
long-standing passion but you’re part of an experience
the Mediation Clinical Intensive Program. That’s actually a new
edition to Osgoode and relatively embryonic
compared to one’s we’ve just been
celebrating the 40th anniversary of like Parkdale and Klaspp. So what attracted you to this? Why this given the diverse
range of courses available in the upper-year program
and maybe a little bit about how you found yourself
in it, and what it is for those who didn’t wake up this
morning already fully aware of the Mediation Clinical
Intensive Program at Osgoode.>>Sure so I’ll start off a
little bit with what it is. It’s basically community
mediation clinics so people from the local community can use
our mediation services for free if there’s neighborhood
disputes — that kind of thing. But there’s also a seminar
attached with the program so we learn the theory
behind it and there’s also, a lot of community engagement
associated with it so going out into schools and giving
alternative dispute resolution seminars and that kind of thing. And I think you hit it
kind of right on the head. It was a really new
program when I did it. It was only in its second year
so I was attracted to the idea that I could play a part in the
development of the clinic — being a student there. And so I was in my first-year
and basically first year of law school I personally
found to be kind of an alienating experience.>>In a good way.>>[Laughter] In a great
way — in a great way. I guess, you know, just
reading cases kind of thing. You know I came to law school
knowing I wanted to do a lot of community engagement work
and I saw a lot of potential for mediation to do that
in the community so — because it’s based
on collaboration and that kind of thing.>>I was going to say for people that don’t know mediation
would take the view let’s say in a school yard that it
would be better to talk through a dispute understand
each other’s perspective than go right to violence
as your first stop.>>Or right to court [chuckle]. And again for law school
again it’s built on the idea of dispute resolution and that
iconic sense of litigation in courtrooms dispute
avoidance, dispute prevention is of course is a radical
and progressive notion. So let me quickly put the
same question to you I put to John Craig and Jesprit. What’s — what’s the memory that
you’re going to take with you when I run into you in your
wildly successful practice 20 years from now, and
ask you to reflect back on the early solid years of
the mediation clinical program?>>Well for my independent
project — we had to do an independent
project as part of the program. I organized a peace table between [background noise]
members of the community and police from 31
Division Police Station, which is the local
police division. And it was a long process
of getting it organized, especially in terms
of gaining trust. You know, we’re a little bit
isolated from Jane and Finch up here on campus, and
so breaking that barrier. And the biggest step,
like I said before, we were already involved
in sort of giving seminars and doing workshops in the
community but a big leap for me and probably the best
memory was becoming a member of the grassroots organization
or another community agency and being an active participant
in it as a representative of this school and of
the mediation clinic. And that just felt like a
much more authentic kind of engagement instead
of just going in and kind of getting out. So that whole process
and especially that part of it will definitely
stick with me.>>And then how does it have
an impact as you go back to the rest of your
law school studies? Did it — did it affect your
choice of other opportunities or what you brought
to the more case-based or classroom-based courses?>>Yeah for sure. You know, certainly coming from a mediation perspective
what I realized is that lawyers and law students are
really excellent speakers and can talk really well but
actually are not very good at listening [background
chuckle]. So I think that that
was a big thing for me. That’s a big thing for me. Also just promoting the sense
of — it’s kind of a buzzword and I’ll try to explain
it community lawyering — expanding what it means to be a
lawyer instead of just somebody who goes to court and
zealously advocates on behalf of their client — kind of
becoming a part of the community and not representing them
but, advocating with them. So I think it changed
my perspective that way.>>Well again you’re getting
a nice representative sample of some students. We thought it would be
fun to highlight the idea that every student
really experiences each of these Experiential Education
programs through a distinct lens with their background
the unplanned and unexpected activities
that they come across because you can’t script
an Experiential Education course or program, and so
we’ve got a short video with some reflections from students who’ve just
finished the course this year, so it’s fresh. Hopefully we’ve got the sound
and the picture together, and with that effortless and seamless cue
let’s roll the video. [ Silence ] [ Music ]>>[Background music] Well,
I would say the biggest thing about the mediation program
is that it’s so hands-on. I mean, yeah, everything —
everything we did is learning by doing, and that’s just
an experience you don’t get elsewhere. You don’t get that in a
classroom studying case law or, you know, like, all
the business statutes. You don’t get that
kind of learning. And really the best way
that we learn is by doing.>>[Background music] For the
first semester we’re learning mediation skills
ourselves so we’re in the seminar twice a week
seeing it’s a three-hour period it’s kind of like an intensive. We learn everything that Leanne
wants us to know about mediation and then when we teach it to the students basically we’re
teaching them the same skills at their own level.>>I was thrown a wicked curve
ball because I was really cool and calm about it at
the beginning and then when I started doing the
actual work it was networking. You had to go out into the
community that I had no ties to I don’t know anybody
here and I had to build relationships
with people. And I thought “Okay
I’m a likeable guy. I can walk in there in
one meeting; you know, in 20 minutes everyone’s
going to love me.” I went to meetings
after meetings and these were two
three four-hour meetings and you couldn’t
even plan for them.>>[Background music] Where
at the mediation clinic it was focused on dialog but also
negotiation, and compromising, and building programs, and
getting things established which I think is much more
reflective of the real world and what you have to do
outside of law school but it’s still grounds the
theory of legal analysis, as well as, negotiation or client counseling
skills or mediation skills.>>We just did as many
hands-on projects as we could. So we would teach them in a
conflict this is how to speak. And it’s called — it’s
an exercise called Speak to be Heard. Basically it’s a
template on how to speak so they would practice
it with partners. We taught them about
identifying the issues. They would read newspaper
articles and find issues in the newspaper articles and
try to tell it to the class. It sounds really simple but when
you’re teaching it to a bunch of students a day it
gets pretty complicated. There was a topic on
building negotiation. We put tape on the floor and you
had to convince your counterpart to cross over to your side. If they crossed you
would get $1000. If you crossed they
would get $1000. Really the point of the
game was if you guys thought about for a moment if
you just switch sides — both would get $1000. But I think maybe in the entire
class one kid figured it out and because it was
Jamel helped him.>>I prefer to learn from
somebody who’s done it and has been out there and is
not just going to say “Well if they tell you to
do it on page 35 — so you should do
what page 35 says.” You know, I respect experience. You know, knowledge and experience are two
very important things. But I do feel that someone
who has the knowledge and has the experience such as
Leanne, you know, is you know, amazing with what she does. And she’s able to bring us
all together and show us and when we sit down and we have
mediations in class she’ll jump in real quick and be
like, “Okay, well, this is probably what
you shouldn’t be doing as a mediator. These are the questions
that should be answered.” She’ll stop and jump back and
let us go right back to it, you know, which is great.>>All right. So [applause] now I do feel
compelled to take off my hat as your Experiential
Education host, and as Dean of Osgoode Hall Law
School, say that our podiums, and statutes, and
cases, and classes built around them are fabulous. So you’re getting a very skewed
vision of these other courses. But it’s that effect. Once you have a class
like this it’s hard to go into that next one and
just be given here — are the cases we’re going
to talk about on Monday. You also heard reference to Leanne Shafer
[phonetic] who’s the Director of the Mediation
Clinical Intensive Program and a fabulous mediator
educator lawyer. And it makes it seem
fun listening to the students coming
out of this year. We’ve of course heard why these
can be sobering why they’re compelling but is it fun because
Leanne makes it that way? Is it fun because getting
out of the classroom into the community
makes it that way? Or is it fun just because the
unpredictability can create those moments that by their
spontaneity are enjoyable?>>I would say all
of those things. Obviously Leanne is an
— is an amazing teacher. She’s also a practitioner. I think that’s one thing
that’s kind of common I believe about the clinical programs at
Osgoode is that, they’re taught by lawyers and so that’s what
people come to law school to do is to learn about the
law and to become lawyers. And so getting into that
mind frame and getting that experience is really great. I think also just specifically about the mediation
program it kind of attracts more
laid-back kind of people and that’s also lots of fun. Overall I think that all of the things you mentioned
are definitely true.>>Excellent. With that again we’re going to
run out of time before we run out of things to say
with each of our students and that’s why we’re going to
bring them all back at the end to take on your questions
especially those of you who find this whole
listening, community lawyering, interesting fun law study thing
to be puzzling and improbable. So we’ll have a chance
to explore that. Thank you very much for
sharing your thoughts.>>Thank you.>>[Applause] And with that and the theme music
let me invite the last of our four students — Amanda Scheck from the LAMPS
faculty to come join me. Please join me in
welcoming her to the school. [ Applause ]>>Welcome. So, again, Amanda is
representing the third of these clusters on the
continuum an internship program in her case with a
mysterious company that has three letters called…>>SKF Canada.>>…SKF Canada
[background laugh]. Again just to orient us
into what this experience is like for a business
and marketing student, how did you hear about the
internship how did you get the internship? And maybe a word about how
the career office played an essential role in that process.>>Well, prior to being a part of this internship program I
have never actually had any experience working in the corporate world nor even
held a 9-5 position before. So you know I always
had the notion that any experience
is great experience. So when I received an email
regarding the new business administration internship
program I pretty much jumped at the opportunity. My internship coordinator at
the time was just terrific. She was a great support
updated me with all the new job
postings and, you know, we came across a
company called SKF. And they were looking
for a 12-month intern for a market research
analyst position. So I applied to that job
and here I am now [chuckle]. But I’m definitely grateful for
this opportunity and I think that every student in any
program should partake in an experience like this.>>So without sharing commercial
proprietary information from the company what memory
would you take with you from that sense of learning on
the job reflecting about that? What do you think if I
run into you some years from now you’re going to
remember about that opportunity?>>I definitely you know
had a chance to work with a lot of great people. You know I’ve bonded with
a lot of my co-workers. And even though I was an
intern they made me feel like very welcoming and very
much a part of the company. My boss is very — he takes full
accountability for my work and, you know, gives me
full recognition so it’s a very good feeling
to be thanked and also feel like you work is very
valuable to the company. But I think in terms of favorite
memory would be the Christmas party because you get
to meet, you know, a lot of your co-workers
and supervisors outside of the work environment
in a more social context. So that was one of the more
fun memories that I’ve had.>>It fits into the category in
life of the unscripted moments. So that [laughter]
that is terrific. And apart from the social
aspect obviously you know from having heard, the other
discussions I’m going to ask you about what impact
this than has — as you come into your other
business marketing classes. Do you feel better prepared
more understanding does it resonate more? How would you describe
the impact on the rest of your learning?>>I’ve actually you know
learned a lot throughout the course of my program
both academically and in transferrable skills. In academic terms you know part
of my job requirement I do a lot of market analysis which a lot of my marketing courses
had prepared when we had to write market report — marketing reports and
strategic management reports. So we had to conduct a lot of
internal and external analysis which is very similar to some
of the work that I do now. I think some of the most
important transferrable skills though are definitely, you
know, time management being able to juggle many projects
at the same time with different deadlines
and also the ability to work well with others. Working in groups
for group projects for many years has definitely
increased my interpersonal skills and being
able to communicate and work effectively
on group projects.>>Which is fabulous and I
won’t speak for others here. I didn’t learn how to
work well with others until I was 34 [background
chuckle] and this is a huge thing
to pick up in university, but of course The Career Center
and the internships range across a broad swath as
well, and so we have just like the last segment
a video to capture from The Career Center’s
perspective some of what these internships
are designed to do. If we have that video ready
to roll, let’s have a look. [ Silence ] [ Music ]>>[Background music] The Career
Center provides career support to York University students
from their first year of study up until two years
after they graduate. The Business and Public
Administration Internship Program is a partnership between
the faculty of Liberal Arts and professional studies
and The Career Center. The idea is that they go on
a work term for four, eight, 12 or 16 months at an
employer or various employers and then they come back
to finish their studies. So the idea is that they’re
applying their classroom learning to a workplace
environment and learning things on the job and bringing
that back to the classroom. I think they can see firsthand
how what they’re learning in class can be applied
to the workplace. AIF funding has helped
us to grow internships and grow Experiential
Education opportunities across campus particularly
with the Business and Public Administration
Internship Program. We wouldn’t be able to do
it with the AIF funding. We wouldn’t be able
to outreach students and grow employer relationships
and support students in their career development and finding really
exciting internships. AIF has allowed so many projects that have [background noise]
been percolating for a long time on campus to actually take off. Well, I think the AIF
funding for the Business and Public Administration
Internship Program has helped other people within the
university community see the possibilities that
exist in internships and Experiential Education. It’s a great model
for a different type of program opening up
other faculty’s eyes to the possibilities
there and students’ eyes as to what they can do on an
internship is pretty exciting.>>[Applause] Great. So you’re going to meet Julie and the other project
leads you’ve been hearing about in a moment, but, Amanda, just before we close our
discussion it is a different model to have Experiential
Education happening through the facilitation
of The Career Center. And I thought you
could say maybe a word about how they supported
this initiative. You mentioned finding out about
it of course through the office but was there a continuity of connection before
and during and after?>>Yes there were
very, very supportive like throughout the
whole process before and after I got the job. You know, before I got the job I
did a lot of one-on-one sessions with my internship coordinator and building my resume rewriting
my cover letter preparing me for interviews and going over
potential interview questions. I think also one of the most
major impacts that they had on me was definitely making me
feel confident enough to apply. You know, they were — even though I didn’t have
an experience they made me feel confident. So I think that’s a
huge support from them and it was very wonderful
to work with them.>>Excellent. Well stay here. Again we’re going to be joined
in a moment but I just wanted to say reflecting on the three
different experiences you’ve heard about from
the four students and the videos, as well. I think this goes as
much for the E-learning as for the Experiential
Education but there’s a theme of a self-consciousness
about the learning process. In other words not just
coming in and focusing on the substantive content but
really thinking through how that content changes
depending on the way in which it’s conveyed. That self-consciousness that
theme of reflection both in the doing of these
initiatives and in the designing of them and the way they
fit in a curriculum in and outside again the
classroom, is a very key theme. It is why that continuum
is so important because of course
you want to have and at least we view it this way at the law school have
some engagement with each of these kinds of experiences. And I think it’s when you see
the interaction between them of course that the continuum
becomes not static points along a line but reinforcing and dynamic relationships
between them. So it’s with that kind of
pride that we are going to embark this year at Osgoode
to become the first law school in the country to have
every JD student graduate with an experiential
component to their curriculum. Some will be in the classroom,
some will be in the community, some will be with
externships and internships. So I think you’re
the inspiration that makes us know
we’re on the right path. With that let me
invite all the students and the project leads
we have in the house to come up and join me. And, again, I’ll ask you to
welcome them with a round of applause for their efforts. [ Applause ] [ Music ]>>And in addition to the
students we have Lesley Beagrie, the Associate Dean of Teaching
and Learning for the Faculty of Health, Robindra Sidhu, the Experiential
Education coordinator and research associate
for the Faculty of Health, and Julie Rahmer the acting
director of The Career Center. Welcome to you all. And again in this way
we began the last Q and A session while you are
gathering your thoughts I had a couple of questions that flow
from what we’ve been discussing that I wanted to put
especially to Leslie and Julie. So for Leslie you know we had a
real sense of the success story from the student perspective
of the healthcare ethics class and the way in which
it unfolded. But from your perspective
looking at it faculty-wide what’s the
biggest achievement that you see in having embarked
on this direction? Again there’s always
a risk in doing so you don’t know
how it’s going to go.>>Well, we knew it
would be successful. [Chuckle] I think given
the video at the beginning that Robin — we saw Robin on —
we have a wide opportunity here to — actually what we’ve
achieved is breakthrough in both faculty and students
realizing the possibility that EE can be. And as you know the
continuum can be from in-class activities
all the way to practicums and placements. I think often people think about
EE as only being at that far end of the continuum that it’s about
placements and internships. And so it’s more aligned
with profession programs like law nursing social work. I think what we were able to achieve is we have eight
wonderful guinea pig pilot [chuckle] faculty members
step up from all four of our units not just a
our professional schools who demonstrated that being
engaged in EE activities in the classroom is very easy
and very sustainable very much in many ways what
they were doing but they never called EE before. I think what we’ve been able to achieve is just expand
the people’s awareness of what EE can be and how much of a difference it can
make in students learning. I think we’ve been able
to through the second year of funding this next year
we’re going to be moving into with a community
Experiential Education not necessarily all the way
to the other continuum, but Working with Partners
for students learning in the community but most
particularly building this what Robin was talking about
this sustainable model that can be scaled up from one
faculty to the whole university by putting in place all the
policies processes et cetera that people can then come
to and say how do I do this and we can show them how.>>So thank you for that. Robin we heard from
you at the outset but any additional thoughts
to what Leslie has shared?>>Well what’d I say is that I think this continuum
idea is a really useful idea in the sense that some of
the same principles that go into you know a teaching and
learning approach for students with respect to understanding
course material through experience the
same principles apply to in-course experiential
learning also translate to experiences that occur
within the community. So our AIF project enabled us to develop the resources
the professional development resources for faculty members. We’re developing a
manual on how to do this. If you don’t know
anything about it, you can consult our manual
as soon as we get it. We’ve yet to go through
the editorial process. The draft manual is already. The point is that it’s all
theoretically grounded. We’re not just telling
people to go out — you know, telling professors
go and create these experiences and get the students
to go out there. There’s rhyme and
reason to all of it. It’s intentional on the part of
the instructors and reflective on the part of students.>>That’s terrific. Let me ask Julie maybe to
share just an additional word on that end of the internships
because we’ve seen it from the student
perspective but I think in your role you’re
often working with students and employers. What’s in it for them
and what’s their reaction when they get the, you know,
fabulous talented students like Amanda and the
chance to work with them?>>Yeah what’s in it for them? [Laughter] Amanda among many
other great students really they’re tapping into a
pool of talented students who are exposed to the latest
practices and technologies. They have fresh ideas
and innovative skills. They’re typically
really interested in their career development
and engaged in what they do and
in their field. That brings a really great
candidate to the work place. That enthusiasm and energy
and they want to learn, and they’re bringing it
back to the classroom. Typically employers who hire
interns tend to hire once so, they’re thinking about York. They’re thinking about
these students when it comes to hiring full-time
in the future. Lots of benefits for them.>>That’s terrific and I think if it works well it just
keeps reinforcing the message on both ends. Thank you for sharing
those thoughts. Again, we want to open it
up for a broader discussion. I see a hand although the
lights are in my eyes a bit. Maybe introduce yourself,
as well, because I can’t see
who everyone is.>>Avi Cohen host
of the other session with the inferior continuum.>>Now I see; the
lights are going down. Yeah the continuum was good. I didn’t want to suggest
it was bad it just wasn’t as [laughter] good. Just to be — to be clear.>>I think everybody
did a fabulous job. I wanted to point out one
of the many complimentaries between Experiential
Education and E-learning. I think one of the reasons
why faculty members resist the in-course activities even
though they are extraordinarily valuable as the students
have said eloquently, if they’re afraid that
it takes too much time and they can’t cover
the material. One of the beauties
of E-learning is that with web resources
you can take some of the straight delivery
of content of material and put it on the web. If that’s all you’re doing
is delivering content without the engaging interaction
which you’re all so fond of and it is so effective students
can get that on the web and then that frees up class time
to do exactly these kinds of activities which I
think are just fantastic.>>Avi just on that what’s
amazing about so much of this and I think your session
highlighted this is how grassroots it is. In other words it’s not
top-down planning always but simply what students come
upon themselves and sort of make that connection more real. We have an aberrational
intensive looking at students who are going across the
country and in some cases across the world
to do placements after a session together and
then they come back together. While they’re apart they’re
often coming upon experiences they want to share and so
just on their own developed through social media a
way to keep connected to have Skype chats
on a regular basis with the faculty coordinator. And when one saw a
picture they wanted to share it wasn’t just a
matter of describing it, but here’s the real-time
video of it and what it lead to journaling and keeping
diaries along the way that in some cases can
be shared in real-time and some cases later as
part of an assignment. I think the blending of the two
is so important not to see these as silos even if the funding
envelopes may be distinct within this program. So thank you for that. Other questions and comments?>>Thank you. A question from the
perspective of a professor who is contemplating
incorporating Experiential Education into a course
or an academic program that is going — like it’s
easy enough at the beginning to recognize the kind of
theory and knowledge base that can be taken out
into the community. The question is about
the other end. When the student
returns do we — and I’ll ask for your reflection
without presuming an answer. To what extent do we trust that the student has a broader
context and understanding with which to pursue
further study or — and I mean, it’s a continuum at
the other end of the continuum to what extent do we want to
be systematic about engaging in the reflection that
you commented on earlier and the bringing back explicitly of that experience
into further study. And a corroboratory
question I guess is can we and should we evaluate that
and build it in to part of the assessment of course
or program requirements.>>I think those
are great questions. Why don’t we get
Robin to answer them? Maybe I’ll ask Daniel about your
experience and what you brought in the mediation context. So Robin…>>I loved your questions
[chuckle] the latter two in particular You
mentioned something — you said something about
systematic way of — maybe it was being intentional
about what you’re going to do with the activity after
the student comes back. That in essence is what
we call good practice of the EE pedagogy. [Background sounds] It’s not
enough that students just go out and get their experience and
then nobody talks about it. That’s part of designing
the course. So the reason why I was like
“Oh I can answer this” is because we talk about
this sort of thing in our manual [laughter]
and in our PV sessions. The second thing is about
assessment and evaluation. Those are two other chapters
in our manual [chuckle]. But all kidding aside —
yes you know, certainly part of the expectations that the
course director has in terms of, designing these experiences
would be how would you go out and evaluate it? What — what looks like success? Like how do you describe
success? The other point is
that when we work with community partners
that’s another kind of question that one must ask. What does success look like
for a community partner? What does it look
like for a professor? What does it look
like for the student?>>So maybe let me
turn to Daniel. How did this work in your case? What did you bring back
how was it evaluated just to give an example of
how this can happen?>>I would say that just
echoing what Robin said that the reflection piece
is a really big part of it. And, yeah, I don’t
know much what else to say beyond that, but…>>Like for example when
you come back and talk about the community
experience with the group and with the director
is that part and parcel of the learning experience
in other words. Not just bringing it
back but having a chance to critique and talk about it?>>Absolutely especially
in the mediation context. I kind of touched on
this a little bit. Mediation is just
such a — it’s — you can practice it while
doing community engagement. Like that’s — that’s sort
of where I gained most of the mediation experience that [background coughing] I
got was trying these active listening skills
that I was using — that I was learning
about in the community and to implementing
it in a practical way. That’s like really the value of clinical education again just
the reflection piece is huge.>>Maybe I’ll need to finish
this point with Jesprit because you talked about
a very emotional setting after the documentary. Eugenics is clearly one of
the most gut-wrenching topics to be exploring and
forced sterilizations. I assume the model of pedagogy
wasn’t to have everyone there in tears and then
say the readings for next week will
be pages 14 to 18. And where do you
take that emotion in a learning context based
on what you experienced?>>I think it does
make us think what type of society we want to live in. So that focuses on
issues with, you know, people with disabilities. So it’s — I remember within my
course it did change people’s perception toward many
healthcare ethical issues. So I think even if you — you know don’t do anything
in your community but you can at least change your perception
toward some healthcare ethical issues.>>Great. Any other
questions or thoughts? Let me ask while you’re
formulating them — so we have one there and then I
want to come back to a question for Amanda on the
internship so get ready.>>So as I’ve been
sitting here listening to these two separate but, related presentations I can’t
help thinking about the value of some of the E-learning
technologies that are being developed, here
at York University to reflection in Experiential Education. You know, if we accepted the
difference between experience and Experiential Education
is the reflective component I wonder if any of
you have thoughts on how the E-learning
technologies might be leveraged to enable that reflection.>>Yeah and, again, I think
that is a terrific question. And, you know, I
think Robin’s clear as you know been drinking more
from the Kool-Aid than others as his passion [laughter]
for the manual demonstrates but I’m assuming the kind of
ad hoc experience I reflected from our aboriginal long tense
people using social media to enhance an experiential
component when they’re separated by distance is just a tip of
an iceberg of the potential. And of course we’ve explored
things as I mentioned like journaling and diaries and
things that have that ability through technology to be
integrated because so much of the learning is the
reflecting on and experience in technology allows so
much more richness in that but I think there might be a
chapter in the manual on that. So is that something that…>>I can just quickly
add something to this. Yes I have been drinking
the Kool-Aid…>>Kool-Aid is good. Kool-Aid is good.>>…and the problem is every
time I see EE I just keep seeing E-learning. Every time I see E-learning, I
keep seeing EE opportunities.>>Yeah.>>I see this blended learning
thing merging really well with the kinds of
things that you do for Experiential Education. Technology — yes, technology
can facilitate this, and yes, it’s been done —
it’s been published. People talk about
what they’ve done in their blended
E-learning course, EE course.>>Right. And actually
we’ve had two of our courses in our pilot project,
one used clickers, which is actually
a use of technology but it encourages
student engagement and participation in the class. So therefore it’s a
form of EE, as well as, being a technology component. Also we’ve had the
use of simulation which is also technology
use in the class but allows some real-life
opportunity for students to do hands-on — hands-on care. So that gives us some aspects
of technology being used in EE but I think the opportunity
for — any opportunity for reflection. The learning comes
through reflecting on what it is you’ve
just been involved in. And however that gets
communicated whether it’s on a blog or on Google sites
or in chat forums or whatever that is or whether it’s in a
classroom the opportunities to blend the two is enormous. I have to say I know we’re
supposed to be a faculty of health, but quite frankly
if we could plant a virus which I think is actually
probable that we planted a virus in our grass roots
groups and faculty members and allowed the infection
to spread without any vaccine being
possible then I think we probably will be
able to scale this to the extent that we want to.>>That’s a lovely metaphor. [Laughter] You know, we’re just
about out of time but I did — you know there’s
an element to this that I think Amanda
had touched on. I just want to close with a
quick thought from her on this which is the things you
don’t learn in university that you then have
to know how to deal with whether it’s
do you tell the kids that you can get the $1000
when you cross the tape, or in your case you’re
in a social situation. There’s not a course on that
in most university settings and knowing how to deal with
that when it’s appropriate to you know go up and ask a
weird question to a colleague in that setting when
it’s appropriate to answer a personal
question in that setting. I just wanted you to reflect on
where did those skills come from and did you finish with a lot
more than you wanted to know about those other pieces
based on the experience?>>I think you know working
a lot in groups, you know, through the course of my program
has definitely [background sound] helped me learn
how to communicate in appropriate manners
of course. My work environment has been
very open and allowed me to feel more comfortable
if I had a question to ask. You know I was very
comfortable and they helped me out a lot times when I
didn’t know what I was doing or something like
that but, yeah… [laugh]>>That’s great. I think if there’s another
theme to Experiential Education that often is problem solving is
not seen just the transmission of knowledge, but how do I
tackle whether it’s a problem in a simulated classroom
from real events that I’m now engaging with in a
different way in the community, in the playground,
in a work setting. And that’s a wonderful
element to the learning process that again we should celebrate. But I know it’s that time
of the morning when a number of you have had this
thought bubble, whatever happened
to Rhonda Lenton? She was here. [Laughter] She was inspiring. We’ve had a whole bunch
of other stuff happen that has not been Rhonda
and we want her back. So please join me in
welcoming back Rhonda Lenton. [ Applause ]>>He’s such a tough
act to follow isn’t he? [Laughter] So listen Laura I
wanted to thank you very much and also the whole
team that is up here. I also really wanted to before
we go to our reflections to thank Avi and his whole team and also our keynote
speaker, David Tricke. You know when we have an event
like this it really reminds you about — you hear out
there in the media about the increasing importance of post-secondary education
not only because we’re in a knowledge economy and students increasingly
need more education to do well but the outside community
relies increasingly on post-secondary education. And when you see something
like this not only in terms of the impact that it has on
our own students but the impact that it has globally —
reaching out, you know, to students who might not
otherwise even have an opportunity for post-secondary
education. It really kind of reminds
all of us why we’re here and what the potential
is for this kind of academic transformation. Thank you very much. [Applause] So I just
first of all really want to give a final thank
you to all of you. Also to Avi Cohen
and Lorne Swanson who I knew they were
good teachers. I had no idea what good standup
comics they were, as well. I guess that contributes to
their talent in the classroom but also their whole
teams for coming and sharing with us today. I think what’s really impressive
and that we shouldn’t lose sight of is that we are trying
to give you a flavor today under the excellent
leadership of our AVP Teaching and Learning [inaudible]
of a little bit of what’s happening
at York University. But there’s also an
incredible amount of innovation and teaching and learning
already happening. And these were just a flavor of
the 39 projects, AIF projects that were funded in the
first year and then, another 14 in this second year. And so when you multiply what
you saw up here today by all of those projects it’s
really very quite impressive. And I guess the reflection
that I’m left with and what Sue has asked
me to do is what next. So where do we go from some
of this inspiration today and an opportunity to really
turn and reflect on teaching and learning that started with the Provost Green
Paper working groups, and the white paper, and the
high priority given to teaching and learning ,where
do we go now. And it really is about
a call to action. You know one of our
purposes today was to give you a little bit of
a flavor of what’s happening with the Academic
Innovation Fund projects. And I think that — I hope
that we’ve done that very well. But we also rolled
this event into one of the academic administrator’s
workshops that was intended for chairs and directors to give
an opportunity to really pull and engage chairs and
directors into thinking about what can you do within your own academic units
given the very exciting kinds of things that are going on? And I’ve been through a number of different presentations
lately around the impact of the digital revolution, on how that is transforming
education. And the question that’s always
asked when you have universities like Harvard and MIT
partnering to offer open access to their courses, the question
that we’re going to have to ask ourselves is that
what’s the additional value that we are going to bring
in that kind of environment to teaching and learning. And I think you saw glimmers
of it here today especially with York’s commitment
to blended learning and how we understand
the relationship between blended learning
and Experiential Education. It was suggested by a
gentleman I think out here who I’m sorry I can’t remember
who that was right now, but to the extent that you make
available the substances the content of learning
through online vehicles or by using technology
through web that really frees up the time in the
classroom to think about how can we use that time? How can we encourage
team building, encourage student engagement,
give students opportunities for hands-on learning? There can be an entire
transformation of what we see that will be happening
actually on campus that is very much related
to and complimentary to the digital revolution. So I hope that you found
today as inspiring as I did. I was very moved at different
times in the presentation. It’s really exciting. I think absolutely that York
University can be a leader when it comes to
teaching and learning and we can actually
demonstrate to naysayers that there is indeed
much innovation going on in universities when it
comes to teaching and learning. So I invite each of you to go
back to your academic units and to be thinking about how
can you embrace and engage and get involved
your colleagues, especially as we move
toward quality assurance and how we’re thinking
about competencies and student learning
outcomes for our students. How can you take up some of
this innovation that’s happening in your own units? Not that I don’t — I don’t
mean to imply that many of you are not already doing
so, so just to spur you on and encourage you to do more.

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