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MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY

Faculty of Teaching and Learning

STRATEGIC PLAN 2012


Vision Inspired teaching, transformative learning, vibrant communities.


Mission Providing inspiration, leadership and support to the advancement of teaching and learning at Mount Royal University. The Faculty of Teaching and Learning draws together several academic units, each committed in its own way to supporting and advancing excellence in teaching and learning at Mount Royal University. The Academic Development Centre (ADC) provides a range of faculty services related to teaching enhancement, technology integration, curriculum design, assessment, media production and audio/ video conferencing. As well, the ADC oversees the START Program, which supports students in the effective use of learning technologies. The Department of Education and Schooling is responsible for delivery of undergraduate teacher education programs, at present the four-year Bachelor of Education, Elementary. The Department of General Education oversees the general education provision within Mount Royal’s academic programs, and administers the University

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Entrance Option, a recently-launched access program for students wishing to gain future admission to an MRU degree. Finally, the Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, one of the University’s research centres, supports faculty conducting scholarly inquiries aimed at understanding and improving student learning. In addition to unit-specific roles and responsibilities, the Faculty provides leadership to the planning and implementation of a variety of university-wide initiatives related to teaching and learning at MRU, the Mount Royal Assessment Seminar, the University’s e-Learning strategic plan, and the Distinguished Faculty Awards program serving as recent examples. Across the units comprising the Faculty of Teaching and Learning, more than 50 full-time faculty and staff work to fulfill the mission of the Faculty in support of the University’s vision: inspiring learning for a world of possibilities.

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Values Excellent Teaching

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Acknowledging that excellent teaching takes many forms, we value teaching that is learning-centred, passionate, reflective and informed by scholarship.

Engaged Learning We value integrative and intentional learning experiences and environments that are respectful, dialogic and reflective. We recognize that significant learning occurs in the classroom and outside of it, in both curricular and cocurricular settings, and that learning is strengthened when connections are made across contexts.

Research and Critical Insight

Community and Collaboration

Reflection and Renewal

We value the diversity of interests inspiring research and scholarship within our faculty. While respecting modes of inquiry in the disciplines, we welcome creative amendments to disciplinary orthodoxies and engagements with the unfamiliar across the full range of Boyer’s scholarships.

Grounded in respectful communication and open-minded discourse, we recognize that effective collaboration and development of community with colleagues and partners strengthens our work and is critical to the success of our programming and initiatives.

We acknowledge the importance of critical reflection and professional development to our growth and renewal, individually and collectively.

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Background

Building on Mount Royal’s longstanding commitment to teaching and learning of the highest quality, the Faculty of Teaching and Learning was launched in October 2007. This unique Faculty was created to support the institution’s vision of becoming a different type of teaching-focused university and to accentuate the primacy of teaching and learning in the face of transition to university status. The new Faculty drew together four academic units (one long-standing and three yet-to-be created) – the Academic Development Centre, the Department of Education and Schooling, the Department of General Education, and the Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The four units within the Faculty would each be committed to championing Mount Royal’s mission of creating exceptional learning experiences, and would have in common the need to work collaboratively with other Faculties and departments across the institution, operating more horizontally than vertically.

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The first several years of the Faculty’s history have been developmental — creating new departments and organizational structures; implementing new curriculum and initiatives; recruiting faculty and staff; cultivating relationships with colleagues; and securing the resources needed to fulfill its mandate. Our work is only beginning, but with many of the building blocks now in place, we turn our attention to the Faculty’s first strategic plan. The strategic planning process was launched in 2011, led by a sub-committee of the FoTL Faculty Council. In the course of its work, the committee articulated shared values, identified core strengths, and brainstormed opportunities going forward. Seven areas of strategic priority, and specific goals related to these areas, were identified. We believe that the priorities which follow are aligned with directions in the 2011 Academic Plan, and with Mount Royal’s goal of becoming Canada’s premiere undergraduate university.

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strategic Priorities and goals Excellence in Teaching and Learning Mount Royal is an undergraduate university focused on teaching and learning informed by scholarship. For over 100 years Mount Royal has emphasized teaching and learning of the highest quality. In alignment with the missions of both the University and the Faculty, we will: » advance scholarly teaching practices, within our units and across the university. » draw on scholarly literature in teaching and learning to inform our practice. » encourage and support innovations in teaching and learning, and serve as a locus for their implementation and evaluation. » foster understanding and improvement of learning and teaching through assessment and scholarship related to teaching and learning. » create opportunities for substantive dialogue about teaching and learning and how to improve it. » encourage networks of shared interest and communities of practice in teaching and learning . » facilitate the recognition and celebration of excellence in teaching and learning. » provide leadership and advocacy for the centrality of teaching and learning at MRU.

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The Student Experience

Scholarship

With a view to fostering an environment that supports positive, engaging and enriching student experiences, and a vibrant community of learners, we will: » facilitate student involvement in undergraduate research, learning communities, community service learning, experiential learning, study abroad opportunities and other high-impact practices. » sponsor activities and events to foster intellectual engagement of students beyond the classroom. » encourage and support alternative curricular and delivery models to enhance engagement and student learning. » create opportunities for, and encourage student involvement in, co-curricular activities including governance, volunteering, on-campus employment and other forms of engagement on and off campus. » engage in dialogue with students and student leaders about their experience in FoTL programs, or more broadly across the university.

Acknowledging the critical role of universities in knowledge creation and dissemination, and appreciating that scholarship can both inform and enrich teaching, we will: » support and mentor colleagues in the formulation and attainment of their diverse scholarship goals. » provide institutional leadership and support for research related to teaching and learning, including Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. » encourage and support the effective integration of faculty members’ scholarship and teaching practice. » foster student involvement in research and assist students in the dissemination of their work internally and externally. » utilize Scholars Council as a forum for discussion of research-related issues and as a planning body for events showcasing the scholarly work of FoTL faculty, staff and students. » ensure active participation of FoTL on universitywide committees and task forces related to research and scholarship.

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Communication, Collaboration and Partnerships With a view to fostering community and forging strategic collaborations to advance the work of the Faculty, we will: » undertake varied approaches to informing the University and its communities about the work of the FoTL, its strategic priorities and achievements. » engage faculty/staff across the university in the planning and delivery of FoTL programming and initiatives, as appropriate. » seek opportunities for intra-faculty collaboration and synergy to strengthen our internal function and our cross-institutional work. » pursue collaborations with faculty and staff across the university that support departmental, Faculty or institutional objectives. » seek partnerships with individuals and organizations external to MRU that support and advance the work of the FoTL and its academic units (e.g. advisory boards, STLHE, ISSOTL, school boards, Ministry, industry, etc). » advance communication and collaboration objectives of the FoTL through appointments to university-wide committees and working groups.

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Planning and Reflection

People, Resources, Space

In efforts to continually improve the programs, initiatives and operation of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning, and recognizing the value of evidence-informed planning and decision-making, we will: » utilize institutional and departmentally-collected assessment data to inform Faculty-level and program planning. » ensure ongoing assessment of FoTL initiatives, courses and programs, including the assessment of student learning in FoTL academic programs. » engage in academic program review and evaluation as per university policy, and assist academic departments across MRU to build capacity for same. » cultivate an environment which encourages and supports the involvement of faculty and staff in Faculty-level governance, planning and decision-making . » initiate an internal, formative, 5-year assessment of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning with a view to strengthening its functioning and outcomes over the next 5 years. » review and update the FoTL Strategic Plan yearly, and use it to inform annual planning exercises at the Faculty and department level.

The Faculty’s ability to fulfill its mission and to achieve success in the aforementioned areas of priority is contingent on adequate human, physical and financial resources. Over the next three to five years, we will endeavor to: » optimize available resources — personnel, funding, space — to carry out mandated programming and initiatives. » augment current faculty/staff complement, in alignment with need, through cross-appointments, secondments, collaborations and new hiring (budget permitting). » encourage and facilitate faculty/staff/student engagement in professional development. » support faculty moving through tenure and promotion processes. » address space needs — short-term and long-term. » secure external funding to support scholarships, bursaries, programming and initiatives, in collaboration with the Mount Royal Foundation.

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Programming and Initiatives Resources permitting, academic units in the Faculty of Teaching and Learning will grow and diversify their programming base over the next three to five years. Our goals in this area include: Academic Development Centre › Re-design full time faculty orientation and support program › Review ADC programs and services › Implement e-Learning strategic plan recommendations › Support implementation of recommendations in Academic Plan (e.g. high-impact practices) › Support CAQC program reviews › Implement planning processes and user support best practices for educational technology in collaboration with IT Services › Support the evolution of student peer tutoring in the use of technologies through the START Program

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Department of Education and Schooling › Five-year combined degrees › Teacher assistant certificate › Post-degree specializations › Collaborative BEd with other post-secondary institutions › Internationalization initiatives Department of General Education › Curricular pathways and collaborative minors › Upper-level curriculum development (e.g. capstone experiences, study abroad experiences) › Experiential learning › Community engagement initiatives › Degree collaborations with college partners › Further development of the UGST suite of courses Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning › Grow Nexen Scholars program internally and beyond › Launch collective/collaborative SoTL inquiry initiative › Nurture and grow the SoTL community internally › Build partnerships with external organizations including ISSoTL, STLHE and AACU › Expand outreach through new and existing public events › Continue fundraising efforts and building of endowment

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suMMary The plan was approved by the FoTL Faculty Council in 2012. It is intended that this plan be a living document, revisited annually and updated regularly. We hope that this inaugural plan for the Faculty of Teaching and Learning provides a foundation upon which future plans can build, and that it serves to inform the University and its stakeholders of the important work the Faculty of Teaching and Learning is undertaking — with, and for, the students and faculty of Mount Royal University.

acknowledgeMents Many thanks go to the members of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning Strategic Planning Committee. Without their time and energy this plan would not have been possible. Thanks also to the many faculty and staff of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning who participated in consultations along the way and provided feedback and suggestions. We hope the end-result of our efforts is of value to you and contributes to the work we do together. FoTL Strategic Planning Committee Members

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Karim Dharamsi Theresa Matus Melanie Rathburn Amanda Veinotte

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Irene Naested Barbara Russo Norm Vaughan Mary-Ann Ciupak

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Jodi Nickel Richard Gale Michelle Yeo Jim Zimmer (Committee Chair)

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mtroyal.ca


Faculty of Teaching & Learning Strategic Plan 2012