2019 Symposium on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Keynote Information


Elizabeth Marquis, PhD

Elizabeth Marquis is an Assistant Professor in the Arts & Science Program and the School of the Arts at McMaster University and Associate Director (Research) at McMaster’s Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation, and Excellence in Teaching. She is a former co-President (with Katarina Mårtensson) of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL), and currently serves as Senior Editor of the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and co-Editor of the International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP). Beth’s SoTL research focuses primarily on the intersections between teaching and learning and questions of equity and justice, and on film and media texts as public pedagogy. She’s also committed to supporting and researching student-staff partnerships in postsecondary education, and co-developed and currently oversees McMaster’s Student Scholars Program (SPP)—an initiative that supports more than 200 students, faculty, and staff at McMaster to work in partnership on teaching and learning projects annually. Alongside student and staff colleagues, she’s also leading a SSHRC funded project that assesses the potential of an equity-focused stream of the SPP to contribute to equity and inclusion in postsecondary teaching and learning. Beth publishes and presents regularly (often in partnership with students), and her work can be found in journals such as The Canadian Journal of Higher Education; Higher Education Research & Development; The International Journal for Academic Development; Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education; Pedagogy, Culture, & Society; Teaching in Higher Education; and Teaching & Learning Inquiry.

Opening Keynote Presentation: Engaging as Partners: Student-Faculty Partnership and the Promise of More Equitable Institutions.

A growing body of scholarship demonstrates the benefits of student-faculty/staff partnership in teaching, learning, and SoTL. When students and faculty or staff collaborate actively on teaching and learning projects, opportunities for mutual learning and growth are established, and curricula, scholarship, and teaching and learning practices are often enhanced. This interactive keynote address will explore the ways in which such partnership approaches interface with issues of equity and inclusion in postsecondary education. In particular, I will consider the increasingly common claim that engaging as partners can contribute to redressing entrenched inequities in colleges and universities, illustrating the real potential of partnership in this regard while also articulating some cautions and potential complications.

Drawing on a range of research that documents the perspectives and experiences of university students, faculty, and staff who occupy a variety of institutional positions and social locations, I will propose a series of principles that might enhance our capacity to contribute to educational equity via student-faculty/staff partnership. Participants will be invited to consider the ways in which they engage (or do not engage) in partnership in their own work, to critique and build on these proposed principles, and to collectively explore how we might (better) contribute to equity in our institutions through our teaching, learning, and SoTL endeavours.


Kara Loy

Kara Loy is Associate Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, British Columbia (BC) and a current Councilor with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), undergraduate research programs division. Prior to joining TRU she worked at the University of Saskatchewan, most recently as the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Research Initiative, and previously as Campus Consultant for English for Academic Purposes (EAP). As an advocate for finding more joy, fun and connection in our experiences of academia, she is a proponent of international and intercultural collaborative teaching and scholarship in digital spaces. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary in the area of Educational Leadership. In this research she is looking into how professors are leading change in Canadian higher education through professional practices and networks relating to their research, teaching and service. Her primary delight in serving as a post-secondary administrator is in supporting transformative experiences for students, faculty and staff. Ideally, these experiences reflect valuing students as partners, building students’ professional skills through experiential learning, and leading innovative and reflective practices. You can follow Kara Loy on twitter @kllever1.

Closing Keynote Presentation: Harvesting SOTL from the Fields

From recent work at two distinct universities in Western Canada, I am concerned with how to effectively cultivate a culture of excellence in teaching and learning and discovery. In this address, I will share how a collaborative pedagogy of discovery invigorated first-year students, graduate student research coaches, and faculty as essential and reciprocal partners in learning, research, and scholarship. The benefits reaped are based on cooperative learning, increasing students’ skills, autonomy, willingness to fail and rebound, and a focus on having fun. As an administrator carrying out combined research, teaching & learning, and student engagement aims, I reflect on the journey taken alongside students, staff, and faculty colleagues as we raised a culture of undergraduate research as a teaching approach across the first five years of the FYRE (first-year research experience) initiative at a research-oriented university in the Canadian prairies. From this yield, I will share stories, using evidence and anecdotes, that have sown the seeds of discovery in students from the outset of their degree studies. When we start with professors willing to do blue-sky planning centered around offering students mentored yet self-directed research opportunities, we cultivate students’ scholarly and professional skills in ways that harness their appetite for discovery and knowledge building. The experience has also enhanced upper-level undergraduate and graduate students’ proficiency with providing facilitation, mentorship and formative feedback. In addition, the process of innovating teaching and learning practices has also dependably inspired professors to wade more confidently into the field of SoTL. I will uncover what challenges persist in the planning and execution stages, but mainly I will foreground how this is a deeply rewarding approach for most participants. Notably, this address will explore this question and potentiality: What can be gleaned from coordinated efforts to plant 2800 annual undergraduate research and inquiry experiences in existing classes? What of this approach might yield something of value for you and your institution?