For almost a thousand years, the academy has been a collegial, self-governed community of scholars, gathered around shared resources, and designed to advance the frontiers of knowledge through research. Particularly at research-intensive universities, tenured faculty compete to avoid undergraduate teaching – and undergraduate learning is an entirely different thing. From convoluted bureaucracies and a plethora of deadlines, to the semester system and course credit model, to lecture theatres and multiple-choice exams, many fundamental aspects of the modern university seem as though they were in fact designed to impede student success. As provincial governments start to consider performance-based funding for higher education, as increasing participation rates bring less and less prepared students to our campuses, and as skilled labour shortages loom in the decades ahead, it is becoming crucial to rethink our assumptions in order to enhance the success of every student. In this lively and provocative presentation, Ken Steele will get your audience thinking about student success, and just what a learner-centred institution would really look like.
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