Simon Bates joined UBC in the summer of 2012, and was previously Dean of Learning and Teaching and Professor of Physics Education at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is currently tenured Professor of Teaching in Physics and Astronomy, and the Senior Advisor to the Provost on teaching and learning at the University of British Columbia.
The 21st Century Educator: anatomy and a case study from introductory science
Our teaching and learning roles are becoming more complex: increasing class sizes; more heterogeneous cohorts in terms of prior study and future aspiration; increasing transparency and accountability; and a rapidly changing technology landscape. So what does it really mean to be a teacher in HE in this context?
In this talk, I will offer my view on the expertise, habits and values that a 21st century educator needs to possess and refine in order not just to survive, but to thrive in the future. In addition to the obvious mastery of content within one's own discipline, I suggest that we require a whole host of additional expertise, including an appreciation and understanding of what research can tell us about how people learn, an openness to the promise (and limitations) of technology to support teaching and learning and above all, a scholarly approach to the business of teaching.
I will illustrate how some of these principles can be put into action, starting with relatively small, practical steps, using action research work from my own teaching of introductory physics at UBC. This example case study focuses on students as producers of learning and assessment content in the form of student-created assessments, and illustrates how several years of incrementally increasing and iterative enquiry can built a platform for research into teaching and learning effectiveness.