2019 Fall Meeting

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Friday, November 8, 2019, 10 am to 4 pm. Hosted by the University of Toronto.

This year’s Fall Meeting will be held at the University of Toronto on Friday, November 8, from 10 am–4 pm (registration 9:30 am–10 am). The meeting this year will embrace as its theme the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”), which roughly translates to “cozy”. We’ll speak more about hygge at the meeting, but consider reading this article for an overview of the concept. To support the theme, we invite everyone to come to the Fall Meeting in comfortable, cozy, clothing (think wool sweaters, comfortable pants, cozy socks/slippers, etc.)

We are looking forward to another exciting year of connecting with our colleagues, sharing practices and resources, and generating ideas for the coming year. The registration fee for the Fall Meeting is $45.00 which will include snacks, refreshments, and lunch. Payment receipts will be provided to all participants at the event.

Pre-Meeting Sessions

This year, there will be two half-day sessions on Thursday, November 7, at the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation in Robarts Library. Note: it is not necessary to register for the Fall Meeting on Friday to attend these sessions if you’re only interested in participating on Thursday.

9 am–1 pm: Educational Development: Getting Started

A session focused on exploring or pursuing a career in educational development will be held from 9 am–12 pm. This session will provide an opportunity for prospective and early-career educational developers or those exploring educational development as a career option to learn more about the profession and connect with colleagues. Registrants are also invited to stay for a brown-bag networking lunch from 12 pm–1 pm, which will provide an opportunity to connect with one another as well as others in the educational development community. Participants can either bring lunch with them or join a few colleagues to purchase lunch from a variety of nearby vendors.

This session is free for participants, and we encourage COED members to forward this invitation to GAs and TAs who may be interested in participating, as well as new colleagues who may not yet be aware of the COED community.

1:30 pm–4:30 pm: Curriculum Working Group Meeting

This half-day meeting will focus on discussion of case studies collected from members and attendees. Each case study will offer an opportunity to share ideas, practices and processes from our unique contexts. If you’re not a member of the Curriculum Working Group but you’re interested in curriculum development, please do join us! This session will cost $20.00 which will include snacks and refreshments. We also encourage registrants to attend the brown-bag networking lunch taking place immediately before the Curriculum Working Group session.

Fall Meeting Agenda

9:30–10:00am: Registration

10:00am–12:00pm: Morning Session

  • Introductions / Welcome
  • Fika
  • Check-in with Julia Colyar from COU
  • Research & ALS Group Updates

12:00–1:00pm: Lunch & Networking

1:00–4:00pm Afternoon Session

  • Mindfulness Workshop with Lianne Fisher
  • Hygge in Educational Development Work
  • Discussion Groups
  • Closing


Robarts Library (Thursday sessions): This map shows the entrance to Robarts Library, and once open you can click on Parking along the left-hand menu to see the closest lots. If you are taking transit, go to the St. George subway station, and walk a few blocks south to get to Robarts.

The sessions in Robarts will be held on the 4th floor at the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation. There is an elevator that can take you to the fourth floor if you enter at ground level or escalators from the main level of the library. Once you get to the 4th floor there will be signs directing you to the meeting space.

Victoria College (Friday session): The meeting will be held in Alumni Hall in Victoria College – there will be signs guiding you from the foyer. The picture below outlines all the buildings associated with Victoria University, and Victoria College (VC on the map) is where we’ll be. The parking lots are marked on the map, as is the nearest subway station (Museum station).

Accommodation Options

The closest hotel to the meeting location is the Intercontinental Yorkville, which is a 15-minute walk from Robarts Library. The hotel was not able to provide a group rate less than $300 per night, so we encourage registrants to search this hotel (or others downtown) on sites such as trivago.ca or booking.com for better pricing. Note that CTSI is less than a 10-minute walk from the St. George subway station, so hotels along the subway lines will still be convenient options.

Registrants may wish to consider Airbnb as an alternative to pricier hotel options. Consider locations in Yorkville, the Annex, or Harbord Village to be as close to the university as possible.

If you are planning to stay overnight, particularly on Friday the 8th, we recommend you book accommodations as soon as possible.

COED Fall Meeting Summary

On November 8th, over 50 colleagues gathered at the lovely Victoria College at the University of Toronto to partake in professional development activities and networking opportunities at the 2019 COED Fall Meeting. The theme of the 2019 meeting was the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”), which roughly translates to “cozy,” and in the spirit of hygge attendees came dressed in their comfy, cozy clothing.

After introductory remarks and the University of Toronto land acknowledgement (which included a call for reflection), Sally provided an overview of the 2018 Fall Meeting, and the activities of COED for the past year. Mid-morning, we broke up the presentations with a fika – a casual coffee and treat break, and a chance to connect with colleagues from our own and other institutions. Following the fika, Julia Coylar from the Council of Ontario Universities stopped in to give us an update on COU’s initiatives, and ways COED might be involved.

Prior to breaking for lunch, we heard from the current Action Learning Set coordinators and participants about their involvement with their ALS so far. All the groups expressed the value of their conversations with colleagues, and look forward to continuing to meet over the coming months. The current Action Learning Sets are as follows:

  • Experiential Education
  • Leadership in Educational Development
  • Onboarding and Faculty Development
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

We also had an update from two COED research groups: Paola Borin provided an update on the research she and colleagues had conducted on the inclusion of student voices in quality assurance, which they would be presenting at a conference the following week. Beth Hundey provided an update on the research on including non-traditional learning experiences in curriculum mapping, which is in the analysis stage.

Finally, we heard an update on the two Thursday pre-meeting sessions. The Fall Meeting pre-sessions kicked off with a workshop exploring the landscape of educational development geared at early-career and prospective EDs. The morning began with a brainstorming session on how we understand educational development, which yielded a thought-provoking discussion to lead into the rest of the session. Throughout the morning, participants and facilitators considered and problematized elements of the work such as the locations EDs occupy, the kinds of roles and titles we hold, the competencies and characteristics of our work, etc. The session concluded with a gallery walk where participants added questions they still had about areas of the profession, which provided an excellent segue into the networking lunch which followed the session. Participants were joined by several mid- and late-career educational developers who joined the morning participants for snacks and great conversation.

In the afternoon, the Curriculum Working Group met to collectively analyze 7 case studies on common issues in curriculum development, including topics such as educational developer burnout, assessment fatigue, learning outcomes skepticism, and so on. Following engaging and productive conversations on each of the cases, the group discussed the monthly meeting format, and brainstormed theme ideas for discussions throughout the year. The organizational reins passed from Veronica Brown and Erin Aspenleider to Beth Hundey and Heather Prangley.

During the lunch hour, a group gathered to discuss indigenous educational development, led by Jaimie Kechego from the University of Windsor. Others took advantage of the brisk, but lovely, day to take a walk around the beautiful Victoria College grounds.

Following the lunch hour, we saw the transition of roles within the COED Executive. Natasha May and Mandy Frake-Mistak concluded their three-year term, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the leadership, wisdom, and energy they brought to the COED Executive. Sally Heath transitioned into the role of Past-Chair after expertly guiding the Executive for the past year, and Jessie Richards moved into the role of Chair for 2019–2020. We are pleased to welcome Monica Vesely to the COED Executive in the role of Chair-Elect.

In the spirit of hygge, Lianne Fisher ran a session on mindfulness which had the group engaging in a variety of relaxing and centering exercises such as focused attention, alternate uses, the compound word grid, and mindful observation (which included a refreshing walk outdoors!) For those interested in learning more, Lianne has suggested some references which are included at the end of this post.

Following Lianne’s session on mindfulness, we continued with an exercise focused on the hygge theme. Each table was provided with a copy of The Hygge Manifesto, from Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge, and asked to consider how one or more of the concepts in the manifesto could inform their practice. In the large group debrief, representatives from each table noted the interconnectedness of many elements of the manifesto, and not only the challenges/barriers we face in upholding some of the elements, but also the potential we have for “making ed-dev cozier.”

The final activity of the day was a collection of topic-based group discussions determined by suggestions from the attendees throughout the day. We asked each group to write a “take-away tweet” — a summary of their conversation, or a salient point from their discussion, in 280 characters or less:

  • Need a model to explore your approach to “Educational Leadership”? #casestudies #explore #COED
  • How to get started in SoTL? Problems in teaching are just as valuable as problems in other disciplines. #ethicsapprovalsucks
  • Interdepartmental collaboration in Ed Dev. #mission #community #breakdownsilos #strategicplanning
  • No one knows what ed dev is (and classroom design). Lol. #eddelinquents #fakenews
  • Sessionals! Who are you? What do you need? How can we help? #sessionals #SMA3 #underrepresented
  • Continuous improvement is our target if only we had a few more darts! #funding #delicatebalance #followup #decanalsupport #policy

The day concluded with a Start-Stop-Continue exercise to collect feedback from attendees. Some feedback centered on the Fall Meeting itself, with many supporting the current format, and a few helpful suggestions to improve activities and logistics. Other comments focused on other elements of COED, with themes emerging around professional development opportunities throughout the year, communications/connections with the membership, and general kudos. We are so appreciative of the level of engagement and enthusiasm we see in this community, and we look forward to a phenomenal year ahead!

Mindfulness Resources

Barbezat, D. P. & Bush, M. (2014). Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fujino, M., Ueda, Y., Mizuhara, H., Saiki, J., & Nomura, M. (2018). Open monitoring meditation reduces the involvement of brain regions related to memory function. Scientific Reports, 8:9968, 1–10.

Kaufman, S. B., & Gregoire, C. (2015). Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. New York, NY: Perigee.

Nittono, H., Fukushima, M., Yano, A., & Moriya, H. (2012). The power of Kawaii: Viewing cute images promotes a careful behavior and narrows attentional focus. PLOS ONE, 7(9), 1–7.

Oppezzo, M. & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 40(4), 1142–1152.

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