On Monday, March 22, 2010, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) launched the book Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which calls for better teaching practices to improve student learning outcomes at Ontario’s institutions.
Edited by Julia Christensen Hughes and Joy Mighty, the book resulted from a research symposium sponsored by HEQCO, held in the spring of 2008. The symposium assessed the current state of knowledge about student learning in higher education and the implications for teaching.
Opening remarks from co-editors Christensen Hughes and Mighty and one of the book’s contributors Alan Wright included discussion on the genesis and key findings (video clip), implications of this research (video clip), and how we may use these findings to improve student learning and faculty engagement in teaching at our institutions.
Following the remarks, a lengthy discussion ensued. When asked what the government could do, with limited resources, to advance this issue, and what can be done to advance and legitimize the scholarship of teaching and learning at our institutions, Christensen Hughes, Mighty, and Wright suggested the following:
- Better education, dissemination, and uptake of this research;
- Focusing on curriculum assessment and development;
- More efficient resource allocation;
- Reviewing the reward structure; and
- Changing the culture of the institution.
Christensen Hughes concludes that both teaching and research can coexist, but things will need to change in order to ensure that one is not more valued than the other. More evidence is needed to inform future decision-making and to ensure that we are using resources as effectively as we can.
The book features a compilation of essays by internationally renowned experts in teaching and learning. For more information about the book, visit http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=2425.