As many of you will know, I’ve been on a two year sabbatical/administrative leave. Sadly it is coming to an end in January (but I have been productive: see here, here, and here for a detailed accounting). However, I’m very excited about what is next.
After more than two decades as an administrator who taught courses off the side of his desk, I’m delighted that for the next two years I’ve been seconded full time to teach in the wonderful First Year Seminar (FYS) program at Guelph.
In the Winter 2014 semester I’ll be teaching two courses: Beyond Literacy: Exploring a Post-Literate Future and The Social Life of Information (the latter with Doug Horne, Amanda Etches, and MJ D’Elia).
In addition I’ll be the project manager on a special six month investigation for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). The folks at CRKN have developed a strategic direction called the Integrated Digital Scholarship Ecology (IDSE) which envisions an interconnected digital environment to support research and scholarship in Canada. My role is to document what is already happening in this area and to explore emergent opportunities which can contribute to the CRKN mandate.
Also during the next six months I’ll be developing a number of new FYS courses. In Fall 2014 I will be offering The Book: From Gutenberg to Gaga to Gone? and for Winter 2015 I’ll be teaching Surveillance Culture: Who’s Watching Whom? Other possible courses for development include something on spam, viruses, and phishing as well as a course on digital productivity tools (from a critical information perspective).
These interdisciplinary courses are really scaffolding for learning environments focused on helping students become more advanced learners. They are capped at 18 students (yes, 18; wonderful for the students and for me) and are all enquiry or problem-based in design.
BTW, for those of you interested in some research on our FYS program, I would suggest:
Murray, J. & Summerlee. A.J.S. (2007). The impact of problem-based learning in an interdisciplinary first-year program on student learning behaviour. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 37 (3), 85-105.
Summerlee, A. & Murray, J. (2010). A study of the impact of enquiry-based learning on academic performance and student engagement. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 40 (2), 78-94.
I will continue to be located in the Library and involved as much as possible in library issues and events. It will be very exciting to focus on teaching and learning, and to see the Library and CCS from a new perspective. Here’s to a new beginning.