Education Discussion Group Schedule

All meetings occur at 11:10 am in the second-floor lounge of the Astronomy Building at 50 St. George Street, unless otherwise noted.

Is there a topic you'd like to see covered at the EDG? Is there a speaker you'd like to hear from? Send your ideas to Mike Reid at mike.reid@utoronto.ca


Summer, 2011

Dr. Lisa Hunter

Topic TBA

Lee Robbins

Preparing your students to write great essays.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dr. Aaron Price, AAVSO

Topic TBA


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Connection Between Student Demographics and Learning

Students at the University of Toronto are an amazingly diverse group. Have you ever wondered whether particular demographic groups tend to excel in astronomy classes? If demographics are correlated with higher performance, can the demographic data inform our efforts to help the lower-performing students? At tomorrow's Education Discussion Group, we'll discuss a recent paper which explored at least the first of these questions using a statistically rigorous study of Astro 101 students from 69 different classes. It's a fascinating paper. If you don't have the time or inclination to read the whole thing before the EDG meeting, do feel free to skip to the conclusions. They're quite thorough.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Greg Dick, Perimeter Institute

Greg will bring us up to speed on the current outreach initiatives in which the Perimeter Institute is involved, with the goal of helping us identify outreach priorities for the Dunlap Insitute.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Astronomy Curriculum in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

As suggested by Anne-Marie, the EDG meeting this week will focus on introducing the newer and less experienced members of the department to the general layout of the astronomy program within the department. The idea will be to go over which courses are taught, the styles in which they are taught, the types of students who take each course, and the opportunities for grad students and postdocs to get involved in some of the teaching done in our courses.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Education and outreach plans for the Dunlap Institute

The Dunlap Institute (DI) has a mandate to engage in both education and outreach activities. The Director of the DI, James Graham, has asked the EDG to come up with a list of people we'd like the DI to invite to come visit, give talks, or lead workshops on the topic of education. This is our opportunity to pool our ideas and pass the best ones along to James.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011 -- POSTPONED

Education and outreach plans for the Dunlap Institute

The Dunlap Institute (DI) has a mandate to engage in both education and outreach activities. The Director of the DI, James Graham, has asked the EDG to come up with a list of people we'd like the DI to invite to come visit, give talks, or lead workshops on the topic of education. This is our opportunity to pool our ideas and pass the best ones along to James.


Wednesday January 19, 2011

The Planetarium

Join us for a discussion about the capabilties of the planetarium, the ways it can be incorporated into undergraduate (and graduate?) courses, as well as our hopes for future upgrades.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Illusions of Rigor

As instructors, many of us emphasize rigor by setting high expectations, hard deadlines, and ambitious syllabi. However, is it possible that we are doing our students a disservice by emphasizing rigor? We will review some intriguing examples of professors who have deliberately become less rigorous, with some surprising results.


TUESDAY November 30, 2010

Special Guest: 2010 President's Teaching Award Winner, Robert Brym

PLEASE NOTE THE SPECIAL TIME, CHOSEN TO ACCOMMODATE OUR GUEST.

Robert Brym teaches the large-format lecture course, Sociology 101 (SOC 101 web page). He has won numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Outstanding Contribution Award of the Canadian Sociology Assocation and the Northrop Frye Award. His course uses many innovative teaching strategies not currently in wide use in astronomy courses. He will come and share some of his wisdom with us about how to teach large courses well, as well as how to be a generally effective educator. Questions and interaction are strongly encouraged.