The second annual Sheridan Creates | A Conference of Scholars, Creators and Innovators was held last month at HMC. The event welcomed over 170 professors and staff for a day-long celebration of Sheridan’s outstanding scholarly, research, and creative activities.  The Conference integrated a strong pedagogical component this year through a partnership with Sheridan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, which designated the event as the final step in the Teaching & Learning Academy (TLA).

The day began with welcome remarks by Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s new Provost and Vice President, Academic, who congratulated all conference presenters and exhibitors on their remarkable work and reinforced that SRCA is a strategic priority for Sheridan. “SRCA drives deep learning and creates opportunities to engage our community partners,” she said. “Today is an important opportunity to celebrate our progress and achievements in building a culture of SRCA at Sheridan.” 

Dr. David Pace, Emeritus Professor of European History at Indiana University, delivered a thoughtful opening keynote address on identifying and addressing the emotional bottlenecks and barriers to learning across disciplines, a teaching paradigm he developed with a team at Indiana University called decoding. Dr. Pace encouraged professors to not only think about what information students need to learn, but the many supporting skills they need to develop in order to master the topic – and what roadblocks may prevent them from doing so.   
The first 150 conference participants received the very first editions of his book, The Decoding the Disciplines Paradigm: Seven Steps to Increased Student Learning, which was officially released that day.

Following the keynote address, attendees browsed the TLA participants’ teaching and learning research project posters and attended various workshops. Throughout the day, attendees learned about their colleagues’ SRCA accomplishments during a series of 35 concurrent breakout sessions. Session content spanned history, technology, art, social innovation, and more. They included speed “teach-geeking” sessions where professors shared brief snapshots of their work and offered pedagogical takeaways.

As part of these concurrent sessions, applicants to the 2016 Presidents’ Creative Challenge on building community presented their diverse ideas to an adjudication panel and their peers, who cast their vote for the Challenge’s People’s Choice winner. Additional submissions will be reviewed on separate adjudication dates following the conference, and the winners will be announced in the Spring.

Dr. Mardy Frazer, Special Advisor, SRCA, announced the recipients of the second round of SRCA Growth Grants over the lunch break, noting the increase in applicants and growing diversity of project ideas. View a full list of winners here. (PDF) 

During lunch, Janet also spoke briefly about the 6 academic priorities that are currently being drafted as part of Sheridan’s new academic plan and invited conference participants to provide their thoughts and feedback on those priorities.

The day concluded with the latest event in the Creative Campus Series, sponsored by TD Bank. Ben Weinlick, founder of ThinkJar Collective and Senior Leader, Research and Social Innovation – SKILLS Society in Canada, took participants through the human-centred design thinking approach that has fueled his team’s research and how these principles can help nurture a culture of innovation at the organizational level.

The Conference Steering Committee would like to thank all the presenters, exhibitors and attendees for supporting Sheridan Creates. The collective involvement of the Sheridan community in this event is what makes it an enriching and valuable experience.

A special thank you to the Sheridan Creates Steering Committee for their valuable contributions and efforts in planning the 2nd annual Conference of Scholars, Creators and Innovators! Members of the Steering Committee are: Peggy Barnwell, Gail Bromell, Julie Dempsey, Mardy Frazer, Cindy Gillett, Catherine Hale, John Helliker, Pamela Ingleton, David Joron, Yael Katz, Christian Knudsen, Sean McNabney, Ronni Rosenberg, Sara Rumsey, Stephen Smith, Daniel Tebbutt, Dave Wackerlin and Cherie Werhun.

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