One-day symposium will help faculty develop new teaching methods for inquiry and problem-based learning

By Philip Wood, Faculty of Engineering, June 9, 2000

On Tuesday, June 13, the McMaster Centre for Leadership in Learning and the Faculty of Engineering are sponsoring a one-day symposium titled "Helping Students Become More Self-Directed in their Learning.

The symposium is being held in honour of Don Woods, professor of chemical engineering, who is retiring after 36 years at McMaster University. Don is widely regarded as a worldwide authority on teaching and learning with particular emphasis on small
group, problem-based learning and problem solving. He has won virtually every teaching award for which he is eligible, including the McMaster President's Award, which he has won twice.

The symposium will have eight presenters who will speak on topics ranging from assessment, to inquiry, to problem-based learning and teaching the teachers. All of the speakers are recognized experts in teaching and learning. The full program and registration information are available on the CLL Web site at "http://www.mcmaster.ca/learning"

The recently approved McMaster University Academic Plan strongly supports the notion that students should become more empowered in their learning. This requires that faculty adopt new teaching methods such as inquiry seminars and problem-based learning. A common concern expressed by faculty members is that they don't know where to go to get help or where to start. This symposium will be a very useful introduction to these new teaching methods. Topics such as
assessment, content versus process, and applications in different fields of study will be presented.

The symposium will be held in Room 264, John Hodgins Engineering,
beginning at 9 a.m. The cost is $25, which includes lunch and a reception in Convocation Hall and can be paid at registration. Some of the leading educators in Ontario will be present, so please come out to learn about: Helping Students Become More Self-Directed in Their Learning.