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Friday, November 16, 2018


Improving the way we assess teaching and learning at Waterloo

A message from the Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team.

The Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team (CTAPT), formed in winter 2018, has a mission to research and develop methods of assessing teaching and learning, and to consult widely with the University of Waterloo community about best practices.

Our work is part of a larger initiative across campus to improve the way we assess teaching and learning at Waterloo. CTAPT is working separate from the work of the Course Evaluation Project Team on the Student Course Perception Survey. CTAPT's goal is to recommend additional methods that can be used campus-wide to complement course evaluations. For example, this could include peer evaluation or teaching dossiers.

CTAPT recognizes that there are many different modes of teaching on campus, including undergraduate, graduate, in-class, online, lectures, labs, seminars, supervision, and so on.  Our goal is to make recommendations that are useful for both formative assessment (i.e. that instructors can use to improve their teaching practice) and summative assessment (i.e. that can be used in performance reviews and tenure and promotion decisions).

Our next steps are to confirm an appropriate definition of effective teaching at the University, to search the literature for evidence and best practices of various methods of assessing teaching, and to perform an environmental scan to see what practices similar universities in Canada and abroad use.

The team members are:

  • Matthew Gerrits, Federation of Students
  • Fatma Gzara, Department of Management Sciences
  • Trevor Holmes, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • Arnold Kwok, Graduate Student Association
  • Linda McNenly, Centre for Teaching Excellence
  • John (Jay) Michela, Department of Psychology
  • Rudy Peariso, Centre for Extended Learning
  • Cynthia Richard, School of Pharmacy
  • Matthew Robbins, Graduate Student Association
  • Ian VanderBurgh, Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing

The team will be consulting with various campus groups in early 2019.

Expressions of Interest now open for the Waterloo ExL Institute

Thinking about adding an experiential learning (EL) component to your course or program?

The Waterloo ExL Institute will be offered for the first time on Monday, February 25 and Monday, March 4, 2019.

Through peer feedback and guided work time, this intensive two-day Institute will guide individuals or teams through the process of integrating an experiential learning component to their course or program. In addition, Institute participants will be eligible to apply for the Waterloo ExL Institute Project Grant. The Grant will provide funding up to $5,000 to support costs associated with implementing the experiential learning component.

By the end of the Institute participants will develop a comprehensive plan for the creation and implementation of their EL component including the pedagogy, experience, assessment, and reflection. 

Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate integration of the EL component into the program curriculum. Teams seeking to link an assignment or assignments "horizontally" (across courses in a term) or "vertically" (across courses in different terms or years), are encouraged to apply. The Institute provides you with space, time, expertise, and peer feedback.

Individual participants or team leads can submit an Expression of Interest for the Institute onlineThe deadline to apply is December 7, 2018.

Questions? Email Amanda Brown at a58brown@uwaterloo.ca.

Women's volleyball team on a hot streak

The women's volleyball team celebrates during a game.

This article was originally published on the Athletics website.

There's a reason the Warriors women's volleyball team is ranked the sixth best in the country, and they proved it again on Sunday at home taking out the 2018 OUA bronze medalists, Western Mustangs in straight sets (20, 14, 21). 

It's the fourth straight sweep for the Warriors and fifth win overall. In those five matches, Waterloo has dropped just one set.

Claire Mackenzie was absolutely lethal for the black and gold with 14 kills and a hitting percentage of .500. She also added one block and nine digs in the win. Mackenzie sits third in the OUA in kills per set at 3.81.

Sarah Glynn had another huge game with 12 kills and one block while Samantha Warner was very efficient in her attack putting away four kills on five attempts. Warner also picked up two blocks.

Setting up the Warriors was Claire Gagne who added to her season total with 33 more assists. Gagne leads the OUA in assists per set at 10.36.

On the defence, Sarah Remedios and Brooklyn Gallant each had 11 digs.

"It was a very good weekend for us both offensively and defensively," said head coach Richard Eddy. "We played sound volleyball in all six sets at home and I am very proud of our efforts. We like where we are at but there's always work to do and we will continue to improve each match."

Waterloo is now tops in the OUA with a 5-0 record and head into a break next weekend. The Warriors resume play on Friday, November 23 at McMaster before closing out the calendar year the next night in St. Catharines against Brock. 

Remembering Earl Stieler

Earl Stieler holds a piece of artwork.Retiree Earl Stieler, longtime technical director of the Theatre of the Arts and Humanities Theatre, died on Tuesday, November 13 at the age of 94.

An accountant by trade, Stieler worked for the B.F. Goodrich Rubber Company and was active in community organizations like the K-W Little Theatre, K-W Musical Productions, and the Twin Cities Operatic Societies designing sets for stage productions.

By the mid-1960s, he had decorated for most of the major community events in all the major halls and venues in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including the Kitchener Auditorium for the 1967 Centennial Ball celebration. Bigger still, however, was the 1957 City of Waterloo Centennial Pageant, which featured an 80-foot-high, three-tiered stage, a cast and crew of 250 and a battle scene with special effects.

In 1966 he made a career change and joined the University of Waterloo as technical director for the Theatre of the Arts.

In 1969, when the Humanities Theatre opened, Stieler also became its front-of-house and backstage manager, and eventually technical director as well.

As technical director, Stieler was responsible for theatre facilities, paying attention to every little detail and constantly meeting deadlines, keeping equipment in working conditions, hanging stage lights and making sure there were ushers on hand.

Theatre events included performances by drama, dance, and music students and shows for the professional program such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, touring theatre companies and musical groups.

"I often had to find accommodation and meals for the performers," Stieler once told the Gazette. "All the rock stars had specific needs for refreshments and food for the dressing rooms. They wanted the best."

Stieler recalled one musical group from Russia that required tea with lemon for every break in the program, even if they went offstage for only five minutes.

In 1981, Stieler took on the administration of the University of Waterloo's Art Gallery, which was located on the main floor in the Modern Languages building, in the Theatre of the Arts lobby. Stieler added the title of gallery director to his job description. As director, he looked after the art gallery and suggested shows to an advisory committee as curator, negotiated contracts, collected artworks and ensured they were properly mounted and displayed, and organized receptions for the exhibitions.

Stieler also took on the acquisition of sculptures to be displayed on campus. The University didn't have an acquisitions budget, but ironically the insurance settlement that resulted from the 1978 destruction of an early campus installation, "Convolution" by Ed Zelanak, was used to acquire more sculptures and artwork.

In addition to designing and painting sets, Stieler also designed floral arrangements and floats for University events and parades, including the award-winning float for the University's 25th anniversary in 1982.

Stieler retired in September 1991.

A memorial service will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home at 171 King St. S. on Saturday, November 17 at 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow in the Fireside Reception Room.

"The curtain had to go up at 8," Stieler once said of his work as technical director. "Everyone coming into the theatre was your boss. But it was a joy to work with the kaleidoscope of people."

Celebrating the Celebration 2017 Legacy Project

An overhead view of the redesigned arts quad, featuring the green of a circuit board and yellow circuit lines.

The Celebration 2017 Legacy Project has been implemented in the arts quad, bringing the design initiative to a close.

Celebration 2017 was a student competition to design the space as a legacy to the University’s 60th anniversary year. On Saturday, November 3 the completed winning concept was celebrated in the Arts Quad and enjoyed by the campus community.

The competition was launched last year in celebration of the University of Waterloo's 60th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. The competition sought student proposals for a creative and innovative design for a campus space that inspired and captured the spirit of the University of Waterloo community. The winners were announced at the President's Town Hall Meeting in November 2017.

The winning design was created by students Bennett Oh of Engineering, Michael Ahn of Mathematics, and Ian Song of Science, who entered the design competition as “Team Interlace.” The design features painted lines reminiscent of a microchip and circuit board, as well as new ramps, benches and planters in the arts quad.

“The microchip pays homage to our reputation in excellence in STEM, but more importantly, reflects what makes the University of Waterloo so special,” says a statement from the designers. “We are a network. Interconnected, with skills and points of view from across six different faculties. Students, faculty and staff from across the globe, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Together, building a system of global impact that will last for decades to come.”

For more information about Celebration 2017, check out the 60th anniversary website.

Register for the President's Town Hall Meeting

Join the conversation and attend the President's Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m. in Federation Hall.

Engage in a dialogue with the President and members of the University's senior leadership.

Submit your questions online, by email to townhall@uwaterloo.ca, on social media with the hashtag #uwth, or live at the event.

A luncheon will follow at 12:00 p.m.

Register today.

Link of the day

International Day for Tolerance

When and where

International Education Week, Monday, November 12 to Friday, November 16, various locations on campus.

What you should know about the Ontario University Pension Plan, Friday, November 16, noon to 1:00 p.m., MC 4020. Please register.

“The Art and Science of Dealing with Uncertainty”, featuring speaker Joel Becker, Data Scientist at Shopify, Friday, November 16, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Café-rencontre, Modernité et cosmopolitisme dans le théâtre franco-ontarien à Toronto, by Professor Joël Beddows, Université d’Ottawa, Friday, November 16, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., HH 1104.HH 373. Please note the updated room location.

Transgender Health and Wellness Conference, Saturday, November 17, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Kitchener.

Warriors Sleigh the Santa Claus Parade, Saturday, November 17, Kitchener, 9:30 a.m.; Cambridge, 4:30 p.m.

Guest lecture: Jack Halberstam, “TRANS* Visual archives of the transgendered body,” Monday, November 19, 7:00 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation.

UWaterloo Chamber Choir: Considering Matthew Shepard,  Saturday, November 17, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, University of Waterloo. 

UWaterloo Chamber Choir:  Considering Matthew Shepard, Sunday, November 18, 3:00 p.m.,  Humanities Theatre, University of Waterloo. 

The Book Store Holiday Sale, Monday, November 19 to Wednesday, November 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCH Concourse.

The Bioarchaeology of Body Modification: Health, Status and Beauty in the Past, Monday, November 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Math and Computer Building Room 5501.

Traces: On Death, Masterworks Exhibition, Monday, November 19, 6:30 p.m., Design at Riverside - School of Architecture.

Employee Career Advising Pop-Up, Tuesday, November 20, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV3 – Main floor lobby.

NEW - Reading Circle on Indigeneity and the University, November 20, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Grad House.  

Chemistry Seminar: Ligand Binding by the Cocaine-Binding Aptamer featuring Philip Johnson, Professor, Department of Chemistry at York University. Wednesday, November 21,10:00 a.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

President's Town Hall Meeting, Wednesday, November 21, 10:30 a.m., Federation Hall.

Pursuing an Undergraduate Degree at Waterloo (for employees only), Wednesday, November 21, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

Women in Engineering (WiE) Mini Hackathon, Wednesday, November 21, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Waterloo Campus.

TD Walter Bean Lecture in Environment, “On the State of Freshwater Fish and Fisheries: Finding a Future for the Forgotten,” Wednesday, November 21, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Hagey Hall Humanities Theatre.

Velocity Start: Setup Your Business Like A Boss, “A workshop that will address legal and accounting considerations that will affect your new business,” Wednesday, November 21, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

How to Win Grants and Influence Reviewers, Thursday, November 22, 8:30 a.m., Engineering 7 second floor event space.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Thursday, November 22, 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., NH 3318.

Warrior Basketball vs. Nipissing Think Pink, Residence Challenge, Warrior Tribe Zone, Friday, November 23, 6:00 p.m., PAC main gym.

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble. Balinese Gamelan Music: From the Middle Ages to Today, Friday, November 23, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, University of Waterloo. 

Warrior REC Think Pink 3-ON-3 Indoor Soccer, Saturday, November 24.

University Choir: Musik’s Empire, Saturday, November 24, 7:30 p.m., First United Church, 16 William St,  Waterloo. $10/$5 Students & Seniors.

Warriors Women's Hockey vs. UOIT Think Pink, Minor League Day, Camp Day, Sunday, November 25, 2:30 p.m., CIF Arena.

Waterloo Store MONSTER Event, Monday, November 26 to Wednesday, November 28, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., SCH Concourse. 

NEW - Staff Work-Travel Information Session, Monday, November 26, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.. ROOM EC5 1111 (Enterprise Theatre). Please register.

NEW - Boston Pizza Think Pink Fundraiser Night, Monday, November 26, 5:00 p.m.

NEW - Velocity Fund Finals, “20 startups compete for $130,000,” Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 11:00am, SLC Great Hall.  

NEW - Workday Mini Town Hall, Tuesday, November 27, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., HH 159.

NEW - Pursuing a Graduate Degree at Waterloo (for employee only), Tuesday, November 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

NEW - Canadian Theatre Made for Black Women (Waterloo Women's Wednesdays), featuring Naila Keleta-Mae, Wednesday, November 28, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., EV3 4412.

PhD oral defences

Geography and Environmental Management. Stephanie Verkoeyen, "Understanding SCUBA divers' response to coral bleaching: An application of Protection Motivation Theory." Supervisor, Sanjay Nepal. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Tuesday, November 27, 9:00 a.m., EV1 221.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Edmund Wong, "Improving Software Dependability through Documentation Analysis." Supervisor, Lin Tan. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday, November 27, 12:30 p.m., DC 1331.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Wei Zhang, "A Micromechanical Study of Undrained Behaviours and Liquefaction of Granular Media." Supervisor, Leo Rothenburg. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday, November 28, 2:30 p.m., E2 2350.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Mohammadamin Jahanpour, "Pressure Sensor Placement for Leak Diagnosis under Demand Uncertainty in Water Supply and Distribution Systems." Supervisor, Bryan Tolson. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Thursday, November 29, 9:00 a.m., E2 2350.