On-line, Open Access Publication Launched: Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching

By Cheryl Jeffs and Brit Paris, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning December 22, 2016

Lynn Taylor, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), Tom Hickerson, Vice-Provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources) at the PPLT Launch on Dec 15, 2016. Brit Paris, PPLT Editorial Manger in back. University of Calgary, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

A virtual launch of Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching (PPLT): Proceedings from the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, was held at the Taylor Institute on December 15, 2016.  Lynn Taylor, vice-provost teaching and learning, and Tom Hickerson, vice-provost libraries and cultural resources hit the ‘launch’ button of the first issue. PPLT is an open-access publication of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, hosted by Libraries and Cultural Resources, and supported by funding from University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grant.

PPLT was developed during 2015-2016 and launched to support the dissemination of peer-reviewed papers from the annual University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. There is evidence that suggests such a publication, which includes collaboration, commitment and institutional support are worthwhile and forward thinking to enhance the dissemination of scholarship (Williams, et al., 2013).

The ‘What, So What, Now What’, framework by Rolfe, Freshwater & Jasper (2001) is used to describe the exploration, development, and publication of PPLT.

The What

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning hosts an annual conference on postsecondary learning and teaching, which provides a unique opportunity to share, critically examine and build on our collective wisdom, scholarship and experience. Each year approximately 150 delegates gather from across North America to discuss, discover, and explore teaching and learning through a variety of formats including keynote presentations, workshops, interactive sessions, posters, and roundtables.  Students are encouraged to participate as presenters and/or co-presenters, and volunteers throughout the conference.  Conference themes have included collaboration, assessment, design for learning, and creativity.  The 2017 Conference theme is Creating a Learning Culture: Conversations that Matter. http://ticonf2017.ucalgaryblogs.ca/

So What

Delegates report learning from the Conference sessions and each other, innovative and practical teaching and learning approaches.  They report on the benefits of networking, sharing what others do, and the interdisciplinary connections. This feedback informs the planning for each subsequent Conference.

Conference presenters have the opportunity to post their proceedings on an open-access digital depository (PRISM) within the University of Calgary, and on the Taylor Institute’s Teaching and Learning Community, which though not peer-reviewed, provide a sharing space for scholarly work.  To document this accomplishment, a micro-credential ‘Badge’ is awarded to authors who publish their Conference papers, handouts, or poster on these electronic venues.  https://badges.ucalgary.ca/ti/badges

The idea for PPLT began at the 2015 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, with the question “are the conference proceedings peer-reviewed?”  The response was “no” and furthermore, “why not?”

Now What

After reflecting on the question of whether the proceedings are peer-reviewed, consultations with various stakeholders were conducted, and it was decided to add another option for conference presenters to submit a paper. The purpose of this option is for the papers to be subject to peer-review, then published on an open access platform hosted by the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources.  To move the idea forward, a proposal was submitted for a Teaching and Learning Grant in collaboration with the Educational Development Unit, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, and Libraries and Cultural Resources. The proposal was successful and we began a year long journey to explore, and establish an open access publication titled Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching.

2016 marks a significant milestone with the publication of the first issue of PPLT. Topics in this inaugural volume include design thinking, creativity in classroom settings, active learning, graduate student supervision, university of the 3rd age, and threshold concepts. Open to all, this scholarly publication is available on the Open Journal System (OJS) with no fees for users. http://pplt.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/pplt/index

Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, University of Calgary, Editorial Team:

Cheryl Jeffs, EdD, Editor. Brit Paris, BA, BEd, Editorial Manager. Brianna Hilman, MEd, Copyeditor. Editorial Committee, Laurie Hills, PhD, St Mary’s University.


Association of American Universities. (2009). The university’s role in the dissemination of research and scholarship – a call to action. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED511357.pdf

PRISM: University of Calgary Digital Repository, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning Community home page, retrieved from http://dspace.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/49621

Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. & Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: A user’s guide. New York: Palgrave MacMillian.

Taylor Institute for Teaching Community, Resources & Conversations about Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.ucalgary.ca/taylorinstitute/teaching-community/home

UCalgary Badges. Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, Conference Presenter Badge.  Retrieved from https://badges.ucalgary.ca/ti/badges

Williams, A., Verwoord, R., Beery, T., Dalton, H., McKinnon, J. Strickland, K., Pace, J., & Poole, G. (2013).  The power of social networks: A model for weaving the scholarship of teaching and learning into institutional culture. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 1(2), 49-62.

About cljeffs 5 Articles
Cheryl L Jeffs, EdD, is an educational development consultant and faculty member at the University of Calgary, Educational Development Unit, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. Cheryl is committed to excellence in teaching and learning through a range of research-informed educational programs and initiatives, workshops, consultations, and collaborative projects. With a diverse background in professional and educational development, and adult education, Cheryl’s research interests include formative feedback for teaching development, and graduate student teaching development. She is the chair of the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, and Editor of Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching (PPLT).

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