What Are Open Classes?
The idea behind Open Classes is that we are all a community of learners and we can learn from each other. Faculty across the College have volunteered to open their classrooms throughout the year for you to observe how they teach, engage their students, and manage their classroom.
If you are interested in observing an open classroom, connect with a faculty member from the “Roster of RDC Faculty with Open Classes” below. All is takes is an email and they will open their doors.
Who are Open Classes For?
Open Classes are for everyone! Whether you are new to teaching or have taught for five, fifteen, or twenty-five years, there is always something to learn. Observing other faculty teaching provides you with the opportunity to expand and grow your teaching practice.
Two Weeks of Open Classes
For two weeks in September and January, RDC faculty members volunteer to open their classes to their colleagues with their schedules published to make it easier to drop into an open class. This allows RDC faculty members to get a glimpse into what their colleagues are doing in their classrooms.
Visit our Two Weeks of Open Classes page to learn more about upcoming offerings.
Explore the information below to learn more about Open Classes.
|Open Classes Are||Open Classes Are Not|
For the Home Instructor: it is simply opening your classroom door to other faculty so they can learn from their peers in order to develop their own teaching practice.
For the Visiting Instructor: it is simply entering another classroom to learn from what other faculty do in their classes. This creates a culture of sharing around teaching which is open and collaborative.
Open Classes at RDC are governed by several Guiding Principles related to ethical and professional conduct between faculty members. These Guiding Principles have been adapted from several sources and are in agreement with those found in the FARDC Guidelines for Ethical Practice (on the FARDC website under “Collective Agreement”)
- Trust: “Observers [Visiting Instructors] need to maintain a sensitive awareness of the potential for vulnerability that inevitably accompanies any observation of teaching” (Wajnryb, 1992, 19).
- Confidentiality: The Open Class process is undertaken within a system of confidentiality to respect the Home Instructor and her/his students welcoming you into their classroom. Discussion of the observation should remain between the two faculty members (the Visiting Instructor and the Home Instructor) and be held as confidential. Any written reflection should be anonymized.
- Respect: As one faculty member observing another in an unfamiliar teaching context, respect is an important principle. We must respect the diversity of content, experiences, and approaches that we will encounter.
- Exploring and Advancing Knowledge: The Open Class process is undertaken in an honest attempt to explore various teaching practices and advance one’s personal knowledge of teaching practices. There should be no judgement involved in the observations; the Visiting Instructors should take away thoughts and ideas for the evolution of their personal teaching practice.
- Context and Limitations of Observations: When observing a class, it is important to remember that you are there to observe the teaching practices of the instructor and not to judge the content of the course. You may observe courses that are outside your disciplinary area and that involve topics and discussions which could be seen as controversial. As a Visiting Instructor, you are there for a snapshot of class time and do not have the context of past classes, future classes, overall course outcomes, or disciplinary expertise to judge the appropriateness of course content. Home Instructors are opening their classes to you; if you have questions about the context or content of the course, seek out the Home Instructor directly for clarification.
(Observing a Class)
|Self-Reflective and Non-Evaluative||
Adapted from York St. John University’s Peer Observation of Learning and Teaching (POLT) Guidelines
There is no expectation of a follow-up for this process, though this is up to the discretion and choice of the Home and Visiting Instructors.
As you observe, you might ask yourself the following questions and use them to write a short reflection for your own benefit:
- What did you observe in the class that was different or similar to your own teaching approach?
- What have you learned from watching your colleague teach?
- What themes emerge about your own teaching practice?
- What will you continue to do and what might you adapt or change based on the observation?
- Have any of your thoughts or beliefs changed as a result of this observation?
- Did you take anything from the observation that you think will make your own teaching more effective?
- Did you observe anything that you will apply to your own teaching in the future?
We encourage faculty to observe as many classes as they can, both within and outside their disciplines, beyond Two Weeks of Open Classes!
The following faculty at RDC are pleased to open their classes to their RDC Faculty colleagues. If you are interested in observing a class at anytime during the year, please contact a faculty member below by email, introduce yourself, and inquire about observing a class. Some of them teach in both an online and face-to-face environment so you may also be able to observe an online class session or a face-to-face session.
If you would like to add your name to the list, please contact the CTL. This list is open to all faculty at RDC so we welcome you to add your name at any time.
School of Arts and Sciences
- Anomi Bearden, Psychology Instructor
- Psychology (face-to-face)
- Metacognition and Meditative practices in education and psychology
- Positive Psychology
- Email: Anomi.Bearden@rdc.ab.ca
- Carrie Dennett, Anthropology, Sociology, Justice Studies Instructor
- Human Culture (past and present)
- Social Institutions and Contemporary Social Issues
- Criminal Justice System (Introductory)
- Email: Carrie.Dennett@rdc.ab.ca
- Roberto Bencivenga, Mathematics and Statistics Instructor
- Flipped Classroom
- Non-flipped Classroom
- Email: Roberto.Bencivenga@rdc.ab.ca
- Kristy Erickson, Chemistry Instructor
- Introduction to Chemistry
- Face-to-face and blended classrooms
- Email: Kristy.Erickson2@rdc.ab.ca
- Sandra MacDougall, Biology Instructor (On sabbatical, 2019-2020)
- Biology 218
- Email: Sandra.MacDougall@rdc.ab.ca
- Stéphane Perreault, History Instructor
- Face-to-face instruction
- Historical narrative and analysis
- Group activities for document analysis and summaries of knowledge
- Indigenous voices on history (particularly Canadian)
- Email: Stephane.Perreault@rdc.ab.ca
- Jeff Wigelsworth, History Instructor and CPC Head
- Narrative story-telling teaching method
- Email: Jeffrey.Wigelsworth@rdc.ab.ca
School of Creative Arts
- Tom Bradshaw, Performing Arts Instructor
- Drama courses (various), Research and Development courses, Business of Acting, Voice (with permission of students)
- Email: Thomas.Bradshaw@rdc.ab.ca
- Megan Bylsma, Art & Animation History Instructor
- Flipping and un-flipping the classroom
- Group work
- One evening class with 20+ students, another evening class with 100+ students
- Reacting to the Past (RTTP) curriculum through Live Action Role Playing and reaction to historical events
- Email: Megan.Bylsma@rdc.ab.ca
Donald School of Business
- Jason Engel, Business Instructor
- Personal Finance
- Integration of active learning and adaptive learning through Publisher content
- Email: Jason.Engel@rdc.ab.ca
- Deb Kindopp, Administrative Professional and Unit Clerk Instructor
- Face-to-face classes
- Email: Deb.Kindopp@rdc.ab.ca
- Michelle Jamison, Administrative Professional Instructor
- Online Teaching
- Email: Michelle.Jamison@rdc.ab.ca
- Stephanie Powers, Business Instructor
- Face-to-face and Online
- Synchronous engagement using Google Docs
- Student interaction using Socratic method
- Class activities and games” or something along that line
- Email: Stephanie.Powers@rdc.ab.ca
- Leanne Vig, Accounting Instructor (Seconded to CTL, 2019-2020)
- Face-to-face and Online
- Active and Applied Learning
- Flipped Classroom
- Smartie Inventory
- Email: Leanne.Vig@rdc.ab.ca
School of Education
- Brent Galloway, Bachelor of Education Instructor
- Email: Brent.Galloway@rdc.ab.ca
- Shauna Garrow, Academic Upgrading
- Physics and Math (High School Equivalency)
- Face-to-face classes
- Lectures and labs
- Email: Shauna.Garrow@rdc.ab.ca
- Shawna Schnick, Educational Assistant Program
- Face-to-face classroom
- Online classroom (Blackboard Collaborate)
- Email: Shawna.Schnick@rdc.ab.ca
School of Health Sciences
- Jessica Green, Practical Nursing Instructor
- Active Learning
- Large Classes
- Lab teaching
- Case Studies
- Email: Jessica.Green@rdc.ab.ca
- Kristen Gulbransen, Bachelor of Science, Nursing
- Context Based Learning (aka Problem Based Learning)
- Clinical Placements
- Nurse Navigator Program
- Email: Kristen.Gulbransen@rdc.ab.ca
- Candi Raudebaugh, Occupational Therapist & Physiotherapist Instructor
- Lecture and lab courses
- Google Drive
- Small group work
- Hands-on skill practice
- Use of iPads in the classroom
- Email: Candi.Raudebaugh@rdc.ab.ca
- Carol Sherrer, Practical Nursing Diploma
- Lab teaching
- Active learning
- Power-sharing and choice
- Email: Carol.Sherrer@rdc.ab.ca
- Rob Weddell, Kinesiology Instructor
- Face-to-face, physical education
- Active learning, experiential learning techniques
- Email: Robert.Weddell@rdc.ab.ca
School of Trades and Technology
- Bill Petrosenko, Heavy Equipment Technicians
- Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT)
- Classroom and Shop Setting
- Email: Bill.Petrosenko@rdc.ab.ca