Transcript for About Us Video

An introductory video about the Teaching Commons that features a narrator who introduces the Director of the Teaching Commons, Celia Popovic, who then speaks about what the Teaching Commons is and introduces the team of people that work in the Teaching Commons.

The Teaching Commons brings together like-minded individuals who are interested in exploring and sharing teaching and learning innovations across York University. More than 5,000 individuals including full and part-time faculty and teaching assistants make up this community. Celia Popovic, the director of the Teaching Commons explains the rationale behind the Commons and the role of the educational developer.

>> There are a number of us who work for the Teaching Commons as part of our role but that’s not the entity of the Teaching Commons. What the Commons means is that we are representing community of those engaged in teaching. A really important part of our role is making connections and helping people to see where connections might be in putting people together and so that’s another reason why we like to work if you can with groups of people generally because we believe that if you get a group of teachers together the answers are there in the community. Think of the educational developer as somebody who may have some answers for you but they’re not necessarily the expert and that we’re certainly not the experts in your teaching and your students, in your subject. That’s you, the teacher. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in in this position for many reasons but not least because of the simply stunning team that we’ve managed to put together. We’re all new to the Teaching Commons but most of us our new to, well three of the five are new to York and new to Canada as well, so that means that we have the experience and knowledge of those who know about York and the system here, but also bringing fresh eyes and input from, from Britain from the States from Hong Kong and then we also have input from all sorts of different experiences that those people bring with them.

Yelin Su is an educational developer with the Teaching Commons. She joined us from Hong Kong and before that was in the US. Yelin is an enthusiastic and inspiring educational developer with a particular interest and expertise in writing learning outcomes and in e-learning.

Ellen Sims joins us from London where she’s been an educational developer for several years, she’s extremely experienced. She originally hails from the US. Ellen has vast experience in many different aspects of development perhaps one of the most interesting for us is her experience with working with artists and practitioners.

Mandy Frake-Mistak is a research assistant with us in the Teaching Commons. Mandy not only is an excellent researcher but she also brings inside knowledge of what it is to be a TA at York and what it is to support TAs at York.

Robin Sidhu works part time for the Teaching Commons and the rest of his time elsewhere at York. We’re incredibly fortunate to have Robin because he brings two particular strengths that we have been benefitting from. One is his knowledge about experiential education and the other is his stats and evaluation experience and he’s been helping us to develop an evaluation strategy for the Teaching Commons.

So one way of looking at the Teaching Commons is to think of it as an open book and it’s there ready for you to write in as well as read and to read each other’s comments and suggestions and I think together maybe we can end up writing a masterpiece.