Responses to “Questions for OCAV” from Educational Developers (Neil Gold, U Windsor)
April 8, 2008

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The meaning of affiliate status

Q1: What does it mean to be an affiliate? (Neil doesn't really answer this question.) How will this change what we do and how we are perceived? What possible models for affiliate status exist? What are the benefits and possible drawbacks of affiliation? What are the expectations of an affiliate?

A1: The following provisions from the revised OCAV constitution provide a general response to the above questions. These three provisions describe how relations between OCAV and its affiliates are to be conducted. The objects and purpose of OCAV shall include:

3.5 To provide direction and guidance to the OCAV affiliates to assist them in the conduct of their mission and mandate and to monitor their activities as necessary.

3.6 To review the annual written reports and the minutes and agendas of regularly scheduled meetings of the OCAV affiliates. OCAV may request this material from these affiliates if it is not provided, together with such other material, as it considers relevant to its oversight role from these affiliates.

3.7 To liaise with, and when appropriate, refer items to its affiliates for their review or action followed by report or to communicate with other COU related and non-COU related organizations on matters of mutual concern.


Benefits

Q2: What does OCAV hope to gain, to move along, with this affiliation? Why did they make this offer of affiliate status?

A2: OCAV would like to coordinate its efforts with the educational developers as institutions implement the degree level expectations, which represents a significant departure from the current teaching and learning paradigm. We see a long term relationship that will support excellence in every aspect of the improvement of teaching and learning in Ontario, e.g., research (SoTL), professional development of faculty and administrators, systemic quality improvement and assurance etc. As we progress along the QA continuum OCAV sees the educational developers as a group and individually as central.

Openness

Q3: How open are they to the issues we would raise re: teaching, learning, SoTL, etc?

A3: Very open. See answer above.

Moving forward

Q4: We've got lots of interstitial, tacit and explicit knowledge on teaching and learning at your institutions; let's work together to help our universities walk the talk.

A4: Agreed.

Autonomy

Q5: I'm not really sure about how to frame this question -- but the issue is the independence of our organization -- our right to set our own agenda, to independently control our own finances, to offer advice on our own initiative, and the right to refuse to undertake a task with which we profoundly disagree. In other words we would not wish to become the "servants" of OCAV or to be perceived as such.

Since our ED meeting agendas are our own-not guided by input from our VP's, how would an affiliation with OCAV affect our autonomy in meeting the needs and interests of ED's?

While sharing minutes and hearing from each other can only be a good thing, can OCAV assure us that we won't be "ordered" to undertake something in a unidirectional fashion?

A5: Becoming an OCAV affiliate would not alter the group’s fundamental purpose or mandate, nor how its meetings are conducted. But the group may, from time to time, or perhaps more regularly be asked by OCAV to look a t issues or provide advice to them. Both OCAV and its members see this relationship as critical and likely inevitable.

Learning and teaching as priority items

Q6: If affiliate status is granted to the Ontario ED group (COED, or whatever we end up calling ourselves), can we be assured that there will be a standing agenda item related to ED-issues at one OCAV meeting per year? (Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I think this is important!)

A6: Learning and teaching items are already discussed at every OCAV meeting. OCAV holds face-to-face meetings four times a year and teleconferences in between. Quality Assurance and Learning and Teaching are core activities for OCAV.


External collaborations

Q7: I would be interested in finding out how OCAV feels about including college reps--maybe that would be fine with them

A7: Presently, learning expectations and teaching objectives for colleges and universities are quite different. OCAV would welcome participation from the college sector when its learning and teaching frameworks have greater alignment with the university sector’s. Formally, colleges could not be members of a COU/OCAV affiliate but they could be invited to meetings as guests.


Question for mutual discussion

How could we support more efforts like the project to define guidelines for undergraduate degree level expectations?

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