The Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) will hold its annual conference at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec from Saturday, May 29 until Monday, May 31, 2010 within the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Website for registration, accommodation, delegate services is

Conference Photos

Banquet Photos: Monique Bourgeois receives Master Award, Lydia Boyko receives Geis Award.

Conference Proceedings

A guide on how to upload papers and presentation materials is available here [English] (60KB DOC) or here [Français] (65KB DOC).

To view or upload presentations please visit CSSHE at OCS.

Conference Programme

Post-conference version of conference programme as of 9 June 2010 [Programme].

Final print version of conference programme as of 20 May 2010 [Programme].

Preliminary version of conference programme as of 20 April 2010 [Programme].

Call for Paper Proposals

The Congress theme this year is Connected Understanding. The Conference Program Chair is Dr. Janette Barrington ( from the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services and the Conference Local Area Coordinator is Ms. Paula Vieira ( from the Office of the Registrar at Concordia University.

Below is a description of each session and the name and e-mail address of each organizer. Session organizers are now accepting proposals for their sessions. The due date for papers to be submitted to session organizers is 22 February 2010. Session organizers will receive paper proposals, make selections from the proposals and organize the session, and serve as session chairs and discussants at the conference. Potential presenters must submit a title and an extended abstract of their paper (not to exceed 1500 words) to the appropriate session organizer directly.

Organizers are strongly encouraged to include at least one student paper presentation in their sessions. If you are a student, please identify yourself as such to the session organizers.


Closing the gap between higher education research and practice: Connecting researchers across disciplines

ORGANIZER: Maria Adamuti-Trache (UBC)

The field of higher education continues to grow along competing directions of theory, research, policy and practice. Higher education research covers a variety of issues that inform on academic practice such as student access and retention, diversity and equity, student assessment, teaching and learning, and faculty development. Some of these issues are particularly relevant to the practice in academic disciplines. For instance, the debate on the under-representation of women in science is relevant to science and engineering departments, but is also of concern to educational researchers because it often generates inequality in access to fulfilling careers. However, higher education researchers and scholars in academic disciplines rarely contribute to each other’s understanding by sharing their perspectives on issues of common interest. In particular, the higher education researcher may bring a broader perspective on analyzing the practice in academic disciplines. In this session, we welcome contributions that examine how to close the gap between educational research and academic practice by starting a dialogue, exploring common interests, developing research collaborations, encouraging cooperative learning across disciplines, as well as sharing best practices among disciplines and with the community at large.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and the Assessment of Learning (AOL)

ORGANIZER: Arshad Ahmad (Concordia)

SoTL and AOL involve a systematic process of inquiry aimed at improving the student learning experiences in courses and programs, especially within the context of one’s own discipline.[1] This session invites faulty and graduate students to present studies and thought papers that have engaged faculty in (1) the assessment of learning processes and (2) practices the production of scholarship in teaching and learning within their institutions. Specific examples of inquiry include:

    • Establishing guidelines and principles across faculties pertaining to outcomes-based assessment.
    • Organizing a training program for graduate students across disciplines and incoming teaching personnel to obtain a grounding in outcomes-based

assessment, skills in assessment design, and experience in data analysis of assessment instruments as well as participation in the production of scholarly articles.

  • Creating a database of relevant articles (e.g. digital repository) as well as examples of educational practices that have had a significant impact on students.
  • Creating a culture of intellectual curiosity about teaching and learning amongst faculties and academic units.
  • Developing an inter Faculties SoTL research program that examines the way students today acquire knowledge.
  • Providing faculty with a broader definition of how the Institution values its scholarship with respect to SoTL and AOL.
  • Providing a framework on how research is interconnected with teaching.
  • Improving educational practice through dissemination of discipline-specific and research-based principles and best practices that emerge from the AOL and SoTL exercises.



  • Healey, M. (2003). The scholarship of teaching: Issues around an evolving concept. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, 14(1/2), 1-22.

Student Engagement through Information Technology in Higher Education

ORGANIZERS: Robert Cassidy and Raafat G. Saade (Concordia) and rsaade@jmsb.concordia.c

Many higher education institutions are cutting costs and increasing enrolment, resulting in large classes, altering the dynamics of teaching and learning and compromising students’ engagement in their learning. Compounding this challenge to student engagement is the arrival of ‘millennium students’, who due to their unique characteristics and education requirements present a special challenge to the traditional learning system. As a result of social networking and gaming, millennium students have higher expectations for in-class learning, wanting it to be enjoyable and engaging. Furthermore, millennium students have special attention demands, as evident in their being distracted by various technological gadgets. Of benefit to these students, the combination of information technology and sound pedagogy offers a powerful learning tool and attractive alternative to traditional learning. A major implication of such innovation is the development of a new paradigm: IT-embedded pedagogy. As all stakeholders—educators, students and administrators alike—struggle to effectively and efficiently use information technology for learning, we are all challenged to transform.This session will provide a platform for educators to share research and experience with engaging students in their learning through the use of different information technologies and to propose innovative ideas to address the various challenges we face.

Student experience, development and learning in post-secondary education

ORGANIZERS: Tony Chambers and Bryan Gopaul (OISE/UT) and

Recent years have seen an emergence of Canadian scholarship pertaining to the study of students within postsecondary education. The Centre for the Study of Students in Postsecondary Education at the University of Toronto is a unique research centre that focuses on the investigation of participation, access, experience and persistence of students across Canada. Though the Centre’s research ventures represent a significant breadth of issues, they are connected by a common thread of raising awareness of issues affecting students. This session will focus upon five areas: a discussion of debt load and financial barriers faced by students with disabilities; an investigation into the relationship between forgiveness and religion in addressing racial tensions; an assessment of the educational impact of small class experiences; an exploration of the social contract in doctoral education; and an examination of the influences of commercialization on the experiences of MBA students. The research findings of these projects reflect different facets of the student experience within higher education. The projects’ respective researchers have submitted individual proposals describing the nature and results.

State of Research in Distance and Online Learning

ORGANIZERS: Alan Davis (SUNY Empire State College) and Marti Cleveland-Innes (Athabasca) and Kathleen Matheos (Manitoba), and

As the number of higher education students who study by distance and blended learning continues to increase, so, too, does the importance of research on these modes of learning. While past research in distance education continues to inform many developments related to blended or mixed mode learning, there are also important new areas of research relevant to both distance and blended learning. These include, for example, the impact of emerging technologies on distance and blended learning, the evolution of related theories of learning, the rise of the for-profit sector, and issues related to international distance learning. This session invites presentations on the results of recent research, meta-analyses of research to date, learning theory, and critical analyses of key aspects of this important field.

Marketization, Commercialization and Managerialism in Higher Education


With insufficient public support for higher education there is increasing opportunity for corporate influence on post-secondary institutions. In the past 20 years there has been a noticeable increase in corporate-style influence in the management and financing of higher education (Pusser, Slaughter et al. 2006). This session welcomes abstracts that investigate the increasing corporatization, commercialization, or managerialism within higher education. With financial constraints imposed by a reduction in public funding, universities searching for alternative sources of revenue are eager to push private-sector connections. Institutions are also stacking advisory and governing boards with members representing corporate success (Edwards 2000; Pusser, Slaughter et al. 2006; Rhoades and Slaughter 2006). 19% of research conducted has links to the private sector (Young 2001). Universities have increased their participation in securing patents and licensing and now negotiate equity interests in companies founded on faculty discoveries (Pusser, Slaughter et al. 2006; Rhoades and Slaughter 2006). Perhaps most alarming is the lack awareness of the corporate influence on campus. A 2008 survey of students, staff and faculty in Canada revealed 50% were aware of corporate sponsored research on campus while only 29.7% were aware of corporate representatives on governing boards (Shaker 2008).


  • Edwards, M. (2000). UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE: A MAPPING AND SOME ISSUES. LifeLong Learning Network National Conference.
  • Pusser, B., S. Slaughter, et al. (2006). “Playing the Board Game: An Empirical Analysis of University Trustee and Corporate Board Interlocks.” The Journal of Higher Education 77(5): 747-775.
  • Rhoades, G. and S. Slaughter (2006). Academic Capitalism and the New Economy: Privatization as Shifting the Target of Public Subsidy in Higher Education. The University, State, and Market.
  • R. A. Rhoads and C. A. Torres. Stanford, Stanford University Press: 103-139.
  • Shaker, E. (2008). Corporate Initiatives on Campus. Ottawa, Ontario, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
  • Young, D. R. (2001). “The influence of business on nonprofit organizations and the complexity of nonprofit accountability.” The American Review of Public Administration 32(3).

New Adventures with Older Students: Responding to Shifting Demographics in Higher Education

ORGANIZERS: Nicola Simmons (Waterloo) and Michael Kompf (Brock) and

If David Foot’s (2009) prediction of dwindling numbers of potential students in the typical age range (18-25) is as accurate as usual, post-secondary institutions can anticipate a significant change in student demographics. This demographic shift in the higher education population will cause a ripple effect in philosophy, content, practices, and intellectual products for administrators, educators, staff, and students.

If higher education is to meet shifting needs in ways that dovetail with current economic and social challenges, the response must be proactive rather than reactive. In order to effectively anticipate the needs of the changing student population, areas and questions need to be addressed, including the following:

Students: Who will these learners be? What needs will they have (financial, student services, etc)? How will these needs be met?
Instruction: What will the process of teaching these students be? What’s involved in designing and delivering courses and programs for mature learners? What technology support will be needed?
Administration: What issues arise regarding evaluation and transfer of learning? What role will prior learning have? What additional costs may occur – and what sources of funding may be required?

This session will explore these and other issues pertaining to connecting to the needs of adult students in post-secondary settings.


    • Foot, D. (2009). Workplace trends in the new millennium: A demographic perspective. Keynote presentation at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa, May 27.

Submission of Paper Proposals

Please note: This year, we are adopting two approaches to paper submission.

      1. Organized Paper Sessions: Individuals who wish to organize a session for the 2010 conference are asked to submit a session proposal by e-mail by 5 January 2010. The session proposal must include the name of the organizer, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and a 100 to 200 word description of the session (including a session title). After undergoing a peer review process to select sessions, a list of session organizers and related sessions will be sent out to the CSSHE membership and posted on the CSSHE website on 1 February 2010. At that time, session organizers will begin accepting proposals for their sessions. The due date for papers to be submitted to session organizers is 22 February 2010. Session organizers will receive paper proposals, make selections from the proposals and organize the session, and serve as session chairs and discussants at the conference. Potential presenters must submit a title and an extended abstract of their paper (not to exceed 1500 words) to the appropriate session organizer directly. Organizers are strongly encouraged to include at least one student paper presentation in their sessions.
      2. Individual Papers: Proposals for research, conceptual, or policy paper presentations should include (a) a proposal, not to exceed 1500 words and (b) contact information. The proposal should indicate the background, theoretical framework, research design and key expected findings (where appropriate), conclusions and significance of the study. Proposals are due on 1 February 2010. Individual paper proposals will be peer reviewed.

Submission of Poster Proposals

Individuals who wish to present a poster at the 2010 conference are asked to submit a proposal by e-mail by Monday, 8 March 2010. The proposal must include the name of the organizer, contact information including an e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and a 200-350 word description of the poster (including a session title). Poster proposals will be peer reviewed.

In order to present an organized session, research paper, or poster at the conference, you must be a member in good standing of CSSHE. Membership applications is available.

Please forward proposals by email to:

Janette Barrington
Centre for Teaching and Learning Services
Concordia University