The Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) will hold its annual conference at Wilfrid Laurier University from Monday, 28 May until Wednesday, 30 May 2012 within the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Website for registration, accommodation, delegate services is

Partial Travel Reimbursement

To view and print the 2012 form, please click here.

Conference Programme

Version dated 18 May 2012 pdf
Version dated 9 May 2012 pdf
Version dated 24 April 2012 pdf
Version dated 12 April 2012 pdf
Version dated 5 April 2012 pdf
The majority of the sessions will take place in the Science Building at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Internationalization of Higher Education at the Cross Roads: Charting New Pathways

Hosted by the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada (CIESC) and the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE)
26 May 2012 at Wilfrid Laurier University
Cost=$45 (general) $25 (student) :: Deadline=12 May 2012 :: Contact=Steve Sider (

Call for Paper Proposals [CLOSED]

CSSHE 2012 Conference – Call for Submissions

The Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) will hold its annual conference May 28-30, 2012 within the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, hosted jointly by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

This conference is being planned in close collaboration with the Canadian Society for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) so that individuals attending one of these three conferences will also have the opportunity to attend sessions at one or both of the other gatherings.

The Congress 2012 theme is “Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World.” Reflecting the overall Congress theme, the theme for the CSSHE conference is “Crossroads in Higher Education: Which Way Forward?”

CSSHE is pleased to invite submissions that explore the overall theme or aspects of it. Papers addressing other topics such as online learning, governance, research, informal and experiential learning, recruitment and student services will also be considered for inclusion in the program.

The Society invites submissions from researchers in higher education and related disciplines such as political science, sociology, history, philosophy, psychology, women’s studies, economics, business, administration, and the professions. This conference offers an opportunity for graduate students, educators, policy makers, administrators, activists, and advocates to contribute, reflect, and share their perspectives on higher education and issues around student success. Graduate students, college and university faculty and administrators are encouraged to submit proposals for the 2012 conference. This year’s conference will include keynote presentations, organized paper presentations, individual paper presentations, presentation of the Dissertation Award and the Master’s Thesis Award, and joint sessions with other disciplines including Adult Education and K-12 Education.

The 2012 Conference Program Chair is Dr. Dianne Conrad (, Director of the Centre for Learning Accreditation at Athabasca University.

Submission of Proposals

CSSHE solicits three types of submissions:

(1) Organized Paper Sessions (see below)
Individuals who wish to organize a session on a given topic for the 2012 conference are asked to submit a proposal for such a session by e-mail by 9 January 2012. 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 a peer review process to select organized sessions, a list of accepted sessions will be sent out to the CSSHE membership and posted on the CSSHE website by 8 February 2012. At that time, session organizers will begin accepting proposals for their sessions (to a maximum of 4 presentations per organized session). The due date for papers to be submitted to session organizers is 29 February 2012. Session organizers will receive paper proposals, make selections from the proposals, organize the session, and serve as session chairs at the conference. Potential presenters must submit a title and an extended abstract of their paper (not to exceed 750 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 750 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 8 February 2012. Individual paper proposals will be peer reviewed.

(3) Poster Proposals
Individuals who wish to present a poster at the 2012 conference are asked to submit a proposal by e-mail by 6 March 2012. 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 title). Poster proposals will be peer reviewed.

In order to present a poster, a research paper, or within an organized session at the conference, presenters must be members in good standing of CSSHE. Membership applications can be found online on the CSSHE web site at MyCSSHE.

Please forward proposals by email to:

Dianne Conrad
Centre for Learning Accreditation
Athabasca University

PDF version: Call for submissions

Organized Sessions

Proposals for CSSHE Organized Paper Sessions Congress 2012

Below, please find ideas for 12 organized sessions, submitted by your colleagues across the country. The organizers of each session listed below can accept up to 4 presentations per session. A total of 90 minutes will be available for a 4-paper session. Due date for proposals is 29 February 2012. Potential presenters must submit an extended abstract (750 words maximum) and title for their paper. Please submit your proposals to the organizers whose contact information is included below. Student submissions are invited. Should your proposal for inclusion in an organized session not be accepted, you will have the option of letting it stand as an individual paper.

1. Critical Issues in Higher Education: Anticipating Future Trends

Nicola Simmons, Brock (
Michael Kompf, Brock (

In 2007, Jones commented on “the dramatic changes in the nature of academic work … that emerged in the last century” (p. 10). A 2010 report by the Canadian Council on Learning outlines the “challenges of a changing landscape” in higher education; in 2011, Campbell commented that a complete revisioning of higher education in Canada is called for. There seems to be no shortage of commentary on the changing landscape of Canadian higher education, but rather less, perhaps, on how a reconstrued future might look.

We argue that if higher education is to address socioeconomic, demographic, political, and other challenges around student learning, educators and academic leaders must anticipate future possibilities, both opportunities and challenges, and plan towards their implementation or avoidance. For this organized paper session, we invite papers, particularly from students, that go beyond descriptions of current and emerging issues but rather explore anticipated trends and challenges over the next several years and include recommendations for reconceptualizing higher education in Canada.

Campbell, R. (2011). Keynote at Transforming Undergraduate Education, the annual meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Halifax, March.
Canadian Council on Learning (2010). Navigating post-secondary education in Canada: The challenge of a changing landscape. Challenges in Canadian post-secondary education. Ottawa, ON: Author.
Jones, G. (2007). The academy as a work in progress. Academic Matters: The Journal of Higher Education, 10-13.

2. Crossroads in Higher Education: Internationalization – Way forward?

Tom Nesbit, SFU (
Hans G. Schuetze, UBC (

Recent efforts to internationalize higher education have tended to stress its more beneficial aspects: increased student diversity and mobility, developing digital technologies, and enhanced international awareness and collaboration. University administrators stress that additional revenues from international students will help to improve programs and services for both international and domestic programs.

Yet, there is evidence to suggest that, in Canada at least, such endeavors are causing universities to shift their focus away from the local and ignore the changes and challenges to their core communities and neighborhoods. More specifically, universities’ interest in local issues of social justice seem to have diminished to the detriment of their function as a critical social space and their ability to analyse and critique the social, political and cultural issues of the day.

This panel will analyze, exemplify and address such concerns. It will bring together representatives (researchers and administrators) of several Canadian universities to each highlight and analyse local examples and contribute to an overall picture of developments over the last two decades, challenging the assumption that increased internationalization is necessarily in universities’ best interests.

Interested colleagues and graduate students from other Canadian universities are invited to provide institutional case studies or other contributions for the analysis and critical discussion of this theme.

3. Crossroads in Higher Education: Blended Learning as a Way Forward

Kathleen Matheos, Manitoba (

Blended learning is emerging as a promising trend in Canadian universities. A growing body of research attests to its potential to optimize resources, a key requirement for institutions of higher education. Blended learning can improve student learning by providing flexibility and increasing access. It can also reduce the time taken by students to complete their degrees by eliminating scheduling bottlenecks. As a midpoint on the continuum between online and face-to-face course delivery, and by drawing on the strengths of both delivery modes, blended learning can offer the best of both worlds. For students, blended learning is attractive because it retains the safe and familiar aspects of face-to-face learning while adding the affordances of new technologies, and new ways of interacting with each other and with content. For faculty, it offers the opportunity to make optimal use of both face-to-face and online teaching techniques. For administrators, blended learning presents substantial challenges, while also offering substantial benefits.

The Collaboration for Online Higher Education (COHERE) invites presentations that focus on policies, administrative practices and challenges in the development and implementation of a blended learning agenda in higher education. This session will be of particular interest to presenters who deal with the “behind the scenes” issues around blended learning, rather than the strictly teaching and learning issues that face teachers and learners in this still relatively new aspect of higher education.

4. Institutional cycles of innovation with educational technology: Seeking to understand the conditions that form authentic learning communities

Scott Gerrity, Victoria (
Tim Hopper, Victoria (
Kathy Sanford, Victoria (

Much has been written in the area of faculty development in teaching with technology (Bates and Poole, 2003; King, 2003; Moser, 2007) in terms of the barriers or opportunities faculty encounter, but less research has been conducted on the impact of faculty development resources, or on the varying issues, needs, and trends related to educational technology use and adoption across disciplines and contexts. Institutions often assume a determinist approach when diffusing technology—banking on the structure and establishments of organization frameworks at the macro level and the quality of design and development of tools at the micro level (Surrey, 1997). Such approaches either have limited impact or fail at various phases of user adoption. The adoption cycles amongst educators seem to be influenced primarily by the conditions that contextualize the use of technologies, not the technologies themselves (Tessmer, 1990) or their diffusion within traditional organizational structures; and by a language of innovation that allows the participants to capture, share and build the innovation into their practices.

The session will address these four focus questions: What are the conditions that allow for educational technology innovation and adoption? How do we capture and diffuse a ‘common language’ of situated processes that speak to and build learning communities around the use of educational technologies?

This session invites investigations and examplar projects that look at the commonalities, as well as the differences in the experiences, strategies, and challenges faced by educators and institutional support groups in identifying and building conditions that enable professional communities to learn educational technology. Potential session presentations will highlight agency, transformation, institutional change and innovation that address the focus questions. The following areas are offered as potential focus areas for presentations:

  1. Theoretical inquiry or research studies on the relationship between innovation theory, organizational theory, and educational technologies
  2. Innovative ways of highlighting authentic teaching and learning experiences (best practices) aimed at professional development of educators
  3. Proposals for or impact studies on educational technology adoption (conditions, cycles, integration)
  4. Case studies of innovative educational technology use

5. Crossroads in Higher Education: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in a Wired World

M. Cleveland-Innis, Athabasca (
A. Davis, Empire State College, USA
H. Kanuka, Alberta

What research direction is now needed in the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education? Over a decade ago, Windschitl (1998) advocated for more research on increasing student inquiry through the World Wide Web and illuminating Web-based student communication. The release, and then extensive development, of a model of online communities of inquiry (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) responded to Windschitl’s call. In addition to continued work in these two areas, a stronger research focus on learning theory and everyday use of Web 2.0 technologies is required (Greenhow, Robelia & Hughes, 2009, Zawacki-Richter, 2010).

The CSSHE Affinity Group Teaching and learning in blended and online higher education invites you to share your research in these important areas. Our research agenda supports improvements in education access and quality learning experiences afforded by online education delivery, in addition to research on use of the Internet for interaction and collaborative engagement previously unavailable to teachers and students. What changes are required to the role of student and role of faculty member to allow access and engagement in online learning and teaching? Any effective teacher must be true to the learning objectives of the subject-matter at hand while attending to the multitude of characteristics students bring to the experience. Effective teachers bridge content and student needs through appropriate student engagement; a tactic as old as education itself. The role of effective teacher in online learning environments is newer and more complex. Even more complex are the implications of adopting the new teaching requirements into the current role of faculty. In addition to the change required for individuals, changes to institutional infrastructure are also required. What leadership actions, reward structures, support services and technology training and maintenance will take us to new places in the foundations of teaching and learning?

This session invites presentations that build the knowledge base in this area; results of recent research, meta-analyses of research to date, and critical analyses of key aspects of this important area. High quality research papers may also be submitted for a special edition of the Canadian Journal of Higher Education on the same topic: Teaching and Learning in a Wired World.

6. Canadian Universities and Global Brain Circulation

Qiang Zha, York (
Ruth Hayhoe, OISE/UT (

Knowledge is now a central element in the process of innovation and economic development. Sustainable economic growth in a knowledge-based economy depends very much on stock and availability of knowledge workers. On the other hand, as a result of globalization, knowledge workers have become more mobile and are tempted to move wherever there is the most favourable work environment. In this process of “brain circulation,” universities are viewed as a global magnet for knowledge workers, and a key institution that enhances competitiveness by connecting cities, regions and nations to global flows of knowledge and talent.

Furthermore, the competitiveness of national and regional economies is derived from their openness and diversity. This is increasingly true as the economy becomes more global. In this sense, universities are also the crucial factor in fostering a more open and diverse environment, thereby contributing to wider goals of social inclusion and cohesion within society. Based on such perspectives, this session aims to shed light on such thematic questions: What specific role do universities play in enabling Canada to attract and retain talent from around the world? What elements are most important in creating favorable conditions on Canadian university campuses and in Canadian society at large?

7. Understanding Access and Retention in Canadian Higher Education

Professor Scott Davies, McMaster (
Johanne J. Jean-Pierre, McMaster (

Research suggests that access and retention to and from higher education often varies by social-economic background, race and ethnicity, immigration status and gender, and that there are also important variations within each group. This session will welcome papers that examine any of these variations and that use a variety of theoretical and empirical lenses. We are particularly interested in papers that aim to uncover mechanisms that affect the educational success of youth who are less likely to pursue higher education. Attention will also be given to successful programs, policies and initiatives that promote their access and perseverance, and analyses of the implications of those programs for social mobility, productivity and equity.

8. Finding Our Way: The Future of Community-University Engagement

Heather McRae, Victoria (
Tania Kajner, Alberta (

Increasingly, scholars and institutions of higher education in Canada are using the discourse of community engagement to describe their work with partners outside the academy. Covering a myriad of practices, theoretical orientations, and political approaches, in service to differing and sometimes competing aims, community engagement as an academic field is not well understood. As a result, the engagement movement is positioned at the juncture of opportunity and opposition, with some scholars urging adoption of engagement as a way of opening academic space while simultaneously working on issues of justice and equality with communities, and others warning of the dangers of community influence on academic freedom and the use of engagement activities as a public relations tool. As the engagement movement develops and deepens, critical questions arise. Can engagement effectively mobilize community-university partnerships to achieve social change over the long term? What kinds of frameworks, structures and discourses are necessary? In this session we will explore these issues and share practices and approaches from different theoretical perspectives. At the conclusion of the session, participants will have an opportunity to identify interest in the development of a national affinity group in order to further the discussion and research in this area.

9. Men and Masculinities in Higher Education: Crossroads, Intersections, Problems and Possibilities

Jason Laker San José State University, USA (

Discussion about men’s participation in higher education has ebbed and flowed over time. Debates and questions about men in terms of dominance in leadership roles and the shaping of curricula, institutional organization and climate are longstanding conversations. More recently, there have been growing concerns about declines in men’s enrolment, retention and graduation rates. These conversations within and outside colleges and universities have been complex and often dualistic or vitriolic.

This organized paper session will explore men and masculinities within higher education—in terms of experiences of people who identify as such—and in terms of culture, organization and symbolically.

In regard to male-identified people, the session will explore participation of students, faculty, and staff (e.g. aspirations, attendance, retention, success, development, gender performance, learning). Papers about identity intersections with masculinities (whether by male-identified people or not) are invited as well.

The session will also examine ways in which masculinities are enacted (e.g. behaviour, ideology); and their influence on how higher education is structured and experienced by its participants (e.g. faculty life, curricula, non-academic environments, student organizations, influence of government and NGOs, interpersonal relations, etc.). What makes an institution, department, or campus space “masculine” and what are the implications, benefits and costs?

10. The Art of Learning: Arts Integration in Higher Education

Nicola Simmons, Brock (
Shauna Daley, Brock (

Arts integration in higher education pedagogy establishes a new experiential paradigm centered on cultivating rich ideas and high-level thinking, capitalizing on the creativity that every student already possesses and uses (Livingston, 2010). Giving right-brain thinking (problem-solving, synthesis, artistic and creative expression and passion) equal importance to left-brain thinking (analysis, logic and computational literacy) can sustain a high level of student engagement (Sloan & Nathan, 2005) and result in integrated approaches to thinking and scholarship.

We invite papers (especially from students) that explore contexts and approaches demonstrating a strong commitment to a coherent, integrated, arts-centered curriculum. In particular, papers should outline the resulting implications and challenges to arts-integrated teaching and learning environments, and map future directions for teaching and research.

Livingston, L. (2010). Teaching creativity in higher education. Art Education Policy Review, 111(2), 5962.
Sloan, K., & Nathan, L. (2005). Art transforms education. Connection, 20(1), 18-20.

11. The Academic Profession in Canada: challenges, limits and possibilities

Glen A. Jones, OISE/UT (
Bryan Gopaul, OISE/UT (
Julian Weinrib (

This organized paper session explores the changing academic profession in Canada. The last two decades have been witness to considerable scholarship on the experiences of faculty members; however, only a small number of studies have explored the experiences of faculty members at Canadian universities. This panel invites papers from researchers and policy makers across the country to discuss the multiple contexts and challenges within which faculty members operate in order to develop an understanding of the academic profession in Canada. An entry point for this organized panel comes from analyses of the Changing Academic Profession (CAP) survey, which was administered to 18 countries in 2007. However, this panel welcomes research that utilizes various methodological and theoretical approaches that highlight the contexts of Canadian higher education institutions, as they relate to members of the academic profession. These papers can explore many different topics which include, but are not limited to, perceptions of teaching and research, tenure and promotion policies, globalization, doctoral education and governance.

12. Pushing the Boundaries of Higher Education or Old News?

Alyson E. King, UOIT (

What does higher education mean? In the 19th century and earlier, higher education meant deep, philosophical thinking in universities. With the increasing professionalization of many jobs (such as, teaching, engineering, and nursing) at the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, higher education has come to also mean job training. In the 21st century, universities have faced contradictory pressures that reflect this general shift in meaning. Faculty members decry the lack of student preparedness and engagement, as well as the focus on job training rather than on epistemological concerns. Students and their parents expect university programs to be ‘relevant’ and to prepare students for meaningful careers. For many students, university is more an annoying delay on their path to “real life” than an opportunity to think deeply and reflect about broad theoretical, philosophical or epistemological concepts. The tensions between these expectations have led to divisions between and within new and established universities, among administrators and budget planners who work to attract as many students as possible while keeping costs down once the students arrive, the students who expect to graduate with a degree with minimal effort and time commitment followed by a well-paying, satisfying career, and the faculty members who are caught between trying to engage students with deep and complex thinking in an era of easy distractions and short attention spans, providing the skills necessary for successful careers, and doing so in large classes with minimal support. This panel will explore the changing nature of universities. Focus will be on UOIT as a case study.

13. International Partnerships at a Crossroads: Building the Best Way Forward

Renny Khan, Alberta (

This session addresses lessons learned from partnerships between Canadian postsecondary education institutions and Chinese universities, and presents some ideas for consideration as we determine next steps along the way. Drawing on experiences from the University of Alberta, the University of Prince Edward Island, and the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in China, the focus will be on exemplary practices, the need for a coordinated approach, and the drive for competitive programs. We will explore such areas as “2 + 2” undergraduate recruitment programs, Canadian student teacher practicum experiences in China, and faculty development initiatives (in Canada and at Chinese universities), to name a few.

As China continues to develop, will it still seek Canadian higher education partnerships? Is the rapidly developing and complex higher education environment in China understood by Canadian institutions and scholars? As Canadian institutions expand in Indian and other markets, what do administrators, faculty, and student recruiters need to know and do to build and sustain positive / effective partnerships? How can Canadian postsecondary education continue to be a leader in international education?

Conference Proceedings

To come.