Teaching & Learning Centre Expertise Recognized

By Shelagh Flanagan

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content image".. a powerful means for cutting edge industry training."
" interactive, visually appealing, and intellectually stimulating..."
" ..a highly creative format."
"Never has learning been so easy."

That's how Shelly Kayfish, the U of C's former manager of Safety Services, described the Ice Based Facility Safety teaching tool, a multimedia package produced by the Teaching & Learning Centre. It would seem the experts agree.

The teaching tool has won the Award of Excellence in the post-secondary category (Visual, Informational) at the Association for Media Technology in Education in Canada (AMTEC) Media Festival. The project also won the Panasonic Best Overall Award. It's the fifth time since 1996 that the Teaching & Learning Centre has won the Panasonic Best Overall Award, recognizing outstanding work in video, media and web-based projects.

The ice-safety learning tool was part of a creative response by the University of Calgary after the accidental release of anhydrous ammonia from an emergency vent outside the Olympic Oval in June 1999. The CD-ROM and video presentation is aimed at improving understanding of due diligence and risk management in the safe operation and maintenance of skating, curling and other ice-based facilities. Though it grew out of what was a negative incident, the teaching tool's creation process and outcome have had a positive impact on the University and its community, as well as operators of ice-based facilities. "Producing the video and CD seemed like a logistical nightmare at first, because we had to coordinate Oval personnel, Campus security, risk management, the Safety Office, physical plant, housing and the Calgary Fire Department. However, it turned out to be a relatively easy endeavor because of the tremendous cooperation of everyone involved. Positive relationships have been built alongside safety processes", Fred Fountain, Producer / Writer / Director.

The CD-ROM and video uses interactive quizzes and exercises to teach basic knowledge in rink and plant safety. "Our largest challenge was getting all of the stakeholders around one table at one time," said Gord Southam, Production Coordinator for the Teaching & Learning Centre. "We had to adapt and move forward while maintaining a cost-effective solution. Thanks to non-traditional means of project management the development of the CD-ROM and video was an unstoppable success."

AMTEC focuses on improving learning in all sectors of education, through the application and integration of educational technology. The AMTEC annual Media Festival is a national showcase for educational media, recognizing outstanding examples of educational television, film, multimedia, and computer software. The association is committed to researching, developing and supporting educational technologies that reflect sound pedagogical theory and are accessible to all learners and teachers.

The Teaching & Learning Centre is committed to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning at the University of Calgary. With a mission to provide leadership and support for innovative, inquiry-learning approaches to teaching and research, it also provides leadership and support for the integration of technologies into the learning process. "This award recognizes some of the expertise and talent the Teaching & Learning Centre has to offer in addition to providing credibility and validation that we are on the right track", says Randy Garrison, Director, Teaching & Learning Centre.

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