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Thursday, June 19 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
CON7.02 – MacEngaged: Inspiring Students Towards Innovation, Leadership, and Community Engagement (Room A236)

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MacEngaged is an undergraduate based, student-led, in-class initiative created at McMaster University (Ontario, Canada).  Its aim is to serve as a possible solution to overcome increased student apathy to course material, educators, and academic institutions as a whole (Fredrick et al., 2004). It is based on the idea of empowering students to collaborate and innovate early in their academic careers and within the classroom environment (Kezar, 2005). Its major goal is to connect knowledge about community engagement to content learned during the course with the hopes of ultimately creating an impactful educational experience (Zhao & Kuh, 2004). 

Using the example of a second year neuroscience course titled Basic and Clinical Neuroscience with an enrolment of 145 students, workshop participants will learn how MacEngaged has been implemented in a classroom environment containing a large student body. Participants will work in pairs to strategize a concrete plan for how they can incorporate a civic engagement assignment into a selected course they could be teaching in an upcoming semester. They will also explore how the assistance of senior (volunteer) student facilitators is useful in helping junior students work in small groups to create, develop, and implement a project under a course-specific theme that will help contribute to the betterment of their local, neighbouring, and/or global community (Kezar, 2005). This workshop will involve a brainstorming session about how to create a guideline for accessing senior students on their campuses and/or networks. Participants will be introduced to an electronic platform called the Learning Portfolio that many institutions use as a record of skill attainment and personal reflection that could be presentable for graduate school and/or employment purposes. The usefulness of using reflections in an academic setting will be discussed. Finally, since students are assessed on their ability to successfully create and implement a unique project directly related to course content that can be implemented and completed within a 4-month period, a discussion about the specific challenges with this timeline and how to overcome them will ensue.

The purpose of this workshop is to not only introduce its audience to the MacEngaged initiative but to demonstrate through active participation how to get students involved in meaningful civic engagement without compromising course content regardless of academic discipline. The workshop will end with feedback from the audience on how to manage a civic engagement assignment without losing focus on academic content. Three undergraduate students that have served as facilitators in the MacEngaged initiative will lead parts of the workshop.


Thursday June 19, 2014 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
A236 McArthur Hall

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