LSAC Eastern Regional Conference (Toronto)

  • 11 Dec 2015
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Ryerson University (CED/SLC Buildings), Toronto, Ontario


Registration is closed

“Idea to Impact: Telling Our Stories”

The theme of the conference is: Idea to Impact: Telling Our Stories. What do we mean by stories? We mean stories to share about our programming - from concept to implementation – and the myriad ways in which Learning Specialists act as catalysts shaping student learning in our institutions. Stories involve students, learning practitioners, other campus partners, and institutions themselves.

To this end, we are curating an experience that exemplifies one of Ryerson’s Idea to Impact stories with the Spanning the Gaps pathways-to-education program, beginning with our keynote speaker and continuing through each of our concurrent sessions. 

Call for Proposals and Open for Registration!

For this conference, we invite you to showcase how your programming ideas have made an impact on student learning and achievement using modalities such as original research, program assessments, and, of course, storytelling.
Presentations can be delivered by individuals or teams and in a variety of formats: workshop, information session, or panel. You may wish to consider one of the following ways to tell your story:

  • Program showcase – tell the story of a unique program you’ve helped build. What worked? What didn’t? Why?
  • Illustrated Impact – explore the outcomes of a learning program that has been a long-term success at your institution through the use of assessments (qualitative and/or quantitative)
  • And also, keep in mind a third category for new programming ideas that you hope to develop (and then one day perhaps report further on…)
  • “Idea Generator” –In which conference registrants will have the opportunity to workshop their own “ideas in incubation,” with other session participants and with the assistance of a session moderator.

Please submit proposals by November 16th, 2015

Submit a Proposal

Further Information

  • Registration and Breakfast begins at 8:30am. Keynote begins at 9:20am. 
  • Our conference will conclude at 4:00pm.

Conference Contact

Andrea Moon, M.Ed., Learning Strategist


Phone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7933

Conference Day Agenda
Time Description
8:30am - 9:15am Registration and Breakfast
9:15am - 9:30am Welcome
9:30am - 10:00am Keynote Speaker
10:15am - 11:05am Concurrent Session A
11:05am - 11:20am Coffee Break
11:30am - 12:20pm Concurrent Session B
12:30pm - 1:15pm Lunch (Heaslip House)
1:30pm - 2:20pm Concurrent Session C
2:40pm - 3:40pm Closing Panel (Spanning the Gaps)


A Novel Approach to a Common Book
Presenters: Tamsin Cobb and Naomi Verton, Conestoga College

There has been controversy over the effectiveness of common reading programs in post-secondary institutions. However, the Learning Commons at Conestoga College has customized the traditional common reading program to create a professional development opportunity for peer tutors. The program uses a novel as a medium to develop essential skills such as critical thinking and reflection and promote a community of practice for tutors. Come to learn about our process of planning and implementing the program, our reflections on the pilot, and our next phase in promoting leadership with our peer tutors. Leave with insights into how programming can be customized to foster communities of practice and the development of essential skills in your own institution.

How Learning Strategists can collaborate with faculties and campus partners to transform transitional programming for first year students
Presenters: Erica McKellar, Andrea Prier, Courtney Little, Ashley McKnight, and Theresa Nystrom, University of Waterloo

In this session you will hear about the changes we have made to our transitional programming at the University of Waterloo. How we, the academic development specialists, teamed up with the new student transition team, faculty relations managers, campus partners, first year professors and peer mentors to put a new spin on transitional programming for incoming students including first year, international, mature and transfer students! You will also hear about the evolution of individual success coaching (learning strategists) into academic development specialists on our campus and how we plan on working differently with stakeholders to proactively support students throughout their transition into university. As collaboration and teamwork are key components of the work we do, this session will also allow for ample time for dialogue. Specifically, we would like to hear how learning strategists on your campuses are or could be working with stakeholders differently to support students.

Being an Effective Online Learner: Developing interactive online learning support modules from idea to impact
Presenters: Michael Lisetto-Smith and Jenna Olender, Wilfrid Laurier University

Funded by the Council of Ontario Universities, Being an Effective Online Learner was a project conceived by the Centre for Student Success at Wilfrid Laurier University to develop a series of online self-contained modules to provide flexible, custom learning strategies and study skills development for students enrolled in online learning courses. These modules aimed to support their successful transition into post-secondary education as well as their ongoing academic success. These modules include videos, interactive activities, assessments, student guidebooks, and a faculty guidebook and are primarily intended for faculty to use as part of their curriculum, though students may engage with them independently. In this session, the presenters will outline how they brought this project from idea to impact by reviewing the stages of production, the lessons learned, and presenting segments of the finished product.

Building Skills Beyond the Classroom
Presenters: Bethany Wiseman and Alison Rose, Algonquin College

Building Skills Beyond the Classroom highlights two successful programs being run at Algonquin College: Dare to Self-Care and TSC Socials. These programs do not focus specifically on building traditional academic skills, but instead provide students with opportunities to create meaningful connections, build confidence, and find a sense of belonging in the college environment. Through participation, students are able to build social skills and reduce stress in ways that will help them better integrate into and enjoy college life.

Dare to Self-Care is a six-week peer support group that focuses on stress reduction, self-esteem, and assertiveness in college women. TSC Socials are weekly social events planned for students on the autism spectrum. This session will share the rationale and steps for implementing both programs and offer insights into the potential support provided to students through alternative programming. Come out to see how these programs have become a part of our students’ “college story!”

Intercultural Learning as a Learning Strategy
Presenters: Cathy Maloney and Ronald Ng, University of Toronto

The 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results for University of Toronto students suggest that intercultural learning can be a learning strategy for our international students. Among U of T students, international students were the same as or ahead of their domestic counterparts on eight of the ten indicators. Since the NSSE indicators are empirically linked with learning, improving student engagement in these two areas should yield better learning results. Interestingly, the two indicators in question are 1) Discussions with diverse others and 2) Reflective and integrative thinking; both of which are areas which our intercultural learning programming addresses.

This information session will provide an overview of what intercultural learning programming we are currently doing at the Centre for International Experience (CIE) at U of T and consider ways in which we might expand or change our programming as we consider its potential as a learning strategy for international students.

Hotel for Overnight Guests

Holiday Inn Downtown Centre (click here)
$117 + tax / night
Please quote the "Ryerson Corporate Rate;" this rate is recognized all weekend for conference registrants.


From Union Station:
  • Take the Yonge line (line 1; yellow) Northbound to Dundas Station.
  • From Dundas Station, walk east on Dundas to Victoria Street
  • Head North on Victoria Street.
  • Heaslip House is located in CED on the map.  

From Bloor Station:
  • Take the Yonge line (line 1; yellow) southbound to Dundas Station.
  • From Dundas Station, walk east on Dundas to Victoria Street
  • Head North on Victoria Street.
  • Heaslip House is located in CED on the map.  

By Car:
  • The closest lot is in “PKG” (across from CED) at a daily maximum rate of $16 (6am to 6pm)
  • Please Note: This lot can only be accessed northbound on Victoria Street.
  • More parking is available at various lots on the Campus map, indicated by a “P.”
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