Dr. Heather Smith named Bishop’s University 2020 Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar

By Michael Boriero – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Dr. Heather Smith named Bishop’s University 2020 Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar
(Photo : Courtesy Dr. Heather Smith)

Bishop’s University has selected Dr. Heather Smith from the University of Northern British Columbia as the 2020 Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar.
According to Smith, this year the primary focus for the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Scholar-in-Residence Program is on working on pedagogy in time of a pandemic. The global and international studies professor says that moving online can be a positive experience.
“For me, pandemic pedagogy is about taking the values and best practices that we use face-to-face and moving them online,” said Smith. “There is faculty across the country working really hard to design really amazing online experiences for students.”
Bishop’s is planning to deploy a hybrid model for its students in September. The campus will be open with students splitting time in the classroom and online. However, people are beginning to question the quality of education if it remains strictly online.
High quality education can be offered online, Smith explained in a phone interview. There are ways to optimize online learning tools to provide rich learning experiences. She added that professors and students would begin to see the benefits.
“In my own teaching, I’ve used lots of online tools over the years and it certainly provides for different kinds of opportunities for students. It provides for different opportunities for them to reflect. It provides an ability to reach students in different ways,” Smith said.
According to a Bishop’s press release, the two-time recipient of the UNBC Excellence in Teaching Award started her post as visiting scholar on May 15. The position runs until April 1, 2021. Smith is tasked with a number of responsibilities.
She is hosting webinars on course design, supporting technical teaching assistants, and helping to create a resource guide for the Virtual Maple League Teaching and Learning Centre.

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