OISE CPL Team Receives 2022 Staff Innovation Award

Apr 14th, 2022  |  Award of Excellence

Congratulations to Zoya Babar, Tionie-Marie McLean, Céleste Patenaude, and Samantha Presutto, as recipients of the 2022 OISE Team Innovation Award!

Each Spring, OISE formally recognizes and rewards staff members, acknowledging the integral role administrative staff play within the organization. 

The Innovation Award celebrates the achievements of staff, individually or as a team, who have developed and implemented a creative solution that increases the productivity and enhances the value added to research, teaching, and the administrative process at OISE.

This year, we are thrilled to be celebrating the Innovation Award recognition of our very own OISE CPL team members, Zoya Babar, Tionie-Marie McLean, Céleste Patenaude, and Samantha Presutto, for their creativity and leadership in establishing a Professional Learning Community for our community of Continuing & Professional Learning facilitators. Their hard work and dedication to supporting OISE CPL sessional facilitators, particularly in the early months of the pandemic, enabled opportunity for meaningful team engagement, and professional growth, which in turn, continue to enhance the flexibility and efficient delivery of OISE CPL programming. 

A composite photo of the award recipients
Given the speed of change and a sense of urgency to be responsive to future needs, the Connected Facilitator Community has become my source for sustaining my momentum and leadership in adult learning and development
To develop meaningful learning material and opportunities for collaboration for an audience whose job it is to facilitate this learning for their fellow teachers requires creativity, engagement, and a strong sense of community. This team – who teaches the teachers who are teaching the teachers! – is a dynamic, strong, and engaged one. Working and learning with them is one of my favourite parts of being a part of OISE CPL.
This has helped to create a supportive culture for a group of sessional facilitators who don't often have a chance to connect together...I have experienced first-hand the collaboration, creativity, and dedication this team brings to creating professional development opportunities in the Advancing our Practice series that are relevant, meaningful and memorable.

OISE Continuing & Professional Learning welcomes thousands of professional learners to our online courses and programs each year. Because our extended team 150+  sessional facilitators are key to creating great professional teaching and learning environments for our learners, in 2020-21, our team of Portfolio Solutions Officers took the initiative to review the needs of sessional facilitators and identify opportunities to improve their experience within the unit. Their analysis highlighted a need to support the growth of our sessional facilitators’ skills and confidence in navigating the complexities of online teaching and learning environments for diverse adult learner audiences. Their study also highlighted  a need for greater community connection, peer support and networking opportunities.

In response, in 2021-2022, the team led the introduction of professional learning communities (PLC) for our sessional facilitators from our Workplace Learning and Pre-K – 12 portfolios. Aligned to the OISE CPL teaching and learning model, the team’s goals for the PLC were simple:
1) Curate topical professional learning inquiries aligned to facilitator-identified interest and need, and
2) Create a virtual space for sessional facilitators to engage with each other and with the OISE CPL administrative team in a more flexible, timely and meaningful way.

Through collaboration, creativity and iteration, the online Connected Facilitators Community was born, which included an “Advancing our Practice” (AoP) professional development series. Now in full-swing, our team continues to lead the online forum for facilitators while also curating the design, development and hosting of various virtual events aligned to sessional facilitator interests, learner feedback, and the OISE CPL strategic plan. We have observed an enhanced team culture among our facilitator community, and significant advancements in communication, as well as administrative process improvements.  Most important, OISE CPL facilitators have expressed their experience in the Professional Learning Community has not only informed their teaching practice and provided opportunities for cross-CPL peer collaboration, it has improved their overall confidence in facilitating online learning environment, which in turn has led to a positive impact in our learners’ course experiences.

Kudos to this OISE CPL dream team for leading this process and organisational innovation that is actively informing our approaches to professional learning experiences for broader CPL learner audiences!

Learn more about all of the 2021-22 OISE Staff Excellence Award recipients 

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Robin receiving his award from the OISE CPL team