2019 Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching – Kyle Rich

Kyle Rich recipient of the 2019 Clarke Thomson Award for Sessional Instructors2019 Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching
Assistant Professor Kyle Rich
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Kyle Rich has been teaching in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies since July 2016 when he was hired in a limited term appointment faculty position.

He has taught seven different courses covering a wide swath of topics, to name a few, leisure and health, community development, leisure theory, and outdoor recreation.

Kyle stands out for bringing an innovative and thoughtful approach to teaching in an array of classroom settings whether that be in traditional, online and blended formats, and with mature learners.

For example, upon arriving at Brock, Kyle was hired as the first instructor of the Degree Completion Program for Professionals, a blended-format program offered to working professionals. https://brocku.ca/applied-health-sciences/recreation-leisure/program/undergraduate-professional/

In her letter of support, Associate Professor Erin Sharpe, specifically highlights the academic leadership that Kyle has shown as the lead instructor of this program. In fact, she credits Kyle with “singlehandedly” establishing “the positive reputation of the program.”

Professor Sharpe writes:

“… we had little to offer him in terms of guidance regarding what to expect. In spite of this, and as the student feedback verifies, Kyle demonstrated superior skills in teaching to a group of highly motivated yet non-traditional students in a range of non-traditional formats. In his teaching he shows immense sensitivity to the learner, recognizing not only what learners bring to the classroom but also what they want to obtain from their learning experience.”

Kyle equates his teaching philosophy with that of a coach for a team. He says:

“…While I hope to facilitate the learning of skills and knowledge in practice (or the classroom), I also hope that these skills and knowledge are applicable in game-time situations (or the real world). That is, I hope that the learners with whom I interact are able to take something away from our interactions, either changing the way they think about course topics in real world situations, or influencing the skills that they use in these situations.”

Kyle’s teaching evaluation results are exemplary — here are a few examples of student feedback:

“…The digital project assignment you developed for this course is an excellent way for working professionals to create something that can be implemented into their workplans. I would NEVER have the time to create something like this at work but having to do it for school allows [me] to take it, adapt it accordingly to the marks and implement it at work.”

“…He successfully engaged the class and empowered us to work towards achieving clear and relevant goals as well as a positive learning environment. Kyle challenged us to think outside of the box with case studies and scholarly articles that challenged the paradigms of recreation activities and theories.”