Christopher Knapper (2002)

knapperAffiliation at the time of the award: Queen’s University, Psychology, Instructional Development Centre.

Citation: Chris Knapper has been a university teacher for over 40 years – first in his native England and, since 1966 in various Canadian institutions. Trained as a psychologist, Chris has held appointments in a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, education, environmental studies, and drama. He was one of the first Canadian educational developers and in 1977 became founding director of the Teaching Resources Office at the University of Waterloo. In 1992 he also established the Instructional Development Centre at Queen’s University, and retired from that position in 2002. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Queen’s and works as an independent consultant on university teaching and educational development.

Chris has written extensively on the improvement of university teaching, including eight books and many dozens of articles and reports. He has also given hundreds of workshops on teaching and learning on five continents. Chris was a founder and first president of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and is also a founding editor of the major international educational development journal, the International Journal for Academic Development. He was one of the group who, in the late 1970s, first developed the idea of the teaching dossier, a means of documenting teaching that is now in use in universities all over the world. In 2002 STLHE created the “Christopher Knapper Lifetime Achievement Award” in his name, and made him the first recipient. The same year he received the McKeachie award from the American Educational Research Association, named after Wilbert McKeachie, the “father” of educational development in the USA.

Chris is still active as a teacher, researcher, and educational developer. He believes passionately that the quality of student learning is the core responsibility of universities, and that teaching undergraduates is a professor’s most important role, something that will influence our students for the rest of their lives.

3M Speaker
Presentation topics:

  • University teaching, past and present — what’s changed for better and for worse
  • The future of university teaching in a rapidly changing world
  • How the way we teach affects student learning
  • University teaching for better learning
  • University teaching and international development