Focus on Teaching – November 2018

How is your fall term going? Are you looking for some support or a few new ideas? We have some exciting new workshops coming up this month, ranging from how to grade participation to timing your talks. In addition, we are excited to promote two open dialogues on interculturalizing and diversity, facilitated by the Faculty of Student Development.

In collaboration with Open Learning, we are also running a series of learning technology workshops, available face-to-face, and online. Topics vary, and include using collaborative documents, and annotation with Register for the mode you prefer on our calendar.

Have you heard? CELT has a podcast! Listen to our first two episodes of Adventures in Teaching and let us know what you think.

Finally, if you are looking for all of our workshops in one spot- see our new program guide! Available electronically, or pick up a hard copy in OL 349

Workshops and Courses

Are Students Daydreaming or Deep in Thought? Fostering Student Learning through Formative Assessment-Based Participation Grades

Tuesday November 6, 10:30-12 OL 340

Do you struggle with whether to assign participation grades? Do you want to promote active student participation in class but have concerns about how fair it is to assign marks simply for speaking? If so, then this session is for you! In this workshop, we’ll discuss advantages and disadvantages of assigning participation marks, and we’ll examine several options for assessing participation and engagement, focusing on formative assessment as a key strategy. Participants will also have the opportunity to try a few of these activities, and we’ll discuss how they might foster student learning and contribute to a student’s participation grade. Participants will be also be invited to share their own strategies for using participation marks to foster student learning.

Facilitated by Carolyn Ives

Register Here

Intercultural Mythbusting and Capacity Building

Friday November 9, 1-2:30 OM 1761

TRU has identified increasing intercultural understanding as a strategic priority. Our campus community continues to become increasingly culturally diverse. This session invites TRU educators to engage in dialogue about the social and cultural contexts of common myths concerning diversity and intercultural dynamics on campus. We will explore how stories and stereotypes influence student/teacher interactions, classroom dynamics, and reconciliation responsibilities.

Facilitated by Amie McLean, Kyra Garson, and Alejandro Campos-Garcia Intercultural Coordinators, Faculty of Student Development

Register Here

Mental Health First Aid

Friday November 9, 16, 23, & 30, 9-12

(all weeks required)

TRUSU Boardroom

Mental Health First Aid Canada (MHFA), sponsored by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, is a 12-hour training course delivered in 4 modules. Participants will learn how to provide initial help to people who are showing signs of a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis, as well as gain confidence in talking about mental health with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.

Register Here

Timed Talks

Wednesday November 14, 3:30-5 OL 340

This workshop is intended for faculty, staff, students, and administrators… anyone who has to speak in front of a group in a limited amount of time.  This could include a presentation at an academic conference, sharing some key information at a meeting, or any other time when you’re asked to speak “…but please be brief”.  This workshop will offer tips and strategies for planning your talk and for managing yourself as you present.  You will get an opportunity to practice in a non-threatening exercise.  Everybody welcome!

Facilitated by John Churchley

Register Here

Towards Equitable and Inclusive Pedagogies In Complex Times

Friday November 16, 1-2:30 PM OM1761

Classrooms and public spaces in universities have increasingly become sites of politically and emotionally charged exchanges between groups who subscribe to deeply conflicted ideologies. During this session we will explore strategies that the seek inclusion of multiple perspectives while at the same time decreasing the risk of full blown conflict or unsafe learning environments for students.

Facilitators: Amie McLean, Kyra Garson, and Alejandro Campos-Garcia Intercultural Coordinators, Faculty of Student Development

Register Here

Moodle Workshops

All workshops and drop-in sessions are in OL 346

Dates and times vary

New to Moodle, or would like to learn more? Along with our regular Moodle Drop-in sessions, we will be running a series of specific workshops for users. Check the CELT Calendar for dates, times and to register.

Drop In: Tuesdays 12-2, Thursdays 10-12

Orientation to Moodle  |  Using Gradebook in Moodle |  Assessment in Moodle | Using Big Blue Button | Creating Interactive content using H5P

For full descriptions of each workshop, visit our website.

Program Learning Outcomes Workshops

Is your program looking to develop learning outcomes? Do you have learning outcomes, but no curriculum map? Are you looking to make any curriculum changes?

The Teaching Fellows run interactive, faculty-centered workshops to meet the needs of your program. Contact CELT to set up a 10-minute presentation and answer your questions at your next department meeting.


Join your colleagues for our lunch-and-learn speaker series. Each 20-minute presentation will give you insight into teaching strategies, trends, or emerging research. If you can't make it in person, watch live, or later on our Livestream.

All talks take place between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. in OL127.

Fall Schedule

November 8:

Democratizing Assessment in Higher Education – Gloria Ramirez

Intercultural Learning and Place-based Pedagogy – Robin Reid

November 27:

Weytk – The Importance of Introductions in Indigenous Culture –
Roxane Letterlough

The Culture of Curiosity: Inductive Teaching keeps them Engaged – Dian Henderson

Awards and Opportunities

3M National Student Fellowship

Do you know an outstanding student? Nominate them for a 3M National Student Fellowship.

For many years, 3M Canada has funded scholarships and awards for undergraduates in colleges and universities across Canada. In 2012, 3M added a student fellowship using the long-standing 3M National Teaching Fellowship Program for university professors as a model. The 3M National Student Fellowship Program arose out of consultations and collaboration with the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Board of Directors and the Council of 3M National Teaching Fellows Executive.

Nomination deadline is January 31, 2019

Awards for Excellence in Open Education


The Awards for Excellence in Open Education recognize outstanding contributions to the open education movement in British Columbia. These contributions may include significant leadership, OER development, research, or advocacy by faculty, students, support staff, or administrators at post-secondary institutions in B.C. or others that support the post-secondary system in B.C. Individuals or teams may be recognized.

Anyone may propose a nomination, but individuals may not self-nominate. Individual award nominations are made in writing via the online form (see below). The open education team at BCcampus adjudicates the award each month. Award winners will receive a certificate of recognition and be profiled on the BCcampus website.

Note: There is no deadline for nominations as one award is granted each month.

Nomination Form

Call for Proposals

TRU Teaching Practices Colloquium

Adventures in Teaching

Tuesday February 19, 2019

Call for proposals deadline:December 7, 2018

The Teaching Practices Colloquium is a chance for TRU faculty to come together to learn from each other and to share our knowledge and experience about teaching. This year, the central theme of the 2019 TRU Teaching Practices Colloquium is "Adventures in Teaching."

Submit your proposal here

University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching

April 30-May 1, 2019

Call for proposals deadline: December 13, 2018

How do we transform education to spark curiosity, drive innovation and prepare students to thrive in their chosen careers? What does learning look like in a postsecondary institution that emphasizes entrepreneurial, creative and critical thinking? How do we design teaching and scholarship that are informed by and contribute to our local, national and international communities? Increasingly, experiential learning is prioritized in higher education. Students demand relevant and meaningful learning experiences and employers expect them to be equipped with the skills required by a changing workforce.

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning invites all members of the academic community – students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars to explore experiential learning — and the scholarship, approaches, practices and issues that surround it — in the postsecondary context.

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 11-14, 2019

Call for proposals deadline: January 10, 2019

The theme for the conference is "Guiding the Journey: Learner- Teacher - Learner".

For more information visit the STLHE website.

Publishing Opportunities

Special Issue - Art History Pedagogy and Practice

The purpose of this special issue is both to model an array of SoTL methodologies and to facilitate an increase in SoTL-AH practitioners. With an exemplary sample of approaches, the issue will demonstrate SoTL’s potential in our field. To stimulate emulation and further research, each study will be preceded by a short summary of the paper’s methodology written in accessible language by a SoTL or educational research specialist.

To encourage the contributions of those who are intrigued by the possibilities of SoTL for art history, but who feel they need additional guidance, we invite submissions of abstracts or complete papers. Contributors whose proposals are accepted in the abstract phase will have the opportunity for consultation with a SoTL or educational research expert to develop the final paper.

Please submit your abstract or paper, along with a brief statement of interest, to by December 1, 2018.


Save the Date

CELT activities at a glance

For an overview of all upcoming CELT workshops, speakers and other events, view the monthly calendar hosted by the TRU Library. Workshops are open to faculty, staff and graduate students unless otherwise noted.

Focus on Teaching is the monthly newsletter of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). We showcase instructional development opportunities for TRU faculty and staff, and up-to-date information on our current projects, initiatives and learning opportunities. To read past issues of Focus on Teaching or to subscribe to our mailing list, visit our Newsletters page.

Questions about learning and teaching? Contact CELT or visit us in OL 349