Focus on Teaching – September 2019


As the bustle of the September influx of students resounds on campus, it is our hope that you find time for professional reflection and growth. We have selected workshops and resources to help you lean into the challenges and opportunities this time of year affords. 

Check out the Fall 2019 Program Guide. Now available as a downloadable pdf or pick up a print copy in OL 348,

Sincerely,  Carolyn, Catharine, Kara, Nina, & Teresa --Your 2019 CELTeam

Workshops, Courses and Events

Teaching Assistants (TA) Orientation - TA Day

Tuesday, September 3, 4:30-7:30 p.m., HoL269

Join colleagues for a carefully curated day of need-to-know and good-to-know information. We'll get you connected with details on payroll and human resources, the professional code of conduct, and intercultural competencies to help you meet the needs of TRU's diverse student body. Most of all, you'll gain confidence and composure to fulfill your role through discussing critical scenarios with peers and a faculty guide.

Register here.

Show Up and Write!

Fridays (starting September 13) 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. OL340

Based on the successful "Shut Up & Write" community movement, this weekly writing group provides a quiet space to join with faculty and staff at TRU to make time to write. Each session will begin with a quick check-in, and close with a wrap-up/debrief. The rest of the time will be spent working on your own writing project and goals. CELT staff will be present to keep sessions on track and to offer encouragement.

No registration is required.


Strategies for Adopting Open Educational Resources... from small steps to giant leaps -Lian Dumouchel

September 17 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. OL127

Bring your lunch and your curiosity! Make the most out of your noon hour by gathering with colleagues for these popular professional learning opportunities. These sessions are intended to foster campus-wide collaboration, communication and resource sharing about new and emerging ideas related to teaching and learning. This month, join your colleague Lian Dumouchel to learn more about the ins and outs of creating and utilizing Open Educational Resources.

No registration is required.

Learning Technology Workshops

Are you looking to master Moodle? Interested in web-conferencing or WordPress? Join a drop-in session or register for one or more workshops on key Learning Tech topics including:  Orientation to Moodle  |  Using Gradebook |  Assessment in Moodle | Creating Interactive Content using H5P | Building Teams with Mattermost

Moodle and Learning Tech Drop in:

Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
September to December 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. OL346*

NEW! For workshop dates, descriptions, exceptions and to register, visit the calendar @

Facilitators: Jamie Drozda, Dr. Brenna Clarke Gray, and Dr. Matthew Stranach

New Faculty Information Sessions

These monthly sessions will provide you with  information and professional development highly relevant to your new role at TRU. Sessions will involve resident guest experts from offices across campus. While childcare is not provided, you are welcome to bring your children, along with activities to keep them occupied, for these two-hour late afternoon sessions.

Academic Integrity - Thursday, September 19 3-5 p.m.

Classroom Assessment Techniques - Wednesday, October 16 3-5 p.m.

Indigenization and Indigenous Education - Thursday, November 21 3-5 p.m.

Open Education Resources - Wednesday, December 11 3-5 p.m.

Register per session via the CELT calendar.

Course Evaluation Dashboard Workshops

Wednesday, September 18,  1-2 p.m., OL340   Register
Wednesday, September 25,  3-4 p.m., OL340   Register

Integrated Planning and Effectiveness (IPE) and CELT are pleased to share with you the enhancements that have been made to the new course evaluation dashboard reports.  Workshops are being offered to explain the changes that have been made, demonstrate how to navigate through the improved dashboard reports, explain how to use filters and set benchmarks, demonstrate how to create your own PDF report using the new ‘Create PDF’ sheet, and help you understand your results.  Attend in-person or via BlueJeans.  BYOD (bring your own device).

A Book, A Bowl, and a Bun: Faculty Book Club

Thursdays, September 19, October 17, & November 21, 12-1 p.m.

Come join us at ESTR's Market for lunch and a facilitated discussion about the 2017 book Bandwidth Recovery: Helping students reclaim cognitive resources lost to poverty, racism and social marginalization by Cia Verschelden. We'll supply the bowl of soup and the bun, while you supply the discussion. Digital user editions, and a limited number of print copies of the book are available through the uTRU Library. Note, space is limited, so please register soon.

--"Bandwidth Recovery is a timely, essential, and uplifting read for faculty and other contributor to students learning, assisting them in drawing out those students' potential for success." --Peggy L., Maki, educational consultant

Register here.

Teaching Triangles Program

Planning Meeting September 23, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., OL127

Wrap-up Meeting December 9, 12-1 p.m., TBD

This program provides faculty with the opportunity to gain insight into their teaching and their students' learning through a non-evaluative, formative process of reciprocal classroom visits with peers and self-reflection.

To participate, register in advance of the planning meeting. Groups will be arranged based on registrations. Attendance at the planning meeting is required.

Register here.


Classroom Choreography

TRU classrooms are undergoing changes to allow for flexible learning. Check out this timely video for ways you can utilize these flexible learning spaces at TRU. Discover how and when to use different configurations in your teaching depending on your learning outcomes See just how easy it is to modify a classroom to meet students' needs for different learning tasks.

Focus on First Year

Project Coordinator, Nancy Carson

The Focus on First year Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) bring together instructors who teach first-year courses as well as those who have an interest in first-year student retention and success. FLCs will work on collaborative projects to experiment with and reflect on evidence-informed practices with the goal of increasing students' sense of belonging and achievement. These FLCs are open to all faculty. Contact Nancy for more information.

K-16 Mind The Gap

Project Coordinator, Susan Lidster

CELT and School District 73 are working together to foster pedagogical and curricular connections between teachers and faculty. This CoP is designed to support faculty who hold K-16 Grants, or those who would like to develop a partnership with the regional school district. Our goals are to increase knowledge transfer between secondary school teachers and university faculty members with respect to curricula and pedagogical practices in each sector, ease transitions for students between grade 12 and first year university, and improve retention into second year, spread awareness strategies common to both secondary teachers and university faculty members, while showcasing instructional practices that use these assessment strategies. Contact Susan for more information.

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Community of Practice

First Friday of each month, September 6 to December 6 1-2 p.m. OL344

This community of practice is comprised of faculty who are actively working on a project related to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). The group meets to discuss research, share project ideas, communicate about the scholarly literature, and learn about modes of knowledge mobilization. Faculty who hold a CELT SoTL Accelerator Award are especially encouraged to participate.

Register here.

Sustainability across the Curriculum, Community of Practice

Fridays, September 20, October 18, November 22 & December 13 1-2 p.m. OL340

This Community of Practice welcomes faculty members committed to advancing sustainability issues within their courses-and within higher education and our community more broadly. Together, the group will determine the agenda and outcomes. We may discuss readings, share our course innovations around sustainability issues, give informal presentations, consider various definitions of sustainability, or go on field trips together. Who knows? Join us to see and to shape what happens!

Register here.

Awards and Opportunities

3M National Teaching Fellowship

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and 3M Canada have partnered since 1986 to recognize exceptional contributions to teaching and learning in Canadian post-secondary education. The community of 3M National Teaching Fellows (3MNTF) embodies the highest ideals of teaching excellence and scholarship with a commitment to encourage and support the educational experience of every learner.

Nationally, up to ten fellowships are selected annually. Faculty interested in applying for the 3MNTF to contact CELT for support in preparing a strong nomination package prior to the September 30, 2019 deadline. A helpful introduction to the program is on this livestream. Visit the STLHE website to learn more.

Conferences & Workshops

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The Third Pan-Canadian Conference October 2-4, 2019 Victoria, BC

Hosted by Royal Roads University, conference participants can choose from four role-relevant streams: K-12 educators, post-secondary instructors; instructional designers; student affairs/student services personnel.

SoTL without Borders: Engaged Practices for Social Change

October 9-12, 2019 Atlanta, Georgia | USA

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning invites you to register and join a cadre of of people "helping to change the direction of higher education around the world". This year's annual conference "aims to examine global teaching practices in a meaningful way in the heart of the city of Atlanta".

Symposium on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

November 7-9, 2019 Banff, Alberta

The Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Mount Royal is pleased to host the 9th annual event.The theme of this year's annual gathering is "Engaging Students, Engaging Faculty". Join regional colleagues for an opportunity to exchange ideas and hone your craft.

Call for Proposals & Papers

International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Author perspectives on the theory, development, and application of innovations in teaching and learning, including ideas, case studies, and original research on pilot projects, opportunities, and emerging technologies, and other interventions.

CELT activities at a glance

For an overview of upcoming CELT workshops, guest-speaker series 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.