Focus on Teaching – August 2019

We hope you are having a great summer! Many of us are preparing to change gears; what are you looking forward to accomplishing or letting go of in the coming weeks?

Your colleagues at CELT anticipate an exciting transition for new and returning faculty, teaching assistants, students and programming. We find it energizing and hope you do too!

This month we have sessions planned to be able to greet this time of changing gears with confidence, skills and innovative ideas for your teaching and learning. Check out our calendar and consider joining us for some late summer offerings that are tailored to ensuring you and your learners change gears smoothly.


Read&Write Software Program

Now Available

Read&Write, a literacy program that offers features to support reading, writing, and studying, is now available to all TRU students, staff, and faculty. If you are interested in trying out this software, you can have it installed on your workstation by submitting a ticket to the IT Service Desk. You can also install Read&Write on your personal computer(s), if you have registered for TRU’s free offering of Microsoft Office 365.

For more information, please contact Kathryne Brattland (Assistive Technology Specialist, Accessibility Services).

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.

Watch the video here

Workshops, Courses and Events

New Faculty Orientation

Monday, August 19 & Tuesday, August 20, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., OL 127

Discover key information and make contacts to enable you to fulfill your instructional role. A series of expert-led sessions and stations will equip you with a repertoire of resources, supports, and services related to teaching, learning, and student success. Topics include teaching essentials, TRU culture and strategic priorities, and work/life aides for you and your students.

NEW!  This August launch will be coupled with in-depth monthly sessions September to April.

Register for the Orientation here

Collaborative Learning Techniques

August 27, September 10 & 24, 12-1 p.m., OL 344

Do you ever wonder how to make the most of small group activities in your courses? If so, this workshop is for you! Based on the 2014 book Collaborative Learning Techniques: a handbook for college faculty by Barkley, Major, and Cross, this three-session series will offer you the opportunity to explore strategies to help you promote positive group learning experiences and foster a collaborative classroom environment in your class.

Register here


Create an Inspired First Day of Class

Wednesday, August 28 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., OL 127

How much do first impressions count? If you’re looking toward teaching your first class and wanting inspire your students right from day one, this workshop is for you. This session will equip you to engage and excite your students about learning and about your course material right from the first minute they enter your class.

Register here

Co-teaching for Professional Learning

Thursday, August 29 & Friday August 30, 8:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Dr. Colette Murphy is an author of several books on co-teaching and she has delivered workshops worldwide. She is a professor of science and mathematics education at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland. She is the director of the STEM (ERC) center there. She has been a teacher educator for 25 years. Her research centers on science learning and teaching, at all levels, and she is widely published in this area.

This session is hosted by the Faculty of Education and Social Work.  Please contact Carol Rees for more information, at

Teaching Assistants (TA) Orientation - TA Day

Tuesday, September 3, 4:30-7:30 p.m., HoL 269

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

Learning Technology Workshops

Are you new to Moodle, or looking to learn more? Along with the regular Moodle Drop-in sessions, there are specific user workshops on key topics. Check the CELT Calendar for specific dates, times, and to register.

Orientation to Moodle  |  Using Gradebook |  Wikipedia for Education | Open Web Tools | Creating Interactive Content using H5P | Big Blue Button

For full descriptions of each workshop, visit their website.

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 can contact CELT for support in preparing a strong nomination package prior to the September deadline. A helpful introduction to the program is on this livestream. Visit the STLHE website to learn more.

Awards for Excellence in Open Education

BCcampus, Nominations accepted every month

The Awards for Excellence in Open Education recognize outstanding contributions to the open education movement in British Columbia. These contributions may include significant leadership, Open Educational Resource 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. View the nomination form for more details. 

Conferences & Workshops

Team-Based Learning Institute: Deeper Engagement and More Fun with Team-Based Learning

Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, August 14-16, 2019

Call for Proposals & Papers

International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Seeks 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.

Currents in Teaching and Learning

Looks for short reports, research reports and theoretical inquiries relevant to a non-specialist teacher-scholar audience concerned with teaching and learning in higher education. Submission deadlines: December 15 & August 15 each year

Save the Date

August 19 and 20: New Faculty Orientation

August 27, September 10 and 24: Collaborative Learning Techniques

August 28: YOU GOT THIS! First Day of Class

September 3: Teaching Assistants Day

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.