Focus on Teaching – November 2019

November is a time to reflect and to remember. We are encouraged when thinking how far we've come since the beginning of September and what remains to attend to in the coming weeks. We've hosted several workshops, communities of practice, and events and have more coming up.

As we reflect on our teaching and professional contributions, we hope you also have an opportunity to reflect on yours and to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in your work.

Join us in considering the forthcoming opportunities to write, discuss, hone your teaching craft, and build community. Of note are the Peer Review of Teaching and Instructional Support Pilot Sessions on November 7 and 19 at 2:30pm in OL344 and two CELTalks on November 5 and 27 at 12:30pm in OL 127.

We look forward to seeing you!

Workshops, Courses and Events

Show Up and Write!

Fridays, 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.


12:30-1:30 p.m., OL127

Bring your lunch and your curiosity to 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. No registration is required.

November 5

Field School Development - One step forward, two steps back! with Karie Russell & Karen Densky

November 27

Peer Mentoring for Early Childhood Educators in BC Project with Laura Doan

Examining the First Year of the 'Mind the Gap' Program with Susan Lidster & Catharine Dishke

Peer Review Pilot Sessions

November 7 & 19, 2:30-4:30 p.m., OL344

We need your help! The Peer Review of Teaching and Instructional Support working group is ready to pilot a draft process.  As a sub-committee of the Teaching and Learning Committee of Senate, it has been working to develop a process that is adaptable, scalable, and flexible—and designed to genuinely help faculty reflect on and improve their professional practice. If you’d like to help test the draft process as either a reviewer or a reviewee, this session will help you get started. If you’re not sure, you’re welcome to come to the session and learn about the draft process before you decide. Your feedback will help us revise and improve the process. Register here.

Learning Technology Workshops

Are you looking to master Mattermost or Moodle? Want to broadcast teaching and learning using an Educational Podcast or Lightboard? Curious about Universal Design for Learning (UDL)? Interested in web-conferencing with confidence or using WordPress? Stop by for 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 Content using H5P | Building Teams with Mattermost | Big Blue Button | Universal Design for Learning | Educational Radio: Podcasting for teaching and learning | Lightboard: lecture capture tool for producing short videos

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

For full descriptions of each workshop, visit the EdTech Calendar.

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.

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


Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Community of Practice

November 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m., OL344

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 monthly 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.

Sustainability across the Curriculum, Community of Practice

Fridays, 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!

Awards and Opportunities

British Columbia Framework for Accessibility Legislation

Location: Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family & Community Services - 707 Tranquille Road
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Everyone is invited to participate in a community meeting to provide feedback into legislation and to explore ways to build a better B.C. for people with disabilities.Supports are available to help you participate, including transportation, child care, disability and health. For more information contact:

Lorraine Copas
Executive Director, SPARC BC 604-718-7736 •

Jayd Ursulak
External Stakeholder Relations, SPARC BC 604-718-7745 •

Register online

Apply to Review an Open Textbook

To ensure the content in the BC Open Textbook collection achieves or surpasses the academic requirements of the post-secondary institutions of BC, a review system to rank each open textbook has been developed. You are invited to apply to review an open textbook to help deliver quality content to students and faculty. Approved reviewers receive a nominal honorarium.

Visit BC Campus for more information.

3M National Student Fellowship

Call for Nominations Open

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) has opened the annual call for Nominations for the 2020 3MNSF. This award recognizes students who demonstrate distinctive and creative educational leadership regarding a challenge facing higher education. The deadline is 31 January 2020. Nominees must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree or college program at a post-secondary Canadian institution, have completed at least one semester of study, and have not previously received a 3M student fellowship. Visit the STLHE 3MNSF website for information on putting together a nomination for an inspiring TRU student.

D2L Innovation Award

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and Desire2Learn (D2L) celebrate and recognize up to five post-secondary educators each year for their innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.

STLHE and D2L invite submissions by January 19, 2020. Visit the STLHE website to learn more.

Conferences & Workshops

Teaching Practices Colloquium 2020

Tuesday February 18

Celebrating 50 Years of Teaching & Learning at TRU.

Proposals accepted until December 5, 2019. Updates coming soon! Visit the website for more information.

McMaster Research on Teaching & Learning Conference

December 5 & 6, 2019, Hamilton, Ontario

The theme for this year focuses on Research on Teaching and Learning Within and Across the Disciplines. Disciplinary connection is a defining feature of research on teaching and learning. This conference provides an opportunity for a 'deep dive' into current issues and trends within different disciplinary contexts while simultaneously providing spaces to discuss points of convergence and connection across disciplinary boundaries and contexts.

BC Campus Festival of Learning

May 11 - 13, 2020 Vancouver, BC

The Festival of Learning is B.C.’s largest celebration of teaching and learning in higher education. Held every two years and welcoming about 500 attendees from all over B.C. and beyond, the Festival is a great opportunity for faculty, students, leaders, librarians, learning designers, educational technologists and accessibility/ disability educators and professionals to network and learn together.

Call for proposals open now until November 15, 2019. Submit here.

Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA)

Conference June 30 to July 3, 2020, Brisbane, Australia

Conference sub-themes include governance & policy; teaching, learning and the student experience; pathways and partnerships; innovation and research; professional learning for academic practice; & values, justice and integrity.

Call for proposals open now until February 7, 2020. Submit here.

Save the Date!

November 5: CELTalk - Field Schools

November 7 and 19:  Peer Review Pilot Sessions

November 21: New Faculty Session - Indigenization and Indigenous Education

November 27: CELTalk - Peer Mentoring for Early Childhood Educators & Mind the Gap Update


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.