Focus on Teaching - August 2020

Dear Reader,

We hope that July brought you time to rest and rejuvinate. As we begin to gear back up for the fall climb, you will find a variety of workshops and learning opportunities to help you engage with your students during this strange time. It is our goal to offer you meaningful information and a supportive community to ensure you feel confident and prepared for the semester ahead.

We also wish to share that Kara Loy, our Associate Director has left TRU, and we wish her all the best in her new role at the University of Calgary.


Your CELT Team

Professional Development

Collaborative, Online, Intercultural Learning (COIL)

August 6, 10-11 a.m.

Are you interested in fostering intercultural connections in your class through cross-boarder collaboration? This introduction to COIL will discuss some of the potential partnership opportunities and share a few ways of setting up a COIL partnership. Register here.

Facilitating Learning in Moodle, Condensed Edition

August 10 - 14, all-day

This hands-on, intensive 5-day workshop will offer you opportunity to engage in planning and implementing your shift to alternative delivery. It’s organized around four modules—course planning and design, building community, engaging and motivating students, and facilitating assessment—all via Moodle. Participants will attend synchronous sessions, work on their own Moodle sites, and engage with colleagues to give and receive feedback daily. There will be multiple opportunities for participants to share their work. The session will take you through approximately 7-8 hours of content and activity per day.

Register for this workshop

Teaching in Times of Crisis and Social Injustice

August 18 - 21, times vary

This series, facilitated by CELT and Kyra Garson from the Faculty of Student Development invites all TRU faculty to dialogue and share resources and pedagogies, as we all navigate teaching in tumultuous times. These sessions do not promise to have all the answers, but invite us to learn and support each other to become advocates for change that will both support students and explore how to enact meaningful change within to the structures of oppression that perpetuate inequity.   

• How to be an ally (BCcampus)

• Being an ally and advocate for change at TRU

• The uneven impact of COVID-19

• Facilitating courageous conversations

• Rights, responsibilities and actions that lead to change

TRU Faculty Orientation

August 24 - 28, times vary

Our goal is to reach out to all new (or almost new) faculty, including tenure-track, limited-term contract and sessional faculty. We want you to feel a part of TRU and well-informed about the institution and your role as faculty.

Speakers will include key personnel who provide services that you may need to relay to students, information from HR for you, and academic services to support your teaching and research.

Register for individual sessions on the CELT calendar

Getting Accessibility Ready

August 13th,  10:30-11:30 a.m.

If you’re moving all your materials online or learning a new delivery platform, you may be feeling more overwhelmed than usual. So, when it comes to supporting students in practical learning settings with accessibility needs, we thought you might appreciate some practical tips and tricks to help prepare you for the upcoming semester(s). This presentation will address the following questions:

•     What medical conditions are also considered disabilities?

•     What are the different ways disabilities can affect students?

•     What is the difference between academic and workplace accommodations?

•     What if an accommodation compromises a learning outcome or raises a safety concern?

•     How can mental health be accommodated in a practical setting?

•     How does working from home impact students with disabilities?

•     What are some tools available to everyone that can help with productivity?

To register: please email to confirm attendance and you will be added to the MS Teams invite.

FAST Finance: Ask a Budget Officer

August 27th, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Hosted by: HR Learning and Development & TRU Finance

Do you have questions about how to look up your PD or Research funds in FAST Finance? Need help navigating around FAST Finance? This is your opportunity to ask a Budget Officer your questions. To register: please email to confirm attendance and you will be added to the MS Teams invite.

Learning Technology & Innovation

Moodle Support

Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. - noon  &  2 - 4 p.m.

Workshop times vary

Learning Technology facilitators are offering daily open office hours (using Big Blue Button) to support faculty using Moodle. Advice and instruction in implementing other tools is available on an ongoing basis.

To see the wide variety of programming available and to register visit the Learning Technology and Innovations Calendar

Connect by accessing the Support for Alternate Modes of Delivery (Formerly COVID-19 Preparedness) or email

Microsoft Teams Training for Faculty

New to using Microsoft Teams for meetings, document sharing or committees? The following sessions provided by IT services will help you to effectively use the platform to reach your goals.

August 11, 10-11 a.m. Microsoft Teams 100

August 14, 9-10 a.m. Faculty Friday- Microsoft OneDrive

August 18, 10-11 a.m. Microsoft Teams 200

August 25, 10-11 a.m. Microsoft OneDrive

To register or learn more, email Dave at

Learning Design Support

What are best practices in course design and assessment for online learning? How can you adapt your face to face activities and assessments to a digital environment?

The Learning Design team has answers and strategies for you. Their work is situated at the intersection of technology and pedagogy with a focus on the learner experience. They are able to help, whether you want individual consultation on your specific course or a larger group discussion with your department.

Reach out to and an instructional designer will contact you to offer assistance.


Cascade Journal of Knowledge

The Cascade Journal of Knowledge disseminates knowledge (open-access) from scholars and enhances the scholarship of teaching and learning.  The journal achieves this through a unique and innovative journal format: scholars submit a screencast/video/podcast (3-8 minutes) of an academic topic that is double-blind peer-reviewed. Visit their website to learn more.

External Events and Resources

Sharing is Caring? Exploring academic integrity and file-sharing behaviours.

August 14, 11-12:30

Join Dr. Brenda Stoesz (University of Manitoba) and Josh Seeland (Assiniboine Community College) for an interactive session on academic file-sharing among students. Learn what some of the issues are, and how to address them from an academic integrity perspective. Register here.

 Exploring a World of Open

 August 10 - 16, asynchronous/synchronous

You probably already know that Wikipedia consistently ranks among the top 10 websites visited worldwide. But you may be less aware of the dozen other projects supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, all offering participatory knowledge beyond the purely encyclopedic. In this MicroCourse, we’ll go on a tour of the Wikiverse, exploring some of the lesser-known Wiki-projects to uncover fresh ideas for your open pedagogy practice.

This course includes mostly asynchronous activities which means you can spread your 6 to 13 hours of participation over the whole week. Synchronous sessions will be recorded. Spreading out participation over each day is ideal. Register here.

BCcampus offers a wide range of workshops and supports for educators. See more at

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

Questions about learning, teaching and assessment? Visit Support for Alternate Modes of Delivery in Moodle, or Contact CELT at

Stay up-to-date on TRU's COVID-19 Response.