Focus on Teaching - October 2020

September was a busy month for everyone, learning new routines, finding ways to engage with students, and navigating new ways of knowing in an uncertain time.

We hope October brings you opportunities to reflect on your growth, celebrate some small wins, and keep up all of your good work!

This month we look forward to bringing back our popular book club and new opportunities to take a look at experiential learning and accessibility. For faculty interested in applying for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, revised criteria will be published very soon with applications due in early 2021. Please get in touch soon if you are interested in applying; we offer hands-on support through the entire portfolio-building process.

Lastly, we are please to announce the release of a new consultation booking system on the home page of our website. You fill in the in the short form and we'll do the rest!

Warm wishes,

Catharine, Carolyn I., Carolyn H. and Teresa


COVID-19 Safety on Campus

Our top priority in all the planning taking place is your safety and that of our TRU community. However, reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. Before returning, you must complete three training courses. When on campus, in addition to frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, you are expected to self-assess daily using the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool, stay home if your feel sick and call 811 if you have been in contact or have contracted COVD-19. Our collective commitment to these responsibilities will play a key role in our continued fight against the spread of the virus. For more information, visit our COVID-19 Response website.

Professional Development

Condensed New Faculty Orientation

Friday October 2, 12-1:30 p.m. via MS Teams

If you missed our August faculty orientation event, please join us for this condensed version, which will present the highlights from that week. We will provide you with the resources shared at the full orientation and answer questions you might have about campus services and supports.

We welcome newly hired faculty (full-time and part-time) as well as faculty who have not yet attended an orientation, or are looking for a refresher. Register here.

Teaching Triangles

Friday October 2, 11-noon via MS Teams

The Teaching Triangles 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 and self-reflection. Three faculty members coordinate visits to each others' classes once over the term, committing to visiting one hour of class for each colleague in the triangle. Groups then meet to discuss what they learned about their own practice through their observations and reflections.  Register here.

CELTalk: Experiential Learning in COVID Times

Monday October 5, 10-11:30 a.m. via MS Teams

Led by Carolyn Hoessler (Coordinator, Learning and Faculty Development in CELT) and Larry Iles (Career Services Coordinator, Career and Experiential Learning Department), this 90-minute interactive session will provide you with options for EL at TRU, a template and steps for planning Outcome-Based Experiential Learning guided by national research, and practical examples and options that work within COVID and remote learning times. Register here

CELT Book Club: Radical Hope

Thursdays October 8 -December 10, 12-1 p.m. via BlueJeans

Back by popular demand! Due to the popularity of the spring book club, CELT will be offering a fall edition. Please join the CELT team for a weekly facilitated discussion of Kevin Gannon’s Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, an inspiring and potentially transformative book. The book consists of ten short chapters, so we will be reading one per week.

An e-book is available through the TRU library. Please use your TRU network login to access the full text. Register here.

Accessibility in Pressbooks Workshop

October 14, 10-11 a.m. via Zoom

Pressbooks can be used to create all sorts of open educational resources from textbooks or anthologies to lab manuals to case studies and more. And it supports text, images, video, audio, and interactive activities all within one resource. But how do you make sure all of this content is accessible?

Join Josie Gray and Christine Miller for this one-hour webinar to explore what accessibility looks like when creating OER in Pressbooks. We will discuss how to make different types of content accessible and explore how OERs published in Pressbooks can be structured and designed to make them more usable and accessible for students who face barriers to accessing learning materials, whether that’s due to disability, access to the internet or technology, or format preference. Learn more about the Accessibility Toolkit and Register for the workshop here.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Community of Practice

October 22, 1-2 p.m. via MS Teams

Interested in learning more about SoTL? Or maybe you’re already engaged in a SoTL project? Wherever you’re at, these monthly gatherings will connect you with other faculty and helpful resources and information to start, advance, or finalize a SoTL project. Topics will be determined by the group, but past topics have included identifying your research question, ethical considerations, social science methodologies, data collection tips, literature search strategies, and more. Join us to learn more! Register here.

Making Learning Accessible in Alternate Modes of Delivery

Thursday, October 29, 11 a.m-noon  via MS Teams

Sarah Walz, Director, Student Access and Academic Supports & Carolyn Ives, Coordinator, Learning and Faculty Development

Wondering how to ensure your courses are easily accessible for students? Thinking about how to reach as many learners as possible? If so, please join us for a session of practical tips to help you integrate principles of universal design for learning into your course. You will also be invited to share your own accessibility successes in your courses and have the opportunity to learn from the successes of colleagues. Register here.

Pandemic Pedagogies: A Discussion about Lessons Learned while Teaching through COVID-19

Friday, October 30, 11 a.m.-noon via BlueJeans

For the last six months, TRU’s amazing faculty members have been working hard to re-envision their courses to shift them to digital. Join us as we hear about some of their successes in this new mode of delivery. Sessions will feature a brief presentation followed by a larger discussion about how the strategies shared might work in participants’ own contexts. Register here.

Learning Technology & Innovation

Moodle Support

Every Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.- noon & 2-4 p.m. 
Drop-in and meet with a Moodle expert.

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

Connect by accessing Support for Virtual Delivery 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. Find all workshops with descriptions and register here (must be logged into OneTRU).

October 6, 10-11 a.m.:  Microsoft OneNote
October 8, 10-11 a.m.:  Using teams with Whiteboard
October 13, 10-11 a.m.:  SharePoint 100
October 15, 10-11 a.m.:  SharePoint & Teams

To register or learn more, email

New sessions are added regularly.

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. They have also created a new resource to support faculty called Teaching without Walls at TRU: a practical guide with tools, tips and techniques.

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


Call for Papers: International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (IJWIL) Special Issue

The Practice and Research of Co-op and WIL in the Canadian Context 

IJWIL is seeking expressions of interest for papers exploring the practice and research of Cooperative Education (Co-op) and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) in the Canadian context. Canada has a well-established history of practice of Co-op and WIL, and the intent of this Special Issue is to honour this history and highlight recent research and best practice developments of Canadian Co-op and WIL. Funding for this special issue has been generously provided by CEWIL Canada and the Work-Learn Institute at the University of Waterloo. Email proposals to by November 9th, 2020.

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 screen-cast/video/podcast (3-8 minutes) of an academic topic that is double-blind peer-reviewed. This year you may be interested in creating a screen-cast, podcast, or video assignment with your students!

Visit the website to learn more or contact Russell Currie in SoBE.

External Events and Resources

Open Education Conference

November 9-13, 2020 $75 USD

This year’s theme “Reimagining Open Education” seeks to catalyze ideas and action to address the challenges facing education in 2020 and to strive for more equitable systems.Join us for this year’s virtual convening for sharing and learning about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education initiatives. Registration for the 2020 Open Education Conference is open. Contact Brenda Smith in the Library with questions.

STUDIO20: Engaging Learners Online

November 17-19, 2020 $150

A studio is “a workplace for the teaching or practice of an art”. Studio20 will explore the art of engaging learners online and will feature keynotes and facilitators focussing on the themes of vision, voice, and active learning.  

You will be provided with opportunities to:

• Play with teaching strategies and approaches

• Connect with fellow educators to share experiences and expertise

• Participate in fun activities for social connection and community

Learn more and register here.

Recommended Reading

Haverila, M. (2020). Brand Community. Cascade Journal of Knowledge, volume 1 (1), 6:21.

 Bell, T. (2020). Variance Analysis with Quantitative Demonstration. Cascade Journal of Knowledge, volume 1 (1), 14:19.

 O'Fee, J. (2020). Workplace Rights. Cascade Journal of Knowledge, volume 1 (1), 11:24.

Have you written, performed, or created something you'd like to share? Email us to put it in our November newsletter!

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.

We respectfully acknowledge that TRU is located ne Secwepemcúl’ecw, in unceded Secwepemc territory.

To contact CELT, email and we will do our best to respond within 24 hours. Please note that our team is working remotely for the time being.