Focus on Teaching - February 2021

Dear Faculty,

Though we miss gathering with everyone in person, we look forward to joining together in a new format this year at TPC 2021. This year's theme, Teaching and Learning Without Walls, will showcase a variety of approaches and strategies that TRU community members have used to support the student experience in an unprecedented year of challenges.

February is also Black History Month, which highlights opportunities to learn more and honour the contributions of Black Canadians to the community. We encourage everyone to take a look at the reading list of books available in the TRU library as well as this page of educational resources. Niagara College also has an excellent set of resources for faculty who wish to learn more. 

We here in CELT continue to work remotely, but that doesn't mean we are far away. Use our consultation form, or email us directly to work through sticky teaching challenges, or brainstorm new approaches to student engagement.

COVID-19 Safety on Campus

Our top priority is your safety and that of our TRU community. However, reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. Please be mindful of your actions and the impact they can have on members of our community. Visit TRU's COVID-19 Response website to keep yourself up to date.

Professional Development

Read One, Join One:
Not your usual book club

Tuesdays, until April 13, Noon-1 p.m. via BlueJeans

CELT and Learning Technology and Innovation are teaming up to facilitate discussions from Critical Digital Pedagogy, an open-access collection of articles from the journal Hybrid Pedagogy that have been composed by world-class scholars and curated by Jesse Stommel, Chris Friend, and Sean Michael Morris. 

Articles will be posted in the calendar in advance, so you can join the discussions that interest you. 

February Articles:

(click on the article title to register)

February 2: Article 18. Librarian as Outsider
February 9: Article 7. Critical Pedagogy: Intentions and Realities & Article 15. On, on, on
February 16: No Book Club (TPC)
February 23: Article 6. Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education

New(ish) Faculty Community of Practice

Tuesday, February 9, 2:30-4 p.m. via MS Teams

February's topic: Academic Integrity

All faculty are welcome!  During this session we will talk about the current climate and trends of academic integrity at TRU. Focus will be on how to create a climate of integrity, how to prevent departures of integrity, and how to detect departures of integrity. We will end this session answering questions and connecting participants to available supports at TRU. Register here.

Virtual Writing Sessions

Fridays, 9-10 a.m. via BlueJeans

Why not put aside some time to work on your writing projects and goals?

The Library offers a weekly writing group, providing a quiet (virtual) space to join with faculty and staff at TRU.  If you're interested, please reach out to Amy Paterson in the TRU Library at

TRU Faculty Merit Awards Submission Deadline

Sunday, February 14, 11:59 p.m.

The Faculty Excellence Award, President's Distinguished Teacher Award, and the Award for Excellence in Interculturalization recognize outstanding faculty.

For more information, including criteria and how to submit an application package, please visit our Awards & Fellowships page on our website.

17th Annual Teaching Practices Colloquium

Teaching and Learning Without Walls

Tuesday, February 16 (Virtual Format)

The 17th Annual Teaching Practices Colloquium will be held on February 16, 2021 in a virtual format. This year's theme, Teaching and Learning Without Walls, explores five distinct themes that encourage us to go beyond. Visit the TPC webpage to learn more.

• Beyond the Usual: Lemonade from Lemons in COVID
• Beyond Success: Sustainability
• Beyond Exclusion: Anti-racism, Inclusivity, 2SLGBTQIA+
• Beyond Barriers: OER (Open Educational Resources)
• Beyond Words: Indigenization & Virtual Classrooms

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice

February 26, 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. Please join us! 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

Learning Technology Podcast

You Got This is produced by the Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) team at Thompson Rivers University to provide just-in-time teaching and learning encouragement and support to our campus community. It's designed to support you when you need it with weekly episodes offering tips, advice, insights, and conversations with folks from across our campus community.

Your Host:
Brenna Clarke Gray, Coordinator, Learning Technology, LTI @ TRU

Open Education Resources

Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources

Faculty Showcase: Inclusive Open Course Design and Materials

Wednesday, February 10, 9 a.m. - Noon

The OER movement is deeply rooted in ensuring equitable access to information; but there is more we can do to help increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in our course resources. Join us for a showcase of how faculty are making their course design and teaching materials more inclusive. Faculty from the humanities, social sciences, and STEM disciplines will presentLearn more and register here.

Cascadia Open Education Summit

April 27-29 2021

This free digital conference explores innovation, research, and best practices in open education around the theme of “Regional influence. Global impact.” Learn more here.


Did you know that CELT has a blog?

It's called In Progress, and it features two new posts:

Pandemic Pedagogy Tip #3: Audio, Video, or Both? by Cael Field from TRU's Respiratory Therapy program.

And Pandemic Pedagogy Tip #4: Authentic Assessment by Ben Lovely from TRU's Trades program.

Do you have a tip or strategy to share with colleagues? An idea for an article? Would you like to be a featured author on our blog? Contact Carolyn Ives at with your idea!

Research Funding Opportunity (Up to $6,000)


This research funding opportunity is specifically targeted to Indigenous researchers who are investigating a range of topics related to teaching and learning in higher ed including:

• Online learning and teaching, with a special interest in projects about “pivoting” online; strategies for alternative assessments and exams (e.g., moving away from online or face-to-face proctored exams); experiential learning online (e.g., how to do hands-on or lab work online); and digital literacies

• Open educational practices (OEP), including implementing open assignments and activities and the impact of OEP on teaching and learning in post-secondary education

• Indigenization and decolonization in B.C. post-secondary teaching and learning

• Trades education in B.C. post-secondary teaching and learning

• Equity, diversity, and inclusion in B.C. post-secondary teaching and learning

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, February 14, 2021.  Visit BCcampus Research Fellows 2020-2021 for more information.

Educational Developers Caucus 2021 Conference

February 17 & 18, 2021 via Zoom

Sessions include:

• Keynote by Klodiana Kolomitro & Natasha Kenny - Caring for our community: When will well-being be a priority?

• Self-care sessions by professionals

• Facilitated discussion sessions on EDI in educational development (ED), ED in times of change, Indigenization in ED, contract positions in ED, transitioning from college to university, and pivoting with the pandemic to respond to instructors needs.

• Celebrate 5 minute video sessions to share tools, strategies, and practice

Learn more and register on the conference website.

International Centre for Academic Integrity Conference

March 1-4, Noon-4 p.m. via Whova (Desktop or Phone)

Technology, Current Research, Policy Issues, and Student, Institutional, and Practitioner experiences

If you are interested in attending the 2021 International Centre for Academic Integrity Annual Conference, or any part of the 4 day event, please forward your name to before registering.

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.

Recommended Readings

Almeida, N. (2020).  Librarian as Outsider. Critical Digital Pedagogy. Link.

Bali, M. (2020). Critical Pedagogy: Intentions and Realities. Critical Digital Pedagogy. Link.

D'Souza, M.S., Nikku, B.R., & Field, C. (2021). Interdiciplinary teaching practices: Reflections from a teaching triangle. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice., 11(5). Link

Swauger, S. (2020). Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education.  Critical Digital PedagogyLink. 

Have you written, performed, or created something you'd like to share? Email us at to put it in our next 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.