Focus on Teaching - March 2021

Dear Faculty,

As we move into the one-year anniversary of the pandemic restrictions being put in place, we mark a milestone that represents a shift in our ways of learning, teaching, and working together. We are optimistic about the vaccine rollout as well as the return-to-campus planning currently taking place, and we appreciate having the opportunity to help faculty shift their teaching to support student learning.

One thing that has become clear is the importance and utility of open education resources and practices during this time. As the first week of March marks Open Education Week, there are many opportunities to learn more about open practices in all their forms, and learn from TRU faculty about how they are making use of open practices in their teaching. Visit the Open Education Week webpage to learn more, and consider applying for an Open Education Resource Development Grant worth $6500!

COVID-19 Safety on Campus

Our top priority is your safety and that of our TRU 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.

March 2: Article 32. Social Media, Service, and the Perils of Scholarly Affect
March 9: Article 21. Amplifying Indigenous Voices
March 16: Article 30. In Public: The Shifting Consequences of Twitter Scholarship
March 23: Article 20. Making Disability Part of the Conversation: Combating Inaccessible Spaces and Logics
March 30: Article 11. Travelling in Troy With an Instructional Designer

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

New(ish) Faculty Community of Practice: Tenure & Promotion

Tuesday, March 11, 1-2 p.m. via MS Teams

In this session, Donna Petri will share valuable information about the tenure and promotion process and about applying for tenure and promotion.

All faculty are welcome to attend. Register here.

Intro to Peer Review of Teaching and Instructional Support

Wednesday, March 17, 10-11:30 a.m.

Thursday, March 25, 9-10:30 a.m.

via MS Teams

You’re invited to come out and learn more about the newly developed peer review of teaching and instructional support process.  It's adaptable, scalable, flexible, and iterative—and designed to support faculty in reflecting on and improving their professional practice. Come and learn how it can benefit you. All faculty are welcome.

• Register for the March 17 session here.

• Register for the March 25 session here.

Introduction to Blended Learning

Thursday, March 18, 1-2:30 p.m. via MS Teams

Curious about blended learning? Blended or hybrid courses combine the best elements of face-to-face and virtual course delivery to offer courses that are grounded in good pedagogical practices and focused on student learning. Join us as we share more about blended learning, its benefits, and strategies for planning and delivering a blended course that brings together the best of all delivery formats. Register here.

Staying on Track: Goal-setting as Self-Care

Wednesday, March 24, 11 a.m.-Noon via MS Teams

Does it sometimes seem impossible to get to the tasks you know are important, simply because they are not urgent? In this session, we’ll discuss how to set goals, manage and prioritize tasks, and be selective about the tasks you choose to do. Register here.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice

Great Survey Design for SoTL

Friday, March 26, 1-2 p.m. via MS Teams

Create well-structured SoTL surveys to engage people and gather relevant data. Whether you are assessing learning, gauging change in students, gathering feedback, or using established scales, this session provides you with strategies for structuring, question development, gathering considerations for surveys.  Register here.


Visit our External Conferences page to get up to date information on upcoming conferences, including links and submission deadlines.

Here's a sneak peek at what's on there right now: [See More]

Apr 28-29, 2021 University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference (Online) Conference website

May 3-5, 2021 Taylor Institute, University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching (Online) Conference website

Jun 15-18, 2021 STLHE Annual Conference (Online) (Dates may change)
Conference website

Jun 17-18, 2021 University of Windsor International Teaching Symposium (Online) Submission deadline: March 19, 2021 Conference website

Jul 7-10, 2021 Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Brisbane, Australia Conference website

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

OER Development Grants are back!

 Adopt - Adapt - Create - Integrate

The University Library, CELT and Open Learning are pleased to announce that the OERDG program has been extended for 2021-2022. This program, offered to all TRUFA and TRUOLFA members and generously funded by the Provost's Office, provides funding and staff support to five OER projects (up to $6,500 each). Apply or learn more here.

Submission deadline:  Friday, March 26, 2021 @ 6 p.m.

FMI: Christine Miller - OER Coordinator,

Open Education Week

March 1-5, 2021

Organized by the Open Education Working Group and the Open Education Librarian, join us for some sessions about open education, including these highlights:

Monday: 11-12: Introduction to H5P | 2-3: TRU Open Textbook Showcase

Wednesday: 11-12: Getting Started: Finding, Using, and Adapting Open Resources | 1-2: Open Approaches to Knowledge Mobilization: Podcasting, Blogging, and Online Research Communities

Thursday: 2-3: Z is for Zero: ZTC Pathways at TRU

Friday: 2-3: OER: More than Open Textbooks Showcase

Visit the Library webpage to learn more and register.

Open Education Week at BCcampus

March 1-5, 2021

BCcampus is also hosting an Open Education Challenge Series for educators interested in learning more about open education practices (OEP). From March 1 to March 5, they will release two challenges a day. A challenge is a micro activity that you can do in 10 minutes or less that will introduce a small aspect of open education. 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.


International Journal on Innovations in Online Education - SoTL Stream

Deadline: May 1, 2021 for the Summer issue.

Call for Submissions - Scholarship of Online Teaching and Learning

Did you know that CELT has a blog?

It's called In Progress. Click to view our latest posts.

Pandemic Pedagogy Tip #5 from a Student Perspective: A Change in Mindset for Virtual Learning

By Julieth Baracaldo

My name is Julieth Baracaldo. I am a second-year international student from Colombia. Currently, I am enrolled in the Post Baccalaureate Diploma in accounting in TRU, and I am part of the Intercultural Ambassadors team.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty, switching from the traditional face to face classes to virtual delivery was not a choice for us....

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!

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

Bessette, L.S. (2020).  Social Media, Service, and the Perils of Scholarly Affect. Critical Digital Pedagogy. Link.

Donaldson, J.P. (2020). Travelling in Troy with an Instructional Designer.  Critical Digital PedagogyLink. 

Godden, R.H., Womack, A. (2020). Making Disability Part of the Conversation: Combatting Inaccessible Spaces and Logics.  Critical Digital PedagogyLink. 

Hu, J. (2019).  Simultaneous oral-written feedback approach (SOWFA): Students' preference on writing response.  Journal of Response to Writing, 5(2), 5-45.  Link.

Renes, S. (2020). Amplifying Indigenous Voices. Critical Digital Pedagogy. Link.

Stewart, B. (2020). In Public: The Shifting Consequences of Twitter Scholarship.  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!

P.S. Don't forget you can rewatch your favourite or discover a new CELTalk anytime!

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.