Focus on Teaching - April 2021

Dear Faculty,

 As we close another winter term and start dreaming of warmer days, we are excited to announce our series of spring PD sessions for all faculty. This year we're launching an online version of Interculturalizing the Curriculum in partnership with the Faculty of Student Development, as well as another round of the popular Instructional Skills Workshop among other offerings.

We are also pleased to welcome Lorri Weaver (pictured) to our team!  She'll be leading two versions of the Course Re-Design Institute (one paced, one week-long intensive) and multiple workshop on the topics of enhancing student connection using technology  and motivation, scaffolding and individual learning paths.

See you there!

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

Faculty Development & Feedback

We've added a new page to the CELT web site called  Faculty Development and Feedback.  Here you'll find useful resources for administering your Student Course Evaluations, including a reflection worksheet; a library of tools for conducting Peer Reviews; and an overview of the Teaching Triangles program.  Check them all out here.

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.

April 6: Article 10. But You Can't Do That in a STEM course!
April 13: Article #1: 26. A Pedagogy of Kindness; Article #2: 14. Listening for Student Voices

CELTalk: Project Based Learning Tool

Thursday, April 15, 2021, Noon - 1 p.m.

Come learn about how you can incorporate experiential, project-based learning into your courses! TRU faculty have access to the Riipen platform which helps higher education educators easily launch, manage, track and report on project-based learning happening in the classroom.

In this session you will learn about how short-term project-based engagements complement existing work-integrated learning (WIL) and experiential learning (EL) programs by providing opportunities for emerging talent to engage authentically with companies year-round before they complete their degree.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

Attend with a Friend

April 19 - 22, Various times, via Moodle & MS Teams

These 1- hour workshops are focused on supporting you in finding a small thing that you can tweak in an upcoming course you are teaching to maximize student learning. Reach out to a colleague and sign up together!

Visit our calendar to find a session that works for your schedule.

Enhance Student Connection Using Technology

Now more than ever, it is important to maintain a sense of community in our classes. The workshop draws from literature related to the social presence within the community of inquiry framework, but takes a practical approach.

Motivation, Scaffolding and Individual Learning Paths

Is there a big idea or process in your course that students struggle to understand?  This workshop draws from literature related to the cognitive presence within the community of inquiry framework, but takes a practical approach.

Intro to Peer Review of Teaching and Instructional Support

Wednesday, April 21, 1-2:30 p.m. via 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 here

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice

Interviews and Focus Groups

Friday, April 23, Noon-1 p.m. via MS Teams

Join Catharine Dishke, Director of CELT to learn about the advantages and benefits of each of these information gathering strategies to inform your SoTL projects, and more.  Register here.

Instructional Skills Workshop

May 3-14, via Moodle

Synchronous sessions:  May 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 @ 1-3 p.m.

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is a professional development program designed for faculty members who are interested in developing and enhancing their instructional skills.  The workshop consists of teaching practice, theory application, and topical sessions specifically relevant to each instructor’s context. In a supportive atmosphere, you will have opportunities to develop new teaching skills, enhance existing skills, and try new and challenging strategies.  Register here.

Spring Workshop Offerings (May/June)

• Instructional Skills Workshop May 3-14 (includes synchronous sessions)

• Interculturalizing the Curriculum May 11-18 {registration open soon}

• Course (Re)design Institute - Paced (over 5 weeks), starting May 17

• Course (Re)design Institute - Intensive (5 days), starting June 21

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


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 27-29, 2021 Cascadia Open Education Summit (Online) Conference website

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

May 30 - Jun 1, 2021 Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (2020) (Online) Conference website

Jun 7-11, 2021 STLHE Annual Conference (Online) 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


International Journal on Innovations in Online Education

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.

Success worth keeping: From remote to Face-to-Face 

By Lorraine Weaver

As we look forward to being back in the classroom in the fall, we think about the pleasure of being back face-to-face with students... {more}.

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

Cangialosi, K., (2020).  But You Can't Do That in a STEM Course!. Critical Digital Pedagogy. Link.

Denial, C. (2020). A Pedagogy of Kindness.  Critical Digital PedagogyLink. 

Haverila, M. & Rangarajan, A. (2021).  Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions.  Cascade Journal of Knowledge, volume 2 (1), 7:42. Link.

Morris, S.M. & Friend, C. (2020). Listening for Student Voices.  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.