Focus on Teaching - October 2021

Did you know that since the Open Education Resource Development Grant began in 2018, TRU faculty have saved students over 1.5 million dollars in textbook costs? If you have an idea for an open educational resource, consider applying for one of the remaining 2021 grants. You can learn more here.

The CELT team is also happy to support faculty in writing and compiling teaching award nominations. Book a consultation to meet with us to discuss applying to the 3M National Teaching Fellowship or new West Coast Teaching Excellence Award. If you are part of a remarkable team, the D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning might be the right fit- contact us to find out more.

And if you have something to say, we welcome contributions to our Blog and volunteers to give CELTalks. We always love to hear what you have been doing in your classes!

In Progress: CELT'sTeaching and Learning Blog

The Art of Story Telling Through Songs

By Laura Grizzlypaws, October 4, 2021

Throughout Indigenous histories, since time immemorial, our ancestors’ lives were based on an oral cultural way of life and still is to this present day. Our Indigenous histories, lessons, life, and knowledge was passed down orally for countless generations to sustain cultures and our unique authentic identities. One of the greatest gifts that I believe I mastered was the art of storytelling through songs. The ability to sing, and to ability to compose songs that articulate and reflect the values and beliefs and even current issues we face as Indigenous peoples...{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!

Upcoming Events

CELTalk - Laura Grizzypaws

(Recorded September 29, 2021)

Indigenous Pedagogy Teaching and Learning

For generations, the Indigenous Peoples have lived as a self-governing and self-sufficient people in harmony with their environment that has met all their needs.  Education was a process of living according to values and beliefs that formed the basis of the skills and knowledge sought that ensured the development of healthy, balanced individuals, families, and communities.

Watch the video here 

CELTalk - Strategic Assessment of Institutional Learning (SAIL)

Tuesday, October 26, Noon-1 p.m., via MS Teams

Carolyn Hoessler, Alana Hoare, Lorry-Ann Austin, Oleksandr Kondrashov, & Jamie Noakes

In the Winter 2021, faculty from across campus engaged in a new Strategic Assessment of Institutional Learning (SAIL) pilot. Using faculty-developed institutional rubrics, faculty evaluated the extent to which students are achieving Critical Thinking and Investigation, Social Responsibility, and Lifelong Learning in ILO-approved courses.  

Register here

Professional Development

Open Education Resource (OER) Development Grant Information Session

Wednesday, October 6, 10-11 a.m., via MS Teams

Join the OER Grant Facilitator Christine Miller to learn about the grant application process and gather tips and steps for developing OERs.

Register for the information session here

Learn more about OER grants here

New Faculty Community of Practice: Getting Started

Thursday, October 7, 1-2 p.m., via MS Teams

If you're new(ish) to TRU and would like to connect with others to hear about topics pertinent to you, please join us for this New Faculty Community of Practice. Our first gathering will be an informal meeting to connect with each other. We’ll also use the time to find about what kinds of teaching and learning topics you’d like to know more about.

Register here

Intro to Peer Review

Wednesday, October 13, 12-1:30 p.m., via MS Teams

Join us to learn more about how to implement the revised peer review of teaching and instructional support process and how it can benefit you in your professional practice! It is adaptable, scalable, flexible, and iterative—and designed to support faculty in reflecting on and improving their teaching or instructional support roles. All faculty are welcome.

Register here

Learn more about the Peer Review of Teaching and Instructional Support process here.

Capacity to Connect

Friday, October 15, 10 a.m.-Noon, OM 2771

During this workshop, faculty and staff will learn about supporting post-secondary students with their mental health and wellness.

This workshop will be facilitated by counsellors from the Faculty of Student Development and is supported by People and Culture and the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Everyone who attends this workshop will receive a certificate of completion.  For more information contact

Register here

Student Engagement Techniques

3-session series

Thursdays, Oct. 21, Nov. 4 & Nov. 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m., via MS Teams

Have you been wondering how to better engage students in your courses?

Based on the 2020 book Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth Barkley and Claire Major, this series will offer you the opportunity to explore strategies to help you create engaging learning experiences for students in your classes. Over the course of the workshops, you’ll have the chance explore several student engagement techniques, try some in your classes, and report back to the group about the results. You will also receive a copy of the book to continue on in your engagement journey after the workshop is over.

Register here

From Lecturer to Facilitator and Everything in Between:

How to Present to Any Audience to Elicit Any Level of Interaction

Monthly, Thursdays 9-11 a.m.: October, November, February, March & April

In this series of workshops, you will learn about different kinds of presentation models designed to meet the needs of different audiences in different contexts. 

Information Delivery (Session 1)

October 28, 9-11 a.m., IB 1014

How to engage an audience of listeners as you deliver information.

Get more information and instructions on how to register here

Introducing SoTL SPARK

(Sharing Pedagogy, Advocacy, Research, & Knowledge)

Monthly, starting Friday, October 29, 11 a.m.-Noon, via MS Teams

SoTL Spark is a Community of Practice (CoP); a monthly discussion about all things to do with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): starting a SoTL research project, to talking about SoTL in your teaching area, to engaging with works/conversations by other scholars on SoTL issues.

Register here

Show up and Write - Community Writing Group

Fridays, 9-11 a.m., HL 402

Based on the successful “Shut Up & Write” community movement, this weekly writing group provides community and, if you join in person, a quiet space to join with faculty and staff at TRU to make time to write. 

Register here

Teaching Triangles


Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall in someone else’s classroom or Moodle space? 

Contact Carolyn Ives at for more information.

Instructional Skills Workshop

November 1 - 17, via Moodle

Synchronous sessions:

Nov. 1, 1-3 p.m.; Nov. 3, 1-4 p.m.; Nov. 8, 1-4 p.m.; Nov. 10, 1-3 p.m.; Nov. 15, 1-4 p.m.; Nov. 17, 1-2 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.  

Please note: this event is delivered virtually through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities and will involve 30 hours of work over the three weeks.

Participants who complete all activities will receive a certificate of completion. With this certificate, participants who are registered in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) may request exemption for PIDP 3220: Delivery of Instruction.

Register here

Learning Technology & Innovation

Learning Technology

Learning Technology & Innovation (LT&I) offers regular drop in sessions and a diverse selection of informative workshops, exploring innovative approaches to using technology.

Instructors and Faculty

» Workshops Without Walls
Learning opportunities on a range of topics

» Teaching Unbound (Moodle Campus)
Learning Technology Office Hours
Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.



» Learning Without Walls
Support for students in Moodle.  (enrolment key: help)



• You Got This! Podcast

• Teaching with Video

• Teaching Unbound

• Moodle Orientation

• Mondays and Fridays


BCcampus is offering five scholarships of $200 each to five faculty or staff to participate in the Regional Leaders of Open Education (RLOE) Network. This amount would cover the entire cost of the program, which will be held online.

This scholarship opportunity provides the chance for faculty and staff at B.C. public post-secondary institutions to learn about how open educational resources and practices can help their students and to receive valuable mentorship from open education leaders on how to implement an institutional open education strategy.

To apply for the January or May cohort apply to the RLOE Network. Eligible B.C. applicants will be identified by OE Global (who runs the program) and referred to BCcampus. BCcampus will then get in touch with successful applicants to the program and cover their costs.

 Any further questions about the program can be directed to Amanda Coolidge at

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.


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]

Oct 5-7 Open Education Global 2021 Conference (Nantes, France) Conference website

Oct 19 6th Annual Conference of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Center for Educational Innovation, Zayed University, UAE (Online) Conference website

Oct 24-27 2021 IUPUI Assessment Institute (Online) Conference website
**TRU Faculty presenting

Oct 26-29 ISSOTL 2021: Sustainable Education through SoTL (Online) Conference website

Nov 8-17 #POD21: Evolving Beyond Crisis-Connecting to the Future (Online) Conference website

Nov 11-12 2021 (Virtual) Forum for SoTL - Mokakiiks Centre for SOTL @ Mount Royal University (Online) Conference website

Dec 9-10 Innovations in Education Conference: Partnership in Teaching and Learning - McMaster University (Online) Conference website

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.