Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Focus on Teaching – February 2018

It's hard to write a catchy opening line for a newsletter. It has to be engaging and offer you something you didn't already know.  Not unlike planning a lesson, writing a research proposal or nominating someone for an award, starting is often the hardest part.

Here at CELT we want to help you get started—come join us for a workshop or CELTalk, register for an ISW, or apply for an Accelerator Award. We would love to help you start a project or tackle a challenge in 2018.

It's also not too late to nominate someone for a President's Merit Award. Submissions will be accepted until February 16th. Visit our (freshly renovated) website for more information.

We look forward to working with you,

The CELT Team,

Catharine, Karen and Nav


Tuesday, February 6

12:30-1:30, OL127. Refreshments provided

“What do you think Experiential Learning is?” — Larry Iles, Career Education

A new BC provincial matrix on the various forms of experiential learning in the Canadian post-secondary system will be presented. Complementing this matrix review will be the results of a TRU survey, cataloging the various forms of EL at our institution. If you love the matrix and stats, this session is for you!

Creating Classroom Environments Conducive to Well-being — Chelsea Corsi, Wellness Centre

The research is clear: student well-being is strongly correlated with academic and personal success. Unfortunately, many students experience overwhelming stress and mental health concerns that can hinder their health as well as their academic performance. The good news is that the classroom environment and the positive relationships faculty can foster with students are a key component in nurturing student wellness. If you are curious about how faculty can cultivate classroom environments conducive to well-being, this talk is for you.

Register for Feb. 6

If you missed any of the talks, don't worry! You can watch all of our previous CELTalks on TRU's Livestream.

President's Merit Awards

Teaching excellence is central to TRU's mission. The Centre is proud to recognize and honour faculty members who make exceptional contributions to teaching and learning through three annual awards. 

Please consider nominating a TRU faculty member—get started now with nomination packages at these links: 

Teaching Excellence Award
Master Teacher Award
Faculty Award for Excellence in Internationalization

The 2018 nomination deadline is Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

Workshops & Courses

Instructional Skills Workshop

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is an internationally- recognized instructor development program that serves as the foundation to teaching at the university level. Over the course of this supportive 3-day workshop, participants design and conduct three "mini-lessons" receiving oral, written and video feedback. Using an experiential learning approach, participants engage in the theory and practice of teaching adult learners. This workshop is open to all TRU faculty. For faculty with PD funds, we ask for a nominal $50 registration fee to cover the cost of meals.

Upcoming ISWs

Kamloops: Feb. 20-22, May 16-18
Williams Lake: Apr. 30 - May 2

Register now

COIL (Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning)

March 12-13, 2018

TRU Faculty will work towards creating blended and online curricula for students to collaborate across cultures and disciplines with international partner institutions. Typically, faculty work with an international partner to co-create collaborative online learning opportunities for students in various parts of the world.

Facilitated by Greg Tuke, University of Washington – Bothell and Kyra Garson, TRU

Contact Kyra to learn more or to register.

Moodle Drop-in Sessions

Bring your questions about Moodle! Drop-in sessions run every Wednesday and Thursday morning from 10 to 12. Sessions are open to all users from beginners to advanced.

NEW! We have recently added workshops on specific Moodle topics, including gradebook, assessment features and integrating Big Blue Button. See the CELT website to register (space is limited).

If these times are not convenient, contact moodlesupport@tru.ca to book an appointment at time that works for you.

SoTL Accelerator Grants

The CELT SoTL Accelerator Award (CSAA) is provided to support research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). It is designed to enhance and support applications to other internal and external funding competitions, including but not limited to the TRU Internal Research Fund, BC Campus Funding, EDC Grants, SSHRC, or other relevant agencies. Those who receive Accelerator Awards are expected to become a part of the CELT SoTL community of practice, and to share, when relevant, the outcome of their projects with colleagues at TRU.

Awards are a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $1500. For projects that have co- or multiple applicants, each applicant must detail his or her role and level of contribution. The CSAA is a small seed fund which is not intended to provide funding for major projects.

Full-time TRU faculty are eligible to apply. Eligibility includes all faculty members with ongoing or tenure-track appointments, and term-certain faculty holding appointments of more than one year and not in the final year of those appointments. Those holding sessional or one-year term-certain appointments may contribute to and receive funding from an approved project, but they are not eligible to apply directly for CSAA funding.

Submission instructions: applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until funds are depleted. Email completed application in one file to celt@tru.ca.

Register now for an information session on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.


D2L Innovation Award

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and Desire2Learn (D2L) are pleased to invite submissions for the 2018 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. This award recognizes innovative approaches that promote student-centered teaching and learning.

The award is open to instructors, both nationally and internationally, who are currently teaching at a post-secondary institution, regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment; however applications will only be accepted in English or French. Candidates need not be members of STLHE to apply.

Award winners (up to five per year) receive the following:

1. Up to $2,200 to offset the registration and travel costs to attend the annual STLHE conference and an award recipients retreat the day before the conference
2. Two year membership in STLHE
3. Certificate of Recognition

Submission Deadline

The deadline for applications is Feb. 18, 2018.

For detailed information about the application process, including the application dossiers, examples of innovation in teaching and learning and the selection process, please visit the STLHE website.

CELT is here to help. If you would like to nominate someone or would like support preparing your application, please email Catharine to book a planning meeting.

BC Aboriginal Teacher Education Awards &

BC Aboriginal Student Awards

Application forms for 2018 BC Aboriginal Student Awards and BC Aboriginal Teacher Education Awards are now available through the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society. Instructions on how to apply, links to application forms, and full eligibility criteria are found on the Society’s website.

The application deadline is Saturday, Mar. 31, 2018.

Teaching and Learning Conferences

Teaching Practices Colloquium

February 19, 2018

We invite you to attend to TRU’s 14th annual Teaching Practices Colloquium and share your stories, ideas, and successful practices. Take time to reflect on your own teaching and learning and connect with others. Together, let’s reach out to spark new ideas and conversations around these important issues and concepts in contemporary teaching practices. Register

International Institute on Students as Partners

June 11-14, 2018, McMaster University

The overall aim of the International Institute is to build the capacity and understanding of faculty, staff and students to develop, design and implement initiatives to promote the practice of students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. Learn more or register

STLHE Annual Conference

June 19-22, 2018, Sherbrooke, QC

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Annual Conference is a place for faculty and staff to meet and discuss the challenges and opportunities in higher education teaching and learning. Hosted by a different university each year, the theme reflects current trends in the scholarship of teaching and learning. This year's theme is "Pedagogical Innovation: Adapting Practice to Evolving Cultures."

SoTL Opportunities

Reading across the Disciplines: Studies in SoTL

Call for Articles

Edited by Karen Manarin, Professor of English, Mount Royal University

500-word abstract due Feb. 15, 2018
Complete draft (tentatively) due Dec. 15, 2018

This collection of essays will explore how higher education students read from a range of disciplinary perspectives and a range of educational settings, including technical schools, undergraduate and graduate studies, and professional programs. Faculty from many different disciplines are concerned that students cannot or will not read for academic purposes as they see students struggle with the transition to college reading (Joliffe and Harl, 2008). Arum and Roksa (2011) claim that students even select courses to minimize reading. However, the absence of engaged and effective reading prevents individuals from pursuing and contributing to the disciplines and limits participation in a literate society. Learn more

SoTL Art and Art History Bootcamp

The College Art Association's Education Committee will be hosting a special one-day bootcamp for faculty in art and art history interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Visit the SoTL Bootcamp website for detailed information.

Held in conjunction with CAA's annual conference in Los Angeles, the SoTL Bootcamp will be on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The program will include participant-led breakout sessions, expert lightning talks, and a hands-on SoTL workshop led by Nancy Chick, recipient of the 2017 ISSOTL Distinguished Service Award. Funded with the generous support of the Samuel R. Kress Foundation, Art Historians of Southern California, University of Southern California, and CAA, the Bootcamp is offered at no charge. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Learn more

Save the Date 2018

CELT activities at a glance

For an overview of all upcoming CELT workshops, speakers and other events, view the monthly calendar hosted by the TRU Library. Workshops are intended to support teaching faculty at TRU and are open to faculty, staff and graduate students unless otherwise noted.

Focus on Teaching is the monthly newsletter of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). We showcase instructional development opportunities for TRU faculty and staff, and up-to-date information on our current projects, initiatives and learning opportunities. Questions about learning and teaching? Contact CELT.