- About CEE
- Three students talk about academic integrity
- A different perspective on academic integrity
- Painting the bigger picture of academic integrity
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Reflections on Inclusion in the Classroom Week
- Fostering connection and practicing kindness
- Can you teach dance remotely?
- A student’s perspective: How two instructors created connection online
- Welcome to your new Zoom classroom
- Kevin Lam: “Students appreciate every little thing we do that shows that we care”
- Sheri Fabian: “I embraced a flexible approach”
- Sarah Johnson: “The biggest change I made was to switch to asynchronous delivery”
- Nicky Didicher: “I’m finding my job less exhilarating”
- Mark Lechner: “You have to be OK with things going sideways”
- Nienke van Houten: “They really valued my clear and upfront approach”
- How can we support remote instruction at SFU?
- Crowdmark: A more efficient way to grade student assessments
- The unexpected benefits of a shorter syllabus
- Photo gallery: Talking shop at Teaching Matters
- Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
- Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
- Meet the Centre for Educational Excellence leadership team
- A biology instructor rethought her students’ role—and her own
- Photo gallery: SFU’s 24th Annual Spring TA/TM Day
- Photo gallery: SFU's 9th Annual Winter Warm-up
- If you build it, will they come?
- “My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series
- View the furniture, share your thoughts—online
- An upgraded Canvas Gradebook is coming in January
- Share your thoughts on the furniture in SFU classrooms
- DEMOfest presenter slides
- Photo gallery: 5th Annual DEMOfest
- Teamwork needs to be taught
- TA/TM Stories: Three new podcasts explore the teaching experiences of grad students
- Can it be done? A math instructor attempts to indigenize her course
- Answers to your questions about SFU's new approach to online education
- Photo gallery: The CEE Open House
- Do you know your faculty teaching fellow?
- Instructor-led online courses: How one faculty member prepared for the new model
- Photo gallery: SFU's 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day draws a crowd
- Connecting people and crossing artificial divides: An interview with Elizabeth Elle
- Sessional instructors can now be included in online course evaluations
- Don't say this to your class—a student shares his experience
- How one lecturer is using podcasts to make course concepts more real in her online course
- Photo gallery: Rain, burgers and smiles at the 2019 President's Employee BBQ
- Five questions and answers about the creation of CEE
- A redesign made this course more engaging for students—and the instructor
- CPUTL: A graduate student describes her experience
- CEE Staff Login
Reflections on Inclusion in the Classroom Week
From November 9 to 13, 2020, the Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE) hosted a number of online workshops and presentations as part of its Inclusion in the Classroom Week. The week was designed to “equip instructors to create inclusive spaces so that all students feel welcome in their classrooms,” according to I-Chant Chiang, director of CEE’s Curriculum and Instruction Division.
It was also a recognition of the highly diverse mix of students and instructors at SFU and a demonstration of the importance the university attaches to ensuring that diversity in learning environments is recognized, valued and supported.
Inclusion Week consisted of six sessions:
- “Supporting Multilingual Students in the Remote Environment”
- “Difficult Conversations in the Classroom”
- “Alliance Building in the Academy and in the Community: The Role of Decolonizing and Indigenizing”
- “Holding Space for BIPOC Instructors”
- “Allies Affinity Group”
- “Universal Design for Learning: Multiple Modes of Engagement and Assessment in the Remote Learning Environment”
The sessions drew strong interest. In particular, “Alliance Building in the Academy and in the Community” attracted well over 100 participants from as far away as South Africa.
We asked several participants to share the insights they gained.
An opportunity to compare notes and reflect critically
Beth Maschmann, an instructor in the English Language and Culture Program within Lifelong Learning, attended “Supporting Multilingual Students in the Remote Environment” as well as “Difficult Conversations in the Classroom.”
She was grateful for the chance to compare notes with colleagues who share a common mission: “Connecting with others in the university, and bringing back to my classes not just language, skills and strategies I can enact, but also [that I can] share with my students, taps into their own agency and creates consistency as they move through their studies.”
She also appreciated the opportunity to cast a critical eye on her work: “Both sessions referred to self-awareness, understanding our own frames of experience and the ability to critically reflect on what we bring into class. This is integral to the inclusivity and relationship building necessary to facilitate meaningful dialogue with and among our students.”
A place to find support
Mary-Catherine Kropinski, associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion in the Faculty of Science and a professor in the Department of Mathematics, attended the “Difficult Conversations” workshop as well as the “Alliance Building” presentation, but said, “The experience that stood out the most for me was the Allies Affinity Group session.”
The group session was billed as a safe space for allies (self-identified non-BIPOC* instructors) in the process of anti-racism and reconciliation to share their journey and support each other.
“I had just completed an anti-racism workshop for white people and was looking for an opportunity to continue that work,” said Kropinski. A statement during the session to the effect that “coming to terms with our whiteness is rarely a source of comfort, but we can find strength and support in those who share our struggle,” struck a chord.
“The statement pretty much hits the nail on the head for me—both the discomfort I have felt starting my journey with actively engaging in anti-racism work, and the support I found from the other attendees of that session.”
A source of inspiration
A final set of reflections came from three UBC colleagues who jointly attended the “Alliance Building in the Academy and in the Community” session.
The session, facilitated by Dorothy Christian, associate director, Indigenous initiatives, in CEE, brought together Benita Bunjun (Saint Mary’s University), Victoria Freeman (York University/University of Toronto) and Chris Hiller (KAIROS), three “scholarly activists and community-based alliance builders,” for a discussion of “how their relationship building has influenced and centred an anti-colonial, decolonizing, and indigenizing of educational courses and programs that they coordinate and deliver.”
Janey Lew, a senior educational consultant for Indigenous initiatives in the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), was grateful for the opportunity to hear about the work taking place at other institutions: “Learning from the experiences of others in the academy about how they have approached the growing edges and tensions of decolonization and Indigenization through alliance-building strategies is very relevant to our work. It also gives us a boost of morale to know that we are not alone, and that it is possible—and in fact inspirational—to learn cross-institutionally while respecting the specifics of alliance-building contexts.”
Erin Yun, also of the CTLT, appreciated the example offered by the speakers: “I really valued the vulnerability and humbleness each of the panellists shared during the session. They modelled what reciprocity, relationships, and what transformational learning looks like in practice—and that transformational learning involves being in discomfort, making mistakes and being vulnerable.”
She was struck by one point in particular: “There was a question that one of the panellists asked that still sticks with me today—'Is the university a place for transformational learning?’—and [that] is a question I feel [we] as educators need to be asking more often.”
Claudia Diaz of the CTLT echoed Yun’s thoughts: “A meaningful insight was from Victoria’s paper about the reminder that creating honest and respectful relationships with Indigenous people does not occur overnight. It requires one's willingness to be challenged at the point of deep discomfort. Another meaningful reminder was about our responsibility to treat with care words like decolonizing and Indigenizing by continuously engaging with its meaning and implication for our work.”