FHS T&L Conversations – Spring 2012 Schedule


The FHS Teaching Conversations is an initiative that aims to promote community, conversation and reflection about teaching and learning in the context of health sciences education.  Our intention is to create an environment for dialogue and mutual sharing of ideas about teaching questions that are emerging in FHS.  This spring 2012, we will do a “deep dive” into key topics that have emerged this fall 2011.

Who is this for?

The conversations are for any instructor in FHS as well as TA’s and/or graduate students registered in FHS MPH, MSc or PhD graduate programs who wish to learn, share and engage in intellectual debates on topics relevant to teaching and learning in FHS.

What’s the format and process?

All are invited to participate in the topics of interest.  We especially would like participants to identify and lead on a discussion theme or topic that they wish to examine in depth.  This can take any form:

These sessions will provide a window into the diversity of teaching styles and strategies used in our own Faculty.  The discussions will also encourage reflection of our own teaching, and will facilitate the exchange of ideas with colleagues who share a commitment to teaching.  Each conversation will be facilitated by someone in the group and we will follow with highlights on the FHS Teaching and Learning blog.

Please email Nienke van Houten (nvanhout@sfu.ca) if you are interested in attending one or all of the conversations.  Note that space is limited.

What are the topics for Spring 2012?

The topics for Spring 2012 will build on the informal sessions held during fall 2011 and include the following:


Theme Accessibility in the Classroom

Facilitator Barb Berry

Guest Mitchell Stoddard, Ph.D., R. Psych. Director, Centre for Students with Disabilities

Details Friday, January 27,  3:00-4:00 pm  in Blu 11002

Light refreshments will be served

Building teaching practices that effectively reach all students is a challenging and worthy goal.  However, developing approaches that are inclusive of students with disabilities intensifies this objective, especially given the broad range of visible and invisible disabilities that are present within the student body.  In this conversation, we will share challenges we have faced when teaching students with disabilities, methods we have used to overcome those challenges, and ways that we can make our classrooms more inclusive to a broad range of students.  Mitchell Stoddard, Director of the CSDO will join us to support the conversations with background information and suggestions.

To prepare for this conversation:

1)    Consider a specific challenge associated with teaching disabled students that you have faced or are currently facing. Did you employ any specific measures to accommodate the student? Are there solutions that you are still seeking?

2)    Have you had success with a specific instructional method that enhanced accessibility? Be prepared to share your experience.

3)    Read the following article for context:  http://chronicle.com/article/Bring-Down-the-Barriers-Seen/129648/


Theme Special Teaching Assistant focus: Overcoming challenges as a TA

Note topic change – Discuss proposals for TLC symposium

Details Friday, February 24,  3:30-4:30 pm in Blu 11002

Light refreshments will be served

The SFU TLC is planning a symposium called Leading Change @ SFU for May 16 and 17  to explore teaching tools and strategies that enhance the student experience at SFU. The submission deadline for proposals is March 1st. This is a unique opportunity to showcase novel FHS teaching strategies that have been developed by our faculty. For our next Teaching and Learning Conversation, we will discuss possible proposals that we can prepare for this event. Please join us if you have an idea or instructional approach that you would showcase at the symposium.

Click for more information on the TLC symposium.


Theme Optimizing Discussions

Instructor Barb Berry

Details Friday, March 30,  3:00-4:00 pm in Blu 11002

Stay tuned for details!