February 14, 2019

The Effective Teaching Series: Lunch and a presentation for SFU’s teaching community

At the session on two-stage exams, instructors were excited to learn about a form of assessment that not only improves student learning—but sees students leaving exam halls with smiles instead of frowns.

SFU’s teaching and learning community came together to explore new ideas and approaches—with a side of pizza—at two recent Effective Teaching Series events. The first, on January 25, 2019, focused on two-stage exams. The second, on February 1, 2019, considered active learning. Here are just a few highlights from these thought- (and appetite-) provoking events ...

Megan Barker, a lecturer biological sciences, facilitated both sessions, creating fun and interactive environments for participants, complete with a crumpled-paper snowball fight (see below).

Education graduate student Alexandra Gunn and political science lecturer Sanjay Jeram explored the logistics of two-stage tests, including whether they involve more or less marking than traditional test formats.

Despite snowy weather, a full house of faculty members, sessional instructors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students attended the February 1 event.

Statistics and actuarial science lecturer Gaitri Yapa and Beedie School of Business lecturer Ahmad Bisher shared how they are already using active learning techniques in their classes.

From left: Computing science senior lecturers Anne Laverne and Diana Cukierman and mechatronics sessional instructor Mehran Shirazi considered how to make space for active learning in their classes.

Because a seminar on active learning wouldn't be complete without actual active learning, Megan Barker led participants through a simple, but way too fun, "Snowball Fight" activity in which they wrote their concerns on pieces of paper, crumpled them up, threw them across the room ...

... and then read and responded to each others’ “snowball” thoughts.