TLC eyes new heights in year ahead

November 05, 2013

After completing its restructuring in October 2012, it’s been a year of laying foundations and ensuring alignment at SFU’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC).

“It’s time to take it to another level,” says director Stephanie Chu, who returned from a parental leave this fall. While she was away, acting director Chris Groeneboer kept things firmly on track.

“Along with our usual programming and consultation we were gearing up for the implementation of educational goals as well as providing supports to departments that wanted to get a head start,” says Groeneboer.

“We were also involved in the switch from WebCT to Canvas and we provided support on the teaching and course evaluation project.”

No small feat, says Chu, considering the scope, potential impact and uniqueness of these projects. “We’ve planted numerous seeds over the two years during the restructure,” she says, “and now we’re ready to tend to the garden.”

With Groeneboer as associate director and an energetic and experienced team in place, Chu is looking forward to the year ahead. “In addition to demonstrating our impact,” she says, “we’ll be refining core activities as well as responding to emergent needs.”

Some of things TLC staff will focus on in the coming year include:

· Educational consulting “We want to continue to go beyond workshops and general support to engaging with faculty in their teaching role and nurturing longer-term relationships with instructors,” says Chu.

· Learning technology “Canvas is a significant new technology at SFU,” says Chu. “As well as teaching the basics, showing instructors its potential and helping them to experiment and innovate to enhance the teaching and learning experience is exhilarating.”

· Educational media “Increasingly, instructors are looking at ways to provide a more interactive experience for their students,” says Chu. “They’re creating online media and using class time for engagement, for example. By supporting instructors to achieve their goals using media and technologies, we contribute to changes in teaching and learning at SFU.”

· Educational goals “We already have supports in place for curricular work within the faculties,” says Chu, “but this year we will also aid in developing educational goals. We’ll raise awareness of what they are and of the possibilities the development process presents.”

· Continuous improvement “Now that we’re done restructuring, we’ll focus on demonstrating the value of what we do,” says Chu. “We’ll refine our programming, explore, pilot and innovate. And examine ways in which we can support a broader range of instructors.”

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