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Inaugural workshop focused on teaching innovation and best practices

February 26, 2024

SFU's Department of Economics hosted its first Teaching & Learning Workshop on February 13, 2024. 

Department chair Anke Kessler created the workshop with the aim of starting a dialogue among faculty members about teaching techniques and strategies. She hopes it will provide inspiration for faculty to experiment with new teaching methods. 

Select faculty members shared strategies they have used in their own teaching. 

  • David Freeman discussed flipped tutorials, where students complete worksheets in groups, graded by a TA on-the-fly. Flipped learning is structured around the idea that direct instruction is not the best use of class time. Instead, students are required to engage in active learning, with TA support.
  • Jane Friesen has her students do “oral assignments.”  Students prepare answers to a set of questions given in advance and are asked to present one chosen randomly from the set during their tutorial. Oral presentations are formally graded by TAs and account for 20-30% of the student’s grade. Jane shared how this has worked out in her courses.
  • Martin Santamaria shared some of the strategies he uses to boost student engagement, such as buliding a community in the classroom by encouraging student networking with activities like ice breakers and group work, and creating a mentorship relationship between teacher and student.