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Teaching in a digital world: Introducing FCAT’s new Teaching Fellow, Hannah McGregor

September 23, 2020

“I love teaching,” says assistant professor of Publishing Hannah McGregor, “it’s the beating heart of what we do.” 

McGregor has always loved delving into the details of teaching and learning methodology and will happily discuss the latest pedagogical innovations and ideas for student engagement. Now, as FCAT’s new Faculty Teaching Fellow, she will provide guidance, expertise, and spaces for conversations to improve our teaching practices.

In our new remote learning context, McGregor is interested in providing resources to help faculty members not only navigate this online space, but also to ensure that online teaching methods take into account equity, diversity, and inclusion. Another area she’s interested in exploring with fellow faculty members is how to teach maker-based courses online.

During the first year of her two-year term, McGregor has planned a few initiatives that align with her priorities of inclusive online pedagogy and responding to anti-Black racism. Stay tuned for more details about some of these in the coming months:

Advanced Zoom Techniques for Online Teaching

Run by Doug Shaw, this online workshop will introduce participants to the many exciting ways instructors can use Zoom in their teaching. The date will be announced shortly, and spots will be limited, so look out for details coming soon. 

Online Pedagogy Book Club

This book club will meet once or twice per term to discuss new titles on post-secondary pedagogy. Some proposed books include Jennifer Wemigwans’ A Digital Bundle: Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Online, Aimi Hamraie’s Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability, and Eternity Martis’ They Said This Would Be Fun. Participants will be provided with digital copies of these book. 

New Faculty Meet n’ Greet

Tentatively planned for some time in November, this online event will feature short presentations from new FCAT faculty on their research and teaching interests followed by an open discussion about challenges and opportunities for mutual support moving forward. 

Round Table on Maker-Based Pedagogy

A particular challenge faced by FCAT instructors is moving maker-based, participatory, and applied courses online. This round table, featuring FCAT instructors from IAT and Contemporary Arts as well as possible visiting participants, will provide instructors with the opportunity to collectively develop tools and ideas for moving maker-based pedagogy online. 

Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Racist Teaching

In response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, many institutions—including SFU—have made statements condemning anti-Black racism and committing to an ongoing fight against anti-Black racism in the university. In order to further that commitment within FCAT, McGregor proposes a session on anti-Black racism in the classroom and anti-racist teaching in digital environments, featuring a visiting expert on diversity and inclusion. 

While faculty members don’t often have many opportunities to discuss teaching with each other, McGregor hopes that these initiatives will help to change that and allow for open discussions to share ideas and develop creative solutions. And she wants to hear from you! If you have an idea for an online event or discussion topic, want more resources about a particular facet of teaching and learning, or if you just want to discuss the nitty-gritty of assignment laddering, McGregor is all ears.