Class cancellations & university closures

Class cancellations

If extenuating circumstances arise and you need to cancel a class or will arrive late to class (eg. more than 10 minutes), in addition to notifying students directly, please notify FHS staff so we can take ‘on the ground’ steps to ensure students are aware (such as posting a notice on the door if the class is cancelled, or going to the class to let students know you are on your way if you will be late). If a class is cancelled or a significant portion of class is missed, you will need to make alternate arrangements to ensure that students receive the required amount of contact hours for the course.  

If you need to cancel or will be late for an undergraduate course, please contact:

If you need to cancel or will be late for a graduate course, please contact:

  • Robyn Bailey (Manager, Graduate Programs) at 778-782-3831 or robyn_bailey@sfu.ca,
  • If Robyn is not available, please contact Jen Van Rassel (Program Assistant/Graduate Secretary) at 778-782-7036 or mph_assistant@sfu.ca.

University closures for severe weather

Given the geography and high elevation, the Burnaby campus is susceptible to snow and severe weather that can affect campus operations. The Vancouver and Surrey campuses may also experience severe weather events but are not as susceptible to class cancellations. In the event of severe weather, the university will rely on reports from Environment Canada, TransLink, and observed conditions at each campus to determine if it is safe for the normal operation of university services. Decisions related to class cancellations and campus closures are made by the SFU president per GP 04 Unscheduled Cancellations of Classes.

Should campus closure be deemed appropriate, communications will be sent to the SFU community through appropriate SFU Alerts channels. Be sure to download the SFU snap app on your mobile device and enable push notifications.

For the most current updates on class and campus status updates follow SFU.ca and @SFU on Twitter. Should extreme weather be forecasted, updates will be provided on these channels by 6:30 AM.

For more information on severe weather at SFU, click here.

SFU Alerts

SFU Alerts is a suite of urgent notification systems that allows the university to quickly notify students, faculty, and staff using a variety of methods. 

Click here to learn how to sign up for alerts. 

Urgent notifications

Urgent notifications include any security or safety situation that requires you to leave or avoid an area of the university.

In the case of closures due to severe weather such as snow, the university community will be advised via email notification, SFU Twitter, the SFU website, and on-campus digital screens.

Course & classroom support

Assignment drop off and pick up

If you require a place for students to drop off assignments outside of your class time, there is a secure assignment drop box on the second level of Blusson Hall just outside the photocopier room (BLU 10402). You may request staff to create a temporary compartment label to collect class assignments. Please see the undergraduate program assistant in BLU 10701 for dropbox access during daytime office hours when you are ready to retrieve the materials. Education program staff in BLU 10713 and 10703 also have keys to the box.  

To return marked assignments to students, please do so in class or arrange a time for students to come to your office. For final assignments, you may want to give students the option of giving you a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of their assignments. Education program staff are not able to assist with returning assignments to students.

Audio-visual equipment & recording of lectures

FHS-controlled classrooms: All FHS-controlled Blusson Hall teaching rooms have built-in AV equipment; however, not all Blusson Hall classrooms are FHS-controlled rooms.

Registrar-controlled classrooms: Equipment for Registrar-controlled classrooms is administered by SFU IT Services/Classroom Technology Services (CTA), and should be booked by the instructor using the online form found here. Even if the room has built-in equipment, completion of the online form is required so that AV staff know when to turn the equipment on and off.

Audio Recording of Lectures: If your lectures are scheduled in a Registrar-controlled classroom which has audio recording capability, there will be a place on the above-noted form for you to check whether or not you want your lectures to be recorded. When this option is selected, recorded lectures are available to students normally one hour after the class here.


Classrooms are assigned by the Registrar’s Office or the manager, undergraduate programs. If you have any special requests (eg. computer lab), you will have the opportunity to identify such needs through the TRACS system via the Instructor Portal (you will receive an email to provide your course scheduling preferences in advance of the term). If you have any questions about classrooms or scheduling, please contact:

NOTE: If you move furniture in a classroom, please restore it to the original configuration (or that shown on the diagram normally posted on the wall of the classroom) at the end of your class. 

Photocopies (exams, class handouts, etc.)

Requests for copies can be made through the appropriate program assistant, who will send large copy jobs to Document Solutions for processing. Please allow as much lead time as possible, with a minimum of 5 full business days (with the exception of final exams; see below), to allow time for Document Solutions to print and deliver the order. Requests should be submitted in electronic format (PDF version preferred). 

Final exam copying: Document Solutions has a fairly early deadline for copying final exams, due to the huge volume of copying they receive at exam time. Please allow lead time of at least 7 full business days for the copying of final exams.  

FHS photocopiers should not be used to copy large print jobs such as exams, due to cost, wear and tear, and tying up these shared machines for long periods of time. Please note that office staff will not be available to help with copying exams received after above-noted deadlines

Course outlines and syllabi

Course outlines

A one-page course outline is required by university policy for every course offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences. Outlines must be available to students at least two weeks prior to the start of registration. Note: the one-page outline is different than the syllabus. See below for syllabus information.

Instructors upload their course outlines online; this is a straightforward process that generally takes a few minutes. Please follow these instructions:

1.    Log in to outlines.sfu.ca.
2.    Select semester, course and section.  Click the round icon.
3.    Input data to the fields.  (This can be done by free-format typing or cutting & pasting)
4.    Save.
5.    Scroll back up to the top of the page to confirm that the outline was saved successfully. (See green box)
6.    Once the outline is finalized, click “Continue”, go to the next page, and click “Submit”.
7.    The system will automatically advise the program assistant that the outline is ready to be activated.

Before your outline is released, the appropriate program assistant will ensure that all required fields are complete, and will then activate the outline. 

If you have taught the course before, you may want to use the previous outline as a starting point and make any desired changes (note: the system has outlines from Fall 2015 onward). The course content should correspond to the SFU Calendar description; if it does not conform closely to that, you must apply for approval before any changes can be published. Contact the appropriate program assistant, depending on whether you are teaching an undergraduate or graudate course, if you have not taught a course before and would like a copy of a previous course outline for your reference, or if you would like to apply for approval to upload content that does not closely conform to the SFU Calendar description.

Course syllabi

All HSCI courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels must have a detailed syllabus that delineates course objectives and means of assessment. Attached to this policy is a template for the design of syllabi so that they outline the appropriate level of detail in terms of content, objectives, and assessment tools. Recommended text in regard to grading distributions, student conduct, and other policies is also provided.

All new and substantively updated/revised courses must be reviewed as indicated below. Syllabi submitted for review do not need to be the final draft.  The GSC and UGSC are concerned, generally, with the review of three kinds of information:  1) the statement of learning objectives; 2) an outline of topics; and 3) a list of required readings/texts.

You will receive an email request from the TRACS system to upload your syllabus, in accordance with the following schedule:

Deadlines Fall Spring Summer - intersession Full summer semester

New, revised courses, new instructors
August 15 December 15 April 1 April 15

Ongoing courses not requiring review
First day of semester First day of semester First day of semester First day of semester

For new or substantially revised courses, feedback will be provided to instructors three weeks prior to the start of the term. Especially for graduate courses, where accreditation requirements demand that courses meet certain core competency requirements, it is expected that faculty will comply with requests for revision.

Finally, because the syllabus represents a contract between the instructor and student, outlining expectations, grading and attendance policies, and expectations regarding appropriate student conduct, faculty must provide students in their courses with a syllabus by the first day of class. A syllabus need not be provided in hard copy, but may be made available via Canvas or through other electronic means. The scheduling of topics may be changed after the start of a term, but faculty are strongly advised not to change: a) grading policies; b) policies regarding student conduct and academic honesty; or c) the timing of key exams once the syllabus has been circulated to students.

Here you will find the FHS course planning and syllabus checklist.

Here you will find a sample course syllabus.

Here you will find a syllabus template.

Emergency information

In an emergency, call 9-1-1

  • Call 9-1-1 from any phone, but if you can call from a campus phone, Campus Security will be automatically notified of the call location. A phone is located in every classroom.
  • If you are unsure if it is an emergency, always err on the side of caution.
  • When you call 9-1-1, you will be asked if you need police, fire or ambulance, and then what is happening and the location.

Urgent assistance is available 24/7 at each of our campuses

  • Emergency line (urgent security/first aid): 778-782-4500
  • Non-emergency line (security/Safe Walk): 778-782-7991

Campus Security provides emergency support, first aid response, and guides emergency responders (fire, ambulance, police) to the right place on campus quickly.

Drug overdose

If you witness an individual suffering a suspected drug overdose, follow general emergency procedures (shown above): call 9-1-1.

Campus Security can get to a person suffering overdose on campus 24/7 and administer Narcan/Naloxone spray (if appropriate for the situation) while awaiting external emergency services personnel. This service is available at all SFU Campuses. Health and Counselling Services also has Narcan/Naloxone in the clinics, which can be administered by a doctor or nurse during clinic hours. 

For more information on overdose prevention and response, click here.

Safe Walk program

The Safe Walk Program provides SFU community members with a Campus Security escort to support safe travel on campus 24/7.

The Safe Walk escort is provided by either a security officer or a student campus safety member. These Safe Walk personnel are equipped with portable radios and flashlights and are in direct communication with the Security Operations Centre dispatcher.

Safe Walk personnel can be identified by a valid SFU Campus Security picture identification card.

To request a Safe Walk escort:

  • Call the Campus Security non-emergency line at 778-782-7991, or
  • Use any of the direct dial telephones located across campus

Remember that you cannot reserve a Safe Walk time; you must call when you need the escort.

Lone Worker program

If you’re working after hours, contact Campus Security to request the Lone Worker program. Campus Security will have one of their patrol people include your work location on their patrol route, to check on you from time to time, either in person or over the phone. If you do not wish to be bothered, you can let Campus Public Safety know where you are and what time you expect to stay until. If at that time they do not hear from you, they will either phone or physically attend to check up on you.  This service is available 24/7, at all 3 campuses. 

For more information on both programs, including how to request the services, click here.


Exam hardship

There are instances where students are faced with examination hardship, which is defined as:

  • Three or more end-of-term examinations scheduled within a 24 hour period 
  • An examination at one location (e.g., the main Burnaby campus) followed immediately by an exam at another location (e.g., the Surrey campus)

For three or more exams, a student shall be given a new exam date (within the established exam period) for the second exam causing hardship by the respective instructor or department/faculty. For students with exams at more than one location, advance arrangements will be made by the instructor or department/faculty to write both exams at a single location. Students must notify the instructor(s) and department one month prior to the exam date.

Final exams

If your course has a final exam, it will be scheduled during the final exam period (see 'Important Dates and Deadlines' below).  Exam dates are set by Student Services, not by FHS staff. The day and time of your final exam will likely be different from that of your lecture. However, evening courses will typically have an evening final exam, and daytime courses will  typically have a daytime final exam. Weekend days are included in the exam period. 

Note: Final exams must be given during the official final exam period, not during the regular semester. See the SFU examination policy here

Details of your final exam can be found as follows:
1. Go to go.sfu.ca
2. Select ‘Class Search / Browse Catalog’ link
3. Select term, click ‘Go’
4. Select ‘Health Sciences’, type in course number
5. Deselect ‘Show open classes only’, click ‘Go’
6. Exam information is shown on the line under the lecture section (e.g. D100, E100), indicated by ‘Exam’

Missed exams

Midterm exams: There is currently no university policy covering missed midterm exams.  Instructors may use their discretion as to whether to allow a student to write a deferred exam, to provide an alternative method to make up the percentage of the grade given to the midterm exam (a project, verbal exam, etc.), or to change the grading structure to add the weight normally assigned to the midterm exam to another part of the grading structure (by adding it to the final exam, for example).  Be consistent in applying your exam make-up policies.  

Final exams: The SFU Calendar addresses the subject of missed final exams. Students are aware of final exam dates at the time they register for courses, and are instructed to be available throughout the entire final exam period, and not to make travel plans, etc. during that time period. The normal rule is that students requesting deferral of a final exam due to illness or compassionate reasons should obtain a physician’s certificate or other supporting documents.  Such documents must be filed with the department chair or registrar within four days of the date on which the exam was to be written.  The appropriate form is available here – see ‘Appeals / Health Care Provider statement, general (non-withdrawal)’ 

See 'Grading' below for more information.

Retaining exams

Per the SFU retention schedule, undergraduate examination papers and course assignments must be kept for the current semester plus one year.

Instructors who have permanent SFU office space should keep these records locked in their office.  Sessional instructors and any other instructors who do not have permanent SFU office space should bring the documents to the undergraduate program assistant in BLU 10701 for secure storage.


Deferred (DE) grades

A ‘DE’ (deferred) grade is a temporary notation given on medical or compassionate grounds. See more information here.   

All unchanged DE notations will automatically convert to N 21 days after final grades are posted (generally sometime after the fifth day of classes of the following term). Any request for a DE to be extended beyond the lapse deadline must be submitted using the electronic grade change form, available in the Faculty Service Centre.  

Grade changes

Changes to grades or notations must be made before the end of the semester following the semester in which the grade was assigned. Grade changes beyond this time are not generally approved except in exceptional circumstances.

The grade change e-form is found on a tab located in SIMS / goSFU next to your Faculty Center tab that shows course rosters and grade entry. Instructions can be found here.

Final grades deadline

Grades are due according to the following schedule. Deadlines are set by the university, and are required to be met.
        • Courses with a final exam: 4 days (96 hours) after the final exam.   
        • Courses without a final exam: 96 hours after the last day of classes. 
        • n.b. weekends are included in the above deadline calculations. 

ENSURE that you and your TAs have sufficient time to finish all grading in the 96 hours after the exam. If you anticipate that you will not be available for grading in the 96 hours after the final exam (due to previous commitments, religious holidays, etc.) you can request a change to the exam date. This must be done prior to the start of registration. Note that dates are set by Records and Registration, and there is no guarantee that they will accommodate your request. If they cannot accommodate your request, you must retain the exam date originally assigned.

Group work activity guidelines and grading

Instructions for electronic grade submissions

Instructions on how to enter or upload grades can be found here.

Use Internet Explorer as your web browser for grade submission, as it works best with the SIMS/goSFU system.  Click on Faculty Center and your courses will be displayed. Select the icon for ‘Grade Roster/Upload’. Important: Make sure to save the grades after entering, ensure their accuracy, and once you are sure that no further changes are necessary, change the menu to ‘Ready for Review’ and click ‘Save’. 

Specific grade information
Note that 'F' represents the quality of a student's work, whereas 'N' (Incomplete) represents the quantity of a student's work.  Students who are issued a failing grade due to lack of completion of work should be assigned an 'N'. 

'D+' and 'D-' are not valid grades.

'WD’ (Withdrawal), ‘WE’ (Withdrawal under Extenuating Circumstances) and ‘GN’ (Grade Not Reported) are notations, not grades and cannot be assigned by an instructor. When assigned, they are the result of a student's interaction with the Student Services Office or the Registrar.

SFU grading policies

Important dates and deadlines

Summer Term (May - August 2020)

May 11 Classes start for Intersession and Summer Term
June 22 Intersession classes end
June 29 Intersession last day of exams
June 30 Summer Session starts
August 10 Last day of classes for summer session/summer term
August 12 - 22 Exam period for summer session/summer term

To review undergraduate student deadlines for the summer term, click here.

To review graduate student deadlines for the summer term, click here.


Summer 2020 term deadlines

February 18
Two weeks before registration begins, course outlines must be submitted via outlines.sfu.ca. Textbook orders will be based on the information provided in your course outline and will be ordered by the undergraduate or graduate program assistant.  For courses taught by a sessional instructor, the course outline will be based on a previous course outline created by a continuing faculty member, including textbook orders.

February 18
A course administrative checklist must be submitted through your instructor portal via the FHS TRACS system, which will include requests for technology (eg. iClicker, computing lab access, special software, etc.) and desk copies of textbooks.

May 15

Final syllabus due  

Exam submission deadline:            
Requests for photocopies of midterms must be submitted at least five business days before the exam, and requests for photocopies of final exams must be submitted at least seven business days before the exam.

Final grades deadline:
96 hours after your final exam or, for courses without a final exam, 96 hours after the last day of classes. This includes weekends.

Fall Term (September - December 2020)

September 7 Labour Day
September 8

Welcome Day

September 9 Classes Start
October 8 - 9 Convocation
October 12 Thanksgiving Day
November 11 Remembrance Day
December 8 Last Day of Classes
December 9 - 20 Exams

Fall 2020 Term Deadlines

To be announced closer to date


Instructor resources


Canvas is SFU’s supported learning management system. Instructors can use Canvas to deliver online content, distribute grades, communicate with students, deliver quizzes/assignments, and manage/monitor group work. The first step is to request a Canvas ‘container’ for your course. This can be done any time from the start of the previous semester onwards – the process is faster, with fewer delays, if you order the container early, so consider doing this well before the start of the semester in which you will be teaching. See sfu.ca/canvas for full details, instructions, workshops, and contact information.

Class rosters

Your class roster is available through the Faculty Service Center. At the beginning of term there can be some flux in the enrollment of your course. If you want the most up-to-date class roster, you can find simple instructions on how to access this information here. You can also now see photos of your students at the above link – click the ‘photo’ tab.

Computing ID

Your SFU Computing ID gives you access to SFU Connect for email and calendaring, the Student Information System, your payroll information, e-learning systems such as Canvas, campus labs, online library services, and a variety of other systems. Your Computing ID is automatically created for you when your appointment has been processed by Human Resources and Payroll. You will receive an email at your non-SFU email address indicating that your SFU Computing ID is ready for online activitation.

For more information on your Computing ID, click here.

Course conflict inquiries

You may receive inquiries from students who wish to take two courses which have some time overlap with one another (for example, course A ends at 3:20 on Mondays, and course B starts at 2:30 on Mondays). The decision on whether or not to permit a student to take both courses is at the discretion of both instructors. If you are willing to permit the overlap from the point of view of your course, please direct the student to obtain a Faculty Permission to Take a Course Conflicting with Another form here.

The student should complete his/her part of the form, obtain both your signature and the other instructor’s signature, and then return the form to the undergraduate program assistant. Please contact the undergraduate program if you have any questions about this process.

Course evaluations

Faculty members & limited term lecturers

FHS uses the SFU electronic platform for the evaluation of courses and instructors (this does not include sessional instructors at this time; please see below), known as Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETC). Up to four instructor level questions are chosen by the instructor and may be selected from a validated question bank or generated by the instructor. Note that not all courses are evaluated, for example Directed Studies or Honours courses. 

Students registered in courses will receive automatic emails to alert them to the availability of course evaluations in the last two weeks of the semester (last week for intersession courses). Instructors are strongly encouraged to remind students to complete the evaluations and provide time in class for this. Results of the surveys or evaluations are generally available after the first week of the following semester.   

For more information on course evaluations administered through SETC, please click here.

Sessional instructors

Due to a current policy issue between the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) and SETC, SFU departments cannot administer electronic evaluations for courses taught by sessional instructors (TSSU employees) at this time. Instead, courses taught by sessional instructors will be evaluated via paper evaluations previously approved by the TSSU.

Near the end of the semester, the undergraduate program assistant will contact sessional instructors advising when paper evaluation forms for classes taught by sessionals will be ready. Please have a student volunteer or TA pick up the evaluation forms, instruction sheet, pencils and sealable return envelope from BLU 10701 prior to your last class. Please set aside 10 minutes in class for students to complete the evaluation forms. A student volunteer (not a TA) should then return the completed forms in the provided envelope to the BLU 10701. An instruction sheet with full details will be included with the evaluation forms. 

Education program staff

FHS education program staff support students and instructors, as well as all education-related activities. Please contact us if you need assistance:

FHS Liaison Librarian

Liaison librarians are specialists in the information sources and approaches used by specific university departments.  FHS' liaison librarian is:

Hazel Plante

  • Email: hazel_plante@sfu.ca
  • Telephone: 778-782-4173
  • Office:  Bennett Library Room 5023 (Burnaby campus)

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

The B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) regulates how third party personal information can be distributed in online applications. Specifically, storing student personal information on servers outside of Canada is at risk for breaking compliance with FIPPA. Non-compliance with the Act can result in potential punitive repercussions for the instructor and institution. For more information on FIPPA visit here and here.

It is very important that the university protect the personal information it collects to prevent unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure and disposal. Using online applications that allow personal information to be stored on servers outside of Canada does not comply with FIPPA regulation, and is not permitted. You can find more information here.

iClickers and other online applications can be used in your course. For examples of the privacy regulations associated with these tools, please visit here.

For information about disclosing personal information, please click here.

Guest lecturers

Guest lecturers support interaction between students, instructors and experienced personnel working in the health community outside of SFU. If you are interested in having a guest lecturer for your course, please note the following guidelines:

  1. Normally, instructors must obtain pre-approval from the associate dean, education (ADE) in the semester before the scheduled course. Forms are available on the website and the form must be approved before the guest is invited.
  2. The use of guest lecturers will be reviewed by the ADE to ascertain whether these guest lecturers’ expertise significantly adds to the courses' pedagogy
  3. A minimum contribution of one 50-minute class is required to receive an honorarium.
  4. Normally, a maximum of two paid lecturers are permitted within one 13-week (regular session) or one 6-week (intersession) course
  5. The regular instructor (regular faculty member, lecturer or sessional instructor) should be in attendance when guest lecturers are presenting
  6. Eligible guests will receive an honorarium of $100 per appearance
        • Individuals from not-for-profit organizations qualify for compensation.
        • If the lecturer is an adjunct, there is no compensation
        • If the lecturer is already funded by SFU or another publicly-funded institution (e.g., health authority, university or college), there is no compensation.

See the guest lecturers policy and form here.

Instructional expenses

See the instructional expenses policy and form here.

Library reserves

Books and other materials may be put on reserve for your students at the SFU library. 

Ordering / inquiries:  Instructors should order the materials on the following website, using their Llbrary card number here.

Orientation and training requirements

SFU Safety Orientation

The SFU Safety Orientation is mandatory for all new employees hired to perform work at SFU. The orientation is provided in Canvas and topics such as hazard and incident reporting, roles and responsbilities, worker rights, health and safety committees, emergency response, working alone and workplace bullying and harassment will be covered.

For more information and to register, click here.

Workplace bullying & harassment training

All employees at SFU must participate in workplace bullying and harassment training. An online training module is available for both employees and supervisors that provides an overview of the WorkSafeBC requirements and SFU's program.

For more information and to register, click here.

Providing proof of completion

The completion of your orientation and training requirements will be tracked by the Faculty to ensure compliance. Send the “Job-Specific Safety Orientation Checklist (part 2 of 2)” form proof of completion to:

Prerequisite waiver inquiries

Students who would like to enroll in a class without fulfilling all the pre-requisites must obtain written permission from the instructor during the enrollment period before the semester begins. The student or instructor must then email this supporting documentation to the undergraduate program assistant. The pre-requisites will be waived no earlier than the term's open enrollment date and students will be able to register in the course through goSFU.

Please review the SFU calendar for the current semester to learn more about important student enrollment dates and deadlines.


For all FHS managed machines (staff/faculty/RA Windows desktop computers permanently on-campus), the printer should already be installed, and is labelled “SFU_Print”. 

For unmanaged machines (faculty laptops, all Mac OSX computers, personal devices) you can find how-to guides here.

SFU Mail

SFU Mail is the university's email and calendar system. After you have activated your Computing ID, all communication will be sent to your SFU email address. Please ensure you check it regularly, or set up forwarding to another account.

For more information on SFU Mail, click here.

SFU teaching and instruction policies

Important SFU teaching and instruction polices are listed here.
     -   S section: Academic honesty and student conduct
     -   T section: Teaching and instruction

Student Information System (SIMS) instructor help information

You can log in to SIMS by clicking here.

Student response systems

Instructors choosing to use any student response system should read the section on privacy protection legislation (FIPPA), as it pertains to storage of student information online. You can find out more about student response systems, including Top Hat, and iClicker here.  You must list “iClicker” or "Top Hat" as a requirement in the textbook section of your course outline, as students purchase their clicker units from the bookstore, as well as indicate that you will be utilizing a student response system through the course preparation checklist via TRACS.

Teaching & Learning Centre

The Teaching & Learning Centre (TLC) consists of education and technology professionals who support SFU instructors and academic units in the development and delivery of innovative approaches designed to enhance their students' learning experiences. TLC programs and services are available to all SFU instructors, staff, and TAs/TMs, including regular workshops and presentations on many teaching-related topics andpersonalized support, incorporating both general and discipline-specific approaches, for teaching and learning initiatives by individual instructors.

The TLC Educational Consultant for FHS is:

Barbara Berry

  • Email: bbery@sfu.ca
  • Telephone: 778-782-7447
  • Office: Blusson Hall 9502

For more information on the Teaching & Learning Centre, including a guide for new faculty and instructors, click here.


The FHS TRACS system provides an integrate platform for faculty-level planning, operation and reporting. You will have access to TRACS for services such as uploading course syllabi, managing the workload of your teaching assistants, completing your course preparation checklist, and providing your course scheduling requests.

You can log in to the instructor portal in TRACS here using your SFU computing ID and password.

Tutorial Changes

During the first week of the semester, students are able to swap tutorials themselves through goSFU. If a tutorial is full, they are encouraged to waitlist or check again until space is available. Starting from the second week, students will require permission from the instructor to switch a tutorial or to swap tutorials with another student in the class. Students requesting any tutorial changes should email the undergraduate program assistant along with written permission from the instructor. It is at the instructor's discretion whether to permit any switching or admit a student to a course or tutorial that is already full. Other factors such as room capacity and class size will also be considered before the request is granted or rejected. Students are only permitted to attend their registered tutorial, and not sit in another section.

Student accommodations

Sick notes from students/Health Care Provider form

The SFU Health Care Provider Statement form can be found here. A completed health care provider form will give you the type of information you need to make decisions around student absences (i.e., possible grade deferrals, etc.). Be specific about the documentation you will accept in your course. 


Instructors may be asked to support SFU’s student-athletes by accommodating scheduling conflicts with exams and assignments that occur while a student-athlete is representing SFU at away competitions. At the start of each term, student-athletes are given a letter to present to each of their instructors. The letter identifies the individual as a student-athlete and sets out the dates in which classes will be missed due to travel. However, sometimes a competition will arise that was not anticipated and instructors should be sensitive to this fact.

If an instructor is willing to make an accommodation, it is not uncommon to have student-athletes write a midterm or exam on the road proctored by their coach. However, if an instructor is uncomfortable with this approach, arrangements can be made to have a tenured professor at the university where the student-athlete will be competing invigilate the exam. 

If you as an instructor are unwilling or unable to accommodate a student-athlete's absences, please notify the student before the course drop deadline so that they can find an alternative class. If a student-athlete fails to provide the above-noted letter, or does not advise the instructor at the beginning of the semester that there is a potential for missed course components, it is the instructor’s decision as to whether to provide accommodation.

You can find additional information here.

Students with disabilities

If a students requests accommodations in your course, you will be informed of the accommodations that are required for the student via an official email from the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) to your SFU account. Please note that the CAL follows compliance procedures and will only send notifications to official SFU email addresses. 

Faculty and other staff have a legal responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students when notified of the requirement by the CAL. However, there may be elements of the course work that make the authorized accommodation difficult to fulfill or the request may violate an element of the course which has previously been established as essential (e.g., a request to provide flexibility in grading of spelling and grammar in a basic English course). In this type of situation, you should inform the CAL of the issue so that a full discussion can be undertaken and effective alternatives identified, where necessary.

For more information on student accommodations, click here.

Student conduct and plagiarism

Encouraging academic integrity and preventing plagiarism

Plagiarism is a confusing matter for both students and instructors. Take a proactive approach by communicating openly with students about the problem of plagiarism, encouraging and teaching proper citation methods, and devising assignments that promote original thought. You can find more information for both students and faculty here.

You can view an SFU plagiarism tutorial here.

Some instructors give an extra point or two as incentive to students who can prove that they have taken the tutorial. To track student completion of the tutorial, email lib-learn@sfu.ca to arrange access for your students to the tutorial via Canvas.

Here you will find a list of hints and tips to share with your students to help them avoid plagiarising.

Instructions for instructors

Instructors pursuing possible cases of academic misconduct/dishonesty should contact and meet with students about the matter. Instructors should have a frank discussion with the student(s) about the particulars of the case. Instructors should keep careful records and documentation of the materials relevant to the case. If there are sufficient grounds to report a case of academic dishonesty, an Academic Dishonesty Report should be completed and filed as appropriate. You can find out more about the procedures you will need to follow here.

Instructors are strongly encouraged to use the online reporting system available for your courses here. Make sure to complete the entire online reporting procedure; otherwise, the reports are not filed with the Registrar’s Office. Alternatively, hard copy forms are available in the education programs area. Additional questions may be directed to Nienke van Houten, Director of Undergraduate Programs: nvanhout@sfu.ca.

Here you can find additional Important Definitions.

Other resources

See the SFU Citation and Style Guides here.

SFU Academic Integrity Office

To visit the website of the SFU Academic Integrity Office, please click here.

Student conduct

SFU has policies around good student conduct, which can be viewed here. While encountering inappropriate student conduct is rare and sometimes difficult to ascertain, there are support and professional resources at SFU to help. Such cases can range from property theft to threatening or harmful behavior. Additional information can be found here.

Suggested wording for inclusion in your syllabus

Academic honesty is essential for maintaining a high standard of academic excellence and integrity. There are many different forms of academic dishonesty. These include plagiarism such as inadequately citing the source of short phrases or ideas of an author in written work submitted for a grade and submitting or presenting another’s work as one’s own, among others. Students should read SFU's policy S10.01 on Code of Academic Integrity and Good Conduct at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html which outlines all prohibited acts of academic dishonesty.

Please note: Students should also read SFU’s new policy on Principles and Procedures for Student Discipline at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-02.html which outlines the range of actions that may be taken in response to an instance of academic dishonesty. According to this policy, “If an Instructor finds that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty, the Instructor may, after consulting with the departmental Academic Integrity Advisor or Chair, impose one or more of the following penalties: i. give the student a warning; ii. require the student to redo the work, or to do supplementary work; iii. assign a low grade for the work; iv. assign a grade of “F” for the work.” The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) adheres to SFU policies on academic dishonesty. In this course, for small, unintended (in my assessment) infractions, I will provide one (1) warning with an opportunity to redo the work. Further infractions, even minor ones – or serious first instances of academic dishonesty, will result in an automatic grade of 0 on that work with no option for makeup; any additional academic dishonesty infraction in the course may then result in a failing grade for the course. For a serious instance or repeated instances of academic dishonesty, I will complete an Academic Dishonesty Report, which includes discussing the matter, determining a penalty, and possible additional disciplinary action.”

Teaching strategies to avoid plagiarism

Make sure your students understand what plagiarism is by giving them examples or asking them to provide examples.

Discuss the moral and ethical issues related to plagiarism, present it in emotional tones, and include the issue of trust between students and instructors.

Stress the importance of academic integrity. Include in the discussion how bodies of knowledge are created by scholars who build on each other’s work within a discipline.

One idea is having the students write, early in the semester, a one-page response to a given topic – in class. This allows you to become familiar with each student’s writing ability. Then save these assignments as examples which you can use to monitor individual students’ progress and to use as a comparison if plagiarism is suspected.

Part of your required work for the class could include the creation of a works cited list.

Ask students to justify sources used in reports or papers. This exercise requires the student to analyze the resource in the context of the research question and topic. It also involves decision-making skills.

Asking students to turn in photocopies of sources also ensures that they have actually found the resources.

Insist on using the library.

Student resources

Graduate forms

For more information on forms for graduate students, please click here.

Undergraduate forms

For more information on forms for undergraduate students, please click here.

Students in distress

If you suspect a student is in immediate danger, including self-harm, call 9-1-1. 

If a student should come to you with a crisis affecting their mental or emotional well-being, please visit SFU Health and Counselling for information. Here you will find online counselling resources, on-campus counselling support, and the My SSP app which is designed to provide students 24/7 counselling support on their phones.

SFU Health & Counselling offers workshops on how to recognize distress and/or suicide risk, and can help you learn to recognize when it's time to refer students to seek our mental health support. For more information and to register, click here.

You can also visit the Crisis Centre website for additional resources, such as online counselling, an emergency suicide hotline and emergency phone counselling.

Support services

The following offices are available to assist students with specific needs or special circumstances. You are welcome to refer students to these offices if the need should arise. 

Health Sciences graduate academic advisor Kellie Smith (Manager, Graduate Programs) can provide students with guidance in support of their graduate academic progress and degree completion.

Health Sciences undergraduate academic advisor Arlette Stewart can assist students with things such as academic planning, internal transfers to FHS, and help students who are on probation or required to withdraw.

Centre for Accessible Learning (formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities) helps students with disabilities eliminate barriers to reach their academic and personal goals, through individualized services and accommodations for students with psychological, physical, or learning disabilities.  

Financial Aid & Awards offers information on scholarships, awards, bursaries, and financial aid options for all students.

Indigenous Student Centre provides Indigenous students with programs and services that are unique, cultural, and holistic.

International Services for Students provides support and services for all students seeking information regarding a variety of international learning opportunities.  

Student Learning Commons offers expert and friendly help with academic writing, learning, and study strategies - in an environment of collaboration, discussion, and peer learning.

Supervising students

Coming soon.

Teaching assistants (TAs)

Definition of teaching assistants (TAs)

Teaching assistants are primarily graduate students, with duties assigned depending on the course and the instructor. A tutorial-based teaching assistant (T-TA) is a TA who meets one or more small group sections of a lecture course through regularly scheduled tutorial sections. An open lab teaching assistant (O-TA) is TA who is available to larger groups of students, typically in a scheduled, drop-in type of lab. An open lab TA does not meet regularly scheduled tutorial sections. A marking TA (M-TA) is a TA who primarily or exclusively assists an instructor with grading and in some cases, discussion or small group activities in the context of a lecture class. An M-TA does not lead tutorials and may be restricted from having contract with students unless arranged otherwise. M-TAs are not to be confused with tutor markers, who are a special group of TAs assigned to teach online courses throught the Center for Online and Distance Education (CODE).  

For more information on working with TAs, please review the FHS TA checklist and the FHS TA/tutorial policies & procedures.

Supporting your teaching assistant

New and experienced TAs can participate in (or present at) TA/TM Day: a free, one-day orientation event with multiple sessions offered by the Teaching and Learning Centre in cooperation with the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows and the Teaching Support Staff Union at the Burnaby campus each September and January. You can also encourage your TA to participate in the TA/TM well-being project, which provides skills for maintaining resilience and well-being and for creating conditions for well-being among their students.  

All TAs are guaranteed up to six paid hours per contract for professional development (those six hours are included in the TUG sheet). You should encourage your TAs to make use of the learning activities indicated above to help them prepare for their teaching responsibilities.

Time Use Guideline (TUG) and workload review

A Time Use Guideline (TUG) is a form that outlines the expected breakdown of hours for a TA or TM appointment. At the beginning of the term, you will receive an email from the TRACS system to complete the TUG for your assigned TA(s). Completion of the TUG is required, normally by end of the first week of classes. Around the eighth week of classes, you must complete a workload review in TRACS that will determine whether the number of hours required exceeds the number of hours assigned in the TUG. Excess hours require approval from the associate dean, education.

Textbooks and custom courseware

Custom courseware

Custom courseware is printed material consisting of materials (articles, paragraphs, chapters of books, etc.) personally selected by the instructor to enhance students’ learning. 

Instructors wishing to utilize custom courseware should order directly from SFU’s Custom Courseware. The books will be produced and then sold to students by the SFU Bookstore.   

For more information on custom courseware, please click here. All inquiries should be directed to courseware@sfu.ca

Textbooks and desk copies

Your textbook information should be listed on your one-page course outline, as this information will be used to order textbooks for your course. Textbooks can be listed as either required or recommended.  

Most publishers will supply complimentary desk copies of textbooks, which can be ordered upon request by the appropriate program assistant depending on whether your course is at the undergraduate or graduate level: