Exploring Well-being in Learning Environments: An Integrated Seminar Series and Grants Program

Positive well-being is a key predictor for learning and student success. Research indicates that well-being is associated with deep learning, and that teaching practices contribute to experiences of well-being (Adler, 2016; Fernandez et al, 2016, Harward, 2016; Stanton, Zandvliet, Dhaliwal & Black, 2016). In partnership with the SFU Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU Health Promotion works with instructional staff and faculty to create conditions for well-being within learning environments. SFU Health Promotion is expanding this network by partnering with the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) to pilot a seminar series and grants program. This new program is intended to:

  • Provide support for SFU faculty to investigate strategies that create conditions of well-being in learning environments.
  • Increase knowledge of ways faculty can create well-being in learning environments.
  • Provide the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration through a well-being lens.
  • Facilitate knowledge and ideas exchange that contribute to identifying effective practices that enhance student well-being.

Throughout this program, participants will:

  • Gain knowledge about the importance of and how to create conditions of well-being in learning environments that positively affect student academic success.
  • Develop a project proposal to implement and evaluate changes made to a learning environment in order to foster learning and well-being.
  • Provide input to and receive feedback from fellow program participants and facilitators.
  • Receive up to $5000 of funding to support the design and/or implementation and evaluation of their work.
  • Submit a final report and share the outcomes of the project by connecting with other faculty members and colleagues within and outside of the SFU community.

Time commitment and workload

  • Participants will meet 5 times for 3 hours each between October 2019 and November 2020.
  • The first 3 meetings will be scheduled approximately three weeks apart in Fall 2019.
  • The next meeting will take place about 3 months later in Spring 2020 and focus on participants’ progress in their inquiries.
  • The final meeting will take place upon participants’ completion of their inquiries anticipated no later than Fall 2020 and involve sharing the outcomes of their research.
  • Some readings and relevant research articles will be provided.

How to participate

To express interest in this program, please complete the Exploring Well-being in Learning Environments: An Integrated Seminar Series and Grants Program Expression of Interest form. Completed forms should be sent to by Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 4:30pm (extended deadline). Download the Expression of Interest form>>

Facilitation team

This session will be facilitated by members of SFU’s Health Promotion team in collaboration with the ISTLD. Faculty members engaged in SFU's Well-being in Learning Environments project may also facilitate some components of the program.


Adler, A. (2016). Teaching well-being increases academic performance: Evidence from Bhutan, Mexico and Peru. Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 1572.

Harward, D. (2016). Well-being and higher education. A Strategy for change and the revitalization of education’s greater purpose. Washington, DC: Bringing Theory to Practice.

Fernandez, A., Howse, E., Rubio-Valera, M., Thorncraft, K., Noone, J., Luu, X., Veness, B., Leech, M., Llewellyn, G. & Salvador-Carulla, L. (2016). Setting-based interventions to promote mental health at the university: a systematic review. International Journal of Public Health, 61(7): 797-807.

Stanton, A., Zandvliet, D.B., Black, T. & Dhaliwal, R. (2016). Understanding students’ experiences of well-being in learning environments. Higher Education Studies, 6(3), 90-99.