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Breaking the Mould: Innovations in Undergraduate Learning

On Wednesday 22nd October 2014, SFU Public Square and the SFU Faculty of Education hosted Breaking the Mould: Innovations in Undergraduate Learning. This dynamic, one-day conference brought together leading academics, policy-makers, and innovative educators. This conference explored the theme of innovation in student-oriented learning. Innovations in pedagogy, technology, and programming were all be explored.

Collaborative peer learning, workshops facilitated by leading scholars, inspirational case studies, and a festival of new ideas in undergraduate learning, Breaking the Mould opened the window to a world of new and exciting ideas in undergraduate learning.


Wed, 22 Oct 2014 8:30 AM


Diamond Alumni Centre
SFU's Burnaby Campus
8888 University Drive, Burnaby

Interactive Design


Forget leaning back. This conference has been designed to get you to actively participate in demonstrations, workshops, and activities. Through exploring emerging practices, accessing new technologies, and experiencing our ‘Learning Festival’ this conference sparked vibrant conversation amongst our participants in order to help us leverage information and knowledge mobilization.

Interviews with Education Leaders

Meet some of our innovators in education

Laurie Anderson

Conference Moderator

Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, an Associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue, and a Facilitator at SFU Public Square. Prior to joining SFU, he worked in the BC elementary school system for twenty ­eight years. Laurie obtained his BEd, MA and PhD at SFU, served as a Director on the Canadian Bureau of International Education for six years and completed the Certificate Program in Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute. His current areas of interest include contemplative education, the gendering of leadership, and innovation in formal education at all levels.

Andrew Petter

Opening Remarks 

Andrew Petter is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Simon Fraser University. Previous roles include Dean of the University of Victoria's law school, and Attorney General of British Columbia under the New Democratic Party government of Ujjal Dosanjh. Petter has written extensively in the areas of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, including works on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian federalism. Read a full biography of Andrew Petter.

Jon Driver

Context Setting

Jon Driver, Vice ­President Academic and Provost of SFU, is an exceptional leader in cross­disciplinary perspectives in education policy. Since 2010, Jon’s work as Provost has focused on reviewing teaching practices at SFU and exploring how to restructure accreditation practices at the university. His goal is identifying alternative structures to benefit students while empowering departments with the freedom to determine outstanding learning outcomes and objectives.

Kris Magnusson

Keynote Speaker - Addressing the Issues

Kris Magnusson is Dean of the Faculty of Education at SFU and has worked in education administration for over twenty years. Kris held the role of Associate Vice­ President Academic for two years at the University of Lethbridge, and spent additional time working at both the University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge teaching. He has written widely on education policy, including the impact of career assessments and evidence-based policy decision-making. Kris also served on a provincial committee for the Advisory Group on Provincial Assessment, which looked at the standardized achievement tests administered in BC at Grades 4 and 7, and reviewed broader issues of provincial exams at high school.

Robert Page

Visiting Keynote Speaker

Provost of Arizona State University
Robert E. Page Jr.
 is Provost for the University and Foundation Chair of Life Sciences. He was the Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2011-2013) and the Founding Director of the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University (2004-2011). He joined ASU in 2004 after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of California Davis where he served as Chair of Entomology from 1999-2004. His background is in behavior and population genetics and the focus of his current research is on the evolution of complex social behavior.

Dr. Page has published more than 230 research papers and articles, 5 books, and is listed as a “highly-cited author” by the ISI Web of Knowledge, representing the top 1/2 of 1 percent of publishing scientists. He received the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award (the Humboldt Prize) in 1995, the highest honor given by the German government to foreign scientists. In 2010 he was elected to the Leopoldina - the German National Academy of Science, the longest continuing academy in the world.

Ideas in 5 - Four Student Centered Education Innovators

Tony Chambers

Tony Chambers, prior to serving at University of Toronto as Vice-Provost in 2005, worked at the University of Michigan where he was Associate Director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Tony has written extensively on the subject of reforming PSE. He was an editor on Higher Education for the Public Good: Emerging Voices from a National Movement (2005), and wrote "Toward a Social Justice-Centered Engaged Scholarship: A Public and a Private Good." Learn more about Tony.

Marlene Scardamalia

Marlene Scardamalia holds the Presidents' Chair in Education and Knowledge Technologies at OISE/University of Toronto and directs IKIT, the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology—a worldwide network of innovators advancing the frontiers of knowledge building in various sectors.  Her work has led to several honours and awards, including the World Award of Education for innovations in education from the World Cultural Council. The institute she directs received the ORION Learning Award for development of the world's first collaborative learning environment and research-based innovations in theory, pedagogy, and technology, all aimed at making citizens part of a 21st-century knowledge-creating culture.  
Learn more about Marlene.

Kieran Egan

Kieran Egan is a world-renowned Professor and Researcher at SFU's Faculty of Education and Director of the Centre for Imaginative Education. Kieran is also the Canada Research Chair in Education. Over the course of his career, Kieran has written over twenty books on education and gives frequent talks on the future of education, educational theory, and related subjects. Some of Kieran’s most recent works are The Future of Education: Reimagining our Schools from the Ground Up and Learning in Depth.

Janet Moore

Janet Moore is Director and Associate Professor at the SFU Semester in Dialogue. She has imagined, designed and facilitated intensive, interdisciplinary courses that focus on community engagement, resilience, lifestyle activism, food systems, group process and urban sustainability. Janet is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of CityStudio - an energetic hub of learning and leadership where students design and implement Greenest City solutions in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and 6 post secondary institutions (Emily Carr, UBC, SFU, VCC, BCIT and Langara). Read a full biography of Janet Moore.

Breakout Facilitators - Innovations in Pedagogy

David Helfand

David Helfand has spent 35 years on the faculty of Columbia University in New York, and more than half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He has served as a Founding Tutor and, since 2008, as President and Vice Chancellor of Quest University Canada. He is also President of the American Astronomical Society, the professional society for astronomers, astrophysicists, planetary scientists and solar physicists in North America. Watch David's TedxWestVancouverED Talk.

Katrin Becker

Katrin Becker is an award winning, internationally known expert in the design and analysis of Serious Games. She holds two degrees in computer science and a PhD in Educational Technology with a focus on instructional game design. Becker has over 30 years of teaching experience in science, engineering, education and art. She has designed and developed several educational and advertising games.  She is the author of a book on the technical aspects of simulations and games written for non-technical people, and teaches at Mount Royal University. Learn more about Katrin.

Mark Winston

Mark L. Winston has had a distinguished career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues, and science policy. Winston's work has appeared in numerous books, commentary columns for the Vancouver Sun, The New York Times, The Sciences, Orion magazine, and frequently on CBC radio and television and National Public Radio. He currently is Academic Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue, and a Professor of Biological Sciences. Click here to read his full profile.

Veselin Jungic

Veselin Jungic is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University. Most of his work is within Ramsey theory and the field of mathematics  education. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award. Learn more about Veselin.

Lisa Papania

Lisa Papania teaches product development, innovation and business marketing - with a focus on sustainability and creating a circular, community-focused economy - at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. She has a PhD from SFU in Canada, and an MBA from Wits Business School in South Africa. She has extensive experience at major multi–national corporations developing products and leading product development teams in environments facing numerous social and sustainability challenges. Read Lisa's full bio here.

Robert Luke

Robert Luke is Vice-President of Applied Research and Innovation for George Brown College. He leads the College’s applied research and innovation activities that focus on working with industry to address development needs and productivity challenges. Dr Luke is also responsible for institutional research and planning, focusing on overall educational quality measurement and improvement, and strategy implementation. Read Robert's full biography here.

William Lindsay

William G. Lindsay currently serves as the Director of the Office for Aboriginal Peoples at SFU, working out of the Office of the Vice President, Academic. He has also been the editor of two university newsletter/magazines and is the current publisher of the SFU News, Aboriginal Edition. William has worked for many years as an Indigenous teacher, professor, student services provider, and senior administrator, at numerous Lower Mainland colleges and universities. Read William's full biography here.

Jon French

Jon French is the Director of Marketing & Communications for The Next 36 - a national program for the country’s top young innovators, providing them with an unparalleled combination of capital, mentorship, world-class education and in-kind services. Before joining The Next 36, Jon was Associate Director, Career Information with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO). He has been actively involved with the Canadian Association of Career Educators & Employers (CACEE), where he sat on the National Board of Directors from 2007-2010. Most recently, Jon has joined the Venture for Canada Advisory Board. 

David Porter

David Porter is the Project Manager for the Task Force on Flexible Education at SFU. He is the former Executive Director of BCcampus, where he was a forceful advocate for the use of open pedagogical practices and open educational resources (OER), including the implementation of Canada’s first large-scale, government funded open textbook program in 2012-2014. David is currently involved in the ROER4D research initiative in Mongolia, and is also an adjunct professor in the Master of Educational Technology program at the University of British Columbia. Read more about David here.

Jamie Mulholland

Jamie Mulholland is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University with a background in pure mathematics. He is a published researcher in mathematics education and is highly interested in teaching large classes, use of technology inside and outside the classroom, and developing and teaching online courses that promote mathematics to students at all age levels. Read more about Jamie here.


Jaigris hodson

Jaigris Hodson is Director of Social Media at GCI Canada and advisor for Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University. She has presented at multiple conferences and has published articles in a number of journals, including the Canadian Journal of Communication. She has developed and taught courses in digital innovation and social media at Ryerson University for both the Digital Specialization Program and the Masters in Digital Media Program. Read more about Jaigris here.


David Leach

David Leach is the current Director of the Technology & Society Minor Program and an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria. He is the former City Life editor at Monday Magazine and managing editor at explore whose award-winning freelance work has appeared in national and international publications. His research and teaching interests include how digital technology is transforming the arts, journalism, publishing, and education. Read more about David here.

John Gray

John Gray jumped into the start-up world in early 2009. He is co-founder of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company. As Launch Academy's Program Facilitator he’s leading and teaching their Lean Entrepreneur Program. He's also freelance writer and regular contributor to BetaKit, focusing on keeping the humanity in our conversations about technology. John has a B.Ap.Sc. in Communications and a B.A. in English, both from Simon Fraser University.

Kim Bates

Kim Bates is the director of Ryerson's MBA in management of technology and innovation and the interim director of the MBA global program discusses the increasing number of mature students interested in the Ryerson MBA program.

Read more about Kim here.

Judy Smith

Judy Smith is the Program Director of the SFU Community Education Program, a program that supports positive social change through access to education. As part of a dynamic team at SFU, she oversees and participates in the design and implementation of inclusive, community engaged educational projects and programs that help people build socially sustainable communities, such as the Aboriginal Bridge Programs, the Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, the Restorative Justice Certificate, and a new Nonprofit Management Certificate program being launched in Sept. 2015.

Shauna Jones holds a MA in Leadership, teaches Business Communication and Foundations for Working Collaboratively for the Beedie School of Business. Shauna brings with her almost two decades of experience in business and personal consulting, career management, and facilitation and training.  She is passionate about working with people to build trust, teams, and leaders. Shauna is also Chair of the Beedie School of Business’ Teaching and Learning Committee. Here she helps develop professional development opportunities for Beedie’s faculty and sessionals.

Conference Agenda