Project Highlight: Exploring Well-being in Learning Environments’ Seminar Series and Grants Program

January 04, 2022

While the pivot to remote learning introduced new challenges for improving student well-being in the classroom, a team of passionate SFU community members came prepared.

Dr. Sheri Fabian, Lehoa Mak, Tara McFarlane, and Alisa Stanton are the team behind the project. With their passion for student well-being, The Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) team along with the SFU Health Promotion team came together to develop a well-being stream as part of a Teaching and Learning Development Grant, called Well-being in Learning Environments Seminar Series & Grants Program.

Supported by the Student Experience Initiative (SEI), and launched in Fall 2021, this partnership has collaborated with faculty to identify and address opportunities to improve student well-being in the classroom during the pandemic and beyond.

“The goals of the SEI project aligns with our team’s goals to create a healthy campus environment for students”, says Mak.

“The idea to create a well-being stream for this is a long time coming”, she continues, noting the support from SEI and faculty in realizing this well-being grants stream.

The idea originated from Dr. Fabian and Stanton, with the initial goal of the project being to bring faculty together to inform the development of student well-being interventions. With the shift to remote learning delaying and shifting certain elements, the team has successfully maneuvered to highlight the importance of well-being.

The project also includes research to provide evidence and inform intervention practices.

“That is the importance of the research part of the program -- to provide evidence that these small or large interventions have an impact on student learning and their experiences”, says McFarlane.

Many of the projects within the stream are still in progress, but early findings are promising.

“The fact that he actually cares makes a big difference in the vibe/atmosphere” one student says about the project.

“Working collaboratively with the Health Promotion Team has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on at SFU. One of my goals at ISTLD is to build communities of practice so that instructors can support each other in this work” says Fabian.

The project is another crucial aspect of enhancing student experience, with support from SEI and increased interest in supporting student well-being, the project will continue to grow.

“We’re excited to share the launch of a new initiative called Tools for Well-being in the Classroom (or, TWC)”, says SFU Health Promotion. This initiative will bring more instructors into the network and will focus more on quick strategies to support well-being.

“Or I like to think of it as...bringing awesome and caring human beings together”.


The initiative has continued into Spring 2022. Instructors interested in getting involved can register here.

Learn more about Tools for Well-being in the Classroom.