17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Assessing and Celebrating Teaching and Student Learning


Wed–Thu, May 15–16, 2019 | 8:30–5:30
Harbour Centre & Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Vancouver campus

Pre-Symposium Workshops and Consultations
Tue, May 14, 2019 | 8:30–4:30
Harbour Centre, Vancouver campus

View the full schedule online at sched.com
Download the Schedule at a Glance (PDF; updated Apr 15)
Download the Symposium poster (PDF)

Downloadable resources from the presentations

(We will add to this section as we receive materials post-Symposium.)

  • Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard: Student and Faculty Recommendations for Two-stage Collaborative Exams
    Slides | Handout
    Rebecca Cobb (psychology), Tara Holland (geography), Lara Aknin (psychology)

Simon Fraser University’s Symposium on Teaching and Learning is a forum for faculty members, instructors, students, staff and administrators to share ideas, experiences and practices related to teaching, research or scholarly inquiry. This year’s Symposium brings together leading national and international researchers and educational developers to share new research and innovative practices and policy in Assessing and Celebrating Teaching and Student Learning. Please join us at SFU’s Vancouver campus for up to three days of exciting keynote/plenary sessions, workshops, consultations, roundtable/panel discussions and more as we explore the underlying threads outlined below in the context of higher education assessment, student learning and faculty recognition.

Preregistration is now closed, but we invite you to register on-site at Harbour Centre.

   Register by May 10, 2019

Underlying threads

Assessing student learning

  • The role and impact of assessment on learning and student success 
  • Assessment and feedback at the course, program and institutional level 
  • Assessment of program and course learning outcomes 
  • Valuing inclusion and diverse perspectives in assessment strategies (e.g., UDL principles) 
  • Integrating digital tools and technologies for assessment 
  • Using the university-wide student evaluation of teaching and courses (SETC) system 

Evaluation of teaching

  • Rethinking the institutional, disciplinary and departmental cultures of assessment 
  • Designing effective teaching assessment methods (beyond SETC) 
  • Facilitating formative and summative assessment (e.g., reflective practice, peer observation/review of teaching, etc.) 
  • Exploring ways to review teaching practice that are meaningful to faculty members, tenure and promotion committees (TPCs), and administrators 

Celebrating teaching

  • Exploring the institutional commitment to teaching excellence 
  • Approaches to training, recognition, and rewarding faculty who want to improve the quality and effectiveness of their teaching 
  • Assessing the impacts and outcomes of faculty development, teaching dossiers/portfolios, awards, etc. 
  • Leveraging the synergy between faculty members, faculty development, and student learning to influence institutional changes to policy and administration

Visit the website of the Teaching Assessment Working Group (TAWG) to learn more about faculty recognition and teaching assessment at SFU.

Keynote and special sessions and speakers

Pre-Symposium sessions

Pre-symposium | Morning Workshop

Rethinking and Redesigning Feedback for Greater Impact on Learning
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon
Harbour Centre | Vancouver campus
Dr. David Boud, Deakin University

See the abstract …

Student opinion surveys typically place assessment and feedback as the least successful aspects of our courses. This is still the case after more than 20 years of institutional efforts to address the problem. Doing more of the same does not work. How then can we rethink feedback so that it can become much more effective without adding to the time taken to do it? Feedback is normally thought of as helpful comments provided to students. However, it can be more useful to think of feedback as a process in which students have an active role that leads to improved learning. The workshop will explore new ways to think about feedback and how we can design it into courses rather than see it as merely an adjunct to marking or grading.

Click on the sidebar button to register.

Pre-symposium | Workshop for SFU academic Leaders

Using Mentorship and Coaching as a Lens to Support Academic Growth in Teaching and Learning
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 1:30–4:00 p.m.
Harbour Centre | Vancouver campus
Dr. Natasha Kenny and Dr. Leslie Reid, University of Calgary

See the abstract …

Academic leaders play a key role in developing and sustaining cultures of teaching excellence through specific leadership activities1 including: recognizing and rewarding excellent teaching and teaching development; and, thoughtfully identifying teaching problems and turning them into opportunities. These leadership activities are strongly supported through both coaching and mentoring conversations with academic staff.  In this workshop we will focus on how feedback can provide entry points for coaching and mentoring conversations on teaching practice and development with academic staff. We will also explore how growth-oriented feedback can be responsibly utilized in performance assessment. We will use case studies in this workshop to illustrate the real context and complexity of coaching, mentoring and performance assessment of teaching practice in higher education.

1. Gibbs, G., Knapper, C., & Piccinin, S. (2008). Disciplinary and contextually appropriate approaches to leadership of teaching in research-intensive academic departments in higher education. Higher Education Quarterly, 62, 416–436.

Click on the sidebar button to register.

Symposium keynote and special sessions

MAy 15 | Opening Plenary/Keynote Address

Student Assessment: Fit for the World in Which We Now Operate?
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 9:00–10:30 a.m.
Harbour Centre, Fletcher Challenge Theatre | Vancouver campus
Dr. David Boud, Deakin University

View the presentation slides

See the abstract …

As we develop our courses to meet the new demands facing graduates in the 21st century, we often meet a constraint imposed by assumptions about assessment—what it should do and how it should be conducted—left over from an earlier era. Being assessed has a powerful influence on students. While it can be a positive experience, too often it is negative; students study in unproductive ways and do not focus on the outcomes that may be most important. This presentation starts with this challenge and explores ways in which assessment interacts with learning. It will discuss how we can think differently and more productively about the role of assessment in our courses. It locates consideration of assessment practices within the global agenda emphasizing standards and criteria in higher education and their representation in learning outcomes. A particular focus will be on avoiding de-skilling students through an excessive focus on making unilateral judgements of them, and on ensuring we invest our own assessment time productively.

May 15 | Afternoon Plenary/Keynote Address

Reflections on the Complexity of Teaching in Higher Ed: Demystifying Teaching Expertise
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 1:15–2:15 p.m.
Harbour Centre, Fletcher Challenge Theatre | Vancouver campus
Dr. Natasha Kenny and Dr. Leslie Reid, University of Calgary

View the presentation slides | View the presentation handout

See the abstract …

Developing and evidencing teaching expertise has garnered much attention across the Canadian post-secondary landscape. Teaching expertise is multi-faceted and is developed through a learning process that continues over one’s career.1 This learning process is complex. The Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise introduces three foundational values—inclusive, learning-centred, and collaborative—that ground five interwoven facets of teaching expertise (teaching and supporting learning, mentorship, professional learning and development, educational leadership, and research, scholarship and inquiry). This keynote presentation will demystify the process of developing teaching expertise and provide an opportunity for participants to actively explore how to support their professional learning to grow their teaching practice using the Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise. 

1. Kenny, N., Berenson, C., Chick, N., Johnson, C., Keegan, D., Read, E., Reid, L. (2017, October). A Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise in Postsecondary Education. Poster presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Retrieved from: http://connections.ucalgaryblogs.ca/?s=teaching+expertise

May 15 | Special Workshop

An Active Exploration of the Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise 
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 2:30–4:00 p.m.
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Salon B-C | Vancouver campus
Dr. Natasha Kenny and Dr. Leslie Reid, University of Calgary

View the presentation slides

See the abstract …

The Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise introduces three foundational values—inclusive, learning-centred, and collaborative—that ground five interwoven facets of teaching expertise (teaching and supporting learning, mentorship, professional learning and development, educational leadership, and research, scholarship and inquiry). In this workshop participants will actively explore how to use the framework. Specifically, they will: map their everyday teaching and learning activities to facets of the framework along a development continuum; identify how to communicate strengths; and practice using the framework for dialogue with their peers and academic leaders.

Keynote speakers

David Boud

Dr. David Boud is Alfred Deakin Professor and foundation director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning at Deakin University, Melbourne.

Read more …

He is also emeritus professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He has previously held positions of head of school, associate dean and dean of the University Graduate School at UTS. He has published extensively on teaching, learning and assessment in higher and professional education. His current work focuses on the areas of assessment for learning in higher education, academic formation and workplace learning. He is one of the most highly cited Australians in the field of higher education (h-index of 86). He has been a pioneer in developing learning-centred approaches to assessment across the disciplines, particularly in building assessment skills for long-term learning (Developing Evaluative Judgement in Higher Education, Routledge, 2018) and designing new approaches to feedback (Feedback in Higher and Professional Education, Routledge, 2013). Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World will appear from Springer later in 2019.

Natasha Kenny

Through her role as senior director, Dr. Natasha Kenny provides academic and administrative leadership for the Taylor Institute (TI) for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary.

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She plays a key role in the development, implementation and promotion of the TI vision and strategy. She works with institutional, national and international partners to research, support and advocate for teaching and learning in higher education. Natasha has a broad and interdisciplinary academic background that includes a Bachelor of Environmental Science, a Master of Landscape Architecture, and a PhD in Land Resource Science. Natasha has strong interests in educational leadership, workplace well-being in academic contexts, and the scholarship of teaching and learning and educational development.

Leslie Reid

Dr. Leslie Reid is the vice-provost for teaching and learning, and a teaching professor, in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary.

Read more …

She served as associate dean, teaching and learning, in the Faculty of Science from 2012–2017, where she supported the creation of educational development programs that help enhance learning and teaching experiences for students and staff. Leslie’s scholarly work focuses on STEM teaching and learning, and educational development for academic staff. From 2007 to 2012, Leslie was the Tamaratt Teaching Chair in Geoscience—the first position of its kind at the University of Calgary. While in this position, she led a number of projects investigating how to improve student engagement in large-enrollment STEM courses, and how to engage STEM faculty in educational development. In 2011, Leslie was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, and in 2014 she received a University of Calgary Teaching Award for Educational Leadership.