March 2017 | View the web version of this newsletter

Direct from Abu Dhabi—the TLC has a new director

Brad Johnson

On March 2, Dr. Brad Johnson became director of SFU’s Teaching and Learning Centre. Previously he was director of the Center for Educational Innovation at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, and prior to that he was founding director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary in Qatar. His research interests include mobile learning, inter-professional (healthcare) collaboration and education (IPE/IPP), and transnational education, and he describes himself as “a strong believer in the inclusion of students as co-researchers and as co-explorers.” Read his message to the SFU community.

SFU honours three exceptional teachers

Sheri Fabian (senior lecturer and associate director, undergraduate programs, School of Criminology), Chantal Gibson (senior lecturer, School of Interactive Arts and Technology) and Michelle Pidgeon (associate professor, Faculty of Education) received Excellence in Teaching Awards at the SFU Awards Dinner on March 8. They will be featured in the SFU News later this week. In the meantime, browse the SFU Gallery of Teaching Excellence recipients dating back to 1982.

Teaching students to argue

Joan Sharp

Joan Sharp, a teaching professor in Biological Sciences, finds that many of her students have difficulty distinguishing between argumentation and evidence. She uses an online tool developed at SFU to teach them how to evaluate conflicting points of view in order to arrive at a supportable conclusion. It’s a skill that she considers fundamentally important for all students. Read a Q & A about her approach and the success she has had with it.

Multilingual learners: What helps international and EAL students?

SFU's Centre for English Language Learning, Teaching and Research (CELLTR) has announced a speaker series focusing on multilingual learner issues and research, including practical strategies for helping EAL students succeed. The first two presentations are "Beyond Linguistic Competence: International Student Well-Being and Engagement in English Medium Post-Secondary Education” (March 29) and “Challenges and Successes of Students from International Pathways” (April 12). See the event descriptions.

Open Education Week: A chance to re-examine assumptions

March 27–31 is Open Education Week around the world. The goal is to raise awareness of a movement dedicated to creating "a vast pool of openly shared educational resources" to make education more accessible. SFU will participate by co-hosting "The Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education" at Harbour Centre on March 28, 5:30–8:30. The evening will include a reception and panel discussion to explore the contention that "there is little formal evidence that open education has an impact on increasing access to learning or making education more equitable." It's free, but space is limited and registration is required.

Media creation skills for SFU faculty members and staff

Lisa Higashi

When the Beedie School's Undergraduate Career Management Centre integrated its Business Career Passport workshops into an introductory marketing course, manager Lisa Higashi identified a need for course materials tailored to the student audience. Although she had never produced a video, she decided to take up the challenge with the help of the EdMedia Program, a training program that offers SFU faculty members and staff the chance to develop media production skills while producing usable resources. Read about her experience.

Dates you shouldn't overlook

Deadlines this week: Submit your presentation proposal for the Symposium on Teaching and Learning (May 17–18) by March 15. Apply for the next Instructional Skills Workshops (April 19–21 or 24–26) by March 17. Creative skills: Sign up now for Going Graphic on March 21. For grad students: Submit your proposals for the Fall 2017 TA/TM Day by April 7.

This month in pictures

SETC winners SETC winners SETC winners Online course evaluations begin on March 24. See prize draw winners from last semester >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a cash card!

At the SFU Awards Dinner on March 8, all three Excellence in Teaching Award recipients were women. Has this happened before?

a. Yes    b. No

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER by March 20 for a chance to win a $10 Renaissance Coffee card. Congratulations to Patrick Phang, winner of last month's challenge! The correct answer to last month's question was d. 2013.


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View all scheduled events


Mar 15 Proposal submission deadline | 16th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Voices of Diversity and Inclusion: Vulnerabilities, Tensions, and Opportunities (May 17–18)
Mar 17 Application deadline | April Instructional Skills Workshops (Apr 19–21, April 24–26)
Apr 7 Proposal submission deadline | 32nd Annual Fall TA/TM Day (Sep 8)
Apr 13 Application deadline | EdMedia Program (Apr 25–May 16)
May 26 Application deadline | Fall 2017 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Sep 15–Dec 8)


Teaching Practice

Instructional Skills Workshops | Apr 19–21 | Apr 24–26 | Details

Rethinking Teaching: A Four-day Course Design Workshop for Faculty | Apr 27–28 & May 1–2 | Details

16th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Voices of Diversity and Inclusion: Vulnerabilities, Tensions, and Opportunities | May 17–18 | Details

Fall 2017 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning | Sep 15–Dec 8 | Details

Technology & Media

Canvas Training and Consultations | By appointment |

Designing for the Blended Learning Experience | Upon request | Details

Going Graphic Workshop | Mar 21 | Details

Teaching Foundations for Faculty: Learning Technology: What Is Available, and What Are Smart Ways of Using It? | Mar 30 | Details

EdMedia Program | Tuesdays and Thursdays, Apr 25–May 16 | Details

Going Visual I: Cut Through Complexity with Drawing Basics | May 10 | Details

Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media | May 23 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | Mondays, Jan 16–Apr 3 | By appointment | Details

Presentation Practice | Mondays, Jan 16–Apr 3 | By appointment | Details

Presentation Skills Series
III. Warming Up Your Audience | Mar 23 | Details

Body-Voice-Space: An Intensive Two-Day Voice and Presentation Skills Boot Camp | Aug 14–15 | Details


Click to find out how the Teaching and Learning Centre can support your work

Course and curriculum planning    |    Canvas and learning technology support    |    Educational media creation and training    |    Workshops and programs    |    Voice and presentation skills    |    Teaching practice and discipline-specific consulting | 778.782.3910 | Education Building, EDB 7560 | TLC on Twitter | Teaching and Learning News blog