May 2017 | View the web version of this newsletter

It’s here! The Symposium on Teaching and Learning starts tomorrow

Aisha Haque

SFU’s biggest yearly gathering of faculty, staff and grad students for dialogue about teaching and learning will take place this week at the Burnaby campus. More than 200 people have registered for the 16th Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning (May 17–18) to talk about diversity and inclusion with a special emphasis on intercultural learning, including Indigenization. The opening plenary with guest speakers Dr. Nanda Dimitrov and Aisha Haque (right) of Western University will begin on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the Diamond Family Auditorium beside the Maggie Benston Centre. Note that online registration is now closed, but on-site registration will be available during the morning sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Get the Symposium program.

The SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council issues 29 calls to action

At an information session on May 2, Kris Magnusson and Chris Lewis, co-chairs of SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (ARC), presented an executive summary of the Council’s final report, titled “Walk This Path With Us,” which will be released in full on June 16. The summary contains 29 calls to action grouped into seven “clusters,” all with the aim of helping “Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of SFU to co-create a preferred future in which SFU is known as a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment for Indigenous students, staff, and faculty.” One cluster focuses on “indigenizing curricula and curricular processes” and outlines three possible routes toward that goal. Read more and download a copy of the executive summary.

Why this instructor lets students repeat her exams while sharing answers

Aisha Haque

This past semester students in Tara Holland’s first-year geography course wrote their mid-term and final exams twice—once on their own and then again in groups of three or four. The unusual practice—known as a two-stage collaborative exam—wasn’t intended to boost marks or reduce the workload. Rather, it turned the assessment process into a learning opportunity that students say reduced their anxiety and increased the time and effort they put into understanding the course material. In a recent SFU News article, Holland and her students spoke about their experience and the outcomes. Read the story.

What would you like to ask your students?

More than half of SFU courses used the University’s online system for student evaluation of teaching and courses (SETC) this past semester. One feature of the system is that it permits instructors to add up to four customized questions to each evaluation form; the responses to these questions are seen only by the course instructor. For those teaching in Summer 2017, the question selection/creation period will run from May 26 to June 9—instructors should watch for an email with a link to the question selection/creation tool on May 26. View an infographic outlining the full evaluation process.

Don’t miss these dates

CREATIVE WORKSHOPS: Going Visual II (May 23) introduces tools that can help you create visual content for your presentations. Video Editing for Beginners (June 21) is a hands-on introduction to video production. PREPARE FOR FALL: The Instructional Skills Workshop (August 23–25 or 28–30) offers a framework for developing enhanced teaching effectiveness, and Body-Voice-Space (August 14–15) is all about breathing, moving and speaking effectively in front of an audience. DEADLINE FOR GRAD STUDENTS: Apply to the Fall 2017 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning by May 26.

This month in pictures

Rethinking Teaching Building Connections Building Connections Faces of teaching and learning: View a photo gallery of faculty, staff and grad students at recent events >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a cash card!

Approximately how many Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) live in British Columbia according to WelcomeBC?

a. 200,000    b. 50,000    c. 100,000    d. 300,000

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER by May 26 for a chance to win a $10 Renaissance Coffee card. Congratulations to Ruth Vandenberg, winner of last month's challenge! The correct answer to last month's question was d. 28.


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May 26 Application deadline | Fall 2017 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Sep 15–Dec 8)


Teaching Practice

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

Instructional Skills Workshops | Aug 23–25 | Aug 28–30 | Details

NEW! 32nd Annual Fall TA/TM Day: The Teaching Orientation Program | September 8 | 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 Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media | May 23 | Details

Video Editing for Beginners | Jun 21 | Details

Sketching in Practice Symposium (SKiP 2017) | Jun 23–24 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | Selected Thursdays, May 11–Aug 31 | By appointment | Details

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

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