July 2017 | View the web version of this newsletter

How one instructor generated more feedback from his students

Tun Myint

Tun Myint (lecturer, Health Sciences) believes strongly in the value of gathering student feedback on his teaching. However, he observed that many of his students didn’t complete their end-of-course evaluations, and those who did frequently represented a skewed sample of the class as a whole. This past spring he tried a creative approach that employed a collective, incremental incentive to increase participation in the online course evaluation process. The result was a response rate of more than 80% in a class of 219 students and a wealth of representative feedback to draw on as he prepares for upcoming courses. Find out how his incentive worked.

Changes to SFU’s online course evaluation system—and a new tool

The advisory committee that oversees the University’s online course evaluation system recently announced changes related to privacy, question selection, and access to information. The changes will be in place for the course evaluation period that runs from July 21 to August 6. In particular, instructors can no longer provide bonus marks to individual students who complete evaluation forms, and deans and the VP Academic can now view responses to institutional, Faculty and department-level questions for individual instructors, but not to course-level questions. The committee also announced the introduction of a Response Rate Monitor that allows instructors and departmental administrators to view class response rates in real time. Read a summary of all changes.

Faculty members and staff talk about well-being on video

Zuzana Vasko

Well-being in learning environments can have a significant impact on the experiences of both students and instructors. At the Building Connections: Well-being in Teaching and Learning event co-hosted by the Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU Health Promotion and the SFU Faculty Association on March 7, 2017, a number of faculty and staff members shared their strategies for fostering student and instructor well-being. Five of those talks, by Samantha Aro (Student Engagement and Retention), Diana Bedoya (Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology), Russell Day (Psychology), Petra Menz (Mathematics), and Zuzana Vasko (Education, pictured above right), are now available as videos. Take a look.

Add these events to your summer calendar

LIMITED SPACE: The August Instructional Skills Workshops have a few spots left. Sign up now for either August 23–25 or August 28–30. GET ORIENTED: TA/TM Day on September 8 is SFU’s primary orientation event for teaching assistants, tutor-markers and sessional instructors. No need to register, but save the date!

This month in pictures

Elaine Fairey retirement 1 Elaine Fairey retirement 2 Elaine Fairey retirement 3 View photos from the Elaine Fairey retirement celebration >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a cash card!

“Most ideas about teaching are not new, but not everyone knows the old ideas.” Who said this?

a. Euclid    b. Maria Montessori    c. Andrew Petter    d. Nadia Boulanger

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER by July 24 for a chance to win a $10 Renaissance Coffee card. Congratulations to Jennie Blankinship, winner of last month’s challenge! The correct answer to last month's question was Steven Wright.


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View all scheduled events


Jul 21 Application deadline | August Instructional Skills Workshops (Aug 23–25 OR 28–30)
Sep 8 Application deadline | EdMedia Program (Sep 26–Oct 17)
Oct 6 Application deadline | November Instructional Skills Workshop (Nov 11–13)
Oct 6 Proposal submission deadline | Spring 2018 TA/TM Day (Jan 5; details to come)
Oct 20 Application deadline | Spring 2018 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Jan 12–Apr 20)


Teaching Practice

Instructional Skills Workshops | Aug 23–25 | Aug 28–30 | Nov 11–13 | Details

32nd Annual Fall TA/TM Day: The Teaching Orientation Program | Sep 8 | Details

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

Teaching Dossiers for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows | Nov 15 | Details

Spring 2018 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning | Jan 12–Apr 20, 2018 | Details

Technology & Media

Canvas Training and Consultations | By appointment | learntech@sfu.ca

Designing for the Blended Learning Experience | Upon request | Details

EdMedia Program | Sep 26–Oct 17 | Details

Going Visual I & II
I. Oct 18 | Details
II. Oct 25 | Details

Going Graphic | Nov 7 | Details

DEMOfest: The SFU Experience of Teaching with Technology | Nov 28 | Details to come

Screencasting: A Simple Way to Create Engaging Videos | Nov 30 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | May 11–Aug 31 | Sep 18–Dec 4 | By appointment | Details

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

Breath Power, Posture and Pauses: Your Secret Allies for Public Speaking | Oct 12 | Details

Expressive Speech: Vocal Dynamism in the Classroom | Oct 26 | Details

Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connectivity | Nov 9 | 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

tlcentre@sfu.ca | 778.782.3910 | Education Building, EDB 7560 | TLC on Twitter | Teaching and Learning News blog