February 2018 | View the web version of this newsletter

Teaching does not need to be a solitary activity

Sheri Fabian

The shelves in Sheri Fabian’s office are filled with mementoes and tokens that attest to the relationships she has built and maintained with students. The senior lecturer (Criminology) and director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines has developed similar connections with colleagues through professional development activities, teaching circles and informal relationships centred on a mutual interest in teaching. In a recent conversation she spoke about the value of those connections in her own life and career, offering a picture of how individuals in teaching roles can be sustained and energized by a community. Read about her experiences

A place for Honours thesis students to present their research

SFU’s inaugural Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place on April 6, 2018, at the Burnaby campus. The event will give Honours thesis students from all disciplines the chance “to gain experience in presenting academic work and to share [their] research with a wider audience.” It’s a cooperative venture involving a number of academic and support units that demonstrates how teaching, learning and research can be brought together in the undergraduate context. If you have—or know of—a student whose work might be ready to share in the form of a five-minute presentation, encourage them to submit a presentation proposal by March 4, 2018. Learn more about the symposium and how your students can participate

Assessing and valuing teaching

Barbara Frisken

SFU’s Teaching Assessment Working Group, established in August 2017 by the VP Academic and led by Barbara Frisken (right; professor and chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Department of Physics), is considering ways to value and assess teaching practice beyond the university’s existing Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETC) system. The working group has just announced a series of talks on “Valuing Teaching: Challenges and Strategies to Value Effective Teaching.” The first presentation, by Isabeau Iqbal (UBC) on March 9, will consider “Learning and Evaluating with the Peer Review of Teaching,” and the second, by Philip B. Stark (University of California, Berkeley) on April 26, will address research that indicates “Student Evaluations of Teaching (Mostly) Do Not Measure Teaching Effectiveness.” Both speakers will be available for discussion and consultation by appointment after their presentations. To learn more about the working group and to register for the talks, visit the Faculty Recognition website.

Save your spots now

GET IT DONE: Designing or redesigning a course? It’s easier in the supportive environment provided by Rethinking Teaching (Apr 26–27, Apr 30–May 1); apply by February 23. A FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHING: Learn a structured approach to teaching in the Instructional Skills Workshop (Apr 18–20 or 23–25); apply by March 16. MEDIA SKILLS: The Spring 2018 EdMedia Program (Apr 3–24) is all about design and production; apply by March 16. To develop your audio recording skills, sign up now for Mic Check (Mar 1). FOR GRAD STUDENTS: Get paid to share your expertise at the 33rd Annual Fall TA/TM Day (Sep 7); submit your presentation proposal by April 13.

This month in pictures

Joelle Majeau Joy Cramer Gary George A year’s worth of images and stories in the 2018 Office for Aboriginal Peoples Newsletter >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a $10 cash card!

This year B.C. celebrated Family Day on the second Monday in February. Next year Family Day will move to the third Monday in February. True or false?

a. True    b. False

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER BY FEBRUARY 23 for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks Coffee card. The correct answer to last month's question was 900–1,000.


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View all scheduled events


Feb 23 Application deadline | Rethinking Teaching (Apr 26–27, Apr 30–May 1)
Mar 16 Application deadline | April Instructional Skills Workshops (Apr 18–20 or 23–25)
Mar 16 Application deadline | EdMedia Program (Apr 13–24)
Apr 13 Submission deadline | Call for Proposals: 33rd Annual Fall TA/TM Day (Sep 7)
Apr 20 Application deadline | Body, Voice, Space: An Intensive Two-Day Voice and Presentation Skills Boot Camp (May 16–17)
May 25 Application deadline | Fall 2018 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Sep 14–Dec 7)


Teaching Practice

Teaching Matters (Next session: Multiple Choice and Written Questions: When to Use, Why and How) | Feb 20, Mar 6, Mar 13, Apr 3 | Details

FULL! Your Teaching Dossier/Portfolio: A S.M.A.R.T. Approach for SFU Faculty | Feb 23, Mar 9 & 23 | Details

Bring Your Self to Work Dialogues (Next session: Sense of Play) | Mar 5, Apr 9 | Details

Teaching Dossiers for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows | Mar 6 | Details

NEW! Learning and Evaluating with the Peer Review of Teaching | Mar 9 | Details

Instructional Skills Workshops | Apr 18–20 | Apr 23–25 | Details

NEW! Student Evaluations of Teaching (Mostly) Do Not Measure Teaching Effectiveness | Apr 26 | Details

Rethinking Teaching: A Four-Day Course Design Workshop for Faculty | Apr 26–27, Apr 30–May 1 | Details

Technology & Media

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

Creating and Using Graphics | By appointment | Details

Designing for the Blended Learning Experience | Upon request | Details

Mic Check: Microphone Setup, Usage and Technique | Mar 1 | Details

EdMedia Program | Apr 3–24 | Details

Going Visual I: Cut Through Complexity with Drawing Basics | Apr 18 | Details

Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media | Apr 25 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | Jan 15–Apr 9 | By appointment | Details

Breath Power, Posture and Pauses: Your Secret Allies for Public Speaking | Feb 22 | Details

Expressive Speech: Vocal Dynamism in the Classroom | Mar 8 | Details

Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connections | Mar 22 | Details

Body, Voice, Space: An Intensive Two-Day Voice and Presentation Skills Boot Camp | May 16–17 | 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