July 2018 | View the web version of this newsletter

What happened when students were invited to co-create a course

Susan Clements-Vivian

Susan Clements-Vivian (senior lecturer, Interactive Arts and Technology) found that her students often felt “disconnected” from the course content and therefore the course. She decided to invite students in her second-year Drawing as Inquiry course to sketch visual notes of her lectures and upload them to the Canvas course shell, where they could be shared and used as “primary reference material” for discussions and studying. Students embraced the idea enthusiastically—98 percent reported attending class “always or almost always” because, she says, “they wanted to be a part of the process of creation that we were doing.” Clements-Vivian is confident the idea could work with text-based notes as well. Read more about her experiment.

The Faculty Needs Assessment Project: Instructors share their thoughts and feelings

This past spring, 42 faculty members and instructors from all eight Faculties participated in nine focus groups facilitated by the Teaching and Learning Centre as part of a Faculty Needs Assessment Project. The conversations were intense—according to the facilitators, some sessions had to be extended because the participants wanted to keep sharing experiences—and covered everything from their teaching experiences to their students’ academic preparedness to their assessment of the teaching support provided to them by the university. The project report has just been released. Read a compilation of participants’ views and download a copy of the full document.

Exploring ways to prepare students for the “real world”

Jon Driver and George Nicholas

According to George Nicholas (blue shirt), professor and chair in the Department of Archaeology, the department is experiencing a disconnect: 90 percent of archaeologists work in the heritage management industry (HMI), “and yet we are largely teaching them for a research or academic profession—one that doesn’t really exist anymore.” Nicholas is collaborating with departmental colleague (and former VP academic) Jon Driver (plaid shirt) on a survey of HMI professionals to find out “what skills they didn’t get out of their academic training that would have helped them in their current roles.” The results will be used to generate proposals for new program content delivered, potentially, in new formats; for example, as one-credit professional courses. The two men expect to have survey results available for distribution in Fall 2018. Read more about the project and its context.

Beyond artwork—what Indigenization can look like

Haida chief

In Fall 2017, the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council released a report calling for Indigenization of the university, including curriculum. That call had clear implications for the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC), whose mission is to support faculty members and academic units in their teaching roles. TLC director Brad Johnson was convinced that to provide meaningful assistance, the centre would first have to “walk the talk.” Since then the centre has taken a number of steps—from displaying Indigenous artwork and establishing a learning circle for discussion of Indigenous issues to participating in a forest walk to learn about First Nations history and traditional knowledge. Read about what’s next and see the pictures.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities

FUNDING AVAILABLE: Instructors can receive up to $6,000 from the new Faculty Inquiry Grants: Student Learning Experience program for “discipline-specific projects that inquire into, explore and investigate students’ experiences in the classroom and beyond.” But hurry—the application deadline is July 31. FOR GRAD STUDENTS: Now open! Apply for the Spring 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Jan 11–Apr 12). TA/TM Day (Sep 7) is for teaching assistants and tutor-markers—view the Schedule at a Glance. Learn to document your teaching accomplishments—register now for Teaching Dossiers for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows (Nov 6).

This month in pictures

bbq bbq bbq The 2018 President’s Employee Appreciation Barbeque >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a $10 coffee card!

Just in time for your summer vacation: what is the biggest lake in B.C. by surface area?

a. Okanagan    b. Harrison    c. Williston    d. AQ Reflection Pond

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER BY JULY 17 for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks or Renaissance coffee card. The correct answer to last month's question was blue.


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Jul 31 Application deadline | Faculty Inquiries Grants: Student Learning Experience
Oct 19 NEW. Application deadline | Spring 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Jan 11–Apr 12, 2019)


Teaching Practice

Fall 2018 TA/TM Day: The Teaching Orientation Program | Sep 7 | Details

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

NEW. Spring 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning | Jan 11–Apr 12, 2019 | 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

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | May 31–Aug 30 | By appointment | 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