December 2018 | View the web version of this newsletter

Using Canvas quizzes to foster engagement in large lecture halls

Atousa Hajshirmohammadi

Atousa Hajshirmohammadi (university lecturer, Engineering) has a clear idea of how she would like to teach: “My ideal classroom would consist of a large round table where everyone would be able to make eye contact with me and with each other, so that we could all be engaged and connected.” However, in the real world she teaches up to 200 students at a time in large lecture halls. To combat the distraction inherent in such environments, she has begun using non-graded in-class Canvas quizzes as a means of encouraging her students to engage with the course material and each other. The students love it. Read more about her practice.

The meaning of a logo

TLC Indigenous logo

The Teaching and Learning Centre has a departmental logo—it’s right there at the top of this newsletter. But now it also has an Indigenous logo that will appear in various contexts. The design was commissioned from Indigenous artist Andrew (Enpaauk) Dexel, who unveiled it at a presentation in early December. It features a close-up view of a stylized eagle representing the concepts of teaching, community and humility. TLC director Brad Johnson commented, “The development of this logo has provided us with a way to envision our work from an Indigenous perspective.” Read the artist’s comments about the logo.

A holiday wish from the Teaching and Learning Centre

Christmas 2018

The Christmas break is just a few days away, and all of us in the Teaching and Learning Centre would like to wish the SFU community a happy, relaxing “intermission” with friends and family and a healthy, hope-filled new year. This past year we collaborated with many of you—from every Faculty, on all campuses, and in settings that ranged from classrooms and conferences to coffee shops and virtual spaces—in order to develop great learning experiences for students. We want to acknowledge the creativity, hard work and energy that you consistently bring to this work. Happy holidays!

Don’t miss these dates in January

Jan 4: Teaching assistants and tutor-markers—join your peers at the 23rd Annual Spring TA/TM Day to prepare for the new semester. Check out the full program.
Jan 14: Discuss Teaching Students to Extract Meaning From Scientific Literature with Dylan Cooke (Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology) at the Teaching Matters Seminar Series spring kick-off.
Jan 25: Join Megan Barker (Biological Sciences) for Collaborative Learning: Two-stage Tests to Support Student Learning and Experience, part of the Effective Teaching Series.
Jan 31: Pick up a creative planning technique at Scripting and Storyboarding.

This month in pictures

Justin Gray Jovita Vytasek Shiv Balram and Paula MacDowell For the teaching and learning community, DEMOfest 2018 was the place to be >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a $10 coffee card!

How many times has Vancouver had a white Christmas in the past 20 years?

a. 3    b. 7    c. 5    d. 10

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER BY DECEMBER 24 for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks or Renaissance coffee card. The correct answer to last month's question was Versailles.


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View all scheduled events


Jan 18 Application deadline | Instructional Skills Workshop (Feb 20–22)
Feb 22 Application deadline | Rethinking Course Design Workshop (Apr 25–26, 29–30)
Mar 15 Application deadline | Instructional Skills Workshop (Apr 16–18)
Apr 5 Submission deadline | Call for Proposals: 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day (Sep 6)
May 24 Application deadline | Fall 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning (Sep 13–Dec 6)


Teaching Practice

FULL PROGRAM POSTED. 23rd Annual Spring TA/TM Day | Jan 4 | Details

Spring 2019 Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning | Jan 11–Apr 12 | Details

NEW SESSIONS. Teaching Matters Seminar Series (up next: Teaching Students to Extract Meaning From Scientific Literature (Jan 14) and Bringing Life into Tutorials by Using the Flipped Class Model (Jan 28)) | Jan 14, 28, Feb 4, 11, Mar 4 | Details

NEW SESSIONS. Effective Teaching Series (up next: Collaborative Learning: Two-stage Tests to Support Student Learning and Experience (Jan 25), Active Learning in Your Classroom: Tips and Tricks to Increase Student Engagement and Learning (Feb 1) and Potlatch as Methodology (Feb 8)) | Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, Mar 8, Mar 22 | Details

NEW DATES. Instructional Skills Workshop | Feb 20–22 | Apr 16–18 | Details

Your Teaching Dossier/Portfolio: A S.M.A.R.T. Approach for SFU Faculty | Mar 1, 15, 29 | Details

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

JUST POSTED. Undergraduate Research Symposium | Mar 26 | Save the date

Rethinking Course Design Workshop | Apr 25–26, 29–30 | Details

17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Assessing Teaching and Student Learning | May 15–16, 2019 | Save the date

Technology & Media

NEW. Scripting and Storyboarding | Jan 31 | Details

NEW. Podcasting and Audio Production | Feb 21 | Details

JUST POSTED. Going Visual I: Sketch Noting to Foster Student Learning | Mar 6 | Details

JUST POSTED. Going Visual II: Convey Visual Content with Media | Mar 13 | Details

NEW. Smartphone Video Production | Apr 18 | Details

NEW. Basic Screencasting and Video Editing | May 2 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | Jan 14–Apr 8 | Details

JUST POSTED. Breath Power, Posture and Pauses: Your Secret Allies for Public Speaking | Feb 28 | Details

JUST POSTED. Expressive Speech: Vocal Dynamism in the Classroom | Mar 14 | Details

JUST POSTED. Better Presentations: Building Confidence and Connections | Mar 28 | Details

Consultations by Appointment

Canvas Training and Consultation | By appointment | Email for details

Creating and Using Graphics | By appointment | Details

Drawing for Visual Communication | By appointment | Email for details

EdMedia Program | By appointment | Email for details

In-class Observation and Consultations for SFU Faculty Members | By appointment | Email for 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 (temporarily in Discovery 2 | TLC on Twitter | Teaching and Learning News blog