February 2019 | View the web version of this newsletter

For this prof, teaching students to read scientific papers meant letting them take the lead


There's ample evidence that undergraduate students don't know how to read and interpret scientific literature. Dylan Cooke, an assistant professor of biomedical physiology and kinesiology, designed an entire neuroplasticity course with the aim of helping students acquire these skills. His secret: he has students teach one another through peer-led presentations and small-group discussions, and he reinforces the emphasis on literacy through assessments that prioritize the ability to convey course concepts over content mastery. Students like what they are learning. "It feels good to be at this level of understanding," said one. Read more about Cooke's course.

Course-based undergraduate research that "someone outside of the course cares about"


On February 6, science professor Sara Brownell came to SFU from Arizona State University to speak about her use of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) to fuel student learning. CUREs, she explained, channel the energy of an entire class into a single research problem with the goal of generating results that "someone outside of the course cares about." The approach gives students the opportunity to "think like a scientist" and offers a taste of the "messiness of science" to students who might otherwise never participate in a genuine research experience. The talk was organized by biological sciences lecturer Megan Barker. Read more about Brownell's presentation and her implementation of CUREs.

SFU Teaching Stories: A look at what faculty members do in their classrooms


There's the story of Mary-Ellen Kelm (history), who invited students to co-create the syllabus and watched their engagement soar. And the story of Mark Blair (psychology), whose use of mastery grading up-ended the bell curve and led to impressive gains in student learning. And 22 more accounts featuring the teaching practices of SFU faculty members and instructional staff. They're all in the TLC's just-released SFU Teaching Stories, a 60-page compilation of 24 recent posts from the Teaching and Learning News blog. It's a celebration of creativity and a showcase of teaching ideas, and it's available now in printed or digital form. Get your free copy here.

A well-deserved teaching honour for Sheri Fabian


Every year, Maclean's magazine teams up with the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education to announce the recipients of the society's 3M National Teaching Fellowship. The award is a rare distinction—this year, SFU's Sheri Fabian, a university lecturer in criminology and director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines, is one of just 10 post-secondary educators in Canada to receive it. The Maclean's announcement on February 11 quoted a former student, who said, "Good teachers change students' lives. Sheri changed the way I view myself, hence the way I see the world." Congratulations, Sheri, on a well-deserved honour! Read the Maclean's announcement and watch a short video interview with Fabian on the SFU News blog.

Encourage your undergraduates to share their research

SFU's Undergraduate Research Symposium on March 26 is an ideal place for students to share their research and gain presentation experience. The format is simple: a five-minute presentation delivered in an accessible way for a non-specialist audience. All undergraduate students who are in an SFU honours program, or have had their work accepted for presentation at a Faculty or department-sponsored research symposium or event, or have participated in research grant activities administered by SFU Research Services are invited to participate. Know a student? Encourage them to view the call for proposals and apply by 9:00 a.m. on March 4.

Heed the call: Two new opportunities for funding and sharing

The Teaching and Learning Centre has just issued two calls for proposals. The first call is for the 17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning, which will take place on May 15 and 16 at the Vancouver campus. This year's theme is Assessing and Celebrating Teaching and Student Learning, and multiple presentation formats are available. The proposal submission deadline for the Symposium is March 22, 2019. The second call is for the new Decolonizing and Indigenizing Curricula grant program. This program provides grants of up to $6,000 to full-time continuing faculty members to support "inquiries into decolonizing and indigenizing their courses." The application deadline for the grant program is March 15, 2019.

Don't miss these dates

Feb 25: Preview an SFU-developed online "Dialectical Mapping" tool that teaches students how to create and critique arguments in a structured way at How to Map an Effective Argument.
Feb 28: You can become a better presenter. Sign up for Breath Power, Posture and Pauses: Your Secret Allies for Public Speaking.
Mar 1: Boost your teaching career with Your Teaching Dossier/Portfolio: A S.M.A.R.T. Approach for Faculty.
Mar 1, 7 or 12: One event, three time slots. Come to Adventures in Teaching Online to hear four faculty members reflect on lessons learned when they transformed their face-to-face courses to an online format. Presented by the Centre for Online and Distance Education.
Mar 8: Come for the title, stay for the talk: Diversity, Adversity, Perversity, and the University. Part of the Effective Teaching Series.

This month in pictures

ets-square-2.jpg ets-square-3.jpg ets-square-1.jpg The Effective Teaching Series: Lunch and a presentation for SFU's teaching community >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a $10 coffee card!

Sheri Fabian is SFU's most recent 3M National Teaching Fellow. How many other members of the SFU Gallery of Teaching Excellence have received this honour?

a. 10    b. 3    c. 8    d. 5

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER BY FEBRUARY 25 for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks or Renaissance coffee card. Congratulations to Roberta Neilson (Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies), winner of the January bonus draw. The correct answer to last month's question was haggis.


Join the tlcentre-events mailing list (get upcoming event notifications)
View all scheduled events


Feb 22 Application deadline | Rethinking Course Design Workshop (Apr 25–26, 29–30)
Mar 15 Application deadline | Instructional Skills Workshop (Apr 16–18)
Mar 15 Application deadline | Decolonizing and Indigenizing Curricula Grant Program
Mar 22 Submission deadline | Call for Proposals: 17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning (May 15–16)
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

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

Teaching Matters Seminar Series | Mar 4, 18, 25, Apr 1 | Details
Up next:
Practical Ideas and Critical Considerations for a Compassionate Instructor (Mar 4)
The Academic Enhancement Program: Giving Students a Chance to Reflect and Learn about Their Learning (Mar 18)

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

Effective Teaching Series | Mar 8, 22 | Details
Up next:
Diversity, Adversity, Perversity, and the University (Mar 8)
Indigenizing Course Outcomes: Updating Your Syllabus to Use the Medicine Wheel as a Curriculum Design Framework (Mar 22)

Undergraduate Research Symposium | Mar 26 | Details

Instructional Skills Workshop | Apr 16–18 | Details

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

Podcasting and Audio Production | Feb 21 | Details

NEW. Flexible Learning Series | Mar 5, 12, 19 & 26 | Details (waiting list for all three sessions)
Designing a Blended Learning Experience (Mar 5)
Facilitating Collaboration and Communication Online (Mar 12)
Designing Games for Learning (Mar 19 & 26)

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

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

Smartphone Video Production | Apr 18 | Details

Basic Screencasting and Video Editing | May 2 | Details

Voice & Presentation Skills

Private Voice Sessions | Jan 14–Apr 8 | Details

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

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

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

Find out how the Teaching and Learning Centre can support your work

Course and curriculum planning    |    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 (temporarily in Discovery 2) | TLC on Twitter | Teaching and Learning News blog