March 2019 | View the web version of this newsletter

Miriam Rosin meets the Instagram generation


Miriam Rosin (professor, biomedical physiology and kinesiology) has seen a change in her students since the advent of social media: "My students communicate through visuals, and they learn that way." What would happen, she wondered, if a course were similarly visual? Last spring she tested the idea, replacing the text-based conceptual framework of her fourth-year Integrative Cancer Biology course with a visual structure. The emphasis on images and icons extended to assessment formats and the final exam. Her hope was that presenting content as "small, bite-sized chunks" of visual information would make it easier for students to "play with" their knowledge. The approach seems to have worked. Rosin observed unprecedented student engagement, and she saw evidence of deeper learning when she brought in a guest lecturer: "The quality of thought reflected in the questions they posed to her was higher than anything I had ever seen." Read more about her novel approach.

Kevin, Kevin and Ann: SFU's 2018 Excellence in Teaching award recipients share a concern with student well-being


The judges assured us that being named "Kevin" didn't boost the odds of winning. Still, it obviously didn't hurt. The recipients of SFU's 2018 Excellence in Teaching Awards, announced in early March, are Kevin Lam (senior lecturer, biological sciences), Kevin Oldknow (right; senior lecturer, mechatronic systems engineering), and Ann Travers (associate professor, sociology). The students, faculty colleagues and alumni who nominated them had high praise for the passion, commitment and creativity of all three—but just as notable was their focus on student well-being in the classroom. For Travers, that means creating an inclusive environment, especially for students from marginalized communities. For Lam, it involves a deliberate effort to build connections—for example, by memorizing the name of each and every student. And for Oldknow, it's about ensuring the kind of learning environment that prompted one student to say, "He is one of the few professors that made me feel comfortable answering his questions in class." Read more about their teaching practices in the SFU News.

These undergraduate students want to tell you about their research


Close to 50 undergraduate students from all Faculties will share their research at SFU's second Undergraduate Research Symposium (UGRS) on March 26 at the Diamond Alumni Centre. Show your support by coming for the day or dropping in for an hour. Jeff Derksen (right; dean and associate provost, graduate and postdoctoral studies) will act as master of ceremonies, and Elizabeth Elle (vice-provost and associate vice-president, learning and teaching), Dugan O'Neil (associate vice-president, research), Elder Margaret (Elders Program, Indigenous Student Centre) and Gary George (officer for community relations, Office for Aboriginal Peoples) will be among those participating. Get full details on the UGRS web page and check out the photos from last year.

SFU's 17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning—this year it's in Vancouver


Dr. David Boud (right) is travelling from Australia, and Drs. Natasha Kenny and Leslie Reid are coming from the University of Calgary. All three will be presenting keynote addresses related to the theme of "Assessing and Celebrating Teaching and Student Learning" at SFU's 17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning (May 15–16). This year all sessions will take place at SFU's Vancouver campus. Registration is now open, and for anyone with practice, research or scholarly inquiry to share, there's still time to submit a presentation proposal; delivery options range from seven-minute lightning talks to 90-minute workshops.

A month of special presentations at CELLTR

The Centre for English Language Learning, Teaching and Research (CELLTR) is located on the ground floor of the West Mall Centre at the Burnaby campus. That bit of information will prove useful to anyone interested in six upcoming presentations on topics related to English language assessment and support to be hosted by the centre in late March and throughout the month of April. The first, Problematizing "Common Sense" Discourses of EAL, will take place on March 29. Visit CELLTR's Upcoming Events page for the full list of titles and registration links.

It's a date!

Mar 19: Ken Steele, creator of the Academica Top Ten enewsletter and founder of Eduvation, will be at SFU for a workshop (full) and public keynote on the future of higher education.
Mar 22: Extended application deadline for Rethinking Course Design (Apr 25–26, 29–30)—room for three or four more participants.
Mar 22: Attend the final session of the Effective Teaching Series: Indigenizing Course Outcomes: Updating Your Syllabus to Use the Medicine Wheel as a Curriculum Design Framework.
Mar 26: Support student research. Come and hear close to 50 presentations at SFU's Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Apr 2: How is teaching like theatre acting—and how is it different? Come and hear Kevin O'Neill (education) speak about Teaching and Theater, the second of six intriguing presentations in The Possible's Slow Fuse: A Dialogue Series on Imagination in Research and Teaching.

This month in pictures

tstories-2a.jpg tstories-3.jpg tstories-1.jpg Look who's reading SFU Teaching Stories >>

Bonus Points Challenge. Win a $10 coffee card!

On March 10, clocks in B.C. were set ahead one hour. This action marked a change from:

a. Standard time to daylight saving time    b. Daylight saving time to standard time    c. Pacific Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time    b. "Winter" time to "Summer" time

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER BY MARCH 22 for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks or Renaissance coffee card. Congratulations to Carmen (Student Engagement and Retention), winner of the February bonus draw. The correct answer to last month's question was 8.


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View all scheduled events


Apply now
Join the wait-list | Instructional Skills Workshop (Apr 16–18)
Mar 22 Extended application deadline | Rethinking Course Design (Apr 25–26, 29–30)
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

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

Teaching Matters Seminar Series | Mar 25, Apr 1 | Details
Up next:
The Persona Project: Connecting Students to Course Concepts (Mar 25)
Navigating the University Lecturer Promotion Process (Apr 1)

Undergraduate Research Symposium | Mar 26 | Details

JOIN THE WAIT-LIST. Instructional Skills Workshop | Apr 16–18 | Details

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED. Rethinking Course Design Workshop | Apr 25–26, 29–30 | Details

REGISTRATION OPEN. 17th Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Assessing and Celebrating Teaching and Student Learning | May 15–16, 2019 | Details

Technology & Media

FULL. Flexible Learning Series | Mar 19 & 26 | Details
Up next:
Designing Games for Learning (Mar 19 & 26) 

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 

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 | 778.782.3910 | Education Building, EDB 7560 (temporarily in Discovery 2) | TLC on Twitter | Teaching and Learning News blog