FUSION Skill Development Program: Information for Students

Participate in the FUSION program this summer!

The FUSION Skill Development Program is designed to develop your skills to collaborate, communicate, and to think critically and creatively. The program consists of a self-directed 10-hour online interactive learning experience intended to build on your experiential education experience. This year we are piloting the program for recipients of a 2021 NSERC or VPR Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). In future we may make the program available to more students.

The FUSION program facilitates skill acquisition by enhancing your knowledge and skills in three areas critical to 21st-century success and leadership:

  • Metacognition (thinking about thinking)—the ability of the mind to plan, monitor, and assess its own learning and performance
  • Communication—the ability to construct and convey a message through an appropriate medium
  • Critical thinking/problem-solving—the ability to connect various analytical strategies to come up with creative solutions to manage difficult situations
The FUSION Skill Development Program is about developing the skills that lead to success.

Dates and registration

Key dates

  • Online registration: April 1—May 12, 2021
  • Information session on FUSION curriculum: Friday, April 16 (on Zoom)
  • Module completion date: Monday, August 9
  • Specific completion dates for modules will be included in the Canvas course.
  • Dates of optional workshops to be confirmed.
NOTE: If you successfully complete all six modules by the specified deadlines, you will receive a $150 honorarium and recognition on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) to enhance your resume and career portfolio.

How to register

If you are a recipient of a 2021 NSERC or VPR USRA in the Summer 2021 term, you can register online.

Go to the online registration form

We would love to have you join us!


If you have questions about the FUSION program or would like to learn more, please contact Helena Fehr, Project Manager, Experiential Education/FUSION Project Coordinator, at hmfehr@sfu.ca.

Benefits of participation

The FUSION curriculum supports your unique context, as you actively apply what you learn in the curriculum to your specific work experience as an NSERC or VPR USRA recipient.

By participating in the FUSION curriculum while engaging in your research experience, you will have the opportunity to apply your learning by:

  • Practicing new skills such as identifying how to adjust communication based on context, audience, purpose, and medium
  • Applying new knowledge by identifying and articulating personal learning strategies
  • Navigating new situations by analyzing and deconstructing a simulated work problem using the stages of the problem-solving cycle
  • Engaging in collaborative online workshops with students from participating FUSION network partners across Canada

Specifically, you will:

  • Strengthen critical skills needed to adapt and succeed in the ever-changing world of work
  • Maximize your skillset by taking risks, getting feedback, and continuing to improve your skills by applying them in your unique context
  • Be part of the first group of students to launch this innovative national project at SFU
  • Receive an honorarium and acknowledgement on your Co-Curricular Record upon completion of the curriculum
  • Take part in a national research study to explore innovative and inclusive experiential learning approaches to foster skill development and prepare students for the future economy (optional)

Summary of online modules

The FUSION program involves the completion of six interactive online modules delivered through Canvas. The modules purposefully link content and focused reflection with your work experience while you hold your Undergraduate Student Research Award.

The modules are grouped into four themes: Orientation (1 hour), Explore (4 hours), Apply (3 hours), and Reflect (2 hours).

Click to see more information about the modules >>


Orientation (1 hour): Program overview and a brief introduction to the skills covered by the curriculum—metacognition, communication, and problem-solving.

Explore—Metacognition (2 hours): Metacognition is thinking about thinking—the awareness or analysis of your own learning or thinking. Introduces the concept of metacognition as important to learning and problem-solving contexts. You are also provided with a guided introduction to metacognition as a skill. 

Explore—Communication (1 hour): Introduces the purpose of communication, the elements of communication, and a specific model of communication. Explores some of the nuances of communicating in online environments as compared to in-person communication.

Explore—Problem-solving (1 hour): Introduces the concept of problem-solving, common types of problems to solve, an overview of common problem-solving styles, and one model of problem-solving.

Apply (3 hours): Integrates learning from the Explore modules and provides you with the opportunity to apply your learning by leading you through the process of:

  1. Identifying a complex problem to solve from your specific learning context
  2. Forming a plan to solve this problem using metacognitive and communication strategies

Reflect (2 hours): Reflect on your learning experiences, particularly concerning metacognition, communication, and problem-solving. You will have the opportunity to self-assess your skills, identify areas of growth, and target skills you wish to further improve. You will also receive tips on how to communicate your skills to future employers.

The importance of these three skills—metacognition, communication, and critical thinking—is summarized in the video below.

Additional student information

After participating in and completing the learning activities, you will be able to do the following:

Explore (before)
Identify and articulate personal learning strategies and strengths in learning and processing information (metacognition module)
Create professional goals and plan for how your work experience might contribute to those goals (metacognition module)
Identify how to adjust communication based on context, audience, purpose, and medium (communication module)
Analyze and deconstruct a simulated work problem using the stages of the problem-solving cycle (problem-solving module)
Apply (during)
Define complex work-experience problems and select appropriate strategies to respond to them (all modules)
Adjust personal approaches to complex work-experience problems based on context and audience (all modules)
Reflect (after)
Plan for continued growth towards professional goals based on your personal assessment of your progress during your work experience (all modules)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What if I don’t complete all of the modules on time? Will I still receive the $150 honorarium?

If you do not complete all the modules by the deadlines, you will not be eligible to receive the $150 honorarium.

I finished all the modules by the deadlines. When will I receive my payment?

Payments will be issued by the Graduate Office in August 2021.

Why am I no longer able to complete the first three modules after the deadline?

The Orientation, Explore, and Apply modules are intended for students who are at the beginning and middle of their Summer 2021 USRA program. To get the most value out of the curriculum, and to have the best chance of integrating the learning with your experience, you need to complete these modules by the deadlines.

Why can’t I complete the Reflect module early?

The Reflect module is intended to be completed by students towards, or at the end of, their Summer 2021 USRA program. It allows students to look back on their experience and how they integrated their experience and their disciplinary/academic knowledge with their metacognition, communication, and problem-solving skills. You need to be finished (or almost finished) your experience to get the most out of the Reflect module.

I started the curriculum and decided that it wasn’t for me. How do I withdraw?

Email hmfehr@sfu.ca and advise us of your desire to withdraw. We will remove you from the Canvas class list.