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Registration Now Open for the 2018 Teaching, Learning, Scholarship & Research Symposium!

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 12:14

Are you interested in learning more about the teaching, learning, scholarship and research activities at KPU? Would you like to develop new connections with peers? Do you want to learn more about the work of your fellow colleagues? Join Teaching & Learning and the Office of Research & Scholarship at this year’s 2018 Teaching, Learning, Scholarship & Research Symposium!

Building on the Symposium’s theme, Collaborate, Create, Connect, this year’s event has a wide variety of interactive workshops, presentations, roundtable discussions, field trips and so much more! Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, KPU’s 2017 Honorary Doctor of Laws recipient and Professor Emeritus in UBC’s Faculty of Education, will provide a keynote address on Indigeneity and Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Decolonization, Indigenization, and/or Reconciliation?


Confirm your registration at the above link and we look forward to connecting with you in May!

A New Generation of Learners…How do We Teach Them?

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 11:14

From the desk of Leeann Waddington, Teaching Fellow in Learning Environments and Nursing Instructor in the Faculty of Health _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Who are they? We call them Gen Z, millennials and digital natives – these are students born after 1990 and they have only known a world full of technology. As a result of their constant access to information, they could be considered the most educated generation even before they visit your classroom. They are wired for constant bits of information sharing.

What we know about them:

  • They like to stay connected at all times
  • They prefer collaboration, discussion and interactive experiences
  • They adopt technology at high levels and expect the same of others
  • They are used to 24/7 access to information and having trouble distinguishing fact from opinion
  • They are inclined to a global and a visual perspective
  • They need visually enhanced methods of teaching
  • They decide quickly if a video is worth watching
  • They have a desire to co-create, live stream and help make the activity as they participate and prefer images, icons and symbols to communicate
  • They listen to their social network
  • They like opportunity and guidance for how to achieve their goals

Technology is not the only way they disrupt our current view of learning environments; they embrace social learning that is hands-on. They want to be involved in the learning plan and process; they expect to be engaged rather than passive. In an article by Forbes (2018), 51% of surveyed students said they learn best by “doing” while only 12% said they learn by “listening”.

How do we support them? Choose a strategy or two that is comfortable to you:

  • Use social media to create ongoing connection
  • Allow/encourage the use of technology in class
  • Avoid lecture – try 10-minute conversations followed by a task
  • Skip the PowerPoint and build interaction in the class and outside of it
  • Try polling for in-class responses to questions using software/apps such as Kahoot and Polleverywhere
  • Provide visuals for learning such as Venn diagrams, models and images
  • Post all material online
  • Connect learning to real world experience
  • Create brief and meaningful experiences

While this may all seem overwhelming for Gen X’ers, take baby steps. One tech tool at a time and you will build better, more engaging courses. These students want to shape their journey with their teacher as a guide.



How Generation Z Is Shaping The Change In Education

Here Comes Z: Strategies To Engage A New Generation Of College Students

Additional Resources


eLearning Industry

2018 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:56

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and Desire2Learn ( D2L) are pleased to invite submissions, from across the world, for the 2018 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning.

This award celebrates and recognizes innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.

Awards are open to all instructors currently teaching at a post-secondary institution, regardless of discipline, level, or term of appointment. Applications in French or English are welcomed. Applicants do not need to be members of STLHE to apply.

Award recipients are expected to attend the 2018 STLHE conference, which will be held in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on June 20 – 22, 2018, and an Award Recipients retreat which will be held the day before the conference.

The Award recipients (up to five per year) receive the following:

  • Up to $2,200.00 to offset the registration and travel costs to attend the Annual STLHE conference and an Award Recipients retreat the day before the conference
  • Two-year membership in STLHE
  • Certificate of Recognition

Deadline: Sunday, February 18, 2018

For further details and award criteria please visit:

Scholarly Inquiry Grants: Application deadlines Feb. 1 & May 1

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:23

Scholarly Inquiry Grants (SIG) are available to enhance students’ learning experiences by encouraging faculty-led investigation of new or innovative teaching and learning practices. Application deadlines: Feb. 1 & May 1 for projects starting in the next semester. Info.

Call for Proposals: KPU’s 2nd Symposium for Teaching, Learning, Scholarship & Research

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 18:19

Call for proposals: KPU’s 2nd Teaching. Learning, Scholarship & Research Symposium: Collaborate, Create & Connect.

Showcase, celebrate & share your experiences and/or that of your students to KPU Community members & beyond. Proposals invited by any KPU educator. Mon. Feb. 19. (co-sponsored by ORS & the Commons). Info.

2018 BCTLC Festival of Learning – Call for Proposals Deadline Extended!

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 14:22

The BC Teaching and Learning Council has extended proposal submissions for the 2018 Festival of Learning! The new deadline for submissions is Monday December 18th.

The theme of this year’s event is Higher Education: Handle with Care and is based around the health of students, faculty, campuses and institutions in the context of post-secondary education. If you are interested in facilitating or presenting on educational technology, open education or teaching and learning, please visit the Call for Proposals website for more information on how to submit your proposal.

KPU faculty members who have accepted proposals and attend the 3 days of the Festival can receive a substantial subsidy from the Office of the Vice Provost, Teaching & Learning. The subsidy amount available is dependent on the number of applications received; please email is you are interested.

Call for Presenters Teaching with Pizzazz 2018 – Building Communities in Higher Education

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:57

Call For Presenters

Teaching with Pizzazz! Conference
‘Building Communities in Higher Education’

KPU Faculty of Health Research & Scholarship Committee and KPU Office of Research and Scholarship Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Faculty of Health (FoH) invites faculty, administrators, students and industry partners to submit proposals for presentations at our 2nd annual ‘Teaching with Pizzazz!’ Conference, Building Communities in Higher Education.

“Building Community” is the key to everything we do and to our success. Community-Campus partnerships that integrate educational programs, local business and industry stakeholders, students and teachers work together in a variety of settings – real and virtual.

Building communities in higher education positively impacts learning. It offers “real world” opportunities that translate classroom theory into practice.

We look forward to presentations that highlight best practice, scholarly inquiry and/or strategies for successful community engagement. Topics may include but are not limited to: integrating open resources, building empowered classroom communities, creating strong and collaborative program communities and/or establishing effective service learning experiences.

KPU Faculty of Health invites you to come and share tools that you have found particularly useful within your own teaching practice. We welcome examples from the classroom, online, lab and experiential environments.

Sessions may be conducted in a variety of ways; formal and informal presentations, discussions, panels, workshops – your choice!                                                                                                             Presentations must fit within either a 20 or 45 minute time frame. Proposals will be subject to a blind peer review.

Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Time: 0900 – 1600
Location: KPU Langley Campus
20901 Langley Bypass
Langley, BC, V3A 8G9

  • Presenters are encouraged to be informal and engaging. Be creative! Have fun!
  • Faculty presentations that involve student presenters are welcomed.
  • Presenters will be notified of acceptance by email on: Friday, March 16, 2018.

Submission Requirements
Name of presenter(s) and institution, university or college affiliation.
Title and brief description of presentation.
Brief description of how student learning is positively impacted.
If applicable, include links to associated technologies and/or tools (including any associated costs).
Presenter Responsibilities
Maintain timely communications with the Conference staff.
Advise conference staff of any required equipment.
Presentations must fit within either a 20 or 45 minute time frame (your choice).

If you are interested in presenting, please reply by Friday, December 22, 2017:
KPU Faculty of Health:
Subject Line: Teaching With Pizzazz 2018!

Great Web Literacy Resource

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:54

Mike Caulfield, Director, Blended and Networked Learning at Washington State University, Vancouver, and lead on the Digital Polarization Initiative, was the keynote speaker at the BCcampus Educational Technology User Group’s Fall Workshop last week. It was an excellent talk followed by a hands-on workshop of practical strategies for evaluating information on the web.

His excellent resource, Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers, is freely available via Pressbooks:


2018/19 Teaching Fellows Appointed!

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:56

The Teaching & Learning Commons is excited to announce the appointment of the next round of Teaching Fellows with terms beginning January 1, 2018. Welcome to….



Leeann Waddington, MS

Teaching Fellow, Learning Environments

Instructor, Nursing, Faculty of Health

Appointment Term: January 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019





Dr. Farhad Dastur

Teaching Fellow, Experiential Learning

Instructor, Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Appointment Term: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018






Dr. David Burns

Teaching Fellow, K-12 Transformation

Instructor, Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts

Appointment Term: January 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019





Dr. Nancy Norman

Teaching Fellow, K-12 Transformation

Instructor, Education Assistant Program, Faculty of Arts

Appointment Term: January 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019


The Office of the Vice Provost and Teaching & Learning Commons would like to extend their sincere thanks to the outgoing 2017 Teaching Fellows. Thank you to Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Teaching Fellow, Open Studies, Dr. Larissa Petrillo, Teaching Fellow, Experiential Learning and Dr. David Burns, Teaching Fellow, Learning Outcomes for your continued commitment and contributions to your areas of expertise!

Call for KPU Teaching Fellows & OER Grants now available

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 01:11

Thanks to the extensive leadership and work by our current Teaching Fellows during our 2016/17 pilot, I’m pleased to announce the continuation of the Teaching Fellows program. Opportunities for faculty to take on leadership roles in current areas of priority are now available in Experiential Learning, Learning Environments and the K-12 Transformation. Deadline for applications: October 2, 2017. More information.

Additionally, KPU has received a BCcampus grant for Open Educational Resources. This funding is being matched by the Provost. The Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant program provides funding and staff support to KPU faculty members interested in creating, adapting, and adopting OERs (and other types of Open Pedagogy). Applications will be reviewed starting on October 15, 2017 until the available funding has been allocated. More information.

Scholarly Inquiry Grant Deadline Approaching! – October 1, 2017

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:20

Are you a KPU faculty member interested in investigating emerging or innovative teaching and learning practices? Are you looking to enhance your students’ learning experience through the findings of your investigation?

KPU’s Teaching & Learning department is now accepting Scholarly Inquiry Grant applications for the Spring semester. For more information on this grant program, eligibility and details on the application process, please visit the following link.

Applications are due by 12:00 noon on October 1, 2017. Please email with any questions!

BCcampus ‘grants’ KPU students more financially accessible options

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:08

KPU has cred when it comes to open education.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) can add another credential to the multitude of options for its students and this one comes with free textbooks.

KPU’s arts certificate received BCcampus’s newest grant, the Zed Cred program. The “Z” in Zed Cred refers to zero textbook costs by way of using open educational resources and/or free library materials.

“This recognition really cements KPU’s leadership in accessible post-secondary education,” said Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, a university teaching fellow in open studies and psychology instructor. “Open education is about inclusion, equity and diversity; all central values to the KPU community and, for that matter, to the Lower Mainland community.”

The criteria for the grant requires a set of courses in a specific program area that allows a student to earn a credential, such as a certificate program without having to pay for textbooks. KPU’s certificate in arts program was chosen because it demonstrated significant student savings and an innovative approach to learning and teaching.

With the full $35,000 grant, KPU will develop pathways for students to earn a certificate in arts by adopting and adapting pre-existing free online open education resources as well as creating new ones. The first pathway for the arts certificate program is set to launch this September with at least 2,100 students saving, on average, an estimated $1,000 each per year.

We’re proud to offer one of Canada’s first Zed Cred programs,” said Dr. Salvador Ferreras, provost and vice-president academic. “We’re all about open access and providing multiple means for learners to pursue their dreams. Zed Cred brings that all one step closer. KPU is perfectly positioned to lead the way into a bold and exciting future of open education.”

Any learning materials created under the Zed Cred program will be freely available and fully editable under the Creative Commons licence so that other post-secondary institutions in B.C. and around the world can borrow from their progress.

KPU also received an Open Education Resource Grant, which matches BCcampus funding with KPU funding for creating new open textbooks, redesigning existing resources, and providing workshops, training and other support services.

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic & Erin Beattie

About BCcampus
Established in 2003, BCcampus provides teaching, learning, educational technology and open education support to the post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, Canada. We bring together the resources and expertise of the institutions in a collaborative model to develop curricular resources that are then made openly available. BCcampus also introduces and supports innovations in learning and teaching, and helps faculty and institutions evaluate and develop leading practice in the use of technology for learning. The work done by BCcampus enables a systemic approach to student learning in B.C. while recognizing the diversity of British Columbia’s post-secondary system.

Note: This post was reblogged from:

Employment Opportunity: Senior Manager, Educational Development

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 17:27


I’m pleased to announce that we have a new position available: “Senior Manager, Educational Development.” Since my position also leads our teaching and learning centre at this time, this position will be my right-hand person, be responsible for Teaching and Learning Commons’ team and operations, developing programs, providing consultations and working with faculty, staff, departments and senior administrators. (In other words, it’s akin to an Associate Director that reports to a Vice Provost). This is an excluded, administrative position with direct reports.

This position is suitable for someone who is interested in having a substantial role in advancing teaching, learning and scholarship at a teaching university and contributing to the development and implementation of an institutional strategy on teaching and learning and related plan. It’s an exciting time at KPU as we are establishing a new Centre, developing internal capacity, and striving to be leaders on a number of fronts.

Ad for the position
Job description & org chart

While the position will remain open until filled, review of applications will start on July 24.

A New Perspective on Exams: Congratulations to KPU’s School of Horticulture Landscape Students!

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:55

As KPU’s Spring exam semester comes to a close, the Teaching & Learning Commons sends our congratulations to School of Horticulture Instructor, Michelle Nakano, and her Sustainable Landscape Design II students for a fantastic example of experiential learning and assessment!

Michelle’s students finished their semester with a landscaping exam that involved the design and installation of four townhome patios at West Coast Gardens in Surrey. Students completed the design and installation of their patio and then received feedback from the experts at West Coast Gardens. Students were then able to adopt and integrate the feedback they received into the final end product. This is a wonderful instance of experiential learning and unique assessment practices!

This video showcases the students’ experience during the exam process and their feedback.

How might you add experiential learning or a new assessment practice to your course?


The Second Pan-Canadian Conference on Universal Design for Learning

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 16:03

Are you interested in sharing UDL practices across sectors and disciplines? Would you like to learn more about current Canadian UDL initiatives?

Registration is now open for The Second Pan-Canadian Conference on Universal Design for Learning from May 31 to June 2, 2017 at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PEI. This year’s topic is Bringing User Experience to Education: UDL and Inclusion for the 21st Century.

For more information or to register, please visit

New Resource on Open Education

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:37

Interested in learning about open education? KPU has leadership in this area. Suggested reading of a new, freely available book, “Open: the philosophy & practices that are revolutionizing education & science”  Edited by Rajiv Jhangiani & Robert Biswas-Diener (eds.), the book includes a chapter by Farhad Dastur on, “How to open an academic department”. Congrats and kudos to Rajiv and Farhad!

Pedagogical Ailments Common in Undergraduate Systems

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 15:09

When a student fails a course one may attribute that failure to any number of personal or pedagogical variables. All educators have encountered the personal ones – a death in the family causes an absence, heavy out of school work hours, etc. – but these things are typically outside of our control. On the pedagogical side there a number of variables only an institution can control. These are things like class sizes, available equipment, out of class support, and so forth. Take out the personal variables, and the institutional ones, and you are left with those things an educator might directly alter to improve success rates.

Of those variables that faculty members can control, the one we seem most able to discuss is academic prerequisites. When too many students fail a course, the first question at the curriculum committee is often whether we ought not to raise the prerequisite grade to get into the course in the first place. Allowing students to enter a course when we know there is a significant failure probability is irresponsible, it is said. This is surely true. We ought not let students take classes they are ill-prepared for, but this isn’t the entire story. It is merely one variable within it.

To say that raising a prerequisite for a course would increase success rates is actually quite misleading when you consider the second-order consequence of that decision. I could dramatically increase the success rate in my courses by making the entry grade A+. If I only accept the most gifted of liberal arts thinkers I am unlikely to fail them in large numbers, but I have obtained this benefit at the cost of leaving those persons who would benefit most out of the conversation entirely. It is as if a hospital lowered its fatality rate by deciding to treat only persons with the common cold. Little is gained by leaving those in need of public service outside of that service.

So the grade one needs to get into a course is only one part of a very complex picture. Sometimes we do need to raise the entry requirements, but (as an open access institution, in particular) these instances should be quite rare. We should, rather, ask what variables might be addressed that don’t involve excluding more people. What other diagnoses are possible? Here are a few.

  1. Assignmentus Disconnectus – In some classes the assignment given is only loosely related to what was actually done in class. If you have spent the semester in open dialogue and debate, a multiple choice test will likely produce results lower than the true achievement levels the students have attained. One can’t measure oranges by the standards of apples. The reverse is also true. If you give an essay test after a semester of keyword memorization, you should expect poor performance.
  2. Formativitus – At the first year level, in particular, universities tend to spend the first few weeks dumping knowledge-level outcomes into students minds. Somewhere around the one month mark a multiple choice test is given. That test is sometimes worth a significant chunk of the students’ grades. They had no chance to fail and correct themselves before that moment – no formative feedback. The first time a student performs a task (cognitive or otherwise) should not be their only shot at it. If they were able to be good at something the first time the need for educators would be dramatically reduced.
  3. Officia Absentia – Students are busy, and sometimes overwhelmed, anxious or under far more pressure than is healthy. They have an unprecedented number of reasons to never avail themselves of office hours. The great virtue, though, of going to a small university is that we have more time. This applies outside of the classroom as well as in it. We need to be available, in person or online, for multiple points of contact with each person. One can’t tailor a strong learning experience without normal human contact. We need to push for it.
  4. Ambiguous Rubrication – If students don’t know what excellence looks like (through rubrics, examples, and modelling) it is entirely unreasonable to expect them to manifest it. They should know, on day one, what the class is aiming at. This means providing not just learning outcomes, but also marking guides and (if possible) exemplars for the upcoming assignments. When people know what they need create, they can attend to their development much more effectively.

Other diagnoses are possible, but these are a good start.

(not a real) Dr. Burns

Upcoming External Conferences, Workshops & Events

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 13:39

March 29 – Logic Models and Indicators workshop through Fraser Health: KPU is a partner institution and these workshops are available to us. More info.

April 6 – Evaluation 101: Conducting Evaluation for Decision Making workshop through Fraser Health: KPU is a partner institution and these workshops are available to us. More info.

May 1 to 5 – CU2Expo2017: For the Common Good. Hosted by SFU and its community partners. Limited registration available. Details & registration.

May 2 to 3 – Postsecondary Learning & Teaching Conference. University of Calgary. Details & registration.

May 3 to 4 – Engaging Every Learner Conference. UBC Okanagan. Details & registration.

May 6 – Investigating our Practices Conference. Offered by UBC’s Faculty of Education. Early bird registration until April 7. Details & registration.

May 11 to 12 – Vancouver Island University Teaching and Learning Conference. Registration is open until May 3. Details & registration.

May 17 to 18 – SFU’s Annual Symposium on Teaching & Learning: Voices of Diversity and Inclusion: Vulnerabilities, Tensions, and Opportunities. Details & registration.

May 24 to 25 – Open Textbook Summit. Hosted by BCcampus, located at SFU Harbour Centre (downtown). Details & registration.

May 27 to June 2 – Congress 2017: The Next 150 on Indigenous Lands. Canada’s annual Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education conference. Within are various discipline-specific streams such as CSSE (Canadian Society for the Studies of Education). Toronto, ON. Details & registration.

June 1 to 2 – Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) Spring Workshop. UBC Okanagan. Early bird registration until April 16. Details & registration

June 20 to 23 – Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference. Halifax. Early bird registration until April 30. Details & registration.

July 28 to 30 – Digital Pedagogies Lab. Co-hosted by Hybrid Pedagogy and KPU. Event at KPU Richmond. Details & registration. Any faculty members interested in attending, please contact

Teaching with Pizzazz! Easy eLearning Strategies

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 12:36

KPU Faculty of Health is pleased to invite you to participate in a day of e-learning to focus on strategies for the classroom and online. This is a practical hands-on opportunity to discuss e-learning tools with others and to build a community of practice. Workshops will focus on technologies that are accessible, easy to use, low-cost/free, and can be used in any classroom or clinical setting.

We are all aware learning technology has reshaped how we engage students in teaching, learning and creativity. Various apps, social media and new technologies continue to transform how we share, communicate, network, collaborate, create and disseminate seamlessly online and in the classroom. This conference will focus on the practical applications of these types of technologies in relation to teaching and learning.

Scholarly Inquiry Grants (SIGs) now available!

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 05:51

Are you a KPU instructor who’s interested in advancing your teaching practice? These new grants may be for you as they are intended to enhance KPU students’ learning experiences by encouraging faculty-led investigation of new or innovative teaching and learning practices. Learn more about this opportunity. Deadline: May 1.

Image Source: CC Image courtesy of gforsythe on Flickr