Teaching and Learning Workshops, 2015-16


Topical and timely conversations about practical ideas for better teaching, designed for faculty, sessional instructors, and graduate students in the Faculty of Arts.

All workshops located in SS1339 — EXCEPT for Tues December 1st (in SS729). No registration required.

Fall 2015

Click on any title for more information

Wednesday, October 14, 10 – 10:45
with Michael Ullyot + Nancy Chick + Melissa Boyce

Which is a myth about multiple-choice?

A: They test superficial knowledge, not deep knowledge.
B: They’re better for the sciences than for our disciplines.
C: They’re just for exams and quizzes.
D: All of the above.

If you answered D: All of the above, you’re right.

Multiple-choice, true/false, and other short-answer questions are usually treated like a necessary evil, best suited to large classes. And they are — if they’re just simplified assessments of student learning, skewed toward facts rather than interpretation. Yet there are ways to write these questions to assess students’ deep learning, no matter the discipline.

In this workshop, we’ll explore how to develop easy-to-score assessments that are valid indicators of your students’ higher-order thinking skills.

If you bring one of your multiple choice tests to the session, you will have the opportunity to revise some of your questions in order to better assess for deep learning.

Here is the slideshow (PDF) for this workshop.

Wednesday, November 18, 11 – 12
with David Dick + Patrick Finn

From David and Patrick: They asked us to talk about engaging large classes. We’ve talked about it, and we don’t believe anyone can teach you the one set of tricks to engage a large class. If you are engaged, the students will be engaged. In this session, we will share ideas, experiences, and actions that might help support your work in large classes.

Here are Michael Ullyot’s notes from this workshop.

Tuesday, December 1, 9 – 10:30
with Tom O’Neill

In this workshop you will learn about research, frameworks, tools, and techniques to support student teamwork skills. Our focus will be on the use of peer-to-peer feedback within courses that assign students to work in teams. You’ll learn about Tom’s research on peer feedback, and evidence-based frameworks for effective teams; and you’ll learn about tools for providing feedback, focusing on Tom’s<> software, which is state-of-the-art and free of charge. You’ll also learn techniques for implementing peer-to-peer feedback and debriefing the results, such as timing, development versus grading applications, and in-class exercises. Finally, you’ll participate in breakout groups to experience an abbreviated peer feedback debrief.

N.B. This workshop will be held in room SS729.

Winter 2016

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Tuesday, January 19, 10 – 11
with Yan Guo

In this workshop, Dr. Guo will address issues of accent, variations of English, and challenges in group work that ELLs face. She will also offer some effective practical strategies such as understanding cultural metaphors in students’ writings, valuing first languages, and providing culturally relevant pedagogy.

Yan Guo is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She obtained her PhD in language and literacy education from the University of British Columbia. She teaches theory and practice in teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) in both the teacher education and graduate programs. Her research interests include critical perspectives in teaching EAL, diversity in teacher education, immigrant parent engagement, intercultural communication, language and identity, and language policy. Her recent publications appeared in Canadian Journal of Education, Language and Education, Intercultural Education, and Canadian Ethnic Studies (see ). She is currently co-editing a book, Spotlight on China: Changes in education under China’s market economy. She can be reached at

Monday, February 8, 2 – 3
with Heather Addy + Lisa Stowe

Flipping a course does not mean just reversing what happens inside and outside of the classroom: it requires consideration of what students can do effectively on their own, what is the best use of the face-to-face time with other students and the instructor, and what tools and supports we need to provide to students to help them succeed in a flipped course. In this session, Lisa and Heather will share their experiences in flipping two very different courses, a senior-level biology class of ~100 students and a 500 level communication and culture class with 18 students.

Thursday, March 10, 10 – 11
with Mryka Hall-Beyer + D’Arcy Norman

D2L has a few useful features (particularly for flipped and online courses) that are less well known. This session will focus on using SCORM (or Shareable Content Object Reference Model) content and simple voice-over presentations, as well as look at some of the course-level statistics that can help keep a course on track.

Here’s our poster for this year’s slate of workshops.

Faculty of Arts 2015-16 T+L Workshops