2023 Community Report
January 2022 - June 2023
A welcome from UCalgary's teaching and learning leaders
The past 18 months have shown us so much, about ourselves, our communities, and the ways we teach and learn in postsecondary education. Educators have faced endless changes across the sector, and we have been humbled by the way they have adapted to ever-changing times, prioritizing student learning experiences throughout their work.
Postsecondary education has been through a collective transformation, which presents us with an opportunity to heal, reflect and take what we have learned forward. Over the past 18 months, we have continued to grow our resources and development opportunities for educators, emphasizing our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing and connecting. We have taken important steps to affirming Indigenous perspectives, knowledges, and Indigenous student engagement in undergraduate research and are working to make meaningful changes in this space.
Photo by Neil Zeller
We welcomed the generosity of the Sinneave Foundation, who are partnering with us on a journey to reimagining work-integrated learning for neurodiverse students, ensuring all students at UCalgary thrive.
We have expanded our work through the Flanagan Foundation initiative to strengthen our leadership, communities, and networks related to blended and online learning. And we have been on the forefront of exploring the challenges and possibilities of generative artificial intelligence in teaching and learning.
We’ve worked with faculties and units to expand our networks and grow our capacity in experiential learning. We’ve expanded offerings, cross-disciplinary collaborations and increased access for all UCalgary students to participate in undergraduate research, experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities.
As we look to 2024, we are grateful for the expertise, knowledge and generosity we’ve experienced. UCalgary, and the broader teaching and learning community across Canada, are partners with us as we work to create the best teaching and learning experiences for educators and students.
Teaching and learning are more critical than ever – we look forward to what we can do, together!
Leslie Reid, PhD
Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning
Natasha Kenny, PhD
Senior Director, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning
Fostering innovation in teaching and learning to create incredible student learning experiences and a supportive environment for educators.
Developing experiential learning opportunities that are student-focused, inclusive and responsive to changing societal needs.
Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, Doing, and Connecting
Helping to transform and renew academic courses and programs to centre Indigenous histories, knowledges, protocols, pedagogies, perspectives, and methodologies.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in our teaching and learning environments to adapt and create programs, practices, and processes that are inclusive and welcoming.
Building local, national and international networks and partnerships that strengthen teaching and learning expertise and leadership.
"Recognizing and celebrating the essential work of our scholars across campus addressing Indigenous ways of knowing in their courses is an important step in our commitment to work together with Indigenous communities in a good way.”
Dr. Michael Hart, PhD
Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement | Photo c/o Kokemor Studio
UCalgary introduces Award for Indigenous Ways of Knowing in 2022
This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of those who have advanced Indigenous ways of knowing and supported reconciliation, decolonization, Indigenous engagement and transformation in academic courses and programs.
Excellence among educators recognized in 2022 Celebration of Teaching
The 2022 University of Calgary Teaching Awards recognized the extraordinary efforts that educators have put into creating valuable learning experiences for their students in blended, online and in-person environments.
UCalgary Teaching and Learning Grants support innovation and leadership
In 2023, a total of $418,715 was provided to 20 projects on a number of unique scholarly topics, including the design of workshops for trans-affirming mental health care, multi-course open-access chemistry textbooks, and investigating workload perceptions between students and professors.
UCalgary researchers make field-based learning accessible via video games
With the support of a 2021 University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grant, a team of researchers in the Department of Geoscience have created video game with the intention of bringing immersive and experiential learning opportunities to students in a new format.
UCalgary prof inspired by Indigenous perspectives to write, produce and perform songs about animal kinship
Dr. Craig Ginn, PhD, hopes the music developed through his Animal Kinship Project (AKP) (a follow-up to the Songs of Justice project) will provide open educational and motivational resources underscored by an exploration of human-animal connections and traditions.
Moving from ‘customers’ to ‘partners’: How students can be partners for change in education
Inspiring collaboration between all members of the university community ignited a virtual speaker series, Brave Conversations in SoTL, presented by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Mokakiiks Centre for SoTL at Mount Royal University.
Stories of Experiential Learning
The key to innovation in the workplace? Embracing neurodiversity
With funding from The Sinneave Family Foundation, the Office of Experiential Learning at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is spearheading an initiative that, in part, aims to give employers the tools to support neurodiverse students in work-integrated learning (i.e., internships, field placements and practica) as part of their education journey.
Students present their urban planning work in city council chambers
Students in Urban Studies 451: Planning in the Canadian City had the unique opportunity of presenting their final urban planning projects to a panel of councillors and experts at City Hall. City planner and UCalgary instructor Andrew Sedor has been dreaming of this moment – it’s the first time that students have been able to present in-person.
PURE Awards spark enthusiasm for research in students and supervisors
Research is not meant to be “something that just sits on a shelf somewhere or in a journal,” says Dr. Sharon Friesen. And that's why collaborating with an undergraduate student (Sharmaine Tay) in the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) was so valuable to the Werklund School of Education professor.
The story behind a bold UCalgary collaboration to create un-useless objects
Sometimes it’s being in the right place, at the right time. Paths cross, ideas form and magic happens. For two UCalgary instructors, that occurred this fall as they taught in neighbouring rooms at the same time. They went from crossing paths to bringing two completely different classes together for their final projects.
Stories of Creating Networks and Community
"In today’s world where students are engaged more in experiential learning more than ever before, we need to think about academic integrity as a foundation for ethical decision-making beyond the classroom."
Dr. Sarah Eaton, PhD
Associate professor, Werklund School of Education
Beyond screens: UCalgary initiative paves the way for innovation in blended and online learning
Since the winter of 2021, a Flanagan Foundation gift of $1 million has catalyzed a renewed investment in blended and online learning at UCalgary. The program has launched communities of practice, trained and supported learning technologies coaches, and provided educational leadership opportunities for academic staff and students.
Postsecondary leaders reflect on creating healthy environments for working and learning
Healthy boundaries, classroom integration and leading with empathy round-out discussions at the Summer Wellness Series online events. Co-presented by the Campus Mental Health Strategy and Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, the annual series offers insights and discussion on pertinent themes in mental health for educators.
Braiding scholarly work, reflections and stories: A Q-and-A with Aubrey Hanson
An associate professor and director of Indigenous education at the Werklund School of Education, Dr. Aubrey Hanson, PhD, explores topics from her keynote, Stories from the Pandemic: A Métissage on Digital Environments, Embodiment, and Indigenous Education.
A conversation about ungrading and alternative assessment with Jesse Stommel
Dr. Jesse Stommel, PhD is a faculty member in the writing program at the University of Denver, and a proponent “ungrading”, a flexible approach to assessment that centers intrinsic learning, encouragement, and support for students. Dr. Stommel explores the subject in his pre-conference keynote address Ungrading and Alternative Assessment.
Maha Bali discusses equity and care in education
In her conference keynote address, Dr. Maha Bali, PhD explores the importance of centering equity and care during periods of institutional change. Her keynote address The Role of Intentional Equity and Care in Collective Transformation specifically examines the importance of care, relationships and allyship. Dr. Bali is a Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo
Sarah Eaton on Academic Integrity in an Age of Educational Transformation
Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is an associate professor at the Werklund School of Education, and the host of an interactive session at the Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching where participants share practices for effective academic integrity, and discuss which aspects must transform in the age of artificial intelligence.
Stories of Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, Doing and Connecting
“I wanted to convey that knowledge is not just in the institution. It is inherent in all things—That’s what the paintings really represent, that teachings and teachers are all around us."
Dr. Jennifer Leason, PhD | Painter and member of the Pine Creek First Nation
Associate professor, Faculty of Arts
UCalgary Teaching Award recognizes excellence in Indigenous ways of knowing
The University of Calgary Teaching Award for Indigenous Ways of Knowing recognizes those who have advanced Indigenous ways of knowing and supported reconciliation, decolonization, Indigenous engagement and transformation in an academic course or program.
Education for Reconciliation brings Indigenous knowledge into landscape design and planning education
A School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape exhibition hosted at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning showcased student work from the urban design studio course, an interdisciplinary course that brings an Indigenous lens to all aspects of design, teaching and learning.
Indigenous artwork sparks reflections on lifelong learning
A series of paintings by Dr. Jennifer Leason, PhD, was blessed by local elders before being installed on the Wall of Honour in the lobby of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning in 2023. The paintings came to be when Leason, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts, was working on her first children’s book in collaboration with language speakers from her home community.
Report explores ways to increase Indigenous engagement in undergraduate research
Saskia-Mae Livingstone, BA’21, explores how the College of Discovery, Creativity, and Innovation (CDCI) at the Taylor Institute can expand high-quality undergraduate research and experiential learning opportunities through increasing the accessibility of programming for Indigenous students.
Discussions on ethical spaces and parallel processes in higher ed at the Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching
The University of Calgary welcomed prominent Indigenous scholars and Elders for discussions on ethical spaces and parallel processes in higher education at the 2022 Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. Scholars Dr. Marie Battiste, EdD and Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann, PhD were joined by Elder Betty Bastien, Elder Evelyn Goodstriker, Elder Rod Hunter and Elders Reg and Rose Crowshoe, and Dr. Michael Hart for the three-day event.
Stories of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
"Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility are vital to the achievement of excellence in all areas of postsecondary education, and especially within the teaching and learning environment."
Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD
Vice-provost and associate vice-president (equity, diversity, and inclusion)
Inclusive Excellence Teaching Award celebrates educators who create inclusive learning experiences
The Award for Inclusive Excellence recognizes educators who are doing EDIA work, launched in response to the completion of the Research and Teaching Awards: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
Anti-Racism in Teaching and Learning badge accepts its first cohort
Dr. Fouzia Usman, PhD is the lead of the Anti-Racism in Teaching and Learning badge, a Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning program focused on academic staff teaching at the post-secondary level. The badge is a response to what Usman calls a “thirst for knowledge” in the anti-racism space, something that has continued to grow in recent years.