Teaching and Learning Centers
This is a new unit with a primary focus on applied learning in a range of experiential contexts including lab-based, case and simulation, AR/VR, and pretty much everything in between. The college is in the midst of a migration from a Canadian branch campus to that of a state-funded university. Our challenge is to support the transition while maintaining a focus on a TVET approach to teaching and learning while at the same time providing programs and credentials that are complementary to those offered by other universities in the country.
As the Director of the TLC reporting to the Provost, I was responsible for providing vision and direction for the center aligned with institutional direction and faculty need. I developed collaborative relationships with Faculties and with support units (e.g., Library, IT, etc.). I worked to develop strong working relationships with HR and the relevant unions and associations. I also worked with members of SFU’s Indigenous community to support SFU-ARC’s recommendations.
- 1000 faculty, 8 Faculties, 55,000 students, 3 campuses
- TLC consists of nine units (35 staff):
- 5 outward facing units: Educational Media, Educational Technology, Educational Consulting, Programming, Indigenous Initiatives
- 4 support units: Applied Research in Teaching and Learning, Communications, Systems, Administration (including HR and Finance)
- 1 other: Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETC)
- Oversight for $4.9M budget
- March 2018: Completed our first faculty and student needs assessments.
- May 2018: Completed 2018-2023 Strategic Plan with focus on: (1) Educational Goals [learning outcomes], (2) Flexible Teaching and Learning, (3) Indigenous Initiatives, (4) Valuing Teaching, (5) Impact. Internal goals included in our plan were to create a more flexible structure and to focus on team health and wellbeing ultimately towards high performing teams.
- May 2018: Distributed our first Annual Report focusing on the successes of our clients.
- June 2018: Created the HealthyTLC working group to develop and maintain support for a strong, vibrant, and innovative team ensuring equitable and egalitarian processes and perceptions.
- January 2019: Published our first ‘Teaching Stories’ book based on faculty work originally published in our monthly newsletter.
- February 2019: Hired our first Associate Director – Indigenous Initiatives. This event signaled the TLC’s leadership and commitment to providing support for decolonizing and indigenizing curricula across SFU.
- Developed the Dialectical Maps software based on a project prototyped by several faculty members. Added stability, multi-device compatibility, and integration into Canvas.
In September 2013 I joined Zayed University, located in the United Arab Emirates, to become the first Director of their newly formed Center for Educational Innovation (CEI). Zayed University has two campuses, one in Abu Dhabi and the second in Dubai. I had responsibility for both campuses and maintained CEI offices and teams at both.
- 700 faculty, 8 colleges (faculties), 10,000 students, 2 campuses (Abu Dhabi, Dubai)
- Included a 2-year bridge and general studies program intended to help students acquire English language, study skills, and prepare for major areas of study.
- CEI consists of five area groups (12-18 staff):
- Arabization of curricula
- Educational Technology
- Educational Development
- English as an Additional Language (English for Academic Purposes)
- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Oversight for $3.5M USD budget
- November 2013: Received approval for a 3-year plan to establish Zayed University as a leader in Mobile Enhanced Learning (~$1M USD per year).
- February 2014: Completed first faculty needs assessment.
- March 2014: Began offering a certificate program titled ‘Innovative Teaching Practice’ based largely on feedback obtained in our faculty needs assessment.
- July 2016: Completed our 2017-2022 strategic plan with emphasis on 1) Educational Technology, (2) Pedagogy, and (3) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The emphasis throughout was on blended learning, SoTL, and different ways of teaching and assessing.
- January 2017: Innovative Teaching Practice certificate program accredited by the Higher Education Academy based in the United Kingdom.
- February 2017: Delivered a full featured, multi-platform, language development app designed to support the Academic Bridge Program.
The Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), was a new position created in 2009 to help organize and develop a teaching and learning resource centre at the University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ). UCQ is a branch campus of the University of Calgary, Canada and delivers the Nursing program in Qatar.
The success of the CTL depended on support from other departments at UCQ (e.g., IT, Public Affairs, Learning Commons, Student Services, Research, etc.). I built strong relationships with each of these departments and found strong support from them for CTL activities. I also established good relationships with our main campus in Canada (e.g., Provost, Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, the Teaching and Learning Centre).
I initiated and continued to cultivate collaborative relationships with many of the other healthcare educational institutions in Doha including medical (Weill-Cornell Medical College), pharmacy (College of Pharmacy, Qatar University), allied health (School of Health Sciences, College of the North Atlantic). I established excellent working relationships with the Medical Education Centre and the Nursing Education and Research group, both from Hamad Medical Corporation, the primary public health-care provider in Qatar. I also built relationships with the Office of Faculty and Instructional Development (OFID) at Qatar University as well as the Teaching and Learning Center at the College of the North Atlantic. These collaborations also helped foster inter-institutional and inter-professional relationships.
- Established the first and only nursing program in Qatar in 2007. The program was delivered entirely in English.
- 64 students (2009) to over 400 students (2019)
- Included a ‘bridge’ program for student acquisition of language and study skills
- Areas of support:
- Educational Technology,
- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Budget: $30,000 CAD
- March 2010: Offered our first annual Great Teachers Retreat to post-secondary institutions in Qatar (interdisciplinary and inter-institutional)
- August 2010: Received $595,000 USD grant to inquire into Interprofessional Healthcare Education (IPE) e.g., developing teaching and learning strategies to integrate IPE into healthcare across Qatar.
- September 2012: Began first Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program.
- May 2013: First Teaching and Learning symposium.
And before that …
President of BBWebmedia Consulting (2001-2009)
I incorporated BBWebmedia and used this as an umbrella for a variety of consulting jobs. These included work as an instructor and program developer, research assistant, teaching, website design and implementation for national organizations, and anything related to educational technology.
The following are highlights during this period.
- Human Factors Specialist (2007-2009), General Dynamics Inc.
I worked with software developers and end-users to develop usable systems for use in military-grade products.
- Sessional Instructor (2007-2010), Graduate Division of Educational Research (GDER), University of Calgary
After completing my PhD in GDER I taught in their program as a sessional instructor. The courses were taught in person and/or fully on-line.
- Sessional Instructor (1997-2004), Faculty of Continuing Education, University of Calgary
I assisted in the growth and development of the Web Designer and the Web Developer Certificate programs. I developed and piloted new courses as well as evolving existing courses to match industry need. I also performed a complete program analysis to help align course and program goals.
- Instructional Design & Development (2001-2009), Varied contracts including Association of Canadian Ergonomists, Mt Royal University, Glenbow Museum.
This was the mainstay of our work. I worked with various stakeholders to design online offerings. These offerings included conversion of classroom courses to online delivery, design and development of web-enabled products for educational use, and online exhibits. In some cases I also provided development support e.g., Design, Develop, Deploy.
Educational Developer (1997-2001)
Teamwave Software, Calgary, AB
Teamwave was a software startup company developing an educational product to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous interactions using a shared whiteboard and rooms metaphor. I worked in multiple capacities including educational developer, customer experience, product development, website maintenance, and systems support (servers, email, etc.). We sold our company to Sonexis, a US-based company, in December 2000 with a planned IPO in September 2001. Unfortunately, the dot-com industry began a sharp decline just months prior to Sonexis public offering and the IPO never happened. Nonetheless, our product was integrated into Sonexis offerings and is still a central component today. Mark Roseman, the President of Teamwave, put together an interesting retrospective.