Winter Institute Events

The 2023 CTLT Winter Institute will take place online and in-person December 11-15. The CTLT Winter Institute focuses on cultivating a diverse community that sustains connected, equitable, and inclusive communities of learning. The Winter Institute serves as a platform for members of the teaching and learning community to create and optimize learning environments for all – faculty, staff, and students alike!

“We define sustainability as simultaneous improvements in human and environmental wellbeing.” – UBC Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century (p. 39).

Please see below for a detailed schedule and to register for sessions.
Schedule of Events (PDF)

Session materials and relevant resources will be curated on the UBC Wiki to support your ongoing learning.

Inclusive Teaching Studio: What Does Your Syllabus Say About Your Course?

December 11, 2023 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Seminar Room 2.22)

In this studio session, you will work on revisions to one of your current course syllabi. We will recap some best practices for learner-centred and inclusive syllabus preparation, and have examples of inclusive syllabi to share. We will unpack some of the hidden assumptions on a traditional syllabus, aspects that exclude certain students (such as when mode of delivery, office hours, textbooks and course materials are described). Considering who your students are can help you describe these various features and set diverse learners up for success from the very beginning. You will have the opportunity to revise aspects of your syllabus, such as your introduction to the course and the teaching team, your use of equity and diversity statements including land acknowledgements, and your description of course assignments.


  • Will Engle, Strategist for Open Education Initiatives, CTLT
  • Hailan Chen, Educational Consultant, Learning Design, CTLT
  • Sue Hampton, Educational Consultant, CTLT

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Integrating Climate and Well-being into Your Teaching

December 11, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Zoom

Well-being in learning environments is foundational to achieving deeper learning and academic success. The need to highlight health and wellbeing in teaching and learning about climate change has been identified by UBC faculty, support units, and the Climate Emergency Task Force Report. The Climate and Wellbeing Education Grant program offers support for faculty to incorporate climate change and human health content into existing course content and promote well-being in the classroom, while engaging with challenging topics such as climate change.

Through the shared experiences of a panel of faculty actively participating in the Climate and Wellbeing Education cohort, our aim is to inspire fellow faculty members to explore innovative methods for infusing well-being and climate-related content into their courses, all while nurturing the well-being of both students and faculty.


  • Sally Stewart, Associate Professor Of Teaching, School Of Health And Exercise Sciences, UBC Okanagan
  • Adrian Yee, Clinical Associate Professor, Associate Curriculum Director, Year 3 and 4, MDUP, Faculty of Medicine
  • Tanya Kyi, Lecturer, School of Creative Writing, Faculty of Arts
  • Avi Lewis, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts


  • Sara Kozicky, Wellbeing Strategic Initiatives Project Manager, Office of Wellbeing Strategy
  • Oliver Lane, Manager Teaching and Learning, UBC Sustainability Hub

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In-Person UBC Studios Open House and Tour

December 11, 2023 | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | In-person (University Services Building, UBC Studios- Main Studio – Room 0110)

Learn what UBC Studios is all about at our in-person Open House! Our team will introduce our professional services including video, animation, graphic design and 3D scanning, as well as our easy to use Do-It-Yourself support services, including workshops, DIY video and audio studios, and the Lightboard studio.


  • Michael Sider, Producer, UBC Studios

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Navigating the GenAI Landscape: A Focus on Student Learning and Prompt Design

December 12, 2023 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am | Zoom

The rapid growth of Generative AI is impacting higher education and may change the process of teaching. Through this interactive workshop, participants will reflect on their teaching approach and discuss how to navigate this growing field of AI to positively impact student learning. The adoption of GenAI tools raises various considerations that can impact the teaching practice, and

GenAI tools provide an opportunity for more creativity to develop engaging lessons, offer instant feedback, and generate creative materials to accommodate the needs of students. Through hands-on practice and peer collaboration of various prompting techniques and design patterns, this session will familiarize you with effective ways of using GenAI tools that will inform your teaching practice and positively impact student learning.


  • Manuel Dias, Educational Consultant, CTLT
  • Lucas Wright, Senior Educational Consultant, CTLT
  • Judy Chan, Faculty Associate, Faculty Liaison (Land and Food Systems)

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Decolonizing Academic Writing

December 12, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Chilcotin Room 256)

This panel session invites faculty, students, and staff from across UBC to discuss what it means to decolonize and Indigenize academic writing and scholarly communication. Efforts towards UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) goal #4, “Indigenizing Our Curriculum,” are being made in a range of programs and classrooms at UBC. This includes the decolonization and Indigenization of how we teach and assess student writing. But what does this mean in our diverse programs and disciplinary classrooms? What do we, from our own positions and experiences, understand as the problems and the needs and how to address them? What are others doing and how might we share and learn from one another? Most importantly, how can we engage in this work without perpetuating colonial harms and extractive approaches to learning including from Indigenous colleagues and communities.

The goal of this panel session is to create space for the exchange of diverse perspectives between panelists and attendees on what it means to decolonize and Indigenize academic writing and to foster ongoing relationships and communities of practice across the university.


  • Laila Ferreira, Assistant Professor of Teaching, WRDS/JWAM
  • Evan Mauro, Lecturer, CAP
  • Patty Kelly, Program Manager, Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication to the website

Faculty panelists:

  • Lou Maraj, Assistant Professor School of Journalism, Writing and Media
  • Lindsay Cuff, Assistant Professor of Teaching Land and Food Systems and Forestry
  • Amanda Engen, Academic Advisor, Indigenous Studies, UBC

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Digital Assessments in a World with GenAI: A Story of Hope and Salvation

December 12, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm | In-person (ICICS Building, 2366 Main Mall, Room 288)

Though Generative AI has its place in the world of higher education, many instructors are not yet comfortable embedding this technology into their courses, particularly given the moral and ethical considerations around its use. In this session, we will sketch out a path for instructors of large undergraduate courses to make the shift from traditional paper-based assessments to digital assessments in a world with GenAI.

Somewhat ironically, the answer lies in technology itself: a dedicated computer-based testing facility (CBTF) with network filtered machines, an online scheduling system, and a trained proctor.

If this makes you even a little curious, come to our talk to see the results of a large effort to adopt a CBTF at UBC Vancouver in Computer Science.


  • Firas Moosvi, Lecturer, Computer Science, Department of Computer Science
  • Rose Loftus, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Forestry
  • Mara Solen, PhD Student, Department of Computer Science
  • Nichole Boufford, MSc Student, Department of Computer Science

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Collaborative Learning: Recommendations and Strategies for Use When Developing Collaborative Learning Activities in Your Classroom

December 13, 2023 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am | Zoom

In this panel, participants will be provided with recommendations and strategies to aid them when developing collaborative learning activities in their own classrooms.

As panelists reflect on their own experiences, we will explore many benefits related to collaborative learning, such as the opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives, enhanced classroom community, personal responsibility for learning, and digital literacy. We will also present how to overcome common barriers related to student buy-in, group formation, scheduling, and the “free-rider” problem. Finally, we will look at how technology can support you when designing these activities and how to choose a tool that best aligns with the learning objectives of your course.


  • Micheal Jerowsky, Arts ISIT, Teaching and Learning Research and Evaluation Assistant
  • Jason Myers, Faculty Liaison (Arts)

Faculty Presenters:

  • Dr. Qian Wang, Asian Studies, Chinese Language Program Director, Associate Professor of Teaching, Chinese Linguistics
  • Dr. Siobhán Wittig McPhee, Associate Professor of Teaching; Geography
  • Dr. Katherine Lyon, Assistant Professor of Teaching; Sociology
  • Dr. Brianne Orr-Álvarez, Associate Professor of Teaching, Associate Head of Spanish Studies; French, Hispanic and Italian Studies

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CANCELLED: Student Experience of Instruction: Making Sense of Student Feedback

December 13, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Seminar Room 2.22)

Student Experience of Instruction (SEI) quantitative data often consists of responses on a Likert-type scale (most commonly a 5 or 7-point scale). For many years, the mean (average) and standard deviation were used at UBC to summarize and present quantitative data in instructor reports, a practice common at many institutions even where their usefulness and validity as metrics were being questioned. However, more recently, UBC began using different metrics to report student experience of instruction survey results. The reported metrics include: the interpolated median, percent favorable and measure of dispersion suitable for ordinal data. An interactive dashboard is currently being developed to assist instructors, as well as administrators, to visualize the reported metrics within context.

This workshop will introduce the new SEI metrics and demonstrate how they support instructors to make sense of the student feedback they receive. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss, in small groups, how to interpret these metrics in instructor reports. The workshop will also explore the ways in which these metrics can be used by teaching and learning specialists to inform conversations with both academic leaders and instructors interested in making sense of student feedback.


  • Abdel Azim Zumrawi, Statistician, Planning & Institutional Research (PAIR) & former Adjunct professor in Forest Resources
  • Tizitash Mohammed, , Programmer Analyst, PAIR
  • Jovy Eramela, Support Analyst, PAIR
  • Gavin Yap, Research Analyst, PAIR
  • David Loti, Support Analyst, PAIR

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The Trauma Aware Classroom: 5 Considerations That Will Have a Positive Impact on Your Students and Yourself

December 13, 2023 | 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Seminar Room 2.22)

In this workshop, we will explore how to foster a supportive classroom environment for both students and instructors by acknowledging that everyone can experience and can be impacted by trauma. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your role as a facilitator of learning as it relates to the impact of trauma on you and your students’ executive functioning, as well as the boundaries of our role as it relates to trauma and self-care strategies. In addition, we will explore a few simple strategies to help you make your classroom activities trauma-aware.


  • Ainsley Camps, Educational Developer, CTLT
  • Jens Vent-Schmidt, Educational Consultant: Design and Facilitation, CTLT

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Building Community Across Campuses: Preparing to Teach a Multi-Campus (Distributed Learning) Course

December 14, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Zoom

Multi-campus instruction (MCI), also known as distributed learning, is a course format that involves a single instructor in a classroom at one location (the “local” cohort) synchronously teaching “local” and “remote” cohorts of students situated at other campuses. Students in the “remote” cohorts attend through Information and Communications Technology (ICT) such as video conferencing equipment. MCI courses can bring together communities that are geospatially apart, and distributed learning programs (or courses) are becoming more popular around the world. They create educational possibilities to students in remote communities without requiring those students to relocate. Challenges related to successfully administering courses in this format are often underestimated. Many see this format as simply teaching to a video camera along with a room full of students. Common challenges related to building community and maintaining equity often occur with commensurate impacts on student experience. Delivering a course in this format for the first time can be daunting. Resources are available, but can be difficult to find, with some tools being challenging to implement in a local context. This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to planning and administering MCI courses.


  • Casey Keulen, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Materials Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Christoph Sielmann, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
  • Elly Park, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

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Reflective Decision-Making: Social Impact Lab Toolkit Applied to a 4th Year Engineering Capstone Course

December 14, 2023 | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Chilcotin Room 256)

Are you designing or teaching a course with learning outcomes related to teamwork, project management and risk, or student self-reflection?

The department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) developed a series of workshops for the ECE Capstone Design course. These workshops were based on CCEL’s Social Impacts Lab (SIL) toolkit that was developed using critical service learning theory. In this workshop, they will share what they have learned, and encourage you to reflect on how you can apply critical service learning principles in your course.


  • Paul Lusina, Ph.D., P.Eng. Lecturer, Dept. Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Bruce Moghtader, Centre for Community Engaged Living, UBC

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Orientation to the Early Alert Program at UBC

December 14, 2023 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Zoom

This session is for faculty and instructors, staff and teaching assistants. Expect to learn what the Early Alert (EA) program is, how it supports students in distress, and how it connects to your role. Specific focus will be on when to submit an EA, and how to use the online form. Time will be allotted for audience questions and discussion.


  • Brian Barth, Manager, Student Support Services, VP Students Office, UBC

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Incorporating the Principle of Community Accountability into Our Classrooms

December 15, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | In-person (Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Chilcotin Room 256)

Community accountability is a grassroots approach to addressing sexualized and gender-based violence in marginalized communities by turning to creative and collective interventions at both the interpersonal and community levels. The insights and principles drawn from models of community accountability have the potential to go far beyond interventions that respond to past violence, they can also assist us in creating and maintaining safer and more inclusive communities – including communities of learning. In this informative workshop, we will focus on teaching content related to the humanities and social sciences through an anti-oppression lens. We will provide a brief overview of the history of community accountability models, as well as a place to discuss the key principles, insights and lessons that we can draw from models of community accountability. The last hour of the workshop will feature discussion and reflection activities to draw out some practical pedagogical tools for applying these principles to our work.


  • Johannah May Black, Education Specialist, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office UBCO

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