The Teaching Hub: Week Eight, Winter 2017


This week is the coalition edition because it’s mostly about working together. Go us!

teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

The Open Faculty Patchbook

We have been working on developing an open textbook for faculty development. The idea is that the textbook, or manual, will be written for faculty by faculty. It’s a patchwork. A community quilt. A collection of “patches” (like chapters) with each individual patch telling the story of one pedagogical skill. Patches can showcase pedagogical skills for teaching in class, online, or (likely) both. It could cover designing or redesigning lessons and courses, or show how to use specific tools. Whatever the community quilt needs to cover our teaching and learning needs can be added. On Wednesday, at our Teaching & Learning Day, we will ask you if you’d like to craft a patch of The Patchbook. See the beginnings, and more details here.

tech icon Learning Technology

D2L Tool of the Week: Class Progress

The Class Progress tool in D2L provides faculty and students with a wealth of information about student progress in the course. For more details on how to make use of this tool, click here.

Class Progress Tool in D2L

Class Progress Tool in D2L

Non D2L Tool of the Week: Explain Everything

Some consider this collaborative application the “Swiss Army Knife” of educational apps. 🙂 See for yourself by visiting their website.

Try it for free, then decide for yourself.

student service icon Services for Students

What do you think is the most important upcoming student event to tell your students about when they get back from break week? Rank them 1-4 in your mind:

  1. Co-ed Badminton, March 5, 9-10:45, Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre
  2. Ace It @ Frost (Study Skills Workshop) March 7, 4-7 Frost Library
  3. UOIT College-to-University Pathways Visit March 8, 10-2, Main Foyer Sutherland
  4. Blood Donor Clinic, March 9, 12-3, Frost Campus Field House

You may now go ahead and tell your students all about whichever one you picked as your top choice. Also tell them whichever options you picked in spots 2-4.

polci icon Policies & Procedures Plans

A plan does not really count as a policy or procedure, really, but it also starts with a ‘P’ and probably will affect future policies and procedures, so we’ll allow it. The Academic Technology Committee is currently working on an Academic-IT Plan that will help us choose which technological paths to follow as a learning institution. Really, we just want to be prepared when the robot overlords try to take over the world. Is it ready? No. Why are we putting it here, then? Well, now there’s a fire lit under us so we’d better get it done, huh? The plan will include guiding principles, goals, and objectives in the areas of digital pedagogy, innovation, quality assurance, and IT infrastructure. We will also include markers of success. Stay tuned!

construction zone flickr photo by granth shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

dept icon College Departments

Academic Council is not a department, so what are they doing winning the College Department of the Week competition? We’re afraid it’s just a case of this is our blog and we can bend the rules from time to time (see previous section). Please send any complaints about this issue to

Two years ago, Academic Council was created. If we were to describe in someone else’s words what Academic Council is, it would go something like this:

“Academic Council is a forum for raising and addressing college-wide academic issues.”

You can go ahead and bet the farm that they get together often and do just that! The Council (who disappointingly don’t wear flowing burgundy robes at their meetings) even has its own website. There you will find meeting information, meeting packages, terms of reference, if anyone won a Roll Up the Rim during a meeting, and more.

Be sure to connect with the Academic Council Representative for your school or area to bring forward ideas, issues, or concerns that affect the academic division at Fleming College.

pdicon Professional Development

March 1st Teaching & Learning Day

Perhaps you will be wearing one of these in your lanyard on March 1st

Being the purveyors of this blog space, we get to decide which professional development opportunities to highlight. So, when we develop our own entire day of learning stuff specifically for (and with!) the faculty of Fleming College, you bet your bippy we’re going to choose that thing as the PD offering of the week!

At this conference-esque get-together, you can possibly experience:

  • Collaborative note-taking. Notes and thoughts from everyone in the same digital space, for everyone’s benefit.
  • Getting branded a Co-Author of The Open Faculty Patchbook
  • Well, heck! Why don’t we just link to the whole schedule?

Don’t forget to bring your own device, whether that is a laptop, tablet, or Etch-a-Sketch, and be prepared to access a current course outline.

communicate icon Chatter

A common topic of excitement around here is about students blogging in their coursework. It’s an effective way to help students open up and connect their learning to the bigger picture. By sharing their thoughts in the open, students can make greater connections with each other, and with what they are learning. The Chatter section is here for following up on ideas we’ve shared, so this week we will share an example of a blog post that one of our students has made. Here is a description of the blog post from the author herself, followed by a link to the real thing:

The blog topic was to choose a recent conflict or controversy within our discourse community and explain it. My blog focuses on the gaming community and I went with the recent trend of false advertising and low-quality game release standards through the example of No Man’s Sky.

~Isabelle Arnold, student blogger extraordinaire

Check out her blog post here.

info icon More Information

Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS, or send us an email:!


The Teaching Hub: Week Seven, Winter 2017


This week. Precision. Short & sweet. Black & white.

engage Engaging Teaching

Feedback: Provide it, frequently and formatively.

Try it! Offer verbal or written feedback that focuses on the process and the learning goal. Encourage students to give feedback to each other.
Ask yourself:
• Have I offered specific, frequent feedback that is connected to the learning goal?
• Have I used what I learned from the feedback to adjust instruction?


tech Learning Technology

Reflecting On Words
Reflecting On Words by Julie Jablonski

D2L Thing of the Week: Rubrics

What are RUBRICS and how do you set them up and use them in D2L?

Non-D2L Thing of the Week: Socrative

Quickly assess students with questions or activities; for more information, check out the resources to learn more.

 studserv Services for Students

Learning Strategies 

When students use learning strategies, it can help improve their depth of learning and achieve better academic results. Individualized learning strategy support is available to students registered with Accessible Education Services, and any student can visit the Sutherland Tutoring and Academic Skills Centre on Mondays between 3-4 pm for drop-in learning strategy support. If you’d like some quality info to share with students, try these resources  for teaching research-based learning strategies from the Learning Scientists.

policie Policies & Procedures

Our policy & procedure for the Teaching Hub itself this week is levity & brevity, so that’s all we have to say about that.

dept College Departments

The Department of the Week is The Learning Design & Support Team. That’s us! We want to tell you about Week 8 events.

  • Teaching & Learning Boot Camp Level 2
    Tuesday, February 28th 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. (Sutherland Room B2 101 / Frost Room 104)
    Please click here for the session description and to register.
  • Winter Teaching & Learning Day
    Wednesday, March 1st 8:30 – 3:30 in the Galleria at Sutherland.
    Please click here for the schedule and session descriptions.
    RSVP by February 22. Please click here to do that.

pd Professional Development

Toronto is a rather large city just to our south west. In April, it is hosting an event that has interesting implications for the future of education: The Creative Commons Global Summit. Have a look at the site to see if you are interested in going. If so, let us know ASAP because the VPA’s office is sponsoring four people to go and the early bird price is ending soon!

chat Chatter

In past posts we have mentioned the use of Google Docs as a collaborative tool. Victoria Maystruk has shared with us a great way that she used it in a math lab. Very simply, instead of lecturing on a topic and then collecting individual responses to a question, she

  • Briefly introduced the topic;
  • Provided a google doc with a flawed statement pre-written; and
  • All students responded to the flawed statement in the same space.

Here is the before and after of the google doc. Now the students can see a chorus of explanations on how the statement is flawed. Cool stuff.

Thanks for sharing, Victoria!

info More Information

Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS, or send us an email:

The Teaching Hub: Week Six, Winter 2017


This is a public service announcement!

The Teaching and Learning Day is on March 1

Please join us for an exciting and engaging day focused on professional development and teaching and learning at Fleming! For more information, please see the schedule for the dayRSVP is required by February 22. You can do that here

now back to your regular scheduled programmming

teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

 Connected Courses

Tyler & Shahab, getting connected

Students in the Fitness & Health Promotion program this semester have been partnered up with students in the College Health Science program (GHS). The FHP students act as fitness testers/ trainers to the GHS students, who act as the client. The benefit for FHP students is that they put into practice the techniques and skills that they learn about. Helen Bajorek-MacDonald, College Health Science Faculty, explains the benefit to the GHS students below:

“Participation in the FHP collaborative learning experience provides GHS students with several learning benefits. First, they interact with students in another program where they can share / reinforce / explore cross-program learning, such as human anatomy connections. Second, as ‘client’ to the FHP ‘trainer’, the GHS students are able to experience what it’s like to be on the other side of the ‘patient/care-giver’ equation. Finally, GHS students can learn about a program they may be considering as a pathway option upon graduation from the College Health Science program.
For example, GHS ‘client’ students had their resting and exercising heart rates tested by their FHP ‘trainer’ who learned how to apply heart rate measurement skills on a willing participant. During these learning/practice sessions in the FHP environment, conversations take place between students, and are then carried over into other classroom settings, such as biology where the discussion can then include both the theoretical, and the practical.”

It’s symbiotic. Have an idea to connect one of your courses to another? Let us know, and we can help facilitate negotiations:

tech icon Learning Technology

 D2L Thing of the Week: Discussion Tool


The Discussion tool available in D2L is a great way to set up reflective practice for students.

You might want to:

  • set up a question for them to answer before they come to the next f2f class;
  • set up weekly one-minute reflections that they complete before they leave class; or
  • have them present and share work or research in a discussion topic; other students can then comment, ask questions, or provide feedback.

Want to learn more about how to set up and use the Discussion tool in D2L? Check out our handy dandy tip sheet!

Non-D2L Thing of the Week: Appear.In

Appear.In Easy to use web conferencing and screensharing application
Appear.In Easy to use web conferencing and screensharing application

Very slick little Video Conversation App for up to 8 individuals with screensharing capability. Create a room, share the link, enjoy your conversation 🙂

Appear.In everything about setting it up is on one screen.
Appear.In everything about setting it up is on one screen.


student service icon Services for Studentsstudentlifegif

Do you like those pretty icons flashing by over there? Do you want to see all of them in their natural habitat and find out what information they may lead to? Then take yourself to the Student Life tab on the Portal. And tell your students about it, too. It’s all for them, after all!

go to that tab

polci icon Policies & Procedures

sandford-sketchSir Sandford Fleming College has been around for 50 years now.  Coincidentally, Fleming College has been serious about Student Rights and Responsibilities for all of those 50 years. 

Under the current iteration of the policy, the college is committed to providing…
“…a climate of understanding and mutual respect for individual dignity and worth, in which each person has the opportunity to develop as an individual and contribute positively to the College Community.” (policy 5-506 SRR)

And the student is expected to…“…conduct themselves as responsible members of the College Community.” (policy 5-506 SRR)

Visit the Student Rights and Responsibilities site to learn about rights & responsibilities, complaints and appeals processes. 

Oh and did you hear we’re celebrating our 50th this year? You might even say that that’s the start of something amazing.

dept icon College Departments

This week we feature International Student Services. They won the honour and distinction of being the Teaching Hub department of the week by saying yes when we asked them if they would like to be featured. International Student Services provides services to students coming to us from outside the country. This makes perfect sense, given the name of their department.

Do you have international students? Here are 10 teaching tips and two services you might want to share with them:

  • International Student Services has a range of supports and resources for international students. International Services Coordinator, Amanda Gray, can help students connect with services.
  • Free drop-in language support is available to all. At Frost, drop by on Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m (room 294). At Sutherland, drop by on Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. or Fridays from 2-4 p.m. (room C1203.5). For more information, contact Tracey McConnery, Manager of International Student Services and English Programs.

pdicon Professional Development

Advancing Learning Conference 2017 – Call for Presenters/Participants


Fleming’s Academic division will be sponsoring up to five (5) Fleming faculty members to participate in the Advancing Learning Conference, taking place May 17 & 18 at Mohawk College in Hamilton. This year’s theme is “Reality Check.” Complete this application form to be considered to attend. If you’re interested in being a presenter, please get in touch with us ( or extension 1216) for support and advice, and submit your proposal to conference organizers by February 28th. Once you’ve submitted your proposal to the conference, you’ll need to complete this application form as well, and be prepared to share back with your colleagues here at Fleming after the conference.

communicate icon Chatter

Things we’d like to hear from you about this week, by commenting here or email (

  1. Any “connected courses” ideas you may have (see Engaging Teaching);
  2. Any desire you have to attend/present at Advancing Learning (See Professional Development);
  3. Comments about the plan for our March 1st Teaching & Learning Day (see Public Service announcement at the top); and
  4. What was better: Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl, Or B.T.O at the Grey Cup?

info icon More Information

Looking for more information, or want to chat with Jodie about your favourite episode of “Black Mirror”? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS, or send us an email:!

The Teaching Hub: Week Five, Winter 2017


teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

Group Work

Check out the video below to see six people engaging in weird but effective group work

Shared from Arcade Fire’s Official YouTube Channel 

History has shown that small groups of people can work together, mixing their skills to create something awesome. Examples that will confirm this statement include The Avengers, Arcade Fire & The Penguins of Madagascar.

In our classes, while engaged with their peers, students learn from each other and develop some of the Essential Employability Skills they’ll need. There are four basic elements needed to make cooperative learning work:

  1. Positive Interdependence – students have to believe they’re in it together. Ideas like creating a group charter can be effective, especially with long-term group work.
  2. Social Skills – not all students have these to the degree we’d like… yet. Essential Employability Skills can be developed and assessed during group work.
  3. Individual Accountability – again, students need to know they’re in it together, and will be evaluated as a group.
  4. Group Evaluation – by individual students, and by the faculty member, can help students assess how their group is working together, and how they can improve.

(From The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong & Rosemary Tripi Wong) Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence has more tips on Group Work. What a bunch of showoffs!

tech icon Learning Technology

D2L Thing of the Week: Group Tool

Create group work areas for users with the Groups tool. You can use groups to organize users’ work on projects and assignments.


Current Examples from Fleming Courses:

  • Pick a time for an event/meeting
  • Pick a presentation topic for class
  • Pick a research topic for an assignment
  • Randomly generate groups

To find out more about setting up Groups in D2L, check out this tipsheet.

Non-D2L Thing of the Week:  Padlet

Padlet is a virtual bulletin board or wall where individuals or groups can collaborate, share, reflect, and co-create. It can be placed in your D2L page for access.

Padlet of SnapChat uses
A Padlet featuring educational uses of the SnapChat app

With Padlet you can:

  • invite others to contribute (no limit);
  • modify users’ access to read only, writers, moderators, or administrator;
  • set updates to appear instantly;
  • use almost any file type: images, documents, links, videos, music;
  • embed content from anywhere on the web, including social media apps or news sites;
  • use it on desktop computers, laptops, or other personal devices.

student service icon Services for Students

Microsoft Word is constantly full of all kinds of words. It’s just sitting there making you write words and read words. It’s time for Word to do some word work for you. You can make it read to you! So sit back and let those Word words flow right into your ears. Here’s how:

  1. Create a Word document. Write something pithy since the robot voice doesn’t sound like a pithy person, so that’s funny. Or use an actual document. You choose. Check out this how-to video or the Accessibility Centre tip sheets to learn more about making a Word document accessible to screen readers.
  2. Add Speak to your Word quick access toolbar. Here are step-by-step instructions. Then highlight the words you want to read and get ready to listen to all the funny stuff you wrote in the Word document.
  3. Spread the word that text-to-speech software is a thing! Share it with your students, your colleagues, and that teacher you had in high school who told you you’d never amount to anything.

Here is Word Text to Speech in action:

polci icon Policies & Procedures

Acronyms, while meant to streamline things, often just serve to mystify and add barriers to understanding. Which is just a total SNAFU, isn’t it? In that spirit, here is a new & unhelpful acronym for you: FCLMSUP. That acronym stands for Fleming College Learning Management System Usage Policy. You can find it here, but the gist is that you should put the following stuff in D2L:

  1. A link to the approved course outline;
  2. Faculty contact information;
  3. Student progress/grades throughout the term, posted to the gradebook within two weeks of an assignment due date;
  4. Pertinent course materials, assessments, etc.; and
  5. Course announcements

Need help with that stuff? That’s one of the things we do here on the LDS Team! All the ways to get in contact with us are listed right at the bottom of this page.

dept icon College Departments

This week’s fake department battle of the week involved time travel. We sent each department into the past with the mission to Make the Funniest Change to History. This is actually how the platypus came into existence. Good job, library! (And bad job, LDS Team. We’re not going to tell you what we did.) Here is what the Library wants to say to you:

Our faculty and staff page may have some tabs and buttons that you do not know yet!

  • The Library Skills Orientations tab lists the many ways we can help your students develop library and research skills.
  • The Copyright tab provides guidance for specific resources you may be wondering about using, including: YouTube clips, government documents, images, database articles, and more.
  • The Program & Curriculum Review tab hosts library reports that support the Program Review process. They are posted as they are completed,  alphabetically by program name.request.png
  • We also have a Request a Workshop button for Library Orientations, Searching for Articles, & Library Skills CORE Modules, among many others. However, we’d like to request that the LDS Team stop requesting Ska Band workshops, as we do not offer those.

pdicon Professional Development

Here’s some informal PD that you can do at your earliest convenience: grab a peer and go for a walk in the woods to chat about how things are going in your classes. That is why we installed forests with trails next to our campuses. Just talking about what you are doing in your classes can help both of you work out some kinks in your plans, or get some new ideas. Literally walk a trail, as you discuss and think about new paths to follow in your pedagogy. To help us get all trail meta, we’ll have some fresh new trails to tread at Sutherland campus soon, as part of the Canada 150 Trails project!

Rail Trail flickr photo by andyarthur shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

communicate icon Chatter

This week’s post is dubbed ‘The Imposition Edition‘ because we would like to impose on you for a tiny bit of your time and effort. We need more contributions from faculty to make the Hub more of a hub! So please, make a comment below or let us know if you’d like to contribute some ideas. We have a couple of faculty signed up to write for us in the next few weeks and would love some more!

info icon More Information

Looking for more information, or want to chat with Jodie about your favourite episode of “Black Mirror”? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS, or send us an email:!