Spring Perspectives on Teaching Conference



Wednesday May 10th, 2023 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

All sessions will be offered in hybrid format (in-person and online). In-person sessions will take place in the Spencer Engineering Building (SEB).

9:00 am to 9:15 am - Opening Remarks (SEB 2200)

Melanie-Anne Atkins, Acting Director (CTL)
Susan Lewis, Vice Provost (Academic Programs)

9:15 am to 10:30 am - Keynote Session (SEB 2200) 


We Have What We Need: A Practical Guide for Decolonizing Our Work at Western

Heather Campbell, Western Libraries, Western University

After recent Spring and Fall Perspectives on Teaching Conferences, attendees asked for practical ways to apply equity, accessibility, decolonization, and Indigenization ideas to their work. This year’s keynote session is a direct response to those requests: Heather Campbell, a member of Western Libraries and the Centre for Teaching and Learning, will share a framework that guides teams through different ‘phases’ of decolonization.

But Heather will also acknowledge that decolonization feels difficult, and sometimes impossible, and that we will confront many barriers in doing the work. We live and work in systems that push us to do more –always do more ­–which are systems that harm us, too.

So, this session is an invitation to gather in community. We may ‘have what we need’ to start decolonizing our work, but we must do it together –no one person is responsible for decolonizing Western. Heather will share stories from her team’s ongoing decolonization journey and describe how each, in their own way, play an essential role in the work. During this session, participants will explore their relationship with ‘productivity’ and will use the guide to reflect on where they, too, can contribute to the shared work of decolonization –and where they need the help of our team.

Heather Campbell's Biography

Heather Campbell is an uninvited settler of Scottish and Irish descent who lives and works on Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnapéewak and Chonnonton lands. A King’s and Western alumna (B.A., B.Ed., M.L.I.S.), Heather returned to Western in 2020 to support the University’s strategic curricular initiatives as both a member of Western Libraries and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Heather’s scholarship looks at teacher identity, feminist pedagogy, curriculum decolonization, and epistemic justice.

10:30 am to 11:00 am Refreshment Break (outside SEB 2200)

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Concurrent Sessions A 

Faculty and Graduate Student Perspectives on the Work 

A-1   SEB 2200

Indigenous Learning Bundles Community of Practice: Panel Discussion

Facilitated by
Candace Brunette-Debassige (Education)
Sara Mai Chitty (Indigenous Initiatives)


In 2021-22, the Maatoogiying gaa-miinigoowiziying (Sharing our Gifts): Indigenous Learning Bundles project was launched at Western with the goal is to collaboratively create a digital repository of Indigenous-led teaching resources that privilege Indigenous knowledges (IK) and support Western instructors in delivering Indigenous content in ethical ways. Recognizing that lack of instructor preparedness to understand and teach Indigenous perspectives, this project adopted a Community of Practice (CoP) model in its second year to support instructors in bundle implementation. Community of Practice (CoP) is a social learning theory used in education for professional development purposes (Wenger, 1998) which recognizes that deeper “learning occurs when people who share a concern or passion for something, do and learn how to do it better and interact regularly” (Wenger, 2011, p.1). CoP approaches have also been used in advancing Indigenization of academic curriculum (Yeo et al, 2018). This panel presentation will start by offering some background on the bundles project with a focus on instructors’ experiences participating in the CoP and learning with bundles.


A-2   SEB 1200

Designing Flexible Assessments that Support Inclusivity and Learning 

Facilitated by
Ken Meadows (CTL)

Panelists include
Nicole Campbell (Integrated Medical Science)
Kim Solga (English and Writing Studies)
Katelyn Wood (Kinesiology)


Adding flexibility to your assessments can empower your students - supporting their agency and recognizing that they have distinct identities; experiences; academic, personal, and professional circumstances; and strengths. It can bolster their engagement and motivation, as well as fostering inclusivity and deep learning.

But how can you actually add flexibility to your assessments? What works? How can you manage it in a way that is not overwhelming? Where do you start?

Join us to learn from three faculty colleagues how they have embedded, and managed, flexibility in their assessments by integrating student choice in the topics and format of their assessments, flexible deadlines, and flexible weighting of assessments. You will leave this session with new ideas and practical steps you can take to add flexibility to your assessments.

A-3   SEB 2202

Taking the Plunge into Teaching Innovation: Graduate Student Panel 

Facilitated by
Lisa Aikman (CTL)

Panelists include
Arameh Khadjevand (Hispanic Studies)
Billie Anderson (Media Studies)
Lucas Riboli Besen (Health Information Science)
Mark McCorkle (Musicology)


As a graduate student, it can be difficult to feel like you have the power to enact change in the classroom. But we know Western is home to passionate, innovative educators working at every level. This panel features graduate students who are already putting their teaching philosophies into action in ways both large and small. Our panelists will share how they took the step from awareness to action, how it has impacted their teaching, and advice for fellow grad students looking to spark their own classroom innovations.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Break

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm - Concurrent Sessions B

Exploring Diverse Ways to Begin the Work

B-1   SEB 2200

Preparing Students to Address Complex Real-World Problems through Interdisciplinary Collaborative Teaching 

Facilitated by
David Sandomierski (Law)
Kim Solga (English and Writing Studies)


How can we prepare our students to address the complex real-world problems that we are facing? Our students will need to bring expertise from multiple disciplinary and experiential perspectives to address these complicated issues, but our programs and courses generally exist in disciplinary silos. Interdisciplinary collaborative teaching, bringing together educators from across disciplinary and experiential boundaries to co-teach, enables our students to learn and integrate different approaches and perspectives to help develop creative solutions to these complex problems.

Please join us for this interactive session to learn about how we have integrated interdisciplinary collaborative teaching into our courses, the benefits we have seen, and the challenges we faced. You will also have an opportunity to reflect on and discuss why this approach to teaching could be beneficial for your students, what it might look like within your context, and the practical steps you can take to implement an interdisciplinary collaborative teaching component in your courses.


B-2   SEB 1200

Learners as Creators: An Introduction to Open Pedagogy

Facilitated by
Emily Carlisle-Johnston (Western Libraries)
Heather Campbell (Western Libraries)


Are you looking for new or different forms of assessment? Open pedagogy may be one solution. This workshop will explore Open pedagogy as a commitment to student-centered, learner-driven education. Open pedagogy is an alternative assessment that asks students to create information or resources as course work that can then be made Open and reusable to others. Open pedagogies can contribute to more equitable and justice-oriented classrooms as students reflect on who is, and can be considered, an authority or a creator. Following an introduction where we will talk about the benefits of open pedagogy, participants will collaborate to brainstorm examples of Open pedagogy, with presenters sharing examples from the literature and their lived experience at Western. Participants will then discuss considerations that instructors should work through before posting student work online.


B-3   SEB 2202

Did They Get It? Using CATs to Engage Students and Instructors in the Learning Process 

Facilitated by
Muneer Ul-Huda (CTL)
Chris Ryan (CTL)


Have you ever finished teaching a module and wondered: “How much of that did my students actually get?” Did you experiment with a different teaching activity that seemed to go well, but wish you had a way to gauge how effective your students found it?

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are simple, anonymous, non-graded activities that engage your students to figure out what they actually learned in your class, and that empower you to design future lessons for maximum impact. In this workshop, you will learn about the basic philosophy of CATs and how to digitize CATs for classes of all sizes and modalities, both in person and online.

2:00 pm to 2:15 pm Refreshment Break (outside SEB 2200)

2:15 pm to 4:00 pm - Concurrent Sessions C & Closing Remarks

From Awareness to Action: Time to Get To Work!

This block of sessions is dedicated to building instructor confidence to do the work. Each session provides instructors with time and space to experiment with new ideas, give and receive constructive peer feedback, and potentially establish accountability partnerships to promote mutual support and encouragement that lasts well beyond this year’s Spring Perspectives conference.

C-1   SEB 2202

Learner-Centered Syllabus Clinic 

Facilitated by
Lisa Aikman (CTL)


It’s hard to know where to start when looking to update your syllabus. Should you start with assignments? Attendance policy? The reading list? The truth is there are many entry-points into making your syllabus, and by extension your course, more learner-centered. In this hands-on clinic, we will explore a few different elements of learner-centered syllabi so that you can identify the entry-point that makes the most sense for you, find colleagues with similar goals and – supported by resources – get to work revising your syllabus. Significant time in this clinic will be devoted to writing (and re-writing) and discussion, so come prepared with a syllabus you wish to work on.


C-2   SEB 1200

Critiquing Your Course Reading List

Facilitated by
Lea Sansom (Western Libraries)


Creating more diverse and inclusive course content can be challenging and overwhelming. This workshop will provide one potential pathway into starting that process through reading list critique. Participants will reflect on the role of course reading lists within the broader curriculum, and learn how reading lists can replicate and reinforce inequities in higher education. After learning some of the approaches and considerations for undertaking this work, participants will critique one of their own reading lists. At the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with a set of tools and questions that they can use and adapt for their own contexts, along with the understanding that this will be an ongoing and iterative process.


C-3   SEB 2200

Designing a Course Communication Plan to Enhance Student Learning and Engagement 

Facilitated by
Aamir Aman & Denise Quildon - Zoom (CTL)
Hanna Mayer & Natalie Oldfield - In-Person (CTL)


Do you ever feel like you've explained something clearly to your students, but the questions keep pouring in and they are not as engaged as you thought they would be? Spending a bit of time developing a course communication plan can help reduce time responding to questions later because learners are not only more likely to understand where they're going, but also the path they'll take and how to successfully travel it. This workshop will enable you to develop a plan for simple communication strategies to implement throughout your course that improve students’ engagement, learning, motivation, self-regulation, and understanding of course expectations.


Conference Information

Registration Instructions

  1. Login to Western Connect using your Western username and password.
  2. Go to the Centre for Teaching and Learning section and select Event Calendar.
  3. Search for and select the event you wish to register in. Details and a description of the program will appear.
  4. Select the Register for this Event button and follow instructions to select your sessions of interest.
  5. You will receive an automated confirmation email to your Western email account.

If you have any questions or problems registering for an event, please consult our Registration Help Page for our Cancellation Policy, FAQs and more or contact ctl@uwo.ca.


This event is open to all; however, it is designed with instructors in mind.


  • Fall Perspectives - annually in August/September
  • Spring Perspectives - annually in May

What to Expect

Offered twice a year, Perspectives on Teaching is a full-day conference designed to showcase teaching innovations at Western, and introduce instructors to best practices in student-centered instruction which can enhance the student experience. Approximately 300 faculty, graduate student instructors and staff participate in each Perspectives on Teaching conference. 

Previous Conference Programs

Visit our Youtube Channel for keynotes from past conferences.