CAFE Monthly

A Monthly Email for Academic and Faculty Enrichment


Professor Lukasz Buczkowski profile picture

This month's Faculty Spotlight is Lukasz Buczkowski, who began his career at Durham College (DC) as a student and is now teaching in the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeships and Renewable Technology.  

Currently, he teaches the next generation of students using hands-on and virtual learning at DC. 

Buczkowski studied at Durham College in 2012 before graduating from the one-year Mobile Crane Apprenticeship program. He went on to complete a three-year apprenticeship in Alberta before taking a job in Whitby to be closer to home.  

He began teaching at Durham College in 2016 where he teaches in the Mobile Crane Apprenticeship program, as well as Rigging courses for post-secondary students. 

Buczkowski tries to make his lessons very hands-on for his students. 

“I would say my teaching style is very job-setting related,” says Buczkowski. “I try to simulate all the classes I teach as closely to the real-world application as I can.” 

Buczkowski changes up his classes by sharing props with his students, including different rigging attachments and pieces to give students a feel for the materials. He also shows videos from the industry as a visual component.   

“The best way I can engage the students is by changing things up in the classroom and in the shop,” says Buczkowski. “The students are used to watching the instructor talk and do a PowerPoint. So, I like to mix it up a little bit.” 

He says having a hands-on class helps students to stay focused and engaged in his lessons. He adds if other teachers want to implement a similar method, the first step is just doing it.  

“Just jump into it. Bring all of the props you think would be beneficial in the classroom. Even passing a piece around that the students don't know what it is, per see, and letting them guess or think as a group, leads to engagement in the students a little bit better in conversation,” says Buczkowski.  

Another part of the student's education includes the use of six simulators that simulate crane running scenarios. This gives students the opportunity to see what it's really like to operate a crane. 

Buczkowski says the college is currently working to get a Virtual Reality (VR) to further implement more hands-on training for his students. He adds that these tools could make teaching a lot easier for professors and hopes the college can implement them in the future.  

“There's a lot of new things, hopefully, coming for the crane department,” he says. “I'm really looking forward to being a part of it and to make the program much better.”

Written By: Jacklynne Graves, Third Year , Journalism - Mass Media Student

Faculty PD Day February 27th - Calling all faculty

Our annual Faculty PD Day is coming up soon! We're looking for faculty to present topics that highlight your innovative teaching approaches and/or practices.   

Our winter semester PD Day takes place on February 27 and will be featuring a keynote by Dr. Stuart Shanker, a highly renowned psychologist from York University.  Dr. Shanker will speak about self-regulation and how it can support our students' mental health, resilience, and the development of learning experiences.

Keynote Description

With recent advances in developmental neuroscience, attitudes toward maximizing the educational potential of every student are dramatically shifting. Research shows that the better students can self-regulate, the more likely they are to master more complex skills and concepts.  

But what is self-regulation exactly? How does it develop and why do some students struggle with it more than others? Most importantly, what can we as teachers, parents, and caregivers do to better facilitate its development? 

Submit a Topic


Picturing change: A Faculty-led Classroom Abroad takes students to Guatemala to learn about the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goal

Last October, seven students from the Journalism – Mass Media program and two from the Video Production program spent ten days in Guatemala learning about the people, the culture and themselves. They were part of a Faculty-led Classroom Abroad led by faculty member Danielle Harder. The project comprised of four parts. The first involved documenting work done by a Canadian organization, Students Offering Support, to support Guatemalan communities. The second saw the students leading a Digital Storytelling Workshop with Guatemalan youth where they produced stories about the SDGs and their impact. While there, the students also participated in the Global Classroom that included students in Canada, Ireland and Guatemala. Finally, in the last week of the semester, every student in the Journalism – Mass Media program participated in the #DCinGuatemala project. In teams, students produced multimedia story 'maps' using the videos, photos and interviews gathered during the FLCA. These maps tell the story of how Guatemalans are working to meet the SDGs. The FLCA was a transformational journey for the students who participated, while also being impactful for students at home through the sharing of cross-cultural knowledge.

Written by Danielle Harder – Professor in the School of Media, Art and Design 



What does the process of receiving accommodations on campus really looks like

Do you know what the accommodations process for your students' unique educational needs looks like and how they access those resources? 

Now, you can see what the application process is and what role you play when you receive a request for accommodation. See a step-by-step video produced by the Access and Support Centre (ASC) and the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (CAFE) on the entire process and how you can support your students' education.  

That's not all – we want your feedback and your questions too! Tell us what you thought about this video by completing a short survey below.

Complete the Survey


Learn what resources are available to serve your students' academic needs

There are so many resources available to DC students at SALS - the SALS ONLINE units found on DC Connect is just one of many resources. Want to learn more about what resources students have access to? Check out this PDF about SALS Updates for Winter 2020.



Did you know that you can bulk update all of your due dates and availability dates in DC Connect using the "Manage Dates" tool? This process may save you time! Here's how: 

  1. Click "Course Admin" found on the NavBar.
  2. Click "Manage Dates". (Look for this icon: Manage Dates icon)
  3. Use the "Filter by Tool" to sort by tool type.
  4. Add, Delete or Update due dates and availability dates as required.  


The Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship wants your stories

Are you currently involved in an experiential learning (EL) initiative, or planning an upcoming opportunity? Would you be interested in sharing the impacts of recent EL success at Durham College? Have one of your students had a great work-integrated learning experience (WIL) with an employer or host? You can share your story with the Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE). 

ORSIE wants to capture and share highlights from EL experiences from 2019-2020. If interested, share your stories, photos, and videos on your experience!

To get started, please see and share your EL Success Story Summary (form).



Have you heard of the Learning Portal?

The Learning Portal offers resources from colleges across Ontario on many topics such as writing, research, digital skills, and even how to Indigenize your courses. The Learning Portal even has a Faculty Toolkit with lots of resources on AODA, copyright and open educational resources. Perfect for both students and faculty who want to enhance their learning. Check out The Learning Portal website.



Do you need space to collaborate?

CAFE SPACE – DC faculty, do you need collaborative rooms? Do you have an upcoming Community of Practice (CoP) and need somewhere to collaborate? Or do you just need a quiet space to have a program coordinator meeting? Email cafe@durhamcollege.ca to check for available space. We're here to support you and your collaborative pursuits! 



UDL for Higher Education (un)Conference

Thursday April 30th- Friday May 1st: For those who were waiting until 2020 to register for the UDL in Higher Education (un)Conference, the early bird rate will be in effect until the end of January!

Whenever you register there is 25% off groups of 4 or more. Not sure who will be attending, but want to save? No problem! Register your group and provide participant details later so you can take advantage of the savings.


Register Now

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Call for Proposals

The annual conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) will take place in Ottawa from June 9-12, 2020.  The call for proposals has been extended until January 20, 2020.


Call for Proposals

Learning Outcomes and Experiential Call for Proposals

The 2020 Learning Outcomes and Experiential Learning Symposium will be held in Toronto from October 8-9, 2020.  The call for proposals is March 9, 2020.


Call for Proposals


Hands-on peerScholar Demonstration

Monday January 20th 10:00am - 11:00am: peerScholar is an online peer and self-assessment tool that allows students to provide anonymous peer feedback to their classmates' assignments. Join Visal & Brett as they facilitate an in-person demo to show you how to integrate peerScholar into DC Connect and learn how to set up all three phases (Create, Assess, Reflect).


Register Now

DC Connect: Rubrics Tool

Available Dates:
Monday January 20th 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Friday January 31st 10:00am - 11:00am

This advanced-level session will introduce the Rubrics tool in DC Connect. Participants are expected to have a strong familiarity with DC Connect, including a basic understanding of the Assignments tool, prior to attending this session.

Laptop computers are strongly recommended for this workshop.

Register Now

DC Connect: Supporting Student Success

Wednesday January 22nd 10:00am - 11:00am: This introductory-level session will introduce features of DC Connect that help to support students. In discussing features like Release Conditions and Intelligent Agents we will be changing our focus from content delivery and direct student interaction and instead looking at ways to guide students in their learning using DC Connect and assisting students who need it. The Pulse App will also be introduced.

Laptop computers are strongly recommended for this workshop.

Register Now

Using DC Connect Templates

Available Dates:
Wednesday January 22nd 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Thursday January 30th 10:00am - 11:00am

The percentage of mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) among college students continues to rise. DC Connect is now much more mobile friendly, with a cleaner and fully functional user experience. As more students are interacting with their course content and activities through their phones, it is important that your content is easily available. The use of templates creates a consistent course experience for your students.


Register Now

TurningPoint - Getting Started with Polling

Thursday January 23rd 11:00am - 12:00pm: TurningPoint provides live polling and interactive activities for use in the classroom via a web-based polling system or through PowerPoint Integration. Now that mobile technology is more attainable, TurningPoint has evolved to support the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model.

In this workshop we will:

  • Create an instructor account
  • Review the Licensing request process
  • Explore the capabilities of TurningPoint through Powerpoint Integration


Register Now

How to Setup Pass/Fail and Flexible Gradebooks

Available Dates:
Friday January 24th 11:00am - 12:00pm:
Monday January 27th 1:00pm - 2:00pm

The course outline lays the blueprint for the assessment of a course and faculty are required to create a gradebook in DC Connect that reflects the evaluation criteria described by it. Where do Pass/Fail courses fit into this picture? Also, the Evaluation Notes can describe policies for missed assessments and student friendly re-weighting opportunities that seem incompatible with the basic function of the tool.


Register Now

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Do you have any questions or suggestions? Contact us today!

The Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment
Durham College
905.721.2000 ext. 2593

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