CAFE Monthly

A Monthly Email for Academic and Faculty Enrichment


Professor Teresa Avvampato profile pictureThis month’s faculty spotlight is Teresa Avvampato, occupational therapist and program coordinator. Teresa Avvampato has been at Durham College (DC) for over 10 years. Avvampato started working part-time while working in the community as an occupational therapist (OT).

Avvampato first got interested in occupational therapy through her curiosity of prosthetic limbs.

“I knew I couldn’t make them, but I could help people learn to move with them,” she said. Although Avvampato doesn’t work with prosthetic limbs much, she looks back at her time as a working as an occupational therapist fondly. She’s worked in a variety of places, from Ontario Shores to patients looking to get discharged from the hospital.

She says her experience even helps her when being a mom. “I notice when I OT my kids sometimes, and think of ways to calm them down,” she says about her 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. 

Her office in the C-wing displays anatomical models, while pictures of her children hang above her desk.

Avvampato has a bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and a master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Western University. She earned her teaching certificate when she came to DC and has helped develop the curriculum for the college’s Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant program (OTA and PTA), where she now works as a full-time professor.

“I like to learn, I like networking and I like new opportunities so I said sure... it was really fun work,” Avvampato said when talking about developing curriculum. She worked mainly on the curriculum for the occupational therapy side of the diploma, along with occupational therapists from the community.

“They know more than me sometimes, and I ask them questions and learn from them,” she said.

Outside of work Avvampato likes to workout and run, sometimes bringing her dog with her.

Avvampato will continue to improve the OTA and PTA program through feedback from community partners and placements. She hopes her students leave the program knowing how to be successful in their professions.

Written By: Fiona Campbell, Journalism – Mass Media student



The final grade submission deadline is Wednesday December 18, 2019 at 12 p.m. (noon)*. Final grades are submitted through DC Connect, using the Export to Banner button. 

Please visit our final grade submission documentation to view step-by-step instructions on how to submit your grades in DC Connect, as well as review to ensure they were exported to Banner successfully. 

The Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment will be providing drop-in support if you require face-to-face assistance from 12pm - 1pm starting Monday December 9th to the following Monday December 16th. For more information please check out TREG

We can also be contacted by email at dcconnect@durhamcollege.ca

*Grade submission date does not apply to Apprenticeship, Ontario Learn courses, and School College Work Initiative & Academic Upgrading. 



Did you know that the order to which you link rubrics to assignments and then to grade items in DC Connect matters? Linking a rubric with a grade item prevents you from being able to link an assignment with that grade item. The rubric should be added to the assignment, followed by linking the assignment with the appropriate grade item. 



The science behind it

Have you heard about the Pomodoro Technique?  It is a strategy to remain focused and increase efficiency. Give it a try during marking season! With the pomodoro technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on one task at hand without distraction, followed by a five-minute break. You repeat that cycle four times and then take an extended break.  There are many online pomodoro timers to try.  

Want to know more, check out these resources:  





Teaching in a classroom

Winter Semester is Almost Here

The winter semester is almost here!  To start the semester on the right foot, here are a few suggestions for you: 

  • We’ve curated a suggested process for updating your course(s) in DC Connect. All resources and steps in one spot!    

  • A great way to get started is to clearly articulate how you expect your students to communicate with you. Some examples can be found on classroom management page. An example of a great way to set expectations with your students, would be to include this video in your DC Connect Announcements.
    How to email Professor Video thumbnail

  • Wondering what goes into an Access Plan for students? Not sure what to do when you receive an Access Plan? Check out this video to learn more about the accommodation process for students! We would love your feedback. 
    Accommodations Video thumbnail

  • Do you have any great tips to share with new part-time faculty?  Share with us on Twitter @dcCAFE . We’d love to share your tips at the new Part-time Faculty Orientation! 



Retrieval Practice

Retrieval practice refers to recalling concepts or events from memory. It is a learning strategy that leads to more durable learning compared to re-reading text or reviewing class notes (Brown, Roediger & McDaniel, 2014). Embedding teaching activities that require students to retrieve information throughout the class can help solidify their learning and curtail the forgetting that tends to occur. Having students complete a simple formative quiz, for example, leads to longer retention of information than simply re-reading or cramming information. The use of instructional strategies such as Think-Pair-Share or the integration of formative knowledge checks using educational technology such as Turning Point require students to pull information from what they’ve learned, resulting in a longer lasting effect.




TurningPoint mobile Screen CaptureDid you see the announcement about TurningPoint Technology on ICE?   

As of November 22, all Durham College (DC) faculty members have access to TurningPoint, a polling software solution for interactive participation in the classroom commonly referred to as 'clickers.' DC has used a hardware-based version of TurningPoint for many years. Now that mobile technology is more attainable, TurningPoint has evolved to support the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model. 

For more information, including how to access TurningPoint at DC, visit the CAFE website

Are you using a cool tool and want to share your experience with your peers in CAFE Monthly? Contact tanya.wakelin@durhamcollege.ca.


Professor Clayton Rhodes teachingThe Creativity Community of Practice (CCoP) is a group of Durham College employees who have participated in one of the creativity problem-solving professional development workshops facilitated by Gerrard Puccio of State University New York (SUNY).  Members of the CCoP come from support staff, administration and faculty.  

 The CCoP has three goals.  The first goal is to support the Durham College community in making use of creative problem-solving tools that either will directly or indirectly enhance the student experience.  The second goal is to engage the Durham College community in developing a culture of creativity and innovation. The third goal is to build collaboration opportunities with our creativity learning partners outside of Durham College.   

 Since the group was first formed in the fall of 2018, the CCoP has participated in faculty program meetings, facilitated professional development workshops, contributed to program newsletters, and engaged in creativity discussions with colleagues from Sheridan College.  

 If you would like to learn more about the Creativity Community of Practice, please connect with Clayton Rhodes (clayton.rhodes@durhamcollege.ca).



Deadline Approaching to Source Industry Partners for Winter 2020

Are you interested in bringing experiential learning into one of your courses this winter or finding new off-campus partners for an existing experiential course or capstone?  

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Riipen Timeline for educatorsRiipen would like to offer their immediate support to connect your students with curriculum-aligned projects from companies and nonprofits through Riipen, our online platform and marketplace for project-based experiential learning.  

Riipen can help you easily design an experiential assignment or capstone and connect it to over 3,500 off-campus partners. Right now there are plenty of options for professors seeking industry partners in Marketing and Market Research

There is still time to design an experience for the upcoming Winter term. You can get started by joining Durham’s experiential learning portal and exploring available projects through this sign-up link.

You can also book a call with Adam, our Riipen representative here, or email with any questions. 



Release of Fifth Indigenous Histories and Reconciliation Module: Bravery

To support Durham College's (DC) Indigenization Statement, the First Peoples Indigenous Centre (FPIC), in collaboration with CAFE, has developed a seven-part training module titled: Indigenous Histories and Reconciliation. These seven modules will be rolled out over the next few months and will be available under the self-registration tab on DC Connect.

The fifth module, Bravery, is available now. This module will focus on understanding the intention behind the creation of the residential school policy and recognize the ongoing impacts of the assimilationist polices on Indigenous peoples and their communities. This training module is available for the DC community to support an understanding of Indigenous histories in Canada, and to engage with reconciliation and decolonization, personally and professionally.

If you register on DC Connect now, you will receive updates when new content is released. FPIC is also hosting bi-weekly Learning Circles to discuss best practices and to create a community of practice around Indigenization. All are welcome.

Please register using the training calendar. The next Indigenous Learning Circle is scheduled for December 11 from 12 to 1 p.m.



New Resource Alert: Bibliography of Native North Americans 

The Library is committed to amplifying Indigenous voices and worldviews. One of the ways we do this through the development of Library collections that include Indigenous authors and filmmakers. This fall we are happy to add EBSCO’s Bibliography of Native North Americans to our online resource collection.

This database is the largest index to scholarly and community publications on Indigenous subjects. Search the literature for topics related to history, culture, health, education, government and daily life. BNNA provides indexing for more than 190,000 citations to books, essays, journal articles and government documents published in the United States and Canada. Dates of content coverage range from the 16th century to the present.  

This resource is a great place to see how you can add indigenous voices and worldview to your courses! 



DC CAFE Tully Privett
eLearning Developer

#MeetTheCAFE #elearning Developer in the CAFE, who is responsible for creating the new #DCConnect templates. He also assists #DCFaculty with #lms inquiries. Fun fact: As a DC alumnus and fellow teacher, Tully has taught students in every grade! #DCProud



Microsoft 365 - Teams

Thursday December 12th 2:00pm - 3:00pm: Do you need a solution for fostering group collaboration and communication? Join us as we highlight a tool available to students and faculty in Office 365 called Teams.

Register Now

Microsoft 365 - Sway

Thursday December 19th 10:00am - 11:00am: Do you need a break from PowerPoint? Join us as we highlight a tool available to students and faculty in Office 365 called Sway. Create and share engaging interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. Sway does the design work for you.

Register Now

TurningPoint - Getting Started with Polling

Friday December 20th 2:00pm - 3:00pm: 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. Come explore the capbilities of TurningPoint through Powerpoint Integration.

Register Now

New CAFE Website is Here!

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

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

Copyright © 2017 Durham College, All rights reserved.