CAFE Monthly

Friday, October 4th, 2019


This month, we begin our Faculty Spotlight feature. We are planning to have this spotlight every month to highlight the exemplary teaching practices that are taking place in our classrooms. Highlighted this month are faculty who are nominated for Durham College's 2019 employee awards. We asked each faculty - What is your go-to engagement teaching strategy?

Ali Taileb
Ali Taileb
SET Professor

Ali engages his students by integrating authentic real-life project examples into his courses. When delivering the curriculum, Ali ensures that all of his students are given a voice to express their ideas and opinions. This approach supports students connecting with the content in every unit.
Joyce Myers
Joyce Myers
SET Professor

Joyce ensures that the course material remains relevant for her students. There are always new and exciting developments in the microbial world to keep her lectures current! She also injects humour into her classes; she finds that telling stories about her experiences in industry working with microbes provides comic relief!
Kevin Keays
Kevin Keays
START Professor

Kevin brings practical industry examples into his classrooms so his students can make the direct connections between what they're learning in the class and industry practices. This includes showing videos that he makes in industry. This allows students to connect the content with real industry scenarios.

Students need to know why the content that they are learning in class is relevant, so Kevin's curriculum highlights real scenarios so students can apply the knowledge that they've learned in a practical way. All of Kevin's assessments are scenario-based, requiring students to apply their critical decision-making skills. Last year, an impressive 84% of his graduates had a job in industry by the time they graduated!
Kris Felstead
Kris Felstead
MAD Professor

Kris's favourite strategy to engage his students is to establish a culture of learning. His work with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion included a challenge to create a website “SeeDifferent” that students would use to learn and share experiences based on the foundation of inclusion and non-discrimination.

The challenge from an instructional standpoint was to cover the learning outcomes in the Portfolio class while substituting an outside initiative that fits within the learning outcomes of the class. The SeeDifferent website was vetted by students at public and junior high schools for design and user interface functionality (including all social media channels brought into one site) and was distributed as a government initiative campaign for inclusion.

Adapting the learning culture was supported through a number of ways: 1) the creation of virtual meetings with the students’ schools that couldn’t attend physically; 2) mentorship “progress checkpoints” for students developing the site to provide support and direction; 3) inclusion of the SeeDifferent team in the gantt chart development cycles that included “global classroom” style discussions with students, staff and faculty at all developmental stages of the site.

This project not only covered all of the learning outcomes in the curriculum, it provided students an opportunity to effect change with their peers, community, external stakeholders and the general public. Students felt they were able to “make a difference” and the classroom significance was lifted to higher levels of performance and understanding of the material supported by a confidence that the skillset that they are acquiring is indispensable to the community and Industry they will be entering upon graduation.


As a reminder, the midterm grade submission deadline is on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 12 p.m. (noon)*. Midterm grades are submitted through DC Connect, using the Export to Banner button.

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

The Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment will be providing drop-in support for those that require assistance. We can also be contacted by email at dcconnect@durhamcollege.ca.

*Midterm grade submission date does note apply to Apprenticeship, Ontario Learn courses, and School College Work Initiative & Academic Upgrading.
SAVE THE DATE! PD Teaching Practices
Bookmark your calendars and join us in a series of PD sessions taking place on October 24th. More information will be sent via email and on our Twitter page @durhamCAFE


SALS Fall Update PDF
Did you know SALS provides academic integrity support? Did you know they have resources for faculty on how to use SALS to support your students including class orientations? Check out their fall 2019 update!


John-Paul Mann, Finance Professor & Program Coordinator, in the School of Business, IT and Management shares a best practice for using Respondus Lockdown Browser.
I am an advocate of using electronic testing for evaluations, and using Respondus is a simple technology aid within DC Connect that helps "level the playing field" for all students, by helping to reduce cheating. Respondus locks down student browsers preventing navigation to other sites or opening additional windows during an evaluation. 

Here is my Best Practice;
Before using Respondus on an evaluation for grades, create a simple one question quiz with Respondus enabled. Have students open the simple quiz and if they have not already added Respondus to their laptops, they will be prompted to initiate set-up. This simple one question quiz with Respondus added to their laptops, helps prepare students and confirms they are ready to complete a quiz with Respondus enabled. 

This quick small activity will save students the frustration and anxiety of trying to load Respondus just before taking an evaluation.

Want to Know More?

Check out the resources available for faculty and instructions for faculty to share with their students.



What is an Intelligent Agent in DC Connect? Wonder how you could use Intelligent Agents in a positive way in your course? Donna Pegg, a faculty member and Program Coordinator in the School of Health, requested that we make a video on the positive ways to use Intelligent Agents. Great idea Donna! This video was developed by Dani, one of our work study students.
Intelligent Agents Video

Want step-by-step instructions on how to create an Intelligent Agent? Watch this video or click here to see written instructions.



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 entitled Indigenous Histories and Reconciliation. The first module, Love, is now available. This module will focus on the importance of land acknowledgements, the history of the FPIC and review terminology. The remaining six modules will be rolled out over the next few months and will be available under the Self-Registration tab in DC Connect. Module two, Respect, is coming out on Monday!

This training module is available for the DC community to support an understanding of Indigenous histories in Canada and 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 create a community of practice around Indigenization, all are welcome. Please register using the training calendar for the next Indigenous Circle.


The Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) welcomes Amanda Brown to the team as the manager of Experiential Learning. In this role, Amanda will be responsible for leading the co-ordination and expansion of a broad range of experiential learning opportunities across Durham College, with a focus on work integrated learning. This position has two major areas of responsibility: initiating and maintaining a strategic outreach initiative to develop and enhance relationships with experiential learning hosts; and streamlining internal practices across academic schools to improve consistency and achieve efficiencies. In collaboration with various departments and external stakeholders, Amanda will be responsible for achieving deliverables that improve student satisfaction with, and access to, impactful experiential learning.
If you’re interested in exploring or expanding experiential learning opportunities for students in your program, please contact Amanda (amanda.brown@durhamcollege.ca).


Riipen has created a landing page dedicated to providing professors and coordinators a much easier, more intuitive, and more informative avenue for registering for a Riipen account in time for the Winter semester. Click here to learn more.


Online Video for Teaching & Learning: Films on Demand

Video content is a great way to enrich teaching and learning in the classroom and in Blackboard. Your Library subscribes to many online video collections that provide access to more than 100,000 streaming video titles from across the disciplines. All the videos in our collection are licensed for educational use, which means you can show them in class or embed them in our Learning Management System.

Films on Demand is one of your Library’s largest collections of online videos. Search or browse more than 36,000 videos and nearly 300,000 segments from content providers including HBO, National Geographic, BBC and PBS. Content includes feature documentaries as well as vocational and technical training videos. Create clips and playlists to use in class and share with your students via DC Connect.
For information about how to access or use Films on Demand in your teaching practice, please reach out to your Subject Specialist Librarian. Our team of Librarians are always happy to support teaching and learning in your classroom!



DC CAFE Visal Chea
Learning Technologies Specialist

#MeetTheCAFE This is Visal Chea, Learning Technologies Specialist in the CAFE, who assists faculty with #LMS and #edTech inquiries plus builds courses and #learningObjects for DC. Fun fact: Visal started cooking when he was 8, making a stir-fry for his family! #DCProud


View all upcoming PD Sessions on the Training Registration website.
SAVE THE DATE! PD Teaching Practices

Kathy McKenzie, BITM Professor, is running four sessions on mindfulness for faculty!

Session 1:
Introduction to Mindfulness
(Tuesday October 8th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm)

Description: This 1-hour session will introduce you to the practice of mindfulness, for both yourself and as a consideration for engagement with students. We will begin with a discussion about mindfulness and meditation and end with a mindfulness practice set.


Session 2 – 4:
Mindfulness Follow-up
(Tuesday October 15th and 29th and November 5th from 1:30pm to 2pm)

Description: This 30 minute follow-up to “Introduction to Mindfulness” with Kathy McKenzie is our opportunity to discuss the mindfulness practice introduced in the first session and subsequent practices introduced in the follow-up sessions.

TREG Calendar
2020 Higher Ed. in Transformation Symposium
Durham College, in collaboration with Ontario Tech University and the Technological University Dublin, is hosting the fourth Higher Education in Transformation Symposium (HEIT 2020) from May 4 to 6, 2020. The HEIT Symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers who are working to reinvent and reinvigorate higher education.
Call for submission is open! HEIT is looking for papers, workshops and panel members. Submit your abstract by November 15th 2019.

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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