London Ontario STLHE 2016 logo

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Empowering Learners, Effecting Change

21st - 24th June 2016 London Ontario


The Pre-Conference program will be held on June 21st, 2016 at Fanshawe College, while the Main Conference program will be held June 22nd to 24th, 2016 at Western University.



Guidelines for poster and Pecha Kucha presentations (pdf) - (poster size requirements have been updated - June 7th)

View the STLHE 2016 SAPES mobile app

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce that our two keynote speakers are:

Dr. David Helfand

Dr. David Helfand

Dr. David Helfand, Past President and Vice-Chancellor of Quest University, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Helfand is a scholar of Astronomy, the Past President of the American Astronomical Society and has promoted a model of progressive education at Columbia University and Quest University.

QUESTions Instead of Answers: A Process-based Curriculum for the Twenty-first Century Prof. David J. Helfand, Columbia University & former president, Quest University Canada

The design of Quest University Canada began with a blank sheet of paper and a question: How do we create the most effective and engaging education for students who will graduate into a rapidly changing, globalized world? Our answer was to center education around the formulation of good questions and the processes by which one attempts to address them, rather than focusing instruction on the delivery of information. This leads naturally to having tutors who teach, rather than professors who profess, and to seminar rooms rather than lecture halls. It leads to dissolving disciplinary boundaries so good questions can easily cross them in a student-centered, project-based curriculum of exploration, rather than a fact-based transfer of information and its subsequent regurgitation. It leads to a collaborative rather than a competitive learning environment. And it produces students with highly developed skills in written and oral communication who are instinctively collaborative, inherently trans-disciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities.*

*adapted from my article in Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 2016, Vol. 36. N. 2, pp28-34.

Additional information about Dr. Helfand

Recent publications in teaching and learning:

  • Helfand, D. J. (2013). The Social Conquest of General Education. The Journal of General Education, 62(1), 43-51. doi: 10.1353/jge.2013.0004
  • Helfand, D. J. (2014, February 5). We evolve, but the university stands still. The Globe and Mail.
Dr. Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens

Dr. Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens

Dr. Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, Director of the Centre for Transformative Learning at Berea College, Kentucky, USA. Dr. Ortquist-Ahrens is a scholar of Teaching and Learning, and Comparative Literature and the President (2014-2105) of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD).

Empowering Students as Partners in Teaching and Learning

What happens when we invite students into genuine dialogue and collaboration about teaching and learning by design? When students share power and responsibility with faculty and staff for the shape of their education? While students' opportunities to make choices in the classroom, to affect the course of their educational experiences through providing feedback, and even to engage in teaching other students are not new, there is currently a groundswell of exploration internationally in "students as partners in teaching and learning" (Pauli, Raymond-Barker, & Worrell, 2016; Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten, 2014; Healy, Fling, & Harrington, 2014; Werder & Otis, 2010). Practitioners and scholars have documented a wide array of practices, from small scale classroom interventions to course or curriculum redesign, that involve significant partnerships with students and yield benefits for faculty, staff, and students.

Additional information about Dr. Ortquist-Ahrens

Recent publications in teaching and learning:

  • Felten, P., Little, D., Ortquist-Ahrens, L, & Reder, M. (2013). Program planning, prioritizing, and improvement: A simple heuristic. In J. Groccia & L. Cruz (Eds.). To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development, Vol. 32. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Anker.
  • Ellis, D. & Ortquist-Ahrens, L. (2010). Practical suggestions for programs and activities. In K.H. Gilllespie and D. L. Robertson (Eds.). A Guide to Faculty Development: Practical Advice, Examples, and Resources. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Conference Themes

The pre-conference theme is Academic Programs: Pathways, Transfer and Collaboration, and the theme for the main conference is Empowering Learners, Effecting Change. Conference threads expanding upon the themes are listed below. To see read more within each thread, click on the theme heading:

The pre-conference theme, "Academic Programs: Pathways, Transfer and Collaboration", offers attendees an opportunity for in-depth discussion and exploration of provincial, national and international opportunities and strategies for promoting student access and mobility within and across institutions. The pre-conference theme was chosen, in part, to showcase the college/university partnership of the co-hosts of STLHE 2016.

How can colleges, universities and other stakeholders collaborate to advance student success without requiring students to repeat prior learning? How can creative pedagogy and experiential learning transcend the boundaries of our institutions to promote a collaborative student experience? What are best practices in the areas of pathways, transfer and collaboration, and how can we assess the strength of these inter- and intra-institutional initiatives? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • University-to-college pathways and college-to-university pathways
  • College degrees
  • Collaborative degrees and programs
  • International collaborations
  • Intra-institutional collaborative programs (between departments of the same institution)
  • Intra-institutional pathways
  • Bridging programs
  • Faculty strategies for interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching
  • Creative pedagogy and experiential learning across institutions
  • Credit transfer
  • Laddering
  • Transfer student success
  • Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)
  • Pathways to the workplace
  • Articulation agreements

How can learners be inspired to augment their learning and bring about change through interactions with local and global communities? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Equity, diversity, and social justice
  • Reaching marginalized communities
  • Community partners and community-based research
  • Student perspectives on international exchange
  • Experiential and service learning, and internships
  • Social and civic responsibility
  • Global citizenship education
  • Internationalization
  • International exchanges

How can students be motivated to excel and to take control of their own learning? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Fostering student engagement
  • Social, economic and personal factors as barriers to motivating students
  • Obstacles to student learning
  • Creative vs. critical thinking
  • Entrepreneurial knowledge and skills
  • Problem solving
  • Student reflection on self motivation
  • Intellectual development
  • Encouraging student curiosity, grit and persistence

What are the innovative uses of technology that could help students to take advantage of new ways of learning, both in the classroom and outside of it? How can faculty use new e-learning technologies to expand and enhance their teaching practices? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Blended and online learning
  • Flexible learning spaces
  • Learning analytics
  • Improving digital literacy
  • Teaching in active learning classrooms and simulation laboratories
  • Supporting innovation in technology-enhanced instruction
  • Inclusive learning spaces that empower all students

How can curricula, teaching and/or assessment practices enable students to flourish and to demonstrate mastery in multiple ways? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Incorporating diverse perspectives into the curriculum (e.g. intercultural, indigenous, LGBTQ and accessibility)
  • Teaching strategies for working with diverse student populations
  • Flexible, student-driven curriculum design and assessment
  • Information literacy across curricula
  • Changing pedagogy to empower students
  • Student response to self-assessment
  • Promoting student creativity, entrepreneurial thinking and collaborative learning
  • Assessments incorporating indigenous methodologies and other ways of knowing
  • E-portfolios and other methods for documenting student achievement

What new and innovative practices by the various student support services contribute to the learner's academic success? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Student academic advising and support
  • Mental health programs and psychological counseling
  • Attending to cultural diversity and marginalized groups
  • Identifying/mitigating risks for student well-being
  • Services for students with disabilities
  • Learning skills programs
  • Information literacy programs
  • Helping students to develop confidence and challenge their own limitations
  • Writing and English as a Second Language (ESL) services
  • Supporting students outside the classroom
  • Students and the post-graduation job search
  • Organizing institutional supports for students

How can academia facilitate the teaching and professional development of graduate students, and promote ideas and scholarship amongst educational developers involved in graduate student training initiatives? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching Assistant (TA) training initiatives (including program design and evaluation)
  • Developing the teaching, research, and professional skills graduate students need for success in their degree programs and the workplace
  • Facilitating the teaching and professional development of international graduate students
  • Mentoring graduate students into the fields of educational development and the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Helping graduate students develop educational leadership skills
  • Supporting educational developers involved in TA and graduate student development

How can research into teaching and learning help to promote change in thinking and practices, thereby empowering learners? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Researching pedagogical practices
  • Inquiry into student learning
  • Investigating innovative learning technologies
  • Supporting SoTL scholars
  • Building SoTL community
  • SoTL theories and practices
  • Going public with SoTL
  • Students as collaborators in SoTL
  • SoTL across the disciplines
  • Institutional cultures and SoTL

How are, and how can, teaching faculty and professional staff involved in student learning be better supported? How are teaching innovations, evaluation of teaching, quality of teaching and cultures of teaching developing and shaping campuses? Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Professional development of new and experienced instructors
  • Programs to support teaching innovation by individual faculty
  • Fostering of a culture that values and recognizes excellence in teaching
  • Assessing educational development programming or centres
  • Development of valid and appropriate teaching and performance evaluations
  • Support of curriculum innovation and accreditation

How can institutional policies better support teaching and learning frameworks? Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting institutional mobility
  • The challenges of quality assessment
  • The cultures of teaching and learning
  • Supporting academic leaders such as Chairs, Dean and Program Heads
  • Making administrative roles more appealing and manageable for faculty

STLHE 2016 Call for Proposals (pdf)



Latest News

Now available: two quick reference guides for easy, up-to-date information! Check out the Pre-Conference Guide and Main Conference Guide for up-to-the-minute general conference information and information for presenters. Documents are being updated on a regular basis to keep you in the loop!
Exclusive opportunity for all STLHE Conference delgates: Have a fun and unique experience while at the STHLE Conference without ever having to leave London. Columbia Sportswear Canada is inviting STHLE delegates to visit their private Employee Store where you can purchase all current styles and selections of products from Columbia's entire family of brands, all at special employee pricing! Email: to register. For more info, visit the Book a Tour tab on the Conference info page.
A full conference program is now available! Check out the digital schedule, available through, to view session information, attendee profiles, and more. Create your free profile to day to take advantage of its customizable features!


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