From June 1 to 7, 2019, UBC hosted the 88th annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Vancouver campus, which brought together hundreds of faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows from across disciplines to explore diverse topics in teaching and learning. Gain insight into how Faculty of Arts’ Laura Moss and Tiffany Potter, as well as the CTLT’s Christina Hendricks and Jeff Miller, developed the Pedagogy Hub, which served in an important role as a facilitator of candid conversations about teaching during the 2019 Congress in our feature article. View the Pedagogy Hub’s schedule, archived below, for further details.


The Pedagogy Hub Conversations Space (Nest 2528)

A new feature for UBC’s iteration of Congress will be a Pedagogy Hub, creating a physical and intellectual space for Circles of Conversation around teaching and learning, inviting crossover discussions among associations and disciplines. The Pedagogy Hub will showcase outcomes of UBC’s philosophical and budgetary investments in teaching and learning as practice and site for critical inquiry.

Everyday features include:

  • Drop-in space for conversations about teaching
  • A chance to experience an augmented reality assignment: “Turning Public Space into Learning Spaces Through Augmented Reality”

Daily spotlight events:

Open all day, every day, all week.

Coffee Talks: Daily one-hour shots of caffeinated teaching inspiration

June 1 | 1:30 – 2:30 pm | Nest 2314

Life hacks for the classroom: Easy, small changes with a big impact on learning

Presented by Christina Hendricks (Philosophy, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT)) and Judy Chan (Food and Nutrition, CTLT)
Inspired by James Lang’s book, Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, we invite you to join us in exploring how to create meaningful learning through the small, everyday decisions you make in engaging in classroom practice and communicating with your students. We will focus on activities with a minimal amount of time investment that still provide significant boosts in student learning. In this interactive workshop, you will experience various active learning techniques and reflect on how you might incorporate them into your own teaching context, in a supportive environment.

June 2 | 10:30 – 11:30 am | Nest 2311

How many?!? Successful strategies for active learning in larger classes

Presented by John Vigna (Creative Writing), Allen Sens (Political Science), Tiffany Potter (English), and Daniel Justice, by video (First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS))
Come experience some new strategies for student engagement in large classes in the Humanities, from 75 to more than 300 students, from gamified syllabi and student guilds and in-class tweaks, to collaborative practices and easy, innovative tech.

June 3 | 10:30 – 11:30 am | Nest 2314

Can students really evaluate each other? Using peer feedback and peer grading

Presented by Catherine Rawn (Psychology), Katja Thieme (English), Andrew Owen (Political Science), and Isabeau Iqbal (CTLT)
If you are curious to explore why you might incorporate student peer assessment (SPA) into your teaching and ways to do so, you will enjoy this interactive presentation by three faculty members who have each implemented SPA in vastly different ways. Come learn why they continue to use this approach and practical strategies they’ve learned along the way.

June 4 | 10:30 am – 12:15 pm | Nest 2528

The doctor is in: Drop-in with 3M and Killam award-winning teachers

Presented by Steven Barnes (Psychology), Sara Milstein (Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies), and Tiffany Potter (English)
Have coffee with winners of the UBC Killam Teaching Prize or specialists from the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology for drop-in discussion, advice, or information on the best current research on teaching and course design. Whether you are early career or have been teaching 20 years, we’re interested in your ideas and questions.

June 5 | 10:30 – 11:30 am | Nest 2314

Using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in your courses

Presented by Tara Mayer (History), Mark Lam (Psychology), and Christine D’Onofrio (Art History/Visual Arts)
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is a discipline devoted to research documenting the impact of approaches, designs, and methods – come hear some recent examples of the research behind our profession and talk about how this newer kind of scholarship can work for you!

June 6 | 10:30 – 11:30 am | Nest 2311

What is SoTL, and how can I get it funded and published?

Presented by Silvia Bartolic (Sociology), Siobhan McPhee (Geography), and Leah Macfadyen (Education)
Discover this growing interdisciplinary field of research, find out how it can be funded, carried out, and published.

Featured Talks

June 2 | 10:30 – 12:00 pm | Nest 2306

Authority Under Attack: Managing Risks in the Classroom

Presented by Aftab Erfan (Equity & Inclusion)
The university has often been a prime site for a society’s culture wars and the present moment is ripe with the possibility of hostile interactions in many a classroom. While the risks are practically (arguably) inevitable how the instructor reacts to hostility can dramatically impact the experience of students. Ideally the instructor’s focus should be on how to minimize harm – particularly to the most vulnerable members of the class – and on turning the moment into an opportunity for deepening the learning. But what happens when the attack is directed at the instructor? How does the instructor hold their seat and navigate the attacks? Facilitated by UBC’s Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement this workshop provides a framing and some practical advice for instructors who find themselves in the line of fire.

June 4 | 3:30 – 5:00 pm | Nest 2311

Inclusive Teaching: Maximizing Student Success, From Course Design to Classroom Practice

Presented by Hanae Tsukada (Equity & Inclusion) and Hélène Frohard-Dourlent (Equity & Inclusion)
This interactive workshop provides an overview of inclusive teaching and its impact on students with an emphasis on equity and inclusion at every step of course design and delivery. The workshop actively involves participants in sharing challenges, successful strategies and best practices to intentionally design their teaching to maximize success in diverse classrooms.

Themed Days

June 2 | Pedagogies in Asian Canadian Studies

Presented by John Paul Catungal (UBC Social Justice Institute)
What challenges and questions define Asian Canadian Studies today? How can Asian Canadian Studies respond to community concerns? How can we learn from personal stories and collective memories in Asian Canadian communities? Opening panel with community elders, leaders, and history holders followed by facilitated group discussion. This is a dialogue event and we encourage all students, teachers, and community members to participate.

For more information, visit

Presented by John Paul Catungal (UBC Social Justice Institute)
Recent conversations about work conditions in higher education have focused attention on the emotional labour expected of and performed by faculty, staff, and students of colour. For example, in a recent article on the topic published in Ubyssey (UBC’s student newspaper), interviewed faculty described the range of unrecognized work involving racialized contexts and its toll on mental and physical health. How can we account for the role of emotional labour in the practice of Asian Canadian Studies, including its impact on contingent faculty? How can we understand emotional labour as broader social phenomena beyond the academy? This session will be a long table discussion in which everyone is invited to enter into a space of respectful and conscientious dialogue.

For more information, visit

A showcase of student projects in Asian Canadian studies using digital media. List of projects will be posted shortly.

For more information, visit

How can digital media production be integrated into the teaching of Asian Canadian Studies? How can students and instructors use digital media as a means for community engagement? Workshop will include hands-on activities as well as sharing of questions and experiences.

For more information, visit

What is the role of Asian Canadian Studies in supporting racialized students across various campuses? How can the field foster community building while improving graduate and undergraduate student experiences? This session centres student voices through facilitated small group discussions.

For more information, visit

June 3 | Valuing Partial Language Competencies in Language Education

Presented by Luisa Canuto (French, Hispanic & Italian Studies) and Jason Lieblang (Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES))
Operating between languages involves the ability to comprehend and appreciate differences in meaning and language use while interacting successfully with members of different language communities. This symposium will engage language educators in a discussion of dynamic conceptions of language learning that foreground language knowledge as “partial.” Two leading scholars will be joined by a panel of language educators and researchers who will address these issues from multiple perspectives and lead participants in a facilitated conversation aimed at reflecting on, and possibly developing, new learning outcomes for their own courses. The symposium, a collaboration between UBC’s Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education, invites language teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and community practitioners to collaboratively reflect on and speak to the different ways language knowledge can be valued in different contexts, with different learners.

June 4 | Integrated Experiential Learning in Classroom, Curriculum, and PhD Co-op

Presented by Kerry Greer (Sociology), Tara Mayer (History), and Kari Grain (CTLT)
Community-engaged learning provides the most active of learning experiences by combining academic work and real-world collaboration with community partners. Discover how this approach can be integrated as part of a traditional course or designed as a curricular innovation like UBC’s Urban Ethnographic Field School.

Presented by Elizabeth Hodgson (English), Jonathan Newell (PhD Co-op Graduate), and Janey Dodd (PhD Candidate)
A supposed “crisis” in the Humanities PhD has been much debated. UBC’s PhD Co-op option provides well-paid, high-level, four-month professionally-relevant work placements that provide experience in the many values of the Humanities PhD beyond the professoriate: in academia, government, and the private sector. Discover what this innovation offers to graduate students and their perception of their degrees, and how it can work at other universities.

Presented by Julie Walchli (Arts Co-op) and Letitia Henville (Arts Co-op)
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UBC Arts Co-op, which provides SSH and Creative and Performing Arts students with experiential learning opportunities that enable them to apply the knowledge and skills they develop in their academic studies. Drawing on the Conference Board of Canada’s 2018 report Getting to Work. Career Skills Development for Social Sciences and Humanities Graduates, our presentation will explore how our customized pre-employment curriculum and our model of immersive workplace learning both helps Arts students deepen their learning and supports their transition out of university. Drawing on case studies, this session will provide examples and resources to support those considering starting or growing similar programs at their schools.

June 5 | Teaching Modern Languages: Assessing Language Performance

Presented by Luisa Canuto (French, Hispanic & Italian Studies), Jason Lieblang (CENES), Stephanie Palisse, (French, Hispanic & Italian Studies), and Qian Wang (Asian Studies)
This symposium focuses on language performance assessment and provides an opportunity to learn from a leading scholar in the field of language education, as well as offers an overview of diverse evaluation methods that have been developed and tested by UBC faculty members working with language learners across a range of languages. In subsequent audience group discussions, participants (faculty members, graduate and undergraduate language students, and BC K-12 language teachers) will engage in a facilitated conversation with the goal of helping all participants to consider and develop new assessment strategies for their own courses.

June 6 | Teaching with Technologies

UBC Faculty of Arts Instructional Support and Information Technology (Arts ISIT) is pleased to share some the work we have been a part of in the field of teaching and learning with technology. We will show how innovative learning technologies have helped to facilitate peer-to-peer learning through discussion tools, have demonstrations of UBC created tools such as ComPAIR and the Collaborative Learning Annotation System (CLAS) as well as a presentation on how Learning Analytics can support program planning and classroom practices. Lastly, we will showcase how Arts students are using ePortfolios to share their skills and knowledge with employers and publicly.

Presented by Julie Wei (Arts ISIT) and Sanam Shirazi (Arts ISIT)
Learning analytics make use of the trace data we leave behind as we teach and learn. This information helps identify and make sense of patterns and has enormous potential to improve our teaching and learning, and to enhance the student experience. In this talk, Julie Wei and Sanam Shirazi from UBC Arts Instructional Support and Information Technology (ISIT) will show how learning analytics can benefit program planning and classroom practice, and provide quality assurance. 

Presented by Neil Armitage (Sociology), Fred Cutler (Political Science) and Brianne Orr Alvarez (Spanish/Arts One)
This session will feature three UBC Faculty of Arts instructors sharing their experiences with diverse communication tools that use to help their students connect with and learn from each other. Fred Cutler will explain how he has used the flexible chat tool, Mattermost in his Political Science classes. Neil Armitage will share how his sociology students use the Piazza discussion platform to answer each other’s questions and Brianne Orr-Álvarez will speak about how the Tandem language exchange application gave her students to opportunity to connect with other Spanish language learners.

Presented by Jenny Peterson (Political Science), Stephen Ney (English) and Jon Guarin (Arts ISIT)
Open Digital Platforms allow for students to become immersed in their learning and understand course content in more meaningful ways. In this session, Jenny Peterson (UBC Department of Political Science) will share how her students implemented interactive timelines and compiled comparative data in her International Conflict Management course. Stephen Ney (UBC Coordinated Arts Program and Vantage College) will talk about his use of ComPAIR to help students engage with comparative peer review on multiple levels to improve their writing. 

Presented by Sebastian Prange (History), Florian Gassner (CENES), Strang Burton (Linguistics) and Leanna Chow (Arts ISIT)
The Collaborative Learning Annotation System (CLAS) allows students to interact and engage with multimedia content through text, audio and video annotations. This discussion will feature: Sebastian Prange (UBC Department of History) explaining how he has made use of image annotations on CLAS to help his student engage critically with historical images, Florian Gassner (UBC Department of Central, Near Eastern and Northern European Studies) showcasing his use of video annotations to help his students develop their German language skills, and Strang Burton (UBC Department of Linguistics) sharing how his linguistics students use CLAS to share and annotate videos and participate in a linguistic Scavenger Hunt.

Presented by Fred Cutler (Political Science), Julie Walchli (Arts Co-op) and Heidi May (Faculty of Arts)
How can students showcase their learning beyond the classroom? Is there a way they can demonstrate how their course work develops job related skills? Yes, with ePortofolios. Join Fred Cutler and Heidi May from the UBC Faculty of Arts and Julie Walchi  from UBC Arts Co-op to learn more about how online portfolios are changing how students apply their classroom learning, make connections between their different courses and open up career options by building online portfolios. 

Presented by Leanna Chow (Arts ISIT) and Meena Kahlon (Arts ISIT)
“To teach is to learn twice”- that is the principle behind peer assessments and it explains why they have become so popular. But is there a way for instructors to implement peer assessments without using up valuable classroom time? We believe the answer is peer assessment tools and this session will cover a variety of them. Leanna Chow and Meena Kahlon from UBC Arts Instructional Support and Information Technology (ISIT) will be showcasing how many types of peer reviews can be facilitated with technology. Our survey will include the Collaborative Learning Annotation System (CLAS) multimedia annotation platform, iPeer, the group work evaluation tool, ComPAIR, the peer answer comparison technology and PeerScholar, the online peer and self-assessment platform. 

To learn about all of the events taking place during Congress 2019, please visit

Top of page