If there was one thing that Jessica Bell and the Faculty Development Days planning team of faculty members Dr. Suellen Breakey, Dr. Lynn Foord, and Dr. Suzan Kardong-Edgren, and Instructional Designer Tasneem Pota wanted to improve, it was participation.

“Generally, we’ve held the sessions in-between semesters over one or two days and many faculty and staff said they couldn’t make it during that time,” said Bell, the Director of the Bellack Library and Instructional Design. “So this spring, we changed the schedule and spread it out over the month of June with the hope that more people would be able to attend.”  

That’s exactly what has occurred, as participation significantly increased. While Bell attributed the increase to the sessions being held on Zoom, she also said developing a set schedule allowed faculty and staff to fit more sessions into their calendars.

The sessions are focused on teaching and learning, one of the Institute’s academic scholarship pillars. “These events are a great way to build community and support the amazing teaching our faculty do,” said Bell.

She was quick to praise the many faculty and staff who have presented at the sessions, noting that it’s a continuation of what has occurred since Faculty Development Days began several years ago. “It’s incredible how generous they are, because it takes a lot of time to prepare,” she said. “Rarely has someone said they couldn’t do it when I’ve asked in the past, and this year was no exception.”

The month’s sessions began with talks given by the two most recent recipients of the Nancy T. Watts Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Institute’s highest faculty recognition: Associate Professor of Nursing Rebecca Hill (2019) and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Sofia Vallila Rohter (2020). Dr. Hill’s talk focused on the ways she encourages student feedback as a path toward continuous improvement of her teaching. Dr. Vallila Rohter highlighted her use of videos to engage students in learning difficult content and making it stick.

Six other sessions were held:  

Strategies to Cultivate Inclusion and Belonging in the Classroom (June 14)
Presenters/panelists: Dr. Suellen Breakey (Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of Nursing), Dr. Emily Eddy (Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy), Karen Hunt (Instructor of Nursing), and Dr. Keshrie Naidoo (Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy).

Description: The panelists discussed the importance of inclusion and belonging as it relates to student learning and identified strategies and resources faculty can use to promote a sense of belonging in an inclusive environment.


  • Articulate the relationship between student belonging and student learning
  • Identify IHP faculty resources related to facilitating faculty development of an inclusive learning environment
  • Identify three strategies that contribute to an inclusive environment  
  • Identify three strategies that optimize a student’s sense of belonging in the classroom  

Lessons Learned About Advising in Light of COVID (June 16)
Presenters: Steve Ciesielski (Assistant Dean of Student Success, School of Nursing) and Dr. Mike Boutin (Assistant Dean for Faculty and Student Success, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences)

The session focused on the experience of advising during a pandemic including: what did we learn about student needs and wants, and what best practices can we bring forward into a whole new world?   

Pivot or Perish? Lessons Learned from Pandemic Teaching (June 21)
Presenters: Tasneem Pota & Joyce LaTulippe (Instructional Designers), featuring Bonnie Halvorson-Bourgeois (Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders), Dr. John Wong (Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Department of Occupational Therapy), and Dr. Mary Hildebrand (Interim Program Director and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy)

Description: The pandemic challenged people to be resilient and adapt their teaching and learning practices. Some faculty participated in book groups around the conveniently released “Small Teaching Online.” The session included strategies and innovation IHP faculty tried out and would recommend to others teaching and learning online.   


  • Learn resilient and adaptive teaching practices from IHP faculty.  
  • Identify active learning strategies in online teaching.  
  • Identify ways to motivate and engage students in the online environment.  
  • Identify lessons learned from the pandemic teaching to be applied in their own course design and teaching.   

Zoom Whiteboards and Annotations (June 23)
Presenter: Susan Stark (Instructional Technologist) Description: Looking for more student engagement and active involvement in your Zoom session?  Zoom whiteboard and annotations are great tools to use to explain hard concepts, explore ideas, and engage students interactively in Zoom. Participants learned how to use the whiteboard and annotation tools in Zoom as well as explore ideas for using them in their own courses.


  • Learn the functions and capabilities of the whiteboard and annotation tools in Zoom
  • Identify ideas for using these tools in your online course to encourage student engagement

SoTL: No “Truths” and Only Positive “Consequences” (June 28)
Presenters: Dr. Suzan Kardong-Edgren (Associate Professor, Health Professions Education), and Dr. Lynn Foord (Associate Professor, Health Professions Education)

Description: The focus uncovered and addressed questions about SoTL in a relaxed conversational discussion. The session discussed ways to think about faculty scholarship, overcoming barriers, and locating support for faculty scholarship at the IHP.


  • Identify common barriers to the scholarship of teaching and learning and ways to overcome those barriers
  • Identify resources to support your scholarship

D2L Data & Analytics to Monitor Student Engagement (June 30)
Presenter: Greg Moore (Senior Instructional Technologist and Application Support Specialist)

Description: D2L contains a variety of data and analytics tools. These tools allow instructors to monitor student engagement in their courses and take action as needed to improve the course and help students. This session will demonstrate the data and analytics that are available within D2L, how instructors can access them, and the types of actions that instructors can take using this data.


  • Access the D2L data and analytics tools
  • Interpret and export information from the D2L data and analytics tools
  • Consider how faculty can use this data in their teaching

Videos of many of the sessions can now be accessed on the D2L server. In July, all the sessions are expected to be posted on the Faculty Development Days section of the website.