Spark Teaching Symposium

What is Spark?

The goal of the event is to connect with all instructors from across multiple departments and faculties to highlight innovative teaching methods, celebrate teaching excellence, and to explore how we are moving forward as a liberal education institution. We will do this via lectures, panel discussions, poster presentations, round-table discussions and more.

When and Where?

Markin Hall Atrium, University of Lethbridge

April 30th and May 1st

Guidelines for Submission

The Teaching Centre and the Teaching Centre Advisory Council encourage anyone involved in teaching on campus to submit a proposal. We believe that every instructor on campus, from tenured faculty to graduate teaching assistants has something valuable to contribute to this symposium.

Guiding ideas

If you are looking for some ideas or guides to help you with your proposal, you may want to consider some of the topics below. The list below is not an exhaustive list of topics, nor do they have to be followed. We hope that they provide you with some possibilities for the symposium.

• What are some multidisciplinary endeavors have you undertaken or would you like to conduct?
• What is the data you gather telling you about the students in your course?
• How do you collect teaching feedback? What is the most valuable feedback you receive regarding your teaching?
• Tell us about your transition to an Open Education Resource. What challenges did you face? What were the benefits of adopting the OER? What do others need to understand about Open Education Resources?
• Explore your new assessment technique in an open forum of peers and receive valuable feedback and engage in valuable discussions related to your assessment strategy.
• What technologies are you exploring in your class that you feel are vital to the improvement of student learning?
• Explain and examine how your research feeds and improves your teaching. What aspects of research in your subject area inform how you teach? Does the research you completed make you reconsider how you assess your students?
• Discuss the challenges of teaching in an online environment. What strategies have you adopted that engage your students?
It is not our intention that you have to adhere to these categories. They are merely here to provide you some ideas. If you have an idea that does not subscribe to these suggestions we welcome a submission with the topic of your choice.

What formats are available?

We encourage you to submit a proposal in the format that will work best for you.  Each presentation will adhere to a 45-minute time limit regardless of the format. Below is a list of possible formats.
• Individual Presentation: A single presenter will present findings, comments, feedback and other information regarding a teaching-related project.
• Workshop: During a workshop, the facilitator will have 45 minutes in which they help the audience members produce a key take away for their teaching regarding a specific teaching area.
• Panel Discussion: A group of 2 or more people presents their findings, comments, and feedback as they explore their current teaching loads or teaching-related projects.
• Round-table Session: You will facilitate a discussion on a chosen topic. The goal of this session is to discuss questions and opinions the audience may have regarding the topic.

How do I submit a proposal?

All proposals must be submitted to the Teaching Centre no later than 4:00 PM on March 5th, 2018. Submissions should be sent to the Teaching Centre via email Below are some requirements for your proposal.

Download Application Form

Proposal Requirements

• Please keep your proposal to a maximum of 250 words.
• Please provide a brief and descriptive title for your presentation.
• All proposals must be sent in a Microsoft Word document format
• Provide essential details. (Name, Email, Phone, Faculty and Department, Position)
• Also, provide a brief one to two line biography for each presenter involved.
• Indicate the format you wish to use for your proposal (Individual Presentation, Panel Presentation, Round-Table discussion, or Workshop)

Last years event


#sparkul2017 Tweets

Keynote Address - Dr. Shelly Wismath

If you missed the keynote, watch it here.

Dr. Wismath began her career with the University of Lethbridge in 1983. She began teaching algebra in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, where she learned techniques to help develop critical thinking skills in her students. Since then, Shelly has been honoured with the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989, was also named the first Board of Governors Teaching Chair at the University of Lethbridge in 2006, and just recently in 2017 won a 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

Shelly is not only an excellent instructor, but is one of the biggest advocates at the University of Lethbridge campus for the recognition of teaching excellence, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her leadership in this area has led to many advances here on campus including, the development of a campus-wide teaching symposium, and the development of an ongoing professional development series based on current teaching topics. Her involvement with these projects to this day just solidifies her dedication to teaching at the UofL.


This year’s keynote address will focus on the evolution of Dr. Wismath’s teaching,  from the early years of learning how to teach to a move to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Join us as Shelly weaves together the different threads of her career to provide a tapestry that tells one instructor’s story of teaching development, teaching insight and love for teaching


Past Keynote Addresses

SPARK 2017 Keynote Address - Dr. Shelly Wismath

SPARK 2016 Keynote Address - Dr. Bryan Kolb

SPARK 2015 Keynote Address - Dr. Andrew Hakin