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, round-table discussions and more.

When and Where?

Markin Hall Atrium, University of Lethbridge

April 30th and May 1st

Schedule Overview

Monday, April 30th

12:00- 1:00 PM - Registration and Light Lunch

1:00 - 1:15 PM - Welcome

1:15 PM - Keynote Address with Dr. Leroy Little Bear (Markin Hall Atrium)

2:30 PM - Concurrent Session One

1) How I Learned to Stop Lecturing and Love the F-Bomb: A Beginner’s Field Report - Aaron Taylor, Oriana Carciente, and Thomas Kazakoff - ROOM M1035

2) A year with Crowdmark - Sean Fitzpatrick - ROOM M1060

3:30 PM - Concurrent Session Two

1) "Teaching Me Back": 25 years of Teaching/Learning with FNMI & Indigenous Students  by Andrea Glover - ROOM M1090

2) Smartphones and Their Impact on Student Learning: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Randall Barley - ROOM M1035

4:00 PM - Wine and Cheese

Tuesday, May 1st

9:00 - Concurrent Session 3

1)  Kinesics and Acoustics: How your voice and movement can enhance your teaching topic by Roberto Bello - ROOM M1090

2) Ed Talks: Exploring Pathways to Teaching Excellence - David Slomp - ROOM M1040

3) “Free to Dissent? Reflections on Handling Controversial Matters in Class Discussions.” by Karl Laderout - ROOM M1060

10:00 - Concurrent Session 4

1) Supporting Graduate Writing in a Thesis or Dissertation by Robert Runté - ROOM M1040

2) How Group Work Can Inhibit Student Learning and Make Professors and T.A.s Cranky by Harold Jansen and Shanea Nilsson - ROOM M1036

11:00 - Concurrent Session 5

1) Equipping Educators to Tackle Fake News by Emma Black - ROOM M1060

2) “A Critical Reading of Course Evaluations: problems and potential” by Janay Nugent and Jackie Rice - ROOM M1035

11:45 AM - 1:00 PM - Lunch (Markin Hall Atrium)

1:00 - Concurrent Session 6

1) Cooperative and active learning strategies in a post-secondary classroom by Richelle Marynowski - ROOM M1035

2) Not with a whimper but a bang: One way to finish off the semester in a senior class by Jennifer Mather - ROOM M1040

2:00 - Concurrent Session 7

1) The Tricks of the Trade - Facilitating Learning Online (courses, flipped classroom, modules, resources) speakers will include Mark Zieber, Marlo Steed, Sandra Cowan, Lorraine Beaudin, Amandine Pras, Carina Zhu, Joerdis Weilandt - ROOM M1035

2) Considering the practice and purpose of history education. “To what degree does a procedural approach to history education enhance the development of a historical consciousness?” by Aaron Stout - ROOM M1040


Download the full program

The program above does not have full descrpitions. If you wish to see a program before the syposium, you can download a PDF version here.

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Leroy Little Bear

This year we are honoured to have 2003 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education and 2004 University of Lethbridge Honorary Degree Recipient Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Photo Credit: Alberta Order of Excellence



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 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