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TLC News

Headlines from the Teaching and Learning Centre

The TLC’s newest educational consultant has a strong background in physics, course development, and teaching methods

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Daria Ahrensmeier

Daria Ahrensmeier joined the Teaching and Learning Centre as an educational consultant at the beginning of May. She will be working within the Faculty of Science and will spend a significant amount of time each week at SFU Surrey.

Daria is a theoretical physicist who loves teaching, research, developing new courses, and experimenting with a variety of teaching methods. She studied physics, mathematics, and a little philosophy at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, where she also designed and taught seminar courses on the history and philosophy of science. She wrote her PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) thesis on the application of non-equilibrium quantum field theory to heavy ion collisions while teaching material science labs for engineering students at the University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld. As a postdoc at the University of Winnipeg and at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, she worked on adiabatic quantum computation and entanglement dynamics and developed and taught a math skills workshop tailored to the needs of science students. During her two years as an assistant professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, she learned how to manage the high teaching load of a young faculty member while experimenting with student-centred teaching methods, redesigned a course on waves, and co-supervised student projects on entanglement measures in photo-ionization. Most recently, Daria taught large first-year physics courses for science and engineering majors at the University of Calgary. She has developed, tested, and implemented “labatorials” for those courses, i.e., physics education research–inspired hybrids of labs and tutorials that emphasize inquiry and understanding of core concepts. She also trained the teaching assistants and worked on integrating the labatorials with the course lectures, assignments, and exams.

Learn more by visiting Daria’s profile page.

Invitation to join teaching circle on “Teaching with media”

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Ted Kirkpatrick (Computing Science) has organized a teaching circle for instructors in the Faculty of Science and others. The event, scheduled for Monday, November 14, will consider themes related to teaching with media, such as developing innovative assignments and incorporating new technologies into the classroom.

Participants will sit in on “Introduction to prose genres,” a course by Paul St. Pierre (English) that addresses the role played by social media and multimedia in a large first-year writing-intensive course. This integrated media course uses digital text, image, sound and video messaging to examine the history, theory, and practice of mass and social media. A course blog and a Twitter account connect students and their instructor inside and outside the classroom.

Classroom observation from 1:30 to 2:20 pm (C9001) will be followed by a discussion from 3:30 to 4:20 pm (EDB 7510) with St. Pierre and several University Teaching Fellows. Please contact Erin Barley (Science) at ebarley@sfu.ca if you would like to attend. Space is limited.