Past Sessions

Designing for Accessibility: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – August 23, 2021


This workshop introduces concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and accessibility, and offers participants concrete stories of learners and how they may be impacted by particular course design choices and teaching practices. In addition to accessibility concepts and learners’ experiences, this session also offers key examples as to how faculty members can design their courses to be more accessible and inclusive, including features that accommodate the learning needs of the Deaf or hard-of-hearing community. We will engage participants in discussions about the what, how and why of accessibility, as well as their institutional and individual priorities and goals around these concepts. The focus of this workshop is on creating accessible online Arts courses using tools supported by Arts ISIT including Canvas, Kaltura and Zoom.

Afsaneh Sharif

Faculty Liaison | Senior Project Manager
Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology


Strang Burton

Associate Professor of Teaching
Language Diversity, Linguistic Pedagogy
Department of Linguistics

Encourage Student Engagement and Collaboration through Online Platforms- August 19, 2021


This webinar is for those who are curious about alternate ways to deliver course content and more meaningful options to use UBC Blogs or content management systems (CMS) in the classroom context. Instructors Jon Beasley-Murray (Associate Professor of Spanish) , Tamara Mitchell (Assistant Professor of Spanish) and Uma Kumar (Lecturer, German Language and German Studies) shared their valuable experience on using UBC Blogs and CMS to enhance student engagement and collaboration, and create shared learning experiences through these open platforms.


Participants in this session heard how open online platforms such as UBC Blogs and CMS platforms can be integrated into the online learning environment, as a means of involving students in the knowledge creation process, as well as ways to create interactive assessment activities.




Jon Beasley-Murray

Associate Professor of Spanish
Associate Head of Hispanic Studies
Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies

Tamara Mitchell

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies


Uma Kumar

Lecturer | German Language and German Studies 
Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies


Tapestry Geography Demo – May 21, 2021


Are you looking for ways to improve student engagement and interaction with online course content? This demo showcased the Tapestry Tool, developed here at UBC by Dr. Steven Barnes and his colleagues. This workshop focused on a new mapping feature that allows users to place nodes directly on a map via geographical coordinates. This allows instructors to create interactive 360-degree virtual tours, or situate other types of content. To learn more about the Tapestry Tool project, visit




Dr. Steven BarnesDr. Steven Barnes
Associate Head
Department of Psychology


Melanie ButtMelanie Butt
Director, User Experience & Interface Research
Tapestry Project, UBC


Aidin NiavaraniAidin Niavarani
Director, Technology & Application Development
Tapestry Project, UBC


Strategies for Bringing New Dimensions to Intercultural Learning into the Classroom and Beyond (May 19, 2021)

This panel presentation was part of Celebrate Learning Week  and engaged with the themes of student experiences and diversity and inclusion.

The session involved a panel of instructors from a diverse range of disciplines sharing about how they have promoted intercultural learning in their classrooms and how they have guided their students to reflect on their own positions and interactions, in relation to other cultures. Participants in this session learned more about a number of pedagogical approaches that enable more meaningful and respectful intercultural learning.

Among the topics that were discussed are Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects that involve exchanges among students across partner universities to promote students’ critical reflectivity, cognitive dissonance, and their general intercultural skills.

From a self-identity exercise to collaborating in groups to produce a visual representation of another culture, students are asked to engage in different activities and challenge their frames of cultural reference.

Another project drew on the impact of synchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) in a community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to explore how online socialization between learners of different target languages provides affordances for 1) reciprocal language learning, 2) changing participation within this virtual community of practice, and 3) learner agency as the ability to engage in metalinguistic and cross-cultural talk with language-exchange partners.

These projects help students to achieve the goals of:

  • developing knowledge, understanding and appreciation for different cultural values;
  • creating more capacity for openness and self-awareness;
  • reflecting upon Intercultural Competence activities; 
  • developing cross-disciplinary skills of collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, and communication to promote ongoing and future cultural and linguistic exchanges

Panelists also shared about the technologies that they have used to facilitate this intercultural learning virtually.

Some of the UBC-supported technologies that were discussed included:

  • how Canvas tools were leveraged in new ways and connected students with partners in other universities through Canvas Catalogue;
  • annotation-based discussion and group work using the Collaborative Learning Annotation System (CLAS);
  • using Zoom to enable synchronous communication for language-exchange learning between learners of different target languages


Watch Presentation Download Slides 



Brianne Orr-Álvarez

Assistant Professor of Teaching
Director, FHIS Learning Center
Language Program Director, Spanish



Strang Burton

Associate Professor of Teaching
Language Diversity, Linguistic Pedagogy
Department of Linguistics


Luisa Canuto

Assistant Professor of Teaching
Language Program Director, Italian
Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies


Saori Hoshi

Assistant Professor of Teaching | Japanese Language
Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts



Misuzu Kazama

Lecturer | Japanese Language
Department of Asian Studies



Joenita Paulrajan

Program Manager | Intercultural Studies and International Development Programs

UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication