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New Academic Staff Orientation

New Academic Staff Orientation is one of the ways that Dalhousie University welcomes new colleagues to our academic community. The Orientation is designed to introduce you to the resources, services and people available to help you get off to a strong start in your academic roles at Dalhousie. Academic staff who have joined Dalhousie during the past year are invited to meet other new colleagues and to discuss strategies and resources to support your academic work.

Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building

August 30 and 31 2017

All sessions take place in the Rowe Management Building, Room 1016, unless stated otherwise.

New Academic Staff Orientation 2017 Schedule

Wednesday, August 30

All sessions take place in the Rowe Management Building, Room 1016, unless stated otherwise.

8:00 to 8:55 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Rowe Building Atrium

9:00 to 9:15 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Richard Florizone, President

9:15 to 10:00 am

Supporting Student Success

Arig al Shaibah, Vice-Provost Student Affairs

This session will inform you about Dalhousie students' demographics and provide an opportunity to consider a student-centric and holistic perspective on student success. Awareness of the backgrounds, interests, and needs of students, as well as possible barriers and enablers to student success will help to situate your teaching in an understanding of the contemporary context in which our diverse students live and learn.

10:00 to 10:15 am

Networking Break

Rowe Building Atrium

10:15 am to 12:00 pm

Teaching and Learning at Dalhousie

Fiona Black, Associate V-P Academic
Anne Marie Ryan, University Teaching Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences
Lisa Goldberg, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Mike Smit, Associate Professor & Acting Associate Dean (Research), School of Information Management

Enhancing the transformative power of teaching and learning is a key strategic priority at Dalhousie.  One aspect of this priority is fostering and supporting innovation in program development and excellence in teaching and pedagogy.  In this session three award winning teachers will share their approaches to, and beliefs about, teaching and the impact they have had on student learning.  A brief overview of services offered by the Centre for Learning and Teaching will also be provided.

12:10 to 1:20 pm

Formal Lunch and Networking Opportunity

University Club, Great Hall

1:30 to 3:30 pm

Managing for Effective Student-Professor Relationships

Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching
Margie Clow Bohan, Manager, Dalhousie Writing Centre
Diane Hawco, Ombudsperson, Dalhousie Ombudsperson Office
Bill Hart, Adjunct Professor of Engineering
Emily Huner, Director, Operations, Student Health & Wellness
Patricia Laws, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs for the Faculty of Science
Hazel Ling, Social Worker, Student Health & Wellness
Quenta Adams, Director, Advising and Access Services Student Services
Joanne Mills, Director Counselling & Psychological Services

The reciprocal nature of the learning and teaching relationship demands fair and respectful relationships between students and professors.  As an academic community, Dalhousie underscores its commitment to a respectful learning environment with policies and procedures designed to provide an equitable learning experience for all students.  In this session, we will discuss a number of dilemmas that might be experienced by faculty and draw on university policies as well as the expertise of a range of colleagues to explore reasonable solutions.

Thursday, August 31

All sessions take place in the Rowe Management Building, Room 1016, unless stated otherwise.

8:00 to 8:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Rowe Building Atrium

8:45 to 9:30 am

Brightspace Basics (Room 1011)

Michelle McDonald, Faculty Support Specialist, ATS

This workshop will introduce attendees to the Brightspace interface.  We will look at system navigation, course homepages and the content tool. Each participant will have their own sandbox and will be able to add an announcement in the News widget and explore other widgets that can be added to the Homepage.  Participants will also work inside the Content Tool to be able to add modules to the Table of Contents, add content and manage modules.

Advanced Online Course Design (Room 1016)

Saira Akhtar-Alwazeer, Instructional Designer, CLT
Chad O’Brien, Instructional Designer, CLT

For participants who have previous experience with online course design and delivery, this workshop will focus on assessment and engagement in the online classroom.  This session will outline how you can enhance online interactions and explore the broad spectrum of possibilities for assessments in an online environment.  Synergies between assessment and engagement will be discussed and demonstrated as well.  Participants in this workshop are encouraged to bring a laptop to engage in some hands-on exercises.

9:30 to 10:15 am

Brightspace - Advanced Tools (Room 1011)

Michelle McDonald, Faculty Support Specialist, ATS

This workshop will introduce you to some of the advanced features and tools available within Brightspace.  We will look at Collaborate Ultra for web conferencing, Panopto for lecture capture and streaming media, Campus Pack for Blogs/Wikis/ Journals, Release Conditions for restricting content to certain individuals or groups, Intelligent Agents that allow you to encourage and motivate your students, and advanced homepage Widgets.

Introduction to Online/Blended Course Design (Room 1016)

Saira Akhtar-Alwazeer, Instructional Designer, CLT
Chad O’Brien, Instructional Designer, CLT

This workshop will introduce participants to the concepts of online course design and blended learning as well as other common strategies to incorporate Dalhousie’s technologies into face-to-face teaching.  An overview of online design and how it can serve to enhance a learner’s experience will be demonstrated.  Participants in this workshop are encouraged to bring a laptop to engage in some hands-on exercises.

10:15 to 10:30 am

Networking Break

Rowe Building Atrium

10:30 am to 11:45 am

Dalhousie Libraries' Services for Faculty

Lindsay McNiff, Learning and Instruction Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries
Melissa Helwig, Information Services Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

In this session, Dalhousie librarians will introduce you to the ways that we support faculty in your teaching and research.  We will talk about liaison services, including how to find and connect with your liaison librarian for research support of many types, collections questions, and information on other services like Document Delivery.  We will also talk about the ways we support your teaching and research, including instructional support, customized online resources, and research data management services.

What Can I do for my Students?  Copyright and the Curriculum

Lachlan MacLeod, Copyright Services Coordinator, Dalhousie Libraries
Roger Gillis, Copyright & Humanities Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Copyright can seem daunting, but the Copyright Office is here to help!  This session will discuss Dalhousie's copyright guidelines for Brightspace use, Library resources, and all classroom activities.  Understanding copyright and its application to research and education at Dalhousie is a shared responsibility, and a working knowledge of copyright policies and procedures can help ensure that you are using copyrighted material in an ethical and sustainable way.

11:45 am to 12:30 pm

Networking Lunch

Rowe Atrium

12:30 to 1:30 pm

Faculty Health and Wellness at Dalhousie

Heidi Lauckner, School of Occupational Therapy
Janice MacInnis, Manager, Organizational Health, Human Resources
Laurene Rehman, Professor, Leisure Studies, School of Health and Human Performance

In this session, you will hear from faculty members at various stages of their careers at Dalhousie as they share the strategies they use to sustain their health and wellbeing.  We will explore how new faculty can participate in, and find support for, their own health and wellness and review the university’s efforts under the Work Well strategy to connect the wellness of our people and the success of the organization.


1:30 to 3:00 pm

Pursuing Research Opportunities at Dalhousie

Nancy Hayter, Executive Director, Dalhousie Research Services
Maureen Keough, Research Facilitator, Dalhousie Research Services
Bertrum MacDonald, School of Information Management, Faculty of ManagementAlison Thompson, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science


Conducting research is an integral activity of academic careers.  This session will begin with representatives from the Dalhousie Research Services office providing an overview of the Canadian and Dalhousie research context and environment.  They will outline the services their office offers such as application and award guidance and the resources available.  Two faculty members will then discuss the challenges and opportunities you may encounter as you pursue your research projects. Topics will include: 1) establishing a research agenda; 2) collaboration and networking; 3) seeking mentors; 4) accessing resources; and 5) communication of research findings.  There will be opportunities for attendees to ask questions.

3:00 to 4:00 pm

Graduate Supervision: Finding the Fit

Marty Leonard, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
Jerry Banister, Associate Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Sara Kirk, Professor, School of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Health

Supporting graduate students through their program and mentoring them during the research and thesis writing process is an important aspect of university research, teaching and learning.  This session will give you the opportunity to hear how, as a graduate supervisor, you can help to ensure success for both yourself and your students.  Three faculty members will share how to determine if a student is a good fit during the recruitment process, and some approaches to building a strong relationship together once they are working with you that will enable degree completion and result in a positive experience for you both.  They will also discuss how you might frame this aspect of your career, including consideration of co-supervision opportunities as you get started in this role.



Downloadable Program [PDF - 192 KB]