Teaching practices and student wellbeing: It takes a village

Student wellbeing is often deemed a responsibility of student services professionals. However, evidence suggest that subtle shifts within higher education classroom contexts can create a profound impact on student wellbeing.

In particular, emerging research indicates that instructors have important roles to play in fostering student wellbeing through their teaching. Such findings echo the foundational theories and the calls-to-action identified in the Okanagan Charter (2015).

This interactive workshop will share research and innovative projects that creatively engage instructors in enhancing student wellbeing from a large Canadian university. Tools and teaching practices that support student wellbeing will be shared. The audience will be engaged in a series of reflections and web interactions to identify possible strategies for supporting student wellbeing through effective teaching. Videos and testimonies will be shared for participants to ground their thoughts on lived experiences shared by members of the campus community including students, staff and faculty.

By the end of the session, participants will generate ideas on how to apply teaching practices that foster student wellbeing to their campus context.


Michael Lee is a Senior Instructor with Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia.  He has been teaching for over 20 years, and has acquired good understanding on needs of students and constraints faced by instructors.  Being a strong advocate for student wellbeing, he has been supporting student initiatives in bringing mental health awareness to campus.   He uses participatory-action-research method to give voice to students in identifying campus mental health needs. One of his research interest is teaching practice and student wellbeing.

Patty Hambler is the Director, Health Promotion & Education on the UBC Vancouver campus. As a student affairs professional and health promotion specialist, Patty advocates for systems-level change to enhance and support student mental health and wellbeing in higher education. Patty has over twenty years of experience in student affairs and combines collaborative leadership with innovation to create twenty-first century solutions for healthier campus communities where students, staff and faculty can thrive.

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