“Understand that we’re human too!” Enabling better student mental health through teaching and learning practices’
Building on our December 2020 webinar, “Supporting faculty and staff to create a healthy and engaging learning environment,” this session will consider the University of Saskatchewan (USASK) as a case study, where, in line with the sector nationally and internationally, there is an increasing number of students experiencing and reporting mental health challenges often closely related to academic program stresses. Much of the sector (and media) focus to date has been on enhancing clinical supports and health promotion, which arguably positions us at effect rather than cause.
We will explore the multidimensional USASK response from three perspectives – faculty, teaching and learning enhancement, and student affairs – with a particular focus on a stone that is typically left unturned by such initiatives, teaching and learning practices. We will explore teaching and learning practices for student mental wellbeing rather than those about mental wellbeing.
In this session, we will be sharing the importance of stepping through the (currently virtual) classroom door to ensure meaningful, lasting change at cause. We will share our learnings on the practical ‘what and how?’ case, content and process for embedding learning and teaching practices that support and promote positive student mental well-being.
The team at USASK has done an excellent job of sharing their journey towards implementing this model, including a TEDx Talk from 2019 that sets the table for the upcoming webinar.
Dr. Nancy Turner is Director, Teaching and Learning Enhancement at the University of Saskatchewan. Her role involves working in partnership institutionally to support the ongoing enhancement of learning and teaching and the development of positive student learning experiences. Her role spans oversight of policy and system development as well as provision of quality academic and professional development and support. Nancy has worked in Canadian and UK Higher Education and has taught for over two decades in classroom, laboratory and online learning environments and led curriculum design and delivery in both national contexts. Nancy’s research focuses on change in higher education, particularly the development of teaching and learning practices at the level of the department and institution and informal and professional learning.
Dr. Murray Drew – Professor – Dept. of Animal and Poultry Science – University of Saskatchewan
Peter Hedley is Director, Student Affairs and Services at the University of Saskatchewan. For the past 20 years, Peter has delivered and supported learning experiences to diverse student populations in Europe and North America. His background within both Teaching & Learning and Student Affairs in the post-secondary context has enabled him to take a broad view around supporting and promoting student well-being and broader personal and academic success. As the son of a journalist and a nurse, Peter is passionate about telling stories that explore the connection between learning and wellness.