Conference theme

Courageous Practices

 Equity, Diversity and Belonging in Postsecondary Education


In recent years, the calls for action for equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) have been amplified in all aspects of society. From social movements not seen in generations, better understandings of privilege and power, to affirming multiple ways of knowing and being, we have seen an evolution of activity since the movement began, with meaningful work undertaken and carried forward. Courageous practices often take risk but are needed to create sustainable and meaningful change.   

We see a focus on systemic change that affirms differences, deepens and enriches learning, fuels creativity and innovation, increases representation, ensures equitable access, promotes engagement, and creates safe spaces for meaningful engagement and acceptance. There is an incredible opportunity for postsecondary teaching and learning to spark connections and community between us all—we must ask what the role of teaching and learning is in cultivating courageous practices and explore that together as we work toward a more inclusive and equitable future.   
The University of Calgary is committed to Inclusive Excellence and we encourage you to read more about this work. The 2024 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching invites academic staff, administrators, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars to explore diverse elements of belonging and inclusion in teaching and learning and why it’s critical for the advancement of postsecondary education for everyone.

The following guiding questions are provided for further inspiration:  

  • What is courage in teaching and learning practices? What does courage look like for people in equity-deserving groups?   
  • Why is courage critical to navigating equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in teaching and learning?   
  • How can Inclusive Excellence be affirmed in our postsecondary teaching and learning environments, across multiple organizational levels (individual, team, unit)?  
  • How have postsecondary institutions, educators and students worked to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging across their teaching and learning communities? 
  • What tensions and barriers do we continue to face in postsecondary education, as we work to advance EDIA in teaching and learning?  
  • How does the work of EDIA and Indigenization/decolonization in Canada intersect in postsecondary teaching and learning, and what are the points of distinction? 
  • How can postsecondary teaching and learning examine the shared reality of each equity-deserving group, without losing sight of the unique realities of each in postsecondary education? How do we recognize the role of intersectionality in this work?  
  • How do postsecondary educators and learners recognize and consider their positionality and lived experiences in postsecondary teaching and learning environments—and how do systemic barriers affect these experiences?  
  • What do equitable, inclusive and accessible learning environments look like?  
  • What transformations in policies, educational leadership and teaching practices are needed to create a neuro-affirming environment for teaching and learning? 


The following conference threads represent cross-cutting issues related to teaching and learning in postsecondary education. These threads do not change year-over-year and provide presenters and delegates with an opportunity to further customize their conference sessions and experiences: 

  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: Equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) are about valuing human difference, removing barriers that impede equal access, and ensuring that all learners and educators can participate meaningfully. This thread explores creating equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible learning and teaching opportunities so that all voices are heard, respected and valued. 
  • Blended and Online Learning: Blended and online courses and programs provide unique opportunities to support student engagement, interaction, access, and success. This thread explores the pedagogy, practice and scholarship of intentional blended and online course design that centers students’ learning and engagement in blended and online learning environments. 
  • Experiential Learning (EL): Experiential learning is learning-by-doing that bridges knowledge and experience through critical reflection. This thread explores how EL activities can be intentionally designed and assessed, to empower students and enhance skills such as complex problem solving, professional practice skills, critical reflection, and teamwork. 
  • Indigenous Perspectives: Indigenous perspectives honour the histories, knowledges, methodologies, pedagogies and practices of Indigenous peoples and create shared understandings of truth and reconciliation. This thread explores how to advance Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing, and connecting in postsecondary education.   
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Educators and students often view learning through their own disciplinary lenses. Understanding these lenses forms the foundation of the interdisciplinary collaboration necessary for solving complex world challenges. This thread examines what this learning looks like in the different disciplines, and in the spaces where different disciplines meet.    
  • Learning Partnerships: Learning is a reciprocal process at the course, program and curriculum levels for educators and students. This thread explores what meaningful educator and student partnerships can look like in various teaching and learning contexts.   
  • Learning Spaces and Technology: Technology facilitates the discovery of knowledge, expression of voice and collaboration across space and time. Physical and virtual learning spaces are critical components of our academic communities, which influence how educators and students collaborate, connect, adapt, and access teaching and learning. This thread explores the impact of learning spaces and technologies on our teaching and learning communities, cultures, and practices. 
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing The construction of safe, caring learning environments that embrace diversity and collaboration is essential for nurturing creativity and the development of resilient and flourishing individuals and communities. This thread examines how teaching and learning communities, approaches and practices can promote mental health and wellbeing across multiple organizational levels.
  • Sustainability: Universities are strongly positioned to address opportunities and challenges related to sustainability, locally and globally. This thread explores how educators and students can contribute to teaching and learning practices and approaches related to sustainability, as well as how we promote sustainable teaching and learning practices, across diverse postsecondary contexts.    
  • Teaching and Learning Research, Scholarship and Inquiry: Scholarship, research and inquiry related to supporting teaching and student learning across multiple organizational levels can lead to transformative change. This thread explores the possibilities, challenges and outcomes related to supporting engagement in teaching and learning research, scholarship and inquiry.