Walls Optional 2023 Cancelled

We regret to announce that the Walls Optional conference “Learning Through Relationships and Care” has been cancelled. Due to the sudden change in leadership, CETL is unable to support the planning, organizing, and managing of Walls Optional this year. We will be contacting each person or group who has put in a proposal in a separate email. In honour of our this year's Walls theme, we in CETL will be taking time to engage in our own pedagogy of care and fostering of relationships.

Please email CETL with any questions.

Note that CETL and the Teaching and Learning Council will carry forward with a Teacher Recognition Awards event and will be sending out a new invitation for this shortly. 


Every spring, CETL offers Walls Optional, a one-day conference for faculty and staff focused on teaching, learning, and technology.

This year's theme is Learning Through Relationships and Care.

Walls Optional 2023: Thursday, April 27

With the challenges we are facing in our ever-changing world of teaching and learning, Walls Optional - which will be a Hyflex event this year - is an opportunity to talk about how we support relationships and care in our teaching and learning practice.

Learning Through Relationships and Care

Call for proposals

Submission deadline: Friday, March 3, 2023

We at Camosun College hold our community and the relationships we have with each other and the land as foundational to supporting and caring for learners and our colleagues on our teaching and learning journeys. These relationships have become even more important within the context of the past few years. In addition to being subject-matter experts in the classroom, we are also supporting our students through many challenges by integrating flexibility, compassion, and empathy into our teaching practices. 

How do relationships support the many demands of teaching, including the need to care for ourselves? How can our teaching strategies and relationships with students continue to evolve as students’ needs change? How do we respond to the demands we experience as instructors in the classroom and maintain our own mental health? How can we create and enhance learning environments that strengthen our relationships with our learners in a sustainable way? How do we work with technology to enhance our teaching and learning experiences without burning out? How can we work together as a community as we struggle individually with fatigue, ever-changing technology, and sometimes unmotivated learners? 

This year, with the challenges we are facing in our ever-changing world of teaching and learning, Walls Optional invites you to share how you support relationships and care in your teaching and learning practice.  

Some relationships and ideas to consider: 

  • Faculty with student 
  • Faculty with faculty 
  • Student with student 
  • Student with our courses and programs (relationship to curriculum) 
  • Within our Camosun community (within departments, programs, interdisciplinary, etc.) 
  • With our broader communities (Indigenous nations, industry partners, school districts, etc.) 
  • People with the earth and all living things in it 
  • Students with our processes and technical systems (registration, D2L, etc.) 
  • Each of us with ourselves (self-care) 
  • Sharing what we have done with others  
  • Working with a Pedagogy of Care framework 

Note:  We encourage you to incorporate universal design for learning principles in your presentation.

Please complete and submit the Call for Proposals form (below) before end of day on Friday, March 3, 2023.

Submit a proposal

History of Walls Optional

Keynote speakers from earlier Walls Optional events

2021 - Responding to COVID - Mary Burgess

2020 - Postponed due to COVID

2019 - Universal Design for Learning - Shane BakerMelissa Lyon, Sue Doner, Sheryl Haynes

2018 - Learning spaces, Adam Finkelstein

2017 - Resilience - Monique Grey Smith

2016 - Creativity and Design Thinking - Ben WeinsteinYael Katz

2015 - Communities of Practice - Beverly Wegner Trayner

2014 - Education technology from a CEO perspective - Jonathan Baker

2013, Open Education - David Porter

2012 - Democratization of teaching and learning - Blended delivery - David KahaneIke Shibley

2011- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Tony Bates

2010 - Information Literacy, Mike Eisenberg

2009 - Social media and education - Alec Corous

2008 - Trends in educational  technology: reflections on the Horizon Report - Brian LambScott Leslie