UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
News from
Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
UM Today Network
Abstract image of painted colours

Shared panel discussion to address trauma-informed teaching online

Trauma-informed teaching is especially important in online learning.

January 16, 2024 — 

The Manitoba Flexible Learning Hub will host a panel discussion on January 26 on trauma-informed teaching for post-secondary instructors focusing on how to apply principles for online and blended courses.

Panelist, Dr. Lori Doan [BA(Hons)/05, MA/07, PhD/14] explains, “Trauma-informed teaching is especially important in online learning. When we have a trauma response, our brain goes into survival mode, and this makes things like concentration, memory, and learning more difficult. Trauma-informed teaching strategies, such as building trust by being transparent and reliable about your course policies, can help students come out of survival mode and regain control of the thinking and emotion regulation centres of the brain.”

The event will be a shared expertise from our province and provide an opportunity for post-secondary instructors from across the province to engage in dialogue about trauma-informed teaching. The event will be presented via Zoom with panelists from the University of Manitoba, Red River College Polytech, Assiniboine Community College and a guest from Brock University.

The trauma-informed principles discussed will help every instructor’s relationship building skills, as Jocelyn Lavich [BN/00] shares “Our adult learners who may be coming in with a history of trauma, are already coming in with their alarm systems ‘on’ and may have had previous negative experiences in the education system. Healing always comes from relationships. It is our duty to role model a safe base for connection and a place where learning can happen.”

Trauma-informed teaching practices, an extension of trauma-informed care, have mainly focused on face-to-face classrooms. It is important to start to further the discussions on how creating pedagogy for online and blended learning is lacking. As guest panelist,  Dr. Ann Gagné, aptly notes “Trauma-informed discussions in the context of online in particular has mainly focused on social media discourse without a realization of the need for trauma-informed pedagogy in online course design and facilitation beyond just social media, which is why this panel focus is needed and hopefully a start of more continued discussions, applications, and resources to support trauma-informed pedagogy online in Canada.”

The panel discussion is open to all UM instructional staff as part of the Manitoba Flexible Learning Hub partnership. See the panel discussion registration for more details.


  • Lori Doan (she/her), SoTL Developer at the University of Manitoba and Sessional Instructor at the International College of Manitoba. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Manitoba and specializes in wellness for instructors and students.
  • Ann Gagne (she/her), Senior Educational Developer, Accessibility and Inclusion at Brock University. She holds a PhD, English (Victorian Literature) from Western University and hosts the Accessagogy podcast, focused on accessible pedagogy.
  • Jocelyn Lavich (she/her), Faculty Instructor, Department of Nursing at RRC Polytech and Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing (2000) from a joint program through Red River College Polytech and the University of Manitoba. Master in Marriage and Family Therapy (2021) from University of Winnipeg.
  • Sheryl Prouse (she/her), Senior Advisor, Student Affairs and Interim Director, Learning Commons at Assiniboine Community College. She holds a MSW University of Regina and MEd from the University of Saskatchewan.

, , ,

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341