Abdallah Mohamed

Who or what sparked your initial interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?

My interest in SoTL started with a simple belief: teaching goes beyond just sharing information. It is an opportunity to inspire and influence student lives. There is nothing like seeing that spark of excitement in my students’ eyes when they learn a new concept or solve a challenging problem.

Over nearly three decades of teaching, I have had the privilege of working with students with diverse backgrounds, needs, abilities, and learning styles. One thing I have learned throughout this time is that every student has the capacity to succeed, yet their paths to success vary. It is this realization that motivates me to keep refining my teaching methods in order to engage every student. Yes, I love to teach, but I am more passionate about finding better ways to connect with my students and ensure no one is left behind.

What SoTL project are you currently engaged in and excited about?

My work involves several SoTL projects that aim to research and implement methods and technologies to foster inclusive, active, and diverse education. One example is LearnCoding, an online platform (learncoding.ok.ubc.ca via UBC VPN) that I created to accommodate students with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs. LearnCoding allows students to customize the learning material to meet their preferences, where they can choose their preferred programming language, application domain, and instruction language. The platform enriches this personalized learning journey by visualizing the execution of computer programs, allowing students to observe the outcome of each line of code and develop their own programming mental models.

The platform has been successfully used in 8 sections of the largest computer science courses, and it has been recently adopted by the Faculty of Engineering at UBC-O. Another system I am passionate about is an online platform that uses gamification and dopamine-rewards to stimulate students’ intrinsic motivation when learning programming (nuteach.ok.ubc.ca via UBC VPN). The platform allows students to earn points for finishing programming tasks and activities. Motivation is reinforced by allowing those points to be used for purchasing elements of the course such as deadline extensions, bonus activities, or assignment weightage change.

What questions in SoTL are you excited to answer in the future?

I am excited about exploring the impact of integrating generative AI in my teaching, both in the broader context and specifically within my current learning platforms. Generative AI has great potential to revolutionize the way we create content and support to students. It is all about ensuring that every student gets what they need and feels supported.

Why should others get involved in SoTL?

Getting involved in SoTL not only helps improve teaching practices, but it also provides an opportunity for professional development and growth. Moreover, it presents a challenge that makes work more fun!

What is something everyone should try in Kelowna?

Take a walk on Myra Canyon – it is beautiful!

If you had to talk for an hour straight about a non-academic topic, what would it be?

DIY home improvements.

What is your favourite restaurant or cuisine?


What is your favourite country to vacation?


What is your favourite movie?


What is your favourite video, card, or board game?

Estimation card game.

Dr. Mohamed standing in front of a lake

If you’re interested in hearing more about Dr. Mohamed’s projects, or wanting to collaborate on other projects, connect with him at abdallah.mohamed@ubc.ca.