2015-16 CTSI Annual Report

Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation Annual Report for 2015-16 (in PDF format)

Carol Rolheiser, Director

CTSI Mission and Value

Programming Highlights
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

ACT Highlights

TATP Highlights
TATP By The Numbers

Partnership Highlights

Teaching Awards Highlights

Course Evaluation Highlights


APPENDIX A: Publications & Presentations

APPENDIX B: Grants Awarded to CTSI/Team Members

APPENDIX C: CTSI Teaching Fellows




As Director of the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, my focus is on encouraging collaboration and supporting pedagogical improvement at the University of Toronto. Our mission is to build capacity in teaching through leadership, collaboration, and innovation. Our work has grown in rigour, complexity and impact since 2009, when CTSI was formed with the amalgamation of the Office of Teaching Advancement and the Resource Centre for Academic Technology. In 2014 we completed an external review process, which helped us outline our key accomplishments over the past five years, and identify three broad priorities that are guiding us forward.

  1. To contribute to the enhancement of a culture that supports excellence in teaching at the University of Toronto.
  2. To lead and support the ongoing development of internal collaboration and external/outreach opportunities.
  3. To enhance pedagogical and technological support and innovation

This past year has seen the commencement of several key initiatives that address these priorities and are forward-looking, impactful and collaborative in nature. The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (see page 11) rolled out a new TA training curriculum focused on newly developed tutorial categories, training over 1400 teaching assistants across all three campuses. This program provides job training in seven different categories of tutorials, as well as first-contract job training. Since 2015, 10 new faculties have been added to the online Course Evaluation system (see page 18 for information on U of T’s course evaluation scope and reach), which requires a collaborative process working with instructors and administration to customize the evaluation items and integrate the data. CTSI is also partnered with Information Technology Services (ITS) for the Academic Toolbox Renewal Initiative – a community consultation process to address the future implementation of academic technologies.

As you read through this report, you will learn the many ways CTSI supports teaching excellence at U of T and how we are addressing priorities through future initiatives. Our CTSI team is proud of the University of Toronto’s commitment to high quality teaching and learning, the diverse ways in which instructors teach and learn with our students, and the role that CTSI plays in our collective success.

Carol Rolheiser
Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)

August 2016


In October 2014, President Meric Gertler released three priorities to guide the University of Toronto as we respond to the evolving opportunities and challenges of higher education: Leveraging our location for the mutual benefit of the University and the City, strengthening and deepening our international partnerships, and re-imagining and perhaps even reinventing undergraduate education.

U of T consistently ranks high in world rankings. Recent rankings continue to place U of T among the top 20 universities in the world, overall. For example, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016 list measuring research, teaching and student engagement, we are 19th in the world and number one in Canada.

The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) plays a vital role in supporting institutional teaching and learning priorities and teaching excellence across the university. We aim to facilitate and support teaching excellence across the university and build capacity among all our teachers, both faculty and graduate students. Through collaboration, communication and scholarship, CTSI works with the U of T community to better prepare our students for lifelong success, while enhancing the university’s standing as a leader in undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

Building teaching excellence through leadership, collaboration and innovation


CTSI’s work is tri-level, spanning institutional, divisional, departmental and individual levels at the University of Toronto. Through services such as pedagogical workshops and technology training sessions, consultations (e.g. teaching dossiers, course and assignment design, on-site observations), annual institutes on course design and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and tutorial training for teaching assistants, CTSI provides support, guidance and resources to the U of T teaching community.

An important area of our work involves staff who support technology for teaching and learning. We work with various technology offices to monitor and manage the pedagogical components of Portal and online learning, and work with faculty to integrate these technology tools into their classrooms. We are also the main point of contact for the university’s new course evaluation framework and online system, providing day-to-day management and support, resources, training, and one-on-one consultations for faculty.

CTSI takes a proactive approach to seeking out evidence and engaging in research that supports teaching and learning. We believe that providing deeper learning opportunities for faculty and graduate students will enhance the learning experiences that they facilitate for our students. The impact of our work, in collaboration with other faculty development and teaching support offices at U of T, is found in the classroom, online and in the accomplishments of our community–graduates, faculty, librarians and researchers.

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This year, CTSI developed and delivered a wide range of programming, including workshops (17), which involved two special day-long events, two-day institutes (2), one 8-week Fundamentals of University Teaching course for instructors taught by Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and Karen Reid, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science, 21 portal training sessions, and the University-wide orientation for new faculty (organized with support from the Provost’s Office, specifically the Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life and the Office of Research Services).

Each year, through our annual two-day Course Design/Redesign Institute, adapted from the research-based model of Dee Fink, CTSI provides faculty members with an intensive opportunity to reflect on their courses and teaching practice, and learn new strategies for course design in order to maximize student learning outcomes and to enhance their own growth as teachers. In May 2015, 24 faculty members from across the three campuses, including a cohort of faculty developing online and hybrid courses, were supported by CTSI staff and librarians in working through the steps of the course design process. Participants completed the institute with a framework for a newly developed or redesigned course, including a general course outline, assessment scheme and sample lesson or online module plan.

In February 2016, CTSI ran a Student Mental Health workshop, the culmination of months of planning and partnership between members of the former Curriculum & Pedagogy Subcommittee of the Provostial Working Group on Mental Health Awareness. This programming addressed many of the priorities identified in the mental health strategy report issued by the Provost’s Office in 2014, and focused on how instructors can support students in the classroom and through their course and assignment design.

In early February, CTSI hosted Professor Geoff Scott, Emeritus Professor at Western Sydney University and Australian National Senior Teaching Fellow. Scott facilitated two workshops for CTSI: first, a lunchtime lecture entitled, Developing and assessing ‘future-ready’ graduates: Addressing the new quality agenda for Higher Education, where he outlined a recent global survey of assessment practices, which examines the assessment strategies and learning outcomes needed for transformative higher education experiences in the future. Scott also hosted the Powerful Assessments Invitational Showcase, which provided U of T faculty with an opportunity to submit and discuss their own assessment practices, for inclusion into an international resource developed by Scott’s team (http://flipcurric.edu.au). Faculty members (34) attended this workshop and showcased their assessment practices.

On April 19th, CTSI presented a day-long session, Using Assessment to Nurture Critical Thinking, facilitated by Garfield Gini-Newman, a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. In this workshop, participants engaged with a framework for critical inquiry, working with their own assignments to ensure that critical inquiry is nurtured in their students’ learning. Participants came away with new ideas for their own assignments, courses and modes of assessments, as well as a framework for thinking about these concepts on a wide scale.

The University of Toronto is a research-intensive university, and this includes research into teaching-related activities and measuring the impact of this research and practice in the classroom. A key aspect of CTSI’s mandate is to “promote the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and disseminate the results of such scholarship.” Since 2009, SoTL, and the mobilization of SoTL at the university, has been a core CTSI service. An integral aspect to our approach is the role peers play in developing communities of practice and influencing change at all levels of the institutions. This peer-to-peer approach is reflected in the SoTL network and community established at CTSI through workshops, and journal and discussion groups, and is echoed on an institutional level in research grants and journal contributions by U of T faculty members.

* See Appendix A for a sampling of 2015-2016 SoTL grants and publications.

In Fall 2015, CTSI launched its first Scholarship of Teaching & Learning workshop series, made up of three workshops, Incorporating Research into Your Teaching: Deepening Your Teaching Practice and Integrating Teaching and Research; Creating the Space to Cultivate Scholarship on Your Teaching; and, Research Ethics: Classrooms as Sites of Scholarly Inquiry. This series brought together faculty interested in pursuing their own SoTL research or other inquiry into their teaching. We had a total of 55 participants in this series.

This year, CTSI completed a research project focused on Faculty Mentoring for Teaching. The final report (McCloy, Rolheiser & Burnett, 2016) analyzes data from interviews, a comprehensive literature review and environmental scan, in order to identify effective practices and models for mentoring for teaching that can be put into practice at U of T. A range of resources (e.g. tip sheets, publications) will be developed to assist those wishing to implement or strengthen mentoring programs for teaching at the departmental or divisional levels.

CTSI also completed the report, Recommendations and Resources for Supporting International Students and Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto (Osborne, Kasprzak, & Majeed, 2016). The report includes qualitative data from interviews with several key service providers from across the University as well as a scan of support and programming for international TAs at other peer institutions.

CTSI has launched the process to begin a U of T SoTL Survey. This survey will explore instructor perceptions of, and experiences in, conducting inquiry into their teaching. These findings will provide valuable information to inform broad CTSI programming, as well as specific SoTL offerings directed at various levels of research experience and types of inquiry.

Metrics from CTSI SoTL programming include:

  • 2 SoTL Skills Development Workshops
  • 2 SoTL Journal Club Sessions
  • 62 SoTL Consultations
  • 203 SoTL list-serv subscribers

2015-2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the University of Toronto’s Teaching & Learning Symposium. To celebrate this milestone, CTSI partnered with the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking at the Rotman School of Management for a special 10th anniversary edition of this annual event.

A team from CTSI and a team from the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking engaged in a reimagining of the traditional Symposium format, developing a new facilitated design model focused on skill development, transfer, and integration in curriculum design. The afternoon featured a number of new models for concurrent sessions, including Symposium-You, an innovative roundtable format lead by participants and designed to more deeply explore specific topics or issues. Concurrent sessions were followed by a closing panel with President Meric Gertler, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education Susan McCahan, and two students, undergraduate Emma Smith and graduate student David Chan. The Symposium also marked the launch of a new teaching and learning publication and website, building on the theme of the Symposium.

With 315 participants, 23 sessions (plus a morning plenary) and 60 presenters, our U of T communityshared experiences, research, successes and challenges inside and outside the classroom. This event represented a milestone for both CTSI and the University of Toronto.

To commemorate the 10th Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium, the University of Toronto produced Re:THINK, a print publication that celebrates teaching and learning across our institution. CTSI, in collaboration with the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking at the Rotman School of Management, connected with colleagues to share stories about courses, instructors, initiatives and innovations across all three campuses. This collection of 14 articles includes community engagement, powerful assessments, active-learning, adaptive and academic technologies, cross- and multi-disciplinary courses, high-impact practices, graduate student development, and much more. The publication was launched at the Symposium at a reception hosted by President Meric Gertler.

The celebration continues with http://rethink.utoronto.ca/ This website (maintained by CTSI) continues to post teaching and learning profiles of courses, instructors and students, and share stories to inspire and challenge the entire university community.

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The Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT) Support team within CTSI provides faculty support for institutionally supported technologies, a core feature of CTSI’s services and mandate. This year, the ACT Support team focused on outreach and analysis of metrics and data to better understand and better serve the needs of the U of T community.

The ACT support group is actively engaged in the institutional Academic Toolbox Renewal Initiative – an ongoing project to streamline the integration and implementation of technologies into the university community. More information on this initiative can be found online: uoft.me/toolbox. The Academic & Collaborative Technologies team is supported through a partnership between CTSI and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Information and Technology Services (ITS).

Metrics from ACT include:

  • 5590 ACT Portal Support Cases
  • 21 Portal Training Sessions
  • 88,346 Active Portal (LMS) USERS this year
  • 12,751 Active Portal (LMS) COURSES this year

This past year, ACT Support Staff used metrics to inform the development of support services, partnerships/relationships, research and the development of technologies and procedures. In addition, ACT Support fine-tuned its communication strategy, targeting its communications with educatational technology colleagues across the university. Working on a series of collaborative projects, ACT Support staff participated in a course information system project out of The Next Generation Student Information Services (NGSIS) program. They created client facing user documentation for the Elements Blogging Tool, assisted with the annual Portal upgrade documentation development, and provided migration consultations and quota in email operations and best practices guide for staff.

In partnership with Online Learning Strategies, CTSI hosted two showcases in Fall 2016 designed to highlight the recent achievements of U of T faculty members and teams in the areas of Online Modules and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):

  • The Designing and Sharing Online Modules workshop explored recently developed online modules from around the University of Toronto. Designed for instructors interested in developing their own online modules, this workshop provided participants with insight into the
    processes and challenges of creating an online module, as well as the opportunities for sharing, collaboration and innovation that arise. The workshop featured seven clustered short presentations by teams from across the institution related to three themes: Working collaboratively, pedagogical innovation, and designing, planning and sharing.
  • MOOCapalooza: Purpose and Potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the University of Toronto was a community event that provided a framework for thinking about goals that MOOCs help the U of T achieve, as well as an opportunity for sharing examples of pedagogy and research being undertaken. Five projects, ranging from current U of T MOOCs, to alumni outreach, to MOOC-related pedagogical research were showcased, highlighting connections with our institutional strategy.

As well, each year the work of CTSI staff and the Online Learning Strategies portfolio intersects in the offering of our annual Course Design/Redesign Institute. Through well-integrated collaboration we are able to provide an optional specialized program stream for instructors designing online courses or course components, as well as follow-up coaching sessions on specialized topics such as video production, accessibility and online assessment design.

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The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program, or TATP, helps facilitate mandatory job training for teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate student Course Instructors (CIs) in Unit 1 of CUPE 3902, as per the collective agreement between the TA union and the University. The TATP is based on a peer-to-peer training and peer leadership model. Staffed by 18 graduate student peer trainers from multiple disciplines, who work on a part-time basis, the TATP provides a full suite of professional development programming with the support of a CTSI Curriculum Developer and Program Assistant, including:

  • a workshop series,
  • special events,
  • two certificate programs,
  • peer-led departmental training for new contract TAs
  • sessions that provide category specific job training (discussion-based, skill development, review and Q&A tutorials, and laboratories/practicals) for new and returning TAs
  • resources related to teaching for all graduate students and members of CUPE 3902, Unit 1 regardless of their teaching appointment, across the institution

In March 2016, CTSI and TATP welcomed Marie Vander Kloet as the new Assistant Director. In addition to helping guide TATP programming and the development of resources, Marie provides direction and support for the part-time graduate student staff and contributes to CTSI programming and faculty consultations.

The TATP is developing a number of resources for graduate students at the University of Toronto. Working with the graduate student staff, Mike Kasprzak, Curriculum Developer with the TATP, is developing online training modules on a number of topics to prepare TAs for their work in the classroom, labs and tutorials. Recommendations and Resources for Supporting International Students and Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto (Osborne, Kasprzak, & Majeed, 2016) was completed.

Over 450 students and instructors nominated 180 teaching assistants who made a difference in their classrooms and tutorials. The TATP Teaching Excellence Award was created in 2003 to recognize the outstanding contributions of teaching assistants at the University of Toronto. The award seeks to value the work of TAs who regularly inspire and challenge undergraduate students. Five teaching
assistants were awarded the 2016 TA Teaching Excellence Award:

  • Mohamed Abdelfattah (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Alexis Lerner (Political Science/Centre for Jewish Studies)
  • Fady Shanouda (Dalla Lana School of Public Health/New College)
  • Tracy Stone (Biochemistry)
  • Amanda Wetmore (Centre for Medieval Studies/English)

Departments can also nominate a graduate student Course Instructor (CI) whose outstanding work as a sole-responsibility Course Instructor shows evidence of educational leadership, meaningful contributions to course and curriculum development, and impact on student learning for the CI Teaching Excellence Award. This year’s recipient was:

  • Peter Crooks, Mathematics

“My work as a trainer with the TATP facilitated such important learning for me. I know that I am a better teacher as a result of the things that I have learned about myself, about teaching in higher education and through the people I have met from across the university who really care about teaching and improving undergraduate education.”
Dr. Bethany J. Osborne, Professor of Community Studies, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (also known as Sheridan College)

“The TATP workshops exposed me to new teaching methods, the importance of maintaining a teaching portfolio, strategies for fostering academic integrity, and the role of Accessibility Services. Peer discussion during the workshops was particularly helpful since we shared many interdisciplinary perspectives.”
– TATP workshop participant

“Working for the TATP has taught me as much about myself and my potential, as it has about higher education and teaching. The transferable skills I continue to gain from a unique peer training teaching model have shaped me as a leader, decision maker and strategist inside and outside the classroom.”
– Leanne DeSouza, TATP, Trainer and PhD Candidate, Institute for Medical Sciences

Metrics from TATP include:

  • 530 U of T Students participated in departmental training sessions
  • 18 Part-time Graduate Student Peer Trainers Employed by TATP
  • 6 Graduate Student Teaching Award Winners
  • 35 teaching dossier review consultations
  • 16 in-class observations
  • 317 Graduate students registered in TATP certificate programs
  • 494 TAs received training in central training sessions
  • 25 TATP departmental training sessions offered
  • 349 Graduate students attended TA training days
  • 59 Pedagogical workshops delivered

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As a hub for teaching and learning at the University of Toronto, CTSI has partnered with a number of departments, offices and communities to develop and support university-wide initiatives in teaching, learning and technology. Our dedication to developing partnerships and collaboration within U of T, and to make strong and productive connections with agencies outside the university, is reflected in our accomplishments over our first five years and our commitment to numerous projects moving forward.

On the institutional level, CTSI is partnered with the TEACHING ACADEMY, whose members are recipients of the President’s Teaching Award. The Teaching Academy works with CTSI in an advisory capacity. We also partnered with the Provost’s Office to research, review and implement a new framework and online COURSE EVALUATIONS system for the university. This initiative, which began with an independent publication (Gravestock & Greenleaf, 2008), is supported by CTSI through the day-to day implementation and integration of this system. CTSI staff help departments, divisions and individuals improve assessment and the learning experiences for our students.

CTSI works in collaboration with TEACHING SUPPORT OFFICES ON ALL THREE CAMPUSES – the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre (UTM), the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UTSC) and the Centre for Faculty Development (Faculty of Medicine) – to support instructors, graduate students and TAs through programming, dossier review and pedagogical resources and individual consultation. This year, CTSI collaborated with the CENTRE FOR FACULTY DEVELOPMENT and the WILSON CENTRE to provide a combined analysis of SoTL strengths and needs.

CTSI partnered with the DESAUTELS CENTRE FOR INTEGRATIVE THINKING AT THE ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT to host the 10th Annual Teaching & Learning Symposium. Teams from both centres worked together to plan the day and design the Re:THINK teaching publication.

A partnership with the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Information and Technology Services (ITS) enables the work of ACADEMIC AND COLLABORATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (ACT) and ONLINE LEARNING STRATEGIES (OLS) offices. CTSI and ACT provide support and training for pedagogical tools and technologies and work with administrators, instructors, librarians, TAs and staff to help them achieve their learning/teaching goals. OLS, in collaboration with ACT and CTSI, provides leadership for the U of T community in implementing and integrating online learning.

CTSI has a long-standing working relationship with UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARIES (UTL). The Partnering for Academic Success (PASS) program allows seconded librarians the opportunity to spend one day a week with CTSI. This collaboration enhances program and faculty educational development, as well as improves the various methods of student engagement and support of student research and learning.

CTSI also works with the CENTRE FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS to provide faculty and graduate students with resources and guidance when participating in community-engaged learning. We consulted with CCP staff on communication strategies, participated in events and shared events widely through CTSI communication networks. In addition, CTSI Director, Carol Rolheiser is a member of the CCP Faculty Advisory Group.

THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES (SGS) and CTSI support graduate students through resources, workshops and pedagogical and professional development. This past year, CTSI offered a series of workshops on graduate student supervision presented in collaboration with SGS. The CTSI Director continues to participate in the selection committee for the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award.

CTSI also works closely with STUDENT LIFE, which serves undergraduate and graduate students on the St. George campus, developing resources and workshops on a variety of topics, including mental health awareness, accessibility services and professional development. Members of the Student Life team also present at the New Faculty Orientation to help new instructors better understand our students and the U of T community. CTSI staff has supported the development of online modules for Student Life, helping with the integration of the modules into Blackboard.

CTSI’s external partnerships include government and professional organizations. We continue to collaborate and publish with the HIGHER EDUCATION QUALITY COUNCIL OF ONTARIO (HEQCO) (see Appendix A for a list of publications). Many CTSI staff members belong to the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, the Consortium of Ontario Educational Developers and the Educational Developers Caucus, and the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and regularly present at local, national and international conferences on pedagogical matters.

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CTSI continues to coordinate submissions for institutional, national and international teaching awards and support faculty members and divisions in preparing dossiers for submission.

Engaging with the broader University community to increase awareness and celebration of various teaching awards, CTSI encourages award nominations from across the university. This past year CTSI has assisted in teaching award nominations representing U of T within national and international organizations that promote teaching excellence. Through CTSI’s leadership, we seek to elevate the recognition of U of T’s teaching excellence and innovative uses of technology in teaching.

Last year, the Office of the Vice-President and Provost announced the launch of an annual Teaching Fellowship and Early Career Teaching Awards. CTSI supported the development of these institutional honours and participated in the selection committees. Three Early Career Teaching Awards were awarded in 2016. Designed to develop and cultivate leadership and mentoring skills, capacity-building to support teaching effectiveness, pedagogical innovation and pedagogical research, the fellowships enable up to two Teaching Stream faculty members to undertake a year-long residency at the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation. Read more about the 2015-2016 fellows, Charly Bank and Chester Scoville in Appendix C.

CTSI provides significant leadership and support in the compilation of dossiers for external teaching awards. In 2015, two University of Toronto faculty members were recipients of the 3M National Teaching Fellowships. This national award is Canada’s most prestigious recognition of excellence in educational leadership and teaching at the university and college level.

For a complete list of U of T teaching award recipients, please visit the CTSI website: https://teaching.utoronto.ca/awards/

Alison Gibbs, Department of Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Science
Jonathan Rose, Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
James D. Thomson, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Arts & Science


Charly Bank, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Science
Chester Scoville, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto Mississauga

Andy Dicks, Department of Chemistry
Martin Schreiber, Faculty of Medicine

Christian Caron, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts & Science
Alen Hadzovic, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
Anthony Niblett, Faculty of Law

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The past year included the realization of a significant development – a partnership with the Canadian company eXplorance, regarding the commercialization agreement of our Course Evaluation Framework and associated products/services under the name evalUT. The partnership enables the worldwide availability of the University of Toronto’s course evaluation academic framework and has already been sold to three institutions.

Closer to home, two new units/divisions were brought into the phased implementation of the new Course Evaluation Framework (CEF) and service: Pharmacy and Dentistry. This brings the total number to 11 divisions, continuing the implementation of the phased rollout of the new course evaluation framework at the University of Toronto, and its online implementation.


  • Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS) (UG & G)
  • Faculty of Nursing (UG & G)
  • Faculty of Social Work, UTM (UG & G)
  • UTSC (UG & G)
  • Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (FASE) (UG & G)
  • Faculty of Information
  • Faculty of Music
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical
  • Education (KPE)

The course evaluation team launched a variety of new initiatives which continued to build strength and support around U of T’s framework and online course evaluation system. In the Fall of 2015, the CTSI course evaluation team began generating daily response rate summaries to support the work of academic administrators. The team also designed a pilot project, working with 18 instructors to examine the way in which an ongoing and integrated culture of feedback contributes to student engagement within a course. Collaborating with the University’s Business Intelligence office, the course evaluations team also worked to identify user stories to guide the development of an institutional course evaluation data cube – enabling a range of stakeholders to query course evaluation data in new ways.

The CTSI course evaluation team continues to work effectively and efficiently, providing information and assistance via hundreds of phone calls and emails. This past year the course evaluations team managed over 1700 cases in the FogBugz ticketing system. Responding to community stakeholders was further supported through the launching of a new Course Evaluations website to replace the Portal course evaluations page.

Finally, effort to sustain quality and grow capacity continued with research activity and resource development. The Teaching Assessment and Course Evaluations Coordinator in CTSI conducted extensive analyses on the validity and internal reliability of institutional course evaluation items for the Monitoring & Analysis section of the evalUT e-resource. These analyses have been converted into 1-page PDF resources for the internal U of T community, available through the new course evaluations website.

“Good assessment means good data; and ultimately, good decision-making about teaching and learning at U of T – and since we began implementation in 2011, we have had some of the best conversations about teaching.”
Dr. Cherie Werhun, Teaching Assessment & Course, Evaluation Coordinator

Scope and reach of the course evaluation work this past year:

Term: Winter 2015
Projects: 32
Courses: 3578
# of Unique Student-Course Associations: 239, 379
# of completed evaluations: 79, 236

Term: Summer 2015
Projects: 56
Courses: 1079
# of Unique Student-Course Associations: 55, 789
# of completed evaluations: 15, 995

Term: Fall 2015
Projects: 20
Courses: 3555
# of Unique Student-Course Associations: 225, 719
# of completed evaluations: 81, 634

Term: Winter 2016

Projects: 21
Courses: 4466
# of Unique Student-Course Associations: 256, 324
# of completed evaluations: 87, 015

Projects: 129
Courses:  12, 678
# of Unique Student-Course Associations: 777, 211
# of completed evaluations: 263, 880

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CTSI continues to collaborate with our peers, provide leadership on teaching matters and research, and contribute to pedagogical and technological initiatives at the University of Toronto.

Moving forward, we will focus on prioritizing the scholarship of teaching and learning, including supporting it at an institutional level and enhancing our programming to support faculty in their endeavours. Facilitating peer-to-peer networks for U of T instructors and providing resources and guidance will encourage growth, research and a strong community. We strive to provide a range of models to enhance the mentoring of faculty for teaching and support scholarly and reflective teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

We will continue our work in promoting and highlighting teaching excellence at the University by working with the Office of the Vice-President and Provost on the Early Career Teaching Awards, supporting the projects of the Teaching Fellows and administering the TATP Teaching Excellence Awards for TAs and graduate student Course Instructors.

In the next year, CTSI will contribute to the internal and external discourse focused on teaching-related issues that support the advancement of technology-enabled learning, and enhance the University of Toronto’s leadership in teaching and learning excellence.

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Bolan, J ., Bellamy, P ., Rolheiser, C ., Szurmak, J ., & Vine, R . (2015) . Realizing partnership potential: A report on a formal collaboration between a teaching and learning centre and libraries at the University of Toronto . Collected Essays on Teaching and Learning, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, VII, 191-199 .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Harrison, L ., & Håklev, S . (2015) . University of Toronto instructors’ experiences with developing MOOCs. The International Review of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 16(3) . Retrieved from http://www . irrodl .org/index .php/irrodl/article/view/2073


Rolheiser, C ., Werhun, C . D ., & Gravestock, P . (2015) . evalUT: Course evaluation guidebook and resource manual (1st ed .) . Toronto: University of Toronto .


Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Harrison, L ., & Håklev, S . (In review, Teaching and Learning Inquiry) . Variations in the pedagogical design of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) across disciplines .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Harrison, L ., & Haklev, S . (In preparation) . Learner motivation, intention, and achievement in on- demand courses .

Rolheiser, C ., Seifert, T ., & McCloy, C . (In preparation, to submit to Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, CJSoTL) . Enhancing the quality of graduate and undergraduate education: The role of two evidence- based teaching assistant programs .


Rolheiser, C ., Harrison, L . & Håklev, S ., & Najafi, H . Formation, growth and dissolution of MOOC learner communities . Research ethics approved February, 2015, research underway .

Rolheiser, C ., McCloy, C ., & Burnett, M . Mentoring for teaching: A qualitative, exploratory study of faculty experiences . Research ethics approved December, 2015 .

Rolheiser, C ., Werhun, C ., McCloy, C ., & Burnett, M . Instructor perceptions of and experiences with research on their teaching at the University of Toronto . Research ethics approved March, 2016 .


Rolheiser, C . Review of book and contribution of two leadership examples and one endorsement: Sharpe, K ., & Nishimura, J . (In press, 2017) . When mentoring meets coaching: Shifting the stance in education . Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada .


Burnett, M . (June 2015) . Tuning into teaching as craft: Conceptual change and emerging identities in a peer-based TA training program . Interactive workshop, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, BC .

Kasprzak, M ., Burnett, M ., & Osborne, B . (February 2016) . TA training without borders: How standardized customization helps navigate boundaries between context-specific and centralized teaching assistant training . Interactive workshop at the Educational Developers Caucus Annual Meeting, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON .

Kasprzak, M . & Osborne, B . (February 2016) . Collapsing borders: An asset based approach to supporting international teaching assistants . Roundtable Discussion at the Educational Developers Caucus Annual Meeting, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Håklev, S ., & Harrison, L ., (June 2015) . Pedagogical design of massive open online courses (MOOCs) across disciplines: Variations and implications for student behaviour . Workshop and roundtable session at the Coursera MOOC Research Summit, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Harrison, L ., & Haklev, S . (April 2016) . Pedagogical design of massive open online courses across disciplines: Variations and implications for student behaviour . Roundtable presentation at the American Educational Research Association annual conference, Washington, D . C .

Rolheiser, C . (June 2015) . The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) Page Turners: Not your average book club . Deep dive presentation, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC .

Rolheiser, C . (2015, October) . The role of teaching centres in SoTL: Strategy, capacity, advocacy & the centrality of peers . A panel presentation for session: Exploring peer-to-peer leadership initiatives to develop SoTL capacity amongst faculty . International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia .


Najafi, H ., Håklev, S ., Harrison, L ., Rolheiser, C . & Heikoop, W . (March, 2016) . How can we characterize learner completion and achievement in on-demand Coursera MOOCs? Research track presentation and main conference poster presentation at the Coursera 2016 Conference, The Hague, Netherlands .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., Håklev, S ., & Harrison, L ., (April 2016) . Pedagogical design of massive open online courses (MOOCs) across disciplines: Variations and implications for student behavior . Paper and roundtable session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Washington, DC .

Najafi, H ., Rolheiser, C ., & Harrison, L . (2015, November) . University of Toronto Instructors’ experience with developing MOOCs . Research presentation at the MOOCapalooza: Purposes and Potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) . University of Toronto . Toronto, ON .


Burnett, M . (November 2015) . TATP tutorial training curriculum and online modules . Presentations at the Fall Council of Ontario Educational Developers Meeting, Niagara College, Niagara, ON .

Hyman, A . (April 2016) . NGDLE interoperability – Exploring the next-generation digital learning environment: Opportunities and challenges . An ELI Focus Session . Educause Learning Initiative . With Rocchio, Rosemary (UCLA) and DeMonner, Sean M ., (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) .

Hyman, A . (February,2016) . Why did we join IMS? Because there is an education revolution . Invited presentation for the Ontario University Council for eLearning Winter Meeting, Toronto, ON .

Rolheiser, C . (June 2015) . School improvement: Keeping the focus on effective instruction and learning, a two-day invited presentation/facilitation at the 2015 Leadership Institute, School Leadership Centre of Greater New Orleans, Biloxi, MS .

Rolheiser, C . (November 2015) . The role of teaching centres in SoTL: Strategy, capacity, advocacy and the centrality of peers. Presentations at the Fall Council of Ontario Educational Developers Meeting, Niagara College, Niagara, ON.


Burnett, M ., Kasprzak, M ., Diskin, A ., Carpenter, S ., Chan, D ., & Sutherland-Harris, R . (June, 2016) . Balancing tensions in TA training: The value of “standardized customization” in graduate student teaching training programs. Interactive workshop, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, Western University, London, ON.

Burnett, M ., Kasprzak, M ., Diskin, A ., Carpenter, S ., Chan, D ., & Sutherland-Harris, R . (June, 2016) . Empowering TAs: Creating an effective peer-based teaching assistant training program . Interactive workshop, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, Western University, London, ON.

Ellis, D ., Wolf, P ., Chu, S ., Le-May Sheffield, S ., Popovic, C ., Rolheiser, C ., & Wright, A . (June, 2016) . Learning from external reviews: A lever for change in teaching centres . Interactive workshop, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, Western University, London, ON.

McCloy, C ., Burnett, M . & Rolheiser, C . (June, 2016) . Faculty mentoring for teaching and the role of teaching climates and cultures in encouraging the development and enhancement of teaching practices . Research presentation, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, Western University, London, ON.

McCloy, C ., Rolheiser, C ., & Burnett, M . From personal to public: Sharing faculty experiences in mentoring for teaching .

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2016, Los Angeles, CA .

Najafi, H ., Harrison, L ., Rolheiser, C ., Håklev, S . & Heikoop, W . (Submitted) . Achievement in on-demand MOOCs in relation to learner intentions . Learning with MOOCs III Conference, University of Pennsylvania .

Rolheiser, C ., Olmstead, K ., Macnab, E ., Gordon, K ., & Burnett, M . A strategic initiative harnessing stories of teaching and learning . International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2016, Los Angeles, CA .

Vander Kloet, M . & Kasprzak, M . Individual voices, collective stories: Reflective practice in a peer-based graduate student training program . International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2016, Los Angeles, CA .

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Amount: $752,022.00 (Consortium Total)
Title: Development of Analytic Rubrics for Learning Outcomes Assessment
Team: Susan McCahan, Principal Investigator, Cherie Werhun, Collaborator and Research Advisor for grant submission and design, and project implementation

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Fellowship Proposal:

1 . to create an innovative, Active Learning Classroom-enabled web resource that can operate as textbook and workbook for students in the course, and can serve as a model for the conversion of other humanities courses into active learning experience

2 . to redesign the course’s pedagogical approach to reflect both the established best practices of teaching critical thinking and writing to large groups of students and the potentials of the newest classroom design and technology .

Fellowship Outcomes

“By the end of the fellowship, I had successfully run a trial version of the new, revised course in the ALC with
a class of approximately 60 students . The new course made heavy use of collaborative in-class exercises, combined with individual assignments based partly on the traditional canon of rhetorical exercises (the progymnasmata) and partly on modern rhetorical concepts and theories . I think that the greatest change is that I now understand myself as part of a teaching and research community . I also have a different, learning- outcomes-based understanding of course design that I did not have before . Participating in such events as the Course Design Institute, the SoTL skills workshops, and the SoTL Journal Club helped me reshape my thinking and practice in this way . . .”


Fellowship Proposal:

To create three interconnected projects:
1. develop curricular material for the teaching of geoethics
2. explore ways to introduce students to team work
3. assess the impact of the Faculty of Arts & Science Research Opportunity

Program and 399 program

Fellowship Outcomes:

“In addition to developing teaching material on geoethics, I collected data to show that students recognize the value of ethical aspects related to geoscience issues . As a result of my experience and reflection, I was able to secure internal (ITIF: CAD 14,700) and external funding (MathWorks: USD 13,100) to develop an online toolkit which will allow me to adapt two of my courses into a “cascading curriculum” that is intended to support students in building their capacity for critical thinking . I have gained valuable insights into the excellent work CTSI does to support teaching at UofT, I recognize the complexities and varieties of its mandate, and I come out with a better appreciation for a mentoring relationship . The Fellowship has enabled me to go forward with a sense of how I can help build teaching capacity within my department and beyond.”

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