2019-2020 Annual Report
Table of Contents
Academic and Collaborative Technologies
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Certificate in Effective University Instruction
Teaching Assistants’ Training Program
Programming and Communications
This has been a remarkable year.
As always, it was a year of new programming and collaborations as the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) worked with partners across the University, including individual instructors, to enhance the teaching and learning landscape of U of T. It was a year of reflection and analysis as we participated in a self-study that contributed to an external review of teaching support across U of T. Our presentation at the international Professional and Organizational Development (POD) conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November 2019, also provided an opportunity for our CTSI team to reflect on 10 years of strategic work, through our presentation, “The road travelled, the road ahead: Teaching center strategic change.”
And, of course, this year was especially remarkable in that it saw our team responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our entire U of T community. We have seen or heard the phrase “unprecedented times” in more ways than we can imagine over these last months. While without a doubt this period has been overwhelming and incredibly challenging, it has also been a time of affirmation of our commitment to the learning of our University of Toronto students.
Administrators, instructors, staff and countless others have rallied to ensure that our programs and support services have continued, and in many ways have been enhanced, as we have worked together to increase our collective innovation, effectiveness and efficiency. I have never been as proud of our team in CTSI as I have been during this recent period as we supported our community to shift to online/remote teaching in order to continue serving our mission of enhancing teaching and learning for the University of Toronto.
As you read through this annual report, you will see the many ways CTSI, and the functional teams within our unit, have engaged with and helped enrich the teaching and learning community across our institution. From providing individual and group consultations, workshops, webinars and support resources, to supporting effective pedagogy and educational technology in online learning, CTSI has connected and collaborated with a wide range of sectors across U of T. And, proudly, with a broader community across Canada and internationally.
After a long planning period, we were happy to run and successfully complete this past year the pilot program for the Certificate in Effective University Instruction, a partnership between CTSI and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Forty-five continuing appointment faculty members from all 3 campuses and 10 Divisions successfully completed 25 online modules over the year, participated in 4 face-to-face workshops and sought support through personal consultations. On June 20, 2020 our faculty certificate recipients were honoured in a virtual ceremony by Cheryl Regehr, Provost, Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, and our CTSI facilitation team. The certificate received by faculty is endorsed by the American Council on Education and we were so pleased that this pilot initiative resulted in a 96% faculty success rate. We look forward to launching the next ACUE cohort in December 2020 as we have now confirmed our continuing partnership with ACUE.
For the past two years, CTSI team members worked on a long- term assessment project for the Transforming the Instructional Landscape (TIL) Project with Academic + Campus Events (ACE). I am happy to report that in June 2020 we published our final report, “Assessing Targeted Objectives of the Transforming the Instructional Landscape Project: Active Learning Classrooms at U of T”.
This year also marks the end of my term as Director, CTSI. As I write this final Director’s Message for the annual report, I continue to reflect on the privilege it has been to have served the University in this leadership role for over a decade.
Our CTSI team represents qualities that I treasure: purpose, passion, partnerships, teamwork, resilience, dedication, high standards, compassion and heart.
In truth, it has been a remarkable eleven years.
I am so very grateful to our CTSI team and to all of you, our U of T community, for your steadfast commitment to high standards, your creativity and innovation, and your attention to ALL that goes into great teaching. Thank you for sharing your pedagogical journeys – these have illuminated your everyday practices, your trials and
triumphs, and your caring hearts.
I am truly going to miss the opportunities and optimism that have been a part of my work in CTSI from day one, along with the collaboration with so many diverse partners across our University. I am very confident about the next phase of our unit’s work under the leadership of Dr. Alison Gibbs – who looks forward to working closely with all of you to chart the future of teaching and learning at the University of Toronto and beyond.
On a personal level, as I begin this new phase in my life, I look forward to continuing adventures and ongoing learning.
Dr. Carol Rolheiser
Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation