2020-2021 Annual Report
Table of Contents
This past year, CTSI moved from the scramble of pivoting our own resources, consultations and events and supporting instructors, students and staff as the University went online to a year of working in the ‘new normal’ of a remote and online community. CTSI has always been focused on the needs of U of T instructors and providing the tools to create an engaging and accessible teaching and learning environment. During this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve renewed and reinvigorated our commitment to listen, respond, learn and grow together.
While we may all share some common ground, there is no single or singular teaching and learning experience at U of T. CTSI’s first goal is to listen to the needs and concerns of instructors and graduate students through consultations, events, feedback and conversations to better understand how CTSI can support them in their work. This last year, in particular, brought the importance of open discussions to the forefront. We all needed to be flexible. CTSI needed to respond in a quick but measured fashion that was always centered on pedagogy, research and accessibility.
As our 2021 Teaching and Learning Symposium—Teacher-as-Learner/Learner-as-Teacher—demonstrated, we learn from each other and grow as a community when we do. For the first time, the TLS was a fully online event held over three days. The event included a mix of synchronous and asynchronous content—videos, posters and live webinars—bringing together over 400 attendees for lively online conversations and the sharing of research and experiences. The keynote address, Reimagining Impact Across Disciplines By Embracing a Beginner Mindset reminded us all that we have much to learn from each other and our students. The closing plenary, Pandemic Snapshots: Learning and Looking Forward let instructors’ and students’ stories take the spotlight as we all reflected on the past year.
CTSI has taken this reminder to learn and grow to heart and expanded our webinar offerings (35 in Spring/Summer 2020, 19 in Fall 2020 and 22 in the Winter 2021 term) and our online resource catalogue. We started the process of redesigning the CTSI website and educational technology online knowledge database, which will make it easier for our instructors to find up-to-date resources when they need them.
This report captures the highlights of the work of the various functional teams in CTSI. Collaborations among these teams are at the heart of CTSI’s work, as are collaborations with our partners across the University. Over this past year, this work and our connections were vital as we all leaned on and relied upon our colleagues to ensure instructors received the support they needed during this difficult period.
Having completed my first year as CTSI Director, a year that was repeatedly referred to as unprecedented, I am grateful for the unwavering support of the superb CTSI team and our partners and colleagues across the University. As we are able to gather in person, and our ‘new normal’ takes a new shape, I am excited by the opportunities ahead, and the possibilities this year has shown for new and flexible ways we can continue to support instructors. I am looking forward to setting the Centre’s next strategic priorities and working with our community to meet these goals.
Director | Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
Professor, Teaching Stream | Department of Statistical Sciences