Tune into Teaching Series

(NB: These sessions are open to all new and returning faculty and librarians)

Setting the Tone for Success: The first day of class and beyond
Megan Burnett, Associate Director, CTSI
Cora McCloy, Faculty Liaison Coordinator, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, CTSI
Tamara Bahr, Manager, Teaching, Learning & Technology, CTSI
Navroop Gill, Teaching & Learning Project Lead, U of T Libraries

This session will provide strategies for getting your course off to a welcoming and productive start, including:

  • what to do in the first week of classes
  • how to present the course objectives and syllabus to your students
  • how to initiate and sustain excitement about your discipline
  • how to motivate and prepare your students for the requirements and responsibilities of the course.

Participants will have the opportunity to generate a plan for their first class and will be provided a Worksheet in advance of the session to use throughout the webinar. Group activities will be integrated throughout to allow opportunities to share ideas and first class strategies that promote a welcoming class environment and can set your students up for success.

Webinar Resources:

Syllabus Design
Megan Burnett, Associate Director, CTSI
Tamara Bahr, Manager, Teaching, Learning and Technology, CTSI

A well-crafted syllabus ensures that students understand the essential requirements for participating and succeeding in a course. A well-designed syllabus can also serve as a learning tool to enhance students’ experience in the course, beyond listing course policies and due dates. In this practical, interactive session we will:

  • consider the essential elements of an effective syllabus, including key information and important statements to include
  • review current best practices in syllabus design, and
  • examine a model University of Toronto course syllabus

Participants will also have the opportunity to analyze and discuss another sample U of T syllabus (sent in advance of the session). The goal of this workshop is for each participant to leave with a well-developed plan for revising/crafting a powerful syllabus that works for both instructor and learner. Participants are encouraged to have handy one of their own course syllabi that they can refer to and reflect on throughout the webinar.

Webinar Resources:

Teaching with Technology 2.0: Improving Engagement and Collaboration with Educational Technologies
Tamara Bahr, Manager, Teaching, Learning & Technology, CTSI
Will Heikoop, Online Learning Coordinator, CTSI/Online Learning Strategies

Are you looking to improve and enhance student learning in your courses? Interested in exploring tools supported at U of T and the best practices for using them in your teaching? In this online session we will discuss how to effectively integrate educational technology into courses to align with your course outcomes. We will explore student engagement and collaboration techniques, emerging teaching with technology trends in higher education, university guidelines for effective implementation, and considerations for the selection of supported tech tools.

Webinar resources:

Active Learning Strategies for Online Teaching
Justin Fletcher, Faculty Liaison Coordinator, Teaching, Learning & Technology, CTSI/ACT
Michal Kasprzak, Assistant Director, TATP/CTSI

In this webinar, we will provide tips and strategies for incorporating active learning that can be used in online learning environments. We will model various activities that are suitable for asynchronous or synchronous delivery that you can incorporate into your courses. This webinar will highlight how you can use Quercus and the Academic Toolbox to support the implementation of these active learning strategies.
Please note that this session will feature an activity that allows you to experience breakout groups.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify active learning strategies that can be used in online learning environments
  • Implement active learning strategies using tools in Quercus and the Academic Toolbox
  • Navigate Quercus support resources

Webinar Resources:

Designing Better Assignments
Andrea Graham, Ph.D., Learning Strategist, Academic Success
Andrea Williams, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Director of Writing & Rhetoric, Innis College, and Writing-Integrated Teaching, FAS

Assignments have been called the creative engine of teaching: they can increase student engagement and learning and make the grading process for instructors and TAs more meaningful. But what exactly are good assignments and how do we create or adapt them?
In this session we’ll review the principles and strategies of assignment design that apply to all disciplines and to both online and in-person environments. Participants will gain new tools and resources they can use to improve their own assignments.

Through discussion and activities, such as analyzing sample assignments and rubrics, we’ll consider how and why to:

  • sequence and scaffold assignments throughout a course
  • build in feedback at key junctures
  • communicate evaluation criteria to students
  • foster academic integrity
  • provide resources to guide students through assignments

Webinar Resources:

Quercus Quickstart
Derek Hunt, Faculty Liaison, Teaching, Learning and Technology, CTSI
Marko Piljevic, Faculty Liaison, Technology, CTSI
Maryam Shafiei, Faculty Liaison, Technology, CTSI

This webinar is geared toward faculty, staff and TAs who are brand new to Quercus and those who are looking to review the basics. In this session participants will learn about essential information to get started with building their Quercus course. We will provide participants with tips for effectively organizing and structuring course content using Modules and Pages in Quercus, as well as an overview of the layout and features included in a Quercus course, customizing course settings, communicating with students, uploading course files, and adding assignments.

We will discuss the following strategies and best practices:

  • designing Home Pages that are engaging for students
  • using Quercus Modules to chunk content into manageable segments or learning units
  • structuring content that flows in a logical progression

Webinar Resources:

Addressing Racial Microaggressions: Tools, Strategies and Discussions
Aamer Esmail (he/they), Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO)

In this interactive session, participants will:

  • Increase their understanding of the experiences and impact of racial microaggressions – identify forms of racial microaggressive behaviour and comments
  • Discuss and develop strategies for prevention and resolution of subtle discrimination within the work and learning environments
  • Increase understanding of the role of management in effectively addressing and responding to occurrences of microaggressions/subtle discrimination

Webinar Resources:

Info Session: Supporting Your TAs in the Academic Year
Mike Kasprzak, Assistant Director TATP/CTSI
Cristina D’Amico, Faculty Liaison Coordinator, Grad Student Development & TA Training

In this session, we’ll discuss strategies for working effectively with your teaching assistants, whether in the online or hybrid environment. Whether you’re working closely with one TA or a team of 10+ TAs, there are important considerations to explore for online teaching. We will provide tips for building community in your teaching team and creating cohesion across your course for your students’ learning. We’ll cover new training opportunities and priority areas for TAs identified by the CUPE 3902 Collective Agreement (2021-2023). Finally, we will have plenty of time for questions from faculty throughout the session.

Webinar Resources:

Personalizing Your Land Acknowledgements: Building from the Medicine Wheel
Bonnie Jane Maracle, Indigenous Learning Strategist, Academic Success & First Nations House
Yaseen Ali, Learning Strategist, Academic Success
Ellyn Kerr, Learning Strategist, Academic Success

Have you been meaning to personalize your land acknowledgment to open events and gatherings, but been concerned about getting something “wrong”? Do you often use a pre-written template but would prefer to tailor your acknowledgment to better reflect your own cultural and social location(s)?

This session will offer a non-judgmental and supportive environment to reflect on your identities using the Medicine Wheel as an Indigenous pedagogical and experiential learning framework. Through a variety of prompts and dedicated contemplative writing time, participants will have opportunity to draft a meaningful and dynamic statement on what it means to “acknowledge” Indigenous land and consider their further action related to the Truth and Reconciliation process.

This workshop will be guided by Bonnie Jane Maracle (Indigenous Learning Strategist, Academic Success/First Nations House). There will also be a follow-up sharing circle for faculty members held on Thursday, October 21st (10am – 11:30am) as a space to debrief your experiences having shared your tailored land acknowledgments in classes with students.

Webinar Resources:

Inclusive Teaching Strategies for Supporting EAL Students
Yaseen Ali, Learning Strategist, Academic Success Centre
Jasjit Sangha, Learning Strategist, Academic Success Centre
Liron Efrat, TA Trainer, Centre for International Experience
Sanja Ivanov, TA Trainer, Centre for International Experience

Intercultural communication skills related to teaching and collaboration are often encouraged to directly address the needs of international students, a significant and growing population at the university. Yet many EAL (English as an additional language user) students have highlighted added challenges and concerns around their participation using virtual platforms during the pandemic, resulting in feelings of self-doubt and imposterism.

Racialized EAL and/or international students in particular have shared experiences of receiving verbal microaggressions, working with impatient audiences, and feeling ignored by fellow classmates. As such, how can we as instructors anticipate these challenges and support the plurilingual strengths of our students?

Goal for the Session:
This session led by learning strategists and TA Trainers will engage participants on practical strategies and tools to support multicultural, multilingual, multi-accented learners, as well as other many other students who do not fit under the category of international status. The facilitators will also provide faculty members with a handout on inclusive teaching strategies for EAL students.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Greater awareness of how societal inequity is reproduced in the classroom due to the hegemony of English in intercultural communication
  • Highlighting how EAL learners are excluded through racist micro-aggressions and micro-invalidations (based on what we have heard from students in our workshops and 1:1 appointments)
  • Understanding which teaching and facilitation strategies can lessen the impact of exclusion of EAL learners
  • An appreciation for how attentiveness to intercultural pedagogy and to EAL audiences can benefit all participants in a space

Webinar Resources:

If you have any questions about the Tune in to Teaching series, please Kelly Gordon, Coordinator, Programs and Strategic Initiatives for more information at kelly.gordon@utoronto.ca.