Teaching Competence Offerings

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Spring and Summer 2017


May to August 2017

Advanced University Teaching Preparation Certificate

Program Partner: Teaching Assistants' Training Program
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Teaching Competence

Participants attend a minimum of 10 two-hour workshops, totalling 20 hours of instruction. You must also complete a teaching dossier and participate in a teaching practicum. For the practicum, you can choose between microteaching, in-class observations, or a scholarly paper.
View information on the certificate.

Best Practices in Formative Feedback UTSC

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Area: Teaching Competence


Students will take part in a series of hands-on activities interspersed with brief lectures to learn how to increase student engagement and learning through the use of effective feedback techniques. Participants will develop valuable teaching skills by learning how to efficiently assess assignments and provide forward-looking suggestions for improvement. This workshop is being held in conjunction with the Teaching Showcase, which is eligible for a separate GPS credit.  View more details on workshops and events at UTSC.

Community-Engaged Learning Seminar

Program Partner: Centre for Community Partnerships
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness and Communication & Interpersonal Skills
Dates: Apply by June 2017

The Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto is offering a new Community-Engaged Learning Seminar for doctoral students in 2016-17. This seminar will bring together 15 doctoral students from across U of T to discuss community-engaged learning and other forms of community-U of T engagement. In a​ddition to seminar meetings, students may participate in an experiential collaborative project with fellow seminar participants and a community partner. Doctoral students preparing for faculty positions can enrich their teaching, research, and professional service through community engagement. Doctoral students who plan to pursue non-academic positions can develop new skills and networks through community engagement.

Seminar details: The Community-Engaged Learning Seminar will establish a community of practice among doctoral students at U of T who are interested in community engagement and will provide resources to make this engagement a rewarding and integral element of their future careers. In six seminars over the course of the academic year, a multidisciplinary cohort of students will discuss the literature of community-engaged learning and their experiences in the field, undertake reflective exercises, and benefit from professional development activities to enhance their knowledge and practice in the following areas:

  • Community-engaged learning (based in service-learning pedagogy and including experiential education theory)

  • Other forms of community engagement (including asset-based community development and community-based research)

  • Reflection and assessment in community-engaged work

  • Diversity, ethics, power, and privilege in community-engaged learning and scholarship

  • Strategies for incorporating community engagement into academic and non-academic career and personal development.

Find out more.

Digital Humanities: A Toolkit for Researchers in Medieval Studies

Program Partner: Centre for Medieval Studies
GPS Credits: 1 per three-hour session
Skill Areas: Teaching Competency, Research-Related Skills

Curious about Digital Humanities (DH) projects, tool, and methodologies? Inte​rested in learning the basics, expanding your toolkit, or earning your Centre for Medieval Studies DH certificate (4+ workshops attended), in only three days?

By the end of this boot camp, you will be conversant with DH terminology, from content management systems and data curation to network graphs and SQL coding. Through hands-on workshops, you will learn how to work with the library to get your DH project off the ground; how to house your research material in your own digital exhibit (Omeka); how to safeguard your data's integrity by building your own relational database and writing code to query your material; how to show trends and concepts emerging from your data through graphs and visualizations (Juxta, Cytoscape, ManyEyes); and how to use digital platforms that support your teaching.

More information and location​

Enhancing Your Instructional Technology/Digital Media Skills UTSC

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Area: Teaching Competence

In this session, graduate students will design (and afterwards create) a "digital media asset" that will enable them to better communicate their research or teach using instructional technology. A variety of example assets will be provided and discussed in the session, and basic how-to primer documents will be made available with links to additional web resources and examples. The session will enable participants to assess their needs, explain why their research matters, and determine the kind of digital media asset they wish to create. Each graduate student will author a technical project plan—encompassing the required steps to create the asset.

To complete the assessment activity for this session, the students will execute their plan to the extent reasonably possible within the hour required beyond the face-to-face workshop. Participants will receive individual feedback from the instructor on their technical project plan and their digital media asset. ​Graduate students affiliated with UTSC should register for this workshop on the Intranet.  View more information on GPS offerings at UTSC. ​

Facilitation Skills for Graduate Students

Program Partner: Grad Room, School of Graduate Studies
GPS Credits: 2
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Teaching Competency

This three-part facilitation skills workshop series will give you both the fundamentals and the nuances involved in trainings, education, and workshop facilitation. Covering topics as diverse as conflict resolution in trainings, multiple intelligences, and group reflection processes,​ this series will give participants interactive exposure to the different steps involved in training diverse material. Students will have the chance to bring their specific work and goals to the workshops, and to practise the different techniques as they might be applied to their specific contexts.

Graduate Professional Day (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness, Teaching Competence
Date: January 2017

With a focus on professional development and preparation for the workplace, this free one-day program offers a mix of workshops, seminars, and a panel discussion. Refreshments and lunch are included. Concurrent sessions will allow participants to tailor the day to their needs and interests. The event is open to all U of T graduate students, affiliated with any of the three campuses, but it is only offered at UTSC. GPS credit is available for those who attend at least three of the day’s sessions and complete ​an assessment of those sessions.  View more information on GPS offerings at UTSC.

Let's Talk Science

Science Fair Mentorship and Judging

Program Partner: Let's Talk Science
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Teaching Competence
Date: Orientation for LTS in October and January

An expansion to Let's Talk Science: Introduction to Science Outreach, this offering gives you the opportunity to judge elementary and high school science fair projects. You will aid with student learning through assessing science fair projects and providing feedback.

More information and registration, email lts.grad@utoronto.ca

Managing Large Events

Program Partner: Let's Talk Science
GPS Credits: 2
Skill Areas: Communication Skills

Let's Talk Science at St. George provides the opportunity to work with a team to plan and deliver large scale science outreach events for elementary and high school students. Students visit the St. George Campus for a day to take part in these events which combine interactive components, hands-on activities, debates, challenges, and competitions. You can take on various roles in planning and delivering these events to develop and practise your skills in volunteer management, fundraising, and logistics. Events include the Let's Talk Science Challenge, StemCellTalks, and Let's Talk Cancer, among others.

For more information and registration e​mail: lts.grad@utoronto.ca.

Mentorship Program

Program Partner: Let's Talk Science
GPS Credits: 2
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Teaching Competence
Dates: Orientation for LTS in October and January

An expansion to Let's Talk Science: Introduction to Science Outreach, this offering gives volunteers who have completed Science with Impact and 2 Classroom Visits the opportunity to assist new volunteers in the LTS@StG program and guide them in preparing for and delivering hands-on outreach activities. You share your knowledge and skills as an experienced volunteer, and will be paired with a new volunteer through our Mentorship Program.

For more information and registration, email Its.grad@utoronto.ca.

Science with Impact and 2 Classroom Visits

Program Partner: Let's Talk Science
GPS Credits: 3
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Teaching Competence
Dates: Orientation for LTS in October and January

Learn how to share your enthusiasm about science, engineering, or math! The Let's Talk Science outreach site at the St. George Campus (LTS@StG) hosts the Science with Impact training workshop to provide you with effective strategies and information for communicating scientific concepts to a general audience, with a focus on children and teens. This offering starts with a three-hour training workshop to help you learn best practices for developing engaging science presentations and/or hands-on outreach activities for various audiences. You will have the opportunity to practise these skills by completing two in-class activities in a Toronto school. You will be provided with a Science with Impact Workbook and will be paired with ​educators through LTS@StG.

For more information and registration, email Its.grad@utoronto.ca.

Teaching Creative Problem Solving Skills: An Experiential Workshop

Program Partner: UTM Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Teaching Competence, Research-Related Skills

Tom Klubi and Michael DeBraga Thomas Edison once explained about his research, "I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that don't work." Graduate students and future researchers expand current knowledge by addressing unanswered questions and resolving unresolved problems, but resources and research funds are always limited. The ability to tackle problems in both a systemic and efficient way is essential to research, because it drastically increases not only the likelihood of finding solutions at all, but also the efficiency of those solutions. Excellent problem-solving skills are also essential to teaching, because graduate students will train future generations of researchers. To address this clear need, participants in this session will learn about various approaches to problem-solving, enhance their problem-solving skills, and gain a more refined understanding of their strengths in problem-solving.  View more information on GPS offerings at UTM.

Prospective Professors in Training (PPIT)

Program Partner: Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Teaching Competency
Date: September 2017 to April 2018

The Prospective Professors in Training (PPIT) program prepares soon-to-be PhD graduates for the rigours of applying to, and holding, an academic position. Through a series of seminars, students learn how to develop an effective academic CV, teaching dossier, and research statement. Participants are also taught how to prepare for an academic job interview and apply for funding from granting agencies. In addition, students learn how academics can best manage their time and resources between teaching, research, and university administration.

As part of the program, students also take the APS1203 Engineering Teaching and Learning course. Basic concepts in curriculum, teaching, learning, and current research in the field of engineering education are introduced and discussed.

The GPS credit will be applied for attending a minimum of 10 out of the 13 seminars and completing the mock application package. The APS1203 course will not be credited towards the GPS program. The offering is restricted to PhD students in engineering beyond their first year. View more information here.

Strengthening Undergraduates Research & Writing Skills (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Teaching Competence

Students will take part in a series of hands-on activities interspersed with brief lectures to learn about common undergraduate writing and research problems. Students will develop valuable teaching skills by learning how to assess the writing and research learning outcomes of an assignment and pinpoint likely problems. They will then learn teaching strategies to deal with these common problems, both when working with individual students or a tutorial section.  View more information on GPS offerings at UTSC.

Teaching Fundamentals Certificate

Program Partner: Teaching Assistants' Training Program
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Teaching Competence

Within one academic year, participants attend a minimum of six two-hour workshops, totalling 12 hours of instruction. You will interact with faculty members and fellow graduate students to discuss a range of issues related to teaching and learning in higher education. View more information on the certificate.

Teaching Showcase (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Area: Teaching Competence

The UTSC Teaching Showcase is an annual event with a keynote speaker, concurrent sessions, and poster presentations, with lunch and a concluding​ wine and cheese reception.  View information on GPS offerings at UTSC.​

THE500: Teaching in Higher Education

Program Partner: Woodsworth College
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Teaching Competence
Date: September and January sessions available

THE500 is a course for senior PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows that aims to improve your teaching practice by helping you become more knowledgeable about the ways in which students learn as well as about different teaching theories and styles. You will experience and take part in a variety of teaching situations, from small group work to more formal lecture sessions. Ample opportunity will be given to reflect on theory, your own teaching and learning experiences, as well as those of others involved in the course. View more infomation here.