January 2023

OTL Announcements and Reminders

Announcing the 2023/24 Learning Enhancement Fund (LEF) Call for Proposals  

The Associate Vice-President (Academic), and the Office of Teaching and Learning are again pleased to announce the call for proposals to the LEF.   

The LEF competition considers submissions designed to support any aspect of curriculum renewal and innovation that is scalable and sustainable. Projects that highlight novel assessments strategies that address current issues regarding the use of lockdown browsers, ensuring academic integrity, or employing alternate grading practices (e.g., specifications grading) are particularly encouraged.  

Please submit your completed proposal via email to the AVPA’s office no later than 5:00pm March 3rd 2023, using the downloadable proposal and budget templates available on the OTL website. We welcome and look forward to new LEF applicants.  

There’s Still Time to Register for University Teaching: Theory and Practice (UNIV*6800) 

Spots are still available in University Teaching: Theory and Practice (UNIV*6800), a graduate-level course that focuses on the relationship between pedagogical theory and instructional practice. Participants will develop and deliver a micro-teaching lesson, give and receive peer feedback, and develop their approach to becoming a reflective instructional practitioner. The course will be held online on Tuesdays from 8:30 – 11:20am. Contact Janet Wolstenholme at jzkwolst@uoguelph.ca for more information about the course.   

OTL Book Club Update

During the Fall 2022 semester, OTL Book Club members read and discussed Infusing Critical Thinking into Your Courses by Linda Nilson. On November 30th, Dr. Nilson joined book club members to discuss the book and her groundbreaking work on specifications grading. Book club members benefitted from sharing ideas with colleagues from other disciplines and enjoyed discussing (and debating!) the ideas and strategies with each other and with Dr. Nilson.  

The book club is always open and welcoming new members. If you are interested in joining our friendly, informative, and fun community, please register for the Winter 2023 Book Club (more details below).  

 What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching 

During the Winter 2023 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will host a book club to discuss What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching (Addy et al., 2021). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of What Inclusive Instructors Do and discuss your thoughts, questions or share experiences from their own classes. Book club meetings will take place every other Thursday from 1:30 – 3:00pm starting on January 19th, 2023. Follow this link to register for the book club, or contact otl@uoguelph.ca for more information. 

How To Do Better from Lessons Learned during the Pandemic

How To Do Better from Lessons Learned during the Pandemic  

In Fall 2020, the first cohort of students entered post-secondary studies during the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly all of them learning online. A report from the Higher Educational Quality Control Council of Ontario (HEQCO) surveyed 565 students from that cohort.  

Researchers found that teaching and learning fell short. The first-year students reported struggling to integrate into academic life, finding few opportunities for engagement, and experiencing overall low satisfaction. Inequity rose as students with disabilities and from low-income households disclosed increased negative impacts on their learning as well as their mental and physical health. The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) cohort related greater difficulties transitioning from high school into first-year studies.  

From these findings, HEQCO offers major recommendations, all of which are supported by the services offered by the Office of Teaching and Learning at the University of Guelph. We can help faculty and colleges to: 

  • strategize curricular development that integrates skills for effective teaching and learning across multiple modes of delivery (in-person, blended, hyflex, online synchronous, and asynchronous e-learning) 

  • help develop courses or programming that bridges potential gaps from secondary to post-secondary learning, particularly ensuring foundational concepts are effectively established in first-year studies 

  • integrate universal design for learning principles in pedagogy, course development and enhancement, and assessments to remove barriers and to support learner variability 

Through intentional, evidence-based approaches, OTL aims to make teaching and learning more flexible and equitable, supporting diversity and inclusiveness. Please reach out to us at otl@uoguelph.ca if you are looking to better meet these recommendations set forth by HEQCO. Such planning can help us better adapt to new or unexpected changes that intersect with our work in education. 

Save the Date TLI 2023. May 17-18, 2023 

For more teaching resources or to chat with an Educational Developer, visit our website at otl.uoguelph.ca or contact otl@uoguelph.ca.