March 2023

OTL Announcements

Announcing the U of G Teaching and Learning Network Members

The University of Guelph's Office of the Provost and Associate Vice-President (Academic) has announced the members of the University of Guelph Teaching and Learning Network. This initiative will enhance teaching and learning on our campuses and promote teaching and learning innovations. The Network will coordinate the exchange of ideas and resources, coordinate communication and marketing of teaching and learning events and resources, collaborate on projects, and build educational leadership capacity. It includes representatives from the Colleges, campuses, units, a graduate student, and an undergraduate student. For a list of the Network members and the full announcement, please visit our announcement page.

Inquire Call for Applications Now Open

The Inquire Certificate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is designed for U of G faculty, instructors and staff who are interested in conducting research on teaching and learning. This 16-month program includes a 3-day in-person kick-off session on May 23rd, 24th, and 29th. Applications for the 2023 – 2024 Inquire cohort are now being accepted. For more information, and to apply check out the Inquire website.

Reminder: 2023/24 AVPA SoTL Grant Call for Proposals Due March 24th, 2023

The goal of the AVPA Grant for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is to encourage and support scholarship that informs and enhances learning experiences, teaching practices, and educational development within and across disciplines by providing financial support for research projects. The AVPA SoTL Grant competition considers submissions designed to support any aspect of SoTL. Please submit your completed proposal via email to the AVPA’s office no later than 4:00pm March 24th, 2023, using the downloadable proposal and budget templates available on the OTL website. We welcome and look forward to new AVPA SoTL Grant applicants.

AI in the Spotlight at UofG

As universities grapple with advancing artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT, and its impact on teaching and assessment, several upcoming sessions at U of G will help instructors think through this complex topic.

  • On March 17th from 12:00 – 1:30 the Lang School of Business and Economics will host a Lang Virtual Workshop: How Should We Teach with Writing in the Era of AI Text Generators? For more information and to register for the session, visit the Lang registration link.
  • On April 12th from 12:00 – 1:30 the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences will host a session called CSAHS Hybrid Panel Discussion: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and teaching and learning at UOG: Pass or Fail? This hybrid session will take place in The Hub (019 MacKinnon) and via Zoom. To register, or for more information, visit the CSAHS registration link. Questions about this session can be sent to
  • On May 17th the Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference will feature two panels focused on AI: AI in Higher Education and AI and Assessments. More details about these sessions will be posted on the TLI website as they become available.

OTL Book Club: Registration Open

Spring 2023 Book Club Registration– What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching

Beginning April 6th, 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). The book club is always welcoming new members. Register here.

Featured Teaching Resource

Our Spring book club selection author, Tracie Addy, recently co-authored a protocol to assess the use of inclusive teaching strategies. This validated classroom observation tool is designed to provide instructors with feedback about their use of observable inclusive teaching strategies. The article provides a comprehensive list of observable inclusive teaching strategies, with scenarios and videos illustrating these strategies in action (see pp. 83 – 39). Inclusive teaching strategies assessed in the protocol include: using diverse examples, making real-world connections to the material, calling on students by name, and using language that encourages a growth mindset. Check out the article for inspiration on making your teaching more inclusive.

Focus on Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design Tools, Part 1

In addition to Universal Design for Learning that we have been reviewing over the past several issues of the newsletter, additional tools have been developed to minimize barriers and maximize learning.

Universal Instructional Design (UID) focuses on ensuring education is accessible to the greatest number of students, ideally all of them. Principles underlying UID include:

  1. Being accessible and fair
  2. Being straightforward and consistent
  3. Providing flexibility in use, participation and presentation
  4. Explicitly presenting materials so that they are readily perceived
  5. Providing a supportive learning environment
  6. Minimizing unnecessary physical effort of requirements
  7. Ensuring a learning space the accommodates both students and instructional methods

A 2004 study showed that U of G students “reported greater academic self-efficacy and more positive emotions" in courses that implemented the practices. This UID Quick-Start Implementation Checklist (2004) shows how tangible changes in course design, delivery, materials and tools, and environments make courses more accessible. Two decades later, UID implementation remains a practical means to make courses more inclusive. Our educational developer Christopher Laursen can help you review universal design principles to enhance your courses. You can reach him at

Newsletter News

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