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September 2023

Welcome To the Fall 2023 Semester! 

As the Fall 2023 semester begins, the Office of Teaching and Learning welcomes back all UofG faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants. The start of the academic year is a time of excitement, optimism, and sometimes trepidation. OTL is committed to fostering a culture of innovative and evidence-based teaching. We offer resources, programming, and consultations to support instructors at all levels. Please explore our website or reach out to with any questions or to chat about teaching and learning.

OTL Releases Provisional Recommendations for the Use of Generative AI in Teaching and Learning
Teaching in the context of AI Banner

OTL has published provisional recommendations for the use of generative artificial intelligence in teaching and learning at the University of Guelph. The recommendations evolved from ongoing study of the generative AI landscape and its effects on higher education, active conversations with other post-secondary institutions, and feedback from members of the Teaching and Learning Network, CARE-AI, the Library, OpenEd, the Office of Graduate Studies, and the Office of Quality Assurance. The recommendations will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available.  

The recommendations help instructors navigate generative AI in relation to:

  • fostering academic integrity 
  • course design, learning outcomes, activities, and assessments 
  • communicating with students about the technology and issues surrounding it, such as privacy, ethical debates, and potential benefits and risks 
  • writing citations
  • using the technology for course work
  • plagiarism detection software 
  • sample course outline statements and/or assignment instructions 

The university plans to revisit and revise these provisional recommendations as new information, issues, and guidance arises. It will set up a task force/working group to provide institutional guidance, support, and leadership to our community on AI in teaching and learning. Updates will be noted here in our OTL Teaching and Learning Digest.

OTL has also curated useful resources related to generative AI and teaching, including a tool to help you communicate to your students about acceptable uses of AI on assessments. As the Fall semester progresses, please reach out to educational developers in OTL about your experiences with generative AI and teaching. Contact with any questions or to share your experiences about generative AI and teaching.

University Teaching Leadership Fellow Offers Practical Uses of AI In the Classroom Workshop on September 13th and 14th

Dr. Matthew LaGrone, Program Head, Liberal Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber,  the University Teaching Leadership Fellow in AI Literacy, and a core member of the Teaching and Learning Network, will be offering a hands-on workshop showcasing key generative AI tools. The workshop is entitled AI in the Classroom: A Guide for the Perplexed (and Curious) and is being hosted by Academic Services at the University of Guelph-Humber. Dr. LaGrone will take you through the ins and outs of tools like ChatGPT, BingAI, Midjourney, and others, illustrating how they can augment your teaching resources. The workshop will be offered online twice, on September 13 (10:00 AM) and 14 (1:00 PM). The workshop is open to all University of Guelph and University of Guelph-Humber faculty and staff. Register Here for one of the sessions. 

Two eCampus Ontario Fellows from UofG Community

Two University of Guelph staff members have been awarded fellowships with eCampusOntario.

Dr. Victoria Chen, an Academic Technology Specialist at University of Guelph-Humber, and Brandon Sabourin, an Educational Developer from the Office of Teaching and Learning, have been selected by eCampusOntario as fellows in the 2023 Ontario Extend (OE) Digital Literacy Fellowship.

The OE Digital Literacy Fellowship recognizes Chen’s and Sabourin's efforts to support colleagues in the discovery and experimentation of digital learning tools and high-performance online teaching and mentorship practice. As fellows, Chen and Sabourin will mentor cohorts of Ontario postsecondary educators through the Ontario Extend micro-credential program. They will also act as ambassadors for eCampusOntario programs and initiatives to support digital fluency among the province’s postsecondary faculty and staff. 

In August, Chen and Sabourin led a first cohort of Ontario postsecondary educators through a 3-week “sprint” to complete the OE micro-credential program. A second sprint cohort led by the team of OE Fellows will take place in November 2023. If you are interested in completing the next OE sprint or want to learn more about the Ontario Extend program, please contact Brandon at or visit the eCampusOntario website for details.

Upcoming Programming

Fall Book Club: Relationship-Rich Education by Peter Felten and Leo Lambert 

During the Fall 2023 semester, the OTL Book Club will host a book club to discuss Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success In College (Felten and Lambert, 2020). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals and teaching assistants). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of Relationship-Rich Education and discuss your thoughts, questions or share experiences from their own classes. Click here to register for the Fall Book Club.

This year, we are thrilled to be partnering with colleagues at York University who will also be reading and discussing Relationship-Rich Education in their own book club. Our colleagues from York will join us for an asynchronous kick off activity and synchronously in our December wrap up session to encourage sharing and exploring diverse perspectives inspired by our common reading experience. More details to come closer to the respective session dates. 

Book Club Resources

The OTL Book Club website now includes discussion guides for each of the six books that the OTL Book Club has read together, including Small Teaching Online and What Inclusive Instructors Do. We invite you to use these guides to spark your interest in reading teaching and learning literature. Use the guides independently to prompt reflection, in a buddy read, or to facilitate your own book club! We aim to expand this collection of discussion guides and hope these resources help continue to cultivate a community of self-reflective and inspired educators.

Featured Teaching Resource 

Instructors sometimes struggle to find time to stay up to date with teaching and learning research, as they balance their teaching, research, and service responsibilities. Staying informed about evidence-based teaching and assessment practices doesn’t have to take a lot of time to become part of your professional practice. Consider listening to a teaching and learning podcast like Lecture Breakers or Vet Sessions, or consult the NILOA Assignment Library when you’re brainstorming ideas to design a course assessment.

To make it easier for instructors to find teaching-related resources, educational developers Jennifer Reniers, Brandon Sabourin, and Christie Stewart, along with TLI 2023 workshop participants, curated a collection of teaching and learning resources including journals, blogs, podcasts, and multimedia resources.We hope that this document will help you find an inspiring and useful resource to spark your teaching ideas. If you know of any resources related to teaching and learning that you would like to add to this resource, please contact us at to let us know. 

Meet the Educational Resource Developer

Each month, we will feature a member of the Office of Teaching and Learning team in a brief interview. For more information about each Educational Developer’s portfolio, please visit our website

Shehroze Saharan, Educational Resource Developer

What pathway did you take to your career as an Educational Resource Developer? 

My journey to becoming an Educational Resource Developer has been a fascinating and evolving one. It all began during my undergraduate years when I initially stepped into the role of an undergraduate research assistant (URA). Little did I know that this small step would set the foundation for my career path. As I delved into my undergraduate studies, I discovered my passion for the intricate world of education and the power of effective resources. This interest naturally led me to explore different avenues within the education realm. I gradually transitioned into work-study positions that allowed me to engage more deeply with educational development as an Educational Resource Developer. In this role I take the lead on various aspects of digital pedagogy, information management, educational resource development, website development/information architecture, knowledge mobilization, communications, and dissemination to promote effective teaching and learning. 

Today, I find myself in a role that aligns perfectly with my journey. The pathway from being an undergraduate research assistant to navigating through various work-study roles has led me to where I am now. As an Educational Resource Developer, I have the privilege of bringing together my passion for education, my skills in communication and dissemination, and my fascination with information architecture. It's an exciting juncture where every step has contributed to shaping my identity in the world of educational development. 

​What interests you about teaching and learning? 

My interest in teaching and learning was sparked during my third year of undergraduate studies in HK2810 (Human Physiology) when I encountered the term "pedagogy" for the first time. Dr. Kerry Ritchie introduced the concept, and it immediately caught my attention, becoming a turning point in my academic journey. Dr. Ritchie's explanation of pedagogy intrigued me and prompted me to dive into researching this area further. I began observing teaching methods in action across various courses, with a particular focus on HK2810. These experiences demonstrated the tangible effects of effective pedagogy on student engagement and comprehension. 

Additionally, I'm drawn to the ongoing dialogue about assessments in higher education. In particular, the impact of digital pedagogy and emerging technologies like generative AI, such as ChatGPT, on assessment strategies fascinates me. In essence, my interest in teaching and learning was kindled by a specific moment and has grown through observing pedagogy in action and exploring the evolving landscape of education, particularly in the realm of assessments. Not only this, but I have recently been selected in the OER Rangers Program, facilitated by eCampus Ontario’s Open Library to represent a shared vision to discover, adopt, create, and promote open educational resources across Ontario. I am beyond thrilled to be an advocate and proponent for open education and represent the University of Guelph at a provincial level.

What aspect of the OTL website or resources do you wish more people knew about? 

One gem within the OTL website that I wish more people were aware of is the "Teaching in the Context of AI" resource. This resource delves into the fascinating intersection of education and artificial intelligence led by Christopher Laursen. It provides insights, strategies, and practical approaches for educators to navigate the incorporation of AI into their teaching methodologies. Given the rapid evolution of technology and its impact on education, understanding how to effectively integrate AI into teaching is becoming increasingly important. This resource offers valuable guidance on leveraging AI tools and techniques to enhance the learning experience, personalize education, and foster engagement. 

From AI-driven assessment strategies to leveraging data analytics for better insights into student performance, this resource provides educators with a comprehensive guide to harnessing AI's potential in the classroom. By exploring this resource, educators can stay ahead of the curve and adapt their teaching methods to the changing landscape of education influenced by AI. 

In a world where technology is transforming education, this resource stands out as an invaluable asset, and I hope more educators will discover and utilize it to enhance their teaching practices. 

Featured SoTL Snapshot 

SoTL Snapshots are clear-language summaries of peer-reviewed research articles related to teaching and learning. SoTL Snapshots are designed to provide a synopsis of the research, with a focus on how instructors can apply the evidence-based teaching and assessment strategies in their classrooms. This month’s SoTL Snapshot focuses on an intervention designed to promote student mental health and promote deep learning. Researchers found that students responded positively to short in-class mindfulness exercises. Students reported that the mindfulness exercises improved their learning. Check out the full SoTL Snapshot here

Reflections on Pedagogy: Musings for Educators 

“Human connection is the basis upon which learning takes place. Relationships are essential because there is no learning without relationships.” 

-Randy Bass, Georgetown University 

For more teaching resources or to chat with an Educational Developer, visit our website at or contact