Special Topics in Teaching (CTE0219)Export this event to calendar

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 — 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM EST
Note: This session is geared toward participants in the faculty of Engineering.
Location: MC 2036A


Join us for two research talks and an inteactive workshop by doctoral students taking part in the advanced Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program, and find out more about the educational research interests of your fellow graduate students across campus. This will be a 1.5 hour-long session that will count toward your Fundamentals workshop credit.

Teaching Higher-order Thinking Skills in Engineering (research presentation; 15 min. presentation followed by 10 min. discussion)
Heba Elsawaf, PhD candidate, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Critical thinking and higher cognitive abilities cannot be underestimated as key skills that students must pursue to succeed in their professional career. In this presentation, we will survey methods to embed these skills in engineering courses. The focus is on the ways in which the disciplinary content is delivered and the assessment methods used to validate the effectiveness of the selected methods. The following teaching methodologies will be addressed: flipped classroom, inquiry-based learning, graphical tools, and project-based learning techniques. We will also briefly discuss the challenges of assessing critical thinking skills.

Fostering Student Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills through Questions and Guided Search for Answers (research presentation; 15 min. presentation followed by 10 min. discussion)
Mina Rafieishishavan, PhD Candidate, Chemical Engineering

Critical thinking is the skill to analyze information and employ ideas in different situations. It is a life skill and forms one of the key goals of education. Through a literature survey, I examined various aspects of inquiry-based teaching methods and their effect on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I considered two main research questions. First, how to use questions effectively to foster critical thinking? Second, what are the inquiry-based approaches and how these approaches improve critical thinking, particularly for STEM students?

Assignments in Mathematical Courses: The More the Merrier? (interactive workshop; 45 min.)
Jessica Dang, PhD Candidate, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science

Solving practice problems is a fundamental and useful learning activity, particularly in mathematical courses. In this research project, I attempt to answer the following question: What is the appropriate amount of assignments for the best learning outcome and well-being of the students? The intended learning outcomes of this workshop include 1) Identify the benefits of frequent assignments in mathematical courses; 2) Identify the issues of having too many assignments; 3) Describe some strategies to make effective assignments without increasing workload.


  • CTE has a new registration system called GoSignMeUp. Before you can register for a workshop, you need to create an account (one time only). Once you’ve created an account, you can register for this workshop.
  • Participants will receive an attendance credit toward the Fundamentals program if they arrive on time and stay until the end of the event.
  • A maximum of one special topic workshops can be counted toward your Fundamentals certificate.


Many of our workshops have waiting lists, so if you've registered but can't attend, please cancel your registration well in advance through the registration system, so that someone else can fill your spot.


The University of Waterloo is committed to achieving barrier-free accessibility for persons with disabilities who are studying, working, or visiting at Waterloo. If you have questions concerning access, such as parking, building layouts, or obtaining information in alternative formats, or wish to request accommodations for a CTE workshop or event, please contact CTE via email (cte@uwaterloo.ca) or phone (ext. 33857) and include the session’s title and date. Our workshops typically involve a mix of presentation and discussion-based activities, and we encourage a scent-free environment. We also welcome accompanying assistants, interpreters, or note-takers; notify us if accommodations are needed in this regard. Please note that some accommodations may require time to arrange.

Mathematics & Computer - MC
Room 2036A
200 University Ave West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1