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Special Topics in Teaching (CTE219)Export this event to calendar

Monday, January 15, 2018 — 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
Location: EV1 241


Join us for two interactive presentations 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 towards your Fundamentals workshop credit.

Motivation in Mathematics: Motivational Strategies for Post-Secondary Math Classes (research talk; 30 min.), Nickolas Rollick, Department of Pure Mathematics

University-level math offers a unique set of motivational challenges.  The increased emphasis on abstraction, formality, and rigorous proof often leaves students struggling to see the value of course content.  In addition, many students enter university lacking strategies for being resilient in the face of mathematical setbacks.  We will explore several families of instructional strategies addressing these motivational deficits, suggesting further avenues of investigation along the way.

Breaking the Norm: Cooperative Learning in the Undergraduate Math Classroom (research talk; 30 min.), Thomas Bury, Department of Applied Mathematics

Cooperative learning is becoming increasingly recognised as a powerful pedagogy able to enhance students’ attention, information retention and depth of understanding.  Its implementation in undergraduate mathematics classes however, remains scarce. This talk explores possible reasons for the hesitancy towards active learning in math classrooms and suggests ways to overcome these challenges. We will also discuss cooperative learning implementations that we believe are particularly suited to the undergraduate mathematics classroom.



  • Registration is required. Difficulty registering? Read our registration help guide
  • Participants will receive an attendance credit towards 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 towards your Fundamentals certificate.


Many of our workshops have waiting lists, so if you've registered but can't attend, please notify us 24 hours in advance (at ) so that we can give your spot to someone else.


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 ( 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.

EV1 - Environment 1
Room 241
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1