Teaching development

Portfolio goal: Teaching Development

Our mandate is to improve our students' learning experiences by supporting faculty teaching members in building strength in teaching. We work with departmental Teaching Champions, Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) staff, and others to fulfill our mandate.

Department Teaching Champions

Engineering's Department Teaching Champions work alongside the Associate Dean, Teaching to support teaching leadership. They help to communicate teaching iniatives within their academic units, share best practices in teaching and learning, support efforts to improve teaching quality, and foster and promote teaching innovations.

Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE)

The Teaching Portfolio partners with CTE to offer complementary, engineering-specific teaching developent programs and initiatives. CTE provides valued expertise, resources and support to both individual instructors and the Teaching Portfolio.

Title Name Notes
Engineering Faculty Liaison Richard Li Richard is an ideal first contact for Engineering teaching members looking to connect with CTE resources. He can help with a variety of teaching & learning strategies and support your use of educational technologies, including LEARN. Richard also facilitates two Engineering-specific communities of practice: the Engineering Integrative Learning Group and the Case-Based Learning Group.
Educational Research Associate currently vacant This role supports faculty members undertaking educational research and can help researchers apply for funding through the Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) grant program.
Sr. Educational Developer, Integrative & Experiential Learning Katherine Lithgow Katherine supports faculty members wishing to improve integration between course materials and the workplace.
Eductional Developer, Research and Consulting Kyle Scholz Kyle supports faculty members undertaking educational research. He is also an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) facilitator.
Communications Associate Alisa Sivak Alisa provides support to our teaching award nomination efforts.
Sr. Educational Developer, Graduate Programs & Internationalization Svitlana Taraban Svitlana coordinates the Fundamentals of University Teaching and the Certificate in University Teaching programs and has supervised a number of Engineering graduate students in their work as graduate instructional developers and TA workshop facilitators.
Educational Developer, Faculty Programs and Consulting Monica Vesely Monica meets with new faculty teaching members and helps them establish a teaching development plan. She is also an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) facilitator.


For Engineering Teaching Members

On Campus Workshops and Programs

CTE's Core Program for New Faculty includes the following workshops, which faculty teaching members are encouraged to complete within their first two years:

  • Who are our learners
  • Classroom dynamics and engagement
  • Assessment for learning
  • Course design foundations
  • Teaching Dossiers and Philosophy Statements

CTE also offers the heavily subscribed Instructional SKills Workshop (ISW) at different times throughout the year. We can also arrange Engineering-only ISW offerings as demand permits. If you're interested in completing the ISW, please contact the Teaching Portfolio.

The Teaching Squares program is another excellent way to hone your teaching craft. Participants come together with three other teaching members to observe and learn from one another. Marc Hurwitz, our Teaching Champion from Conrad, participated in a Teaching Square and would be happy to share his experience. You can also contact Monica Vesely for more information.

Communities of Practice

Engineering's CTE Faculty Liaison, Richard Li, currently facilitates communities of practice for Engineering teaching members and can add you to the mailing list so you receive updates and inivtation for one or both of these groups.

Engineering Integrative Learning (EIL) Group

This group was established in 2013 as a place for faculty teaching members to purposefully focus on integrative learning. About three times per term, one of the group members presents to the rest of the group on an integrative practice they have applied in their teaching.

When our students make connections between their learning experiences within a whole program of study, between courses during a term or between their academic knowledge and co-op experience they are integrating their learning. Designing learning experiences with the intentional goal of helping students integrate their knowledge can help student apply skills and knowledge learned in one situation to problems encountered in another.

Case-Based Learning (CBL) Group

This group was established in 2019 as a place for faculty teaching members to work together to develop and refine case-based learning approaches for their courses. The group has discussed the design of playground equipment, bar soap, and industrial equipment as cases or projects for their students.

Professional Memberships

If you're looking to develop your teaching skills but don't know where to start, please contact the Teaching and Learning Team at ENGTL@uwaterloo.ca.

For Your Graduate Students

On Campus Workshops and Programs

All TAs should have completed the mandatory two-day ExpecTAtions TA Workshop prior to being assigned as a Teaching Assistant to your class. This workshop includes a basic introduction to teaching, and through full and engaged participation in both face-to-face and online components, participants will:

  • develop an understanding of the TA roles of ambassador and front-line observer
  • present in front of an audience, give and receive feedback, and mark student work
  • demonstrate an understanding of a TA’s role in
    • upholding academic integrity,
    • protecting students from physical and non-physical risks, and
    • maintaining a learning envirnment that is free from harassment and discrimination.

CTE offers a number of teaching development resources and opportunities for graduate students, including an online TA Handbook that contains information useful to new teaching assistants. The following face-to-face workshops may also be useful to your teaching assistants:

  • CTE210 Preparing to Teach at Waterloo strongly recommended for graduate students who are new to teaching in Canada
  • Fundamentals of University Teaching
  • Certificate in University Teaching

Online Training

The online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education course, which was collaboratively developed by Queen’s University, Western University and University of Waterloo, offers the following on-demand modules for graduate students:

  • Module 1: How Students Learn 
  • Module 2: Assessment Strategies
  • Module 3: Active Learning
  • Module 4: Principles of Course Design
  • Module 5:  Globalization of Learning 
  • Module 6: Ethical Principles and Professionalism in University Teaching