Teaching effectiveness at Waterloo

A key piece of the holistic model of teaching assessment is a framework of teaching effectiveness that is relevant for the University of Waterloo. We need this framework in order to establish a goal post for the kind of teaching we want to see.

  • What matters for instructors at Waterloo with respect to teaching?
  • What matters for students at Waterloo with respect to teaching?
  • What does the literature say matters with respect to effective teaching?
  • What does Waterloo need to strive for to be the leading institution for teaching effectiveness in Canada?

The answers to these questions were the building blocks for the following framework:

  Design Implementation Learning experience Professional developments
Overview Work at the planning level From design to action Activities supporting growth as an instructor/supervisor Activities supporting growth as an instructor/ supervisor


Builds course around evident design framework

Clearly defines course-level and activity-level learning objectives

Includes learning material that is relevant and/or current scholarship from the field

Structures material in a logical and coherent order

Includes experiential and/or professional connections, when possible

Sets workload and performance standards appropriate for the course level and topic

Plans a variety of teaching/ learning strategies to promote student engagement and deep learning

Framework / alignment

Aligns program expectations, course objectives and learning outcomes with course content, delivery of course and learning activities, and assessments

Develops appropriate and sufficient assessment methods that align with course objectives and outcomes


Describes and explains material clearly using an appropriate pace

Demonstrates enthusiasm for the subject

Uses technology and/or media effectively

Student engagement

Promotes student participation, peer interactions, and engagement with course content

Uses teaching/learning strategies that encourage student engagement and deep learning

Variety of teaching strategies and practices

Adapts to evolving classroom contexts

Adopts a range of teaching strategies, methods, and/or modalities that recognize diverse talents and ways of learning

Assessments and feedback

Prepares students for assessments by delivering content

Communicates clear expectations and instructions for assessments

Provides performance feedback in a timely manner

Provides directions for student improvement individually or collectively


Is approachable

Builds appropriate rapport with students


Provides opportunities for student contact inside and outside of class

Responds to student inquiries and questions in an appropriate timeframe

Engagement and learning

Generates and maintains student interest

Fosters intrinsic motivation

Seeks student input on course learning experience

Provides evidence of student learning

Diversity and inclusivity

Promotes inclusivity and diversity by acknowledging variety of experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds


Reflects on and assesses teaching and learning practices

Engages in a scholarly approach to teaching and learning through determining and implementing best practices

Takes an iterative approach to continuous improvement and growth

Continuous improvement

Participates in professional development activities

Makes changes to practices and/or develops innovations

Regularly revises or updates course content, assessments, format, or teaching strategies

Collaboration, mentorship, and leadership

Leads activities to promote teaching and learning

Interacts and works with colleagues around teaching

Provides and receives mentorship related to teaching

Contributes tot he Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Examples of sources of evidence

Learning objectives

Learning materials

Learning activities

Teaching philosophy

One-on-one/small group/large group interactions

Synchronous/ asynchoronous instructional activities

Learning environment

Interaction with instructor/ supervisor

Refinement of instructional materials and approaches

Workshops and conferences (participation and/or leadership)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Mentorship of colleagues and students