Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

Description

The goal of the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning is to enhance the quality of teaching by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and to prepare them for a future faculty or professional career. The presentation and group facilitation skills gained while completing the Certificate will not only benefit participants in pursuit of a faculty position, but are also valued by employers in business, industry and other non-academic fields. Program participants receive a certificate and a letter of accomplishment after they complete the five certificate components.


Certificate Components

There are five components required to complete the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning:

1) Microteaching Requirement

Learning Outcomes for Microteaching

Individuals who microteach as part of the following programs will:

  • approach their subsequent teaching duties with greater confidence
  • plan and facilitate lessons in their own disciplines that engage students and incorporate active learning
  • be receptive to feedback and revise teaching strategies based on comments and suggestions from peers
  • provide effective, constructive feedback to peers on their teaching.

To achieve the microteaching requirement, choose ONE of the following options:

Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP)

The Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) is a 2½ day intensive training program designed for new TAs , including workshops on building lessons, providing feedback, grading fairly, running tutorials/labs, managing TA duties, and intercultural competence.

Advanced Teaching Program (ATP)

The Advanced Teaching Program (ATP) is a 20-hour course designed for advanced graduate students who would like to develop practical teaching skills for current and future teaching roles. Topics include course design strategies, active learning, authentic assessment of student learning, and maintaining a culture of respect and community in the classroom. 

SGPS 9500: Theory and Practice of University Teaching Course

SGPS 9500 is a graduate level interdisciplinary course on teaching and learning in higher education. Students will engage deeply with educational theory and practice alongside instructors and peers from across academic disciplines. 

PLEASE NOTE: Completing SGPS 9500 also satisfies the Course Design component of the Certificate's written requirements. You will also complete a Teaching Philosophy Statement, a major element of the Certificate's Teaching Dossier requirement.

Teaching in the Canadian Classroom (TCC)

Teaching in the Canadian Classroom (TCC) is a 16-hour course designed for international graduate students who would like to explore cultural differences in the classroom, and gain confidence as a teaching assistant in the Canadian academic setting. We will discuss common teaching topics, such as lesson planning, active learning, feedback, and classroom management, through a cross-cultural lens. Participants will gain hands-on experience by practicing instructional techniques in microteaching sessions where they receive constructive feedback from peers and the instructor.

2) 10 Workshops in the Future Prof Series (FPS)

The Future Prof Series (FPS) workshops are interactive seminars for future professors and professionals that provide valuable insights into teaching and career-strategies across the disciplines. The workshops in this series are constantly evolving to meet the current interests of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Future Prof Series workshops are scheduled at various times throughout the year. Please check the  event calendar for upcoming sessions.

The following programs also count towards Future Professor Series workshop credits:

3) Teaching Mentor Program

The Teaching Mentor Program is a unique opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to receive feedback on their teaching and classroom management approaches from peers in their own teaching environment. Four graduate students will work together and visit each other’s classes, tutorials or labs over the course of the semester.

4) Teaching Dossier

The Teaching Dossier documents your teaching activities, and includes sample teaching materials and a teaching philosophy statement. Our Teaching Dossier resource page provides information on how to document your teaching responsibilities, teaching effectiveness, teaching strategies/innovations, professional development in teaching, educational leadership, and scholarship of teaching and learning. 

5) Written Project

Choose ONE of the following three options:

A. Submit a 10-page Scholarship of Teaching & Learning research proposal (pdf). This option requires the following:

  • a review of at least five scholarly articles on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in your discipline
  • an identification of one or more critical issues for learning in your discipline
  • the articulation of a research question that explores these critical learning issues
  • a proposal for several ways in which the research question could be investigated

OR

B. Design a new course in your discipline and submit a 10-page course outline. The course outline includes:

  • a course description
  • a rationale and learning outcomes for the course
  • an outline of course topics and class activities
  • a list of the required and recommended readings
  • a breakdown of the assessment scheme for the course
  • a description of assignments, exams and any other assessment mechanisms
  • all relevant University-wide and course-specific policies
  • a description of most frequently used teaching methods and activities. 

OR

C. If you have completed SGPS 9500, the Course Outline component may be resubmitted as your Written Project for the Certificate.

Important Resources

Registration

Enrolment Requirements

To receive the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, you must be enrolled in a graduate degree program or be a postdoctoral scholar at Western University.

The CTL usually holds an information session about the certificate programs in late September that provides details on completing the components. Check the Event Calendar for exact date and time.

Instructions

How to register for the certificate

  1. Log in to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Certificate in University Teaching, and then click on Enroll in Certificate.
  4. Fill out and save the form using the button at the bottom of the page. You can come back and add information or upload documents at any time.

Completing the Certificate

Program components can be completed within one academic year, but you may choose to complete them over two, three or more years. You may submit the written components of the Certificate up to three months after your graduation or departure from Western.

Accessing Your Attendance Record

  1. Login to CareerCentral with your Western username and password.
  2. Go to Dashboard. Go to the tab at the far right labelled Event Registration. The Event Title, Event Date, Location, Date Registered and Registration Status will be listed for each event.
    NOTE: this tab will display all event registrations within CareerCentral, so be sure to check that the "Module" column indicates Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  3. For event attendance earlier before May 1, 2016, go to Dashboard and select My Messages just below the tab options. Older attendance records from our previous database will be listed here.

If you have any questions or problems accessing your attendance records, please contact ctl@uwo.ca

Adding information and documents to your certificate record

  1. Log in to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Certificate in University Teaching, and then click on Show my Registrations.
  4. You can view or edit the form and save using the button at the bottom of the page.

Submitting your completed certificate form

When you have completed all the components of the certificate and are ready to submit your Teaching Dossier and Written Project, please

  1. Login to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Submit my Certificate for Review.
  4. A CTL staff member will review your submissions and contact you to schedule a feedback appointment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to register for the Certificate?

To register for the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, you must be enrolled in a graduate degree program or be a postdoctoral fellow/scholar at Western University.

How long does it take to complete the Certificate?

Program components can be completed within one year, but you may choose to complete the workshops over two, three or more years.

When should I sign up for the Certificate?

You may register for the Certificate any time during your graduate degree. If you had already attended TSC programs prior to registering for the Certificate, those will be credited to you and count towards the completion of the Certificate.

Are the SGPS 9500 course, Advanced Teaching Program and Teaching Assistant Training Program equivalent in the Certificate?

Yes, however SGPS 9500 requires a larger time commitment than either the Advanced Teaching Program (ATP) or Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP). The advantage of SPGS 9500 is that participants prepare a prepare a teaching philosophy statement (for inclusion in their Teaching Dossier) and develop a novel Course Outline (which can be submitted for the Certificate).

Do I need to complete the Certificate components in a specific order?

No. You may complete the programs and project requirements in any order, whenever it is most convenient for you. However, registration for certain programs is time sensitive (e.g., Teaching Mentor Program registration is only open for the first few weeks of the Fall and Winter semesters). It is your responsibility to be aware of such dates and to plan your Certificate progress accordingly. Submission of your Teaching Dossier and Written Project will occur once you have completed the other requirements for the Certificate.

I have been TAing a course in my department at Western for three years. I added a few readings to the course outline. Can I submit this to satisfy the course outline requirement?

No. The course outline you submit must be original work. We ask that you design a course that has not been offered at Western before, or completely redesign a current course. We ask you to design a new course that has not been offered at Western before. You can only submit the outline of a course you have already taught if, (1) you were the main instructor for the course and, (2) you designed the course completely, meaning that you did not simply continue to teach a course that was designed by someone else.

Who keeps track of my progress towards the Certificate?

It is the participants' responsibility to keep track of how many workshops they have completed. Please use the form on the registration system (login required).

I've participated in teaching workshops in my department or faculty. Can they be counted as Future Prof Series Credits?

Yes. We recognize that each discipline has its own unique teaching culture and pedagogies and that training in these practices is critical to the development of well-rounded graduate students. Examples of such training include workshops offered by your department or faculty on responding to student questions in laboratories or tutorials, discussions of marking practices for a particular course or assignment and seminars on networking in your discipline. Please note that training which qualifies for FPS credit should focus on instructional skills or professional development and not on the logistics of teaching assistantships (i.e., GTA union rules, obtaining keys, safety procedures, WHMIS training, etc.)

We will count participation in up to six hours of departmental teaching/professional development training (up to 4 FPS credits). Please use the discipline-specific training progress tracker (pdf). When you are ready to complete your certificate, either scan and upload the tracking document on the submission form, or bring it to the CTL in person.

Can I submit the Teaching Dossier and written project components after my defence date?

You may submit the written components of the Certificate up to three months after your graduation or departure from Western.