Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence


This comprehensive suite of programs will allow you to explore and implement a variety of teaching strategies, engage with scholarly literature, and reflect critically on your approaches to teaching.

Certificate Components

There are five components required to complete the Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence:

1) Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)

The Instructional Skills Workshop is an internationally-recognized program designed to enhance the teaching effectiveness of both new and experienced educators. Using an intensive experiential learning approach, participants are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, developing learning outcomes with accompanying lesson plans, techniques for eliciting learner participation, and suggestions for evaluating learning.

Note: the ISW-O and Teaching at the University Level programs also fulfill this requirement.

2) Teaching Squares Program

The Teaching Squares Program provides faculty with an opportunity to gain new insight into their teaching through a process of reciprocal classroom observation and self-reflection. The four faculty members in each “teaching square” agree to visit each other’s classes over the course of a semester and then meet to discuss what they learned from their observations and reflections. By allowing faculty to be “learners” again in their colleagues’ classes, Teaching Squares can open up unique spaces for dialogues about teaching.

3) Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities bring colleagues together around an area of common interest in teaching and learning. FLCs provide a safe, supportive community wherein members can informally share best practices, and engage in collegial conversation and inquiry.

Join an inter-disciplinary group of faculty who meet once a month to explore a common area of interest in teaching and learning. Earn credit by attending 3 or more meetings.

4) Course Design and Delivery

Through participation in one of the following programs, participants will develop lesson and course plans that effectively promote student engagement and learning.  They will explore a variety of instructional strategies, technologies, and theories, and relate these to their unique teaching context.

5) Independent Project

For the independent component of the Certificate, participants can choose between three written projects. Faculty can opt to prepare a teaching dossier that describes their teaching philosophy and brings together their teaching experiences. Or, faculty can explore specialized areas in higher education, either Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) or Educational Leadership.

Teaching Dossier

Participants in the Certificate may choose to prepare a cohesive teaching dossier that accurately reflects their philosophy of teaching, teaching experiences, and innovations in teaching and learning.

For more information, see the Teaching Dossiers and Teaching Philosophy Statements pages.

Participants can consider attending an informational workshop on developing a teaching philosophy and dossier. For the next workshop date and details, check the Faculty Mentor Program workshops.

Research on Teaching and Learning Proposal

Certificate participants may choose to prepare a proposal for a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project using a shortened version of the Research Ethics Board's (REB) protocol. Those interested in pursuing their projects will be able to use their proposals to complete the expanded REB protocol for submission.

  • Research Ethics Board Protocol (shortened form)

Resources to help you get started:

If you have an idea, please contact our Educational Researcher, Ken Meadows, for helpful hints on getting started.

Participants can also consider enrolling in the Western Institute for Research on Teaching and Learning, a three-day hands-on workshop designed to support faculty members in the development of a research project on their own teaching.

Educational Leadership Project

Educational leadership is the practice of engaging colleagues in developing and implementing shared visions, values, and goals that support learning for all students. Educational leaders promote meaningful changes that have a deep impact beyond the classroom. Because learning varies across the disciplines, faculty members are uniquely positioned to facilitate improvements to student learning experiences within their Faculties and departments.

Faculty members who choose this option for the Certificate will plan a faculty development initiative that meets a specific instructional or pedagogical need, and promotes a culture of teaching and learning in their home departments by inspiring, organizing, and supporting, collaborative faculty communities.

Certificate participants are encouraged to explore scholarly discourse on understanding, critiquing and improving teaching and learning in the university setting. The goal is to think beyond one-off workshops in order to develop practical, sustainable, and enduring plans for change within their departments.

Development initiatives include a broad range of activities that facilitate the growth and renewal of knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards teaching and learning. Such initiatives may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • developing discipline-specific teaching resources for the department
  • integrating technology into the instructional experience across the curriculum
  • bringing faculty together to address department-wide assessment strategies, challenges, and opportunities
  • establishing a community of instructors interested in enhancing their teaching practice and student learning (e.g., by exploring the use of e-portfolios, service-learning, etc.)
  • helping faculty within the department incorporate student-centred practices and approaches to face-to-face and/or online instruction, including active learning techniques or other novel ways of engaging students
  • developing resources or programs for mentoring new faculty or graduate students (e.g., establishing a graduate supervision retreat)
  • addressing department-specific learning needs (e.g., undergraduate writing competencies) or departmental challenges (e.g., first year enrollment and retention)
  • creating initiatives to encourage faculty/student collaborations (e.g., start a research or grant-writing group).

Example Initiatives and Helpful Resources

Useful Resource


Enrolment Requirements

To participate in the Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence, you must be an instructor at Western. Graduate students are not eligible for this certificate.


How to register for the certificate

Please note: Registration for the certificate is currently down. To register for the certificate, simply complete all 5 components. A CTL staff member will review your completion status once you submit your completed certificate form.

  1. Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence, 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 over any time frame and in any order, although we highly recommend that participants begin with the Instructional Skills Workshop component.

Accessing Your Attendance Record

  1. Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
  2. From your 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 Connect, 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. Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence, 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, please

  1. Login to Western Connect with your Western username and password.
  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 and follow the instructions.
  4. A CTL staff member will review your submissions and contact you to schedule a feedback appointment. If you do not receive a response within one week, please email ctl@uwo.ca to notify us of your submission.  


Participants who complete the certificate will:

  • design courses that align learning outcomes, teaching strategies, and assessments to effectively promote student learning
  • engage with an interdisciplinary group of peers to build a network of support for teaching
  • exchange resources and expand teaching practices beyond disciplinary boundaries
  • examine key theories about teaching and learning in higher education and relate these theories to their teaching practice
  • select among and incorporate a variety of technologies into their teaching practice to promote student engagement and support lesson and course outcomes
  • reflect critically on all aspects of their teaching practice
  • prepare a cohesive teaching dossier that accurately reflects their philosophy of, experiences with, and innovations in teaching and learning OR explore one of two specialized areas of higher education: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) or Educational Leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is not eligible to register for the Faculty Certificate in Teaching Excellence?

Graduate students are not eligible to complete the Faculty Certificate but are eligible to complete the Western Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Graduate Students.

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 a longer period.

When should I sign up for the Certificate?

You may register for the Certificate at any time. If you have already attended CTL programs prior to registering for the Certificate, those may be credited to you. To verify your participation in previous programming, please see the section above on Accessing Your Attendance Record. If you have difficulties, please contact ctl@uwo.ca

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

No. You may complete the requirements in any order, whenever it is most convenient for you. However, registration for certain programs is time sensitive (e.g., the registration for the Teaching Squares program is only open in the first month of the Fall and Winter semesters).

Who keeps track of my progress towards the Certificate?

It is your responsibility to keep track of the program components you have completed. Please use the form on the registration system (login required).