Fall Perspectives on Teaching Conference

Fall Perspectives Banner 2019


Date: August 27, 2019
Location: Social Science Centre, Room 2050

Opening Remarks - 9:00 am to 9:15 am - SSC 2050

Mike Atkinson, Teaching Fellow, Centre for Teaching and Learning 
Nanda Dimitrov, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning

keynote session - 9:15 am to 10:30 am - SSC 2050

Tried and True Strategies to Address Common Assessment Conundrums

Wendy Crocker, Faculty of Education, Western University

Love teaching but hate marking? Drowning in student papers, exams, and lab reports? Tired of offering the same kinds of assessment tasks to your students? Looking for some new approaches to gauge what students know and can do? During this interactive session, Dr. Crocker will connect the current literature on assessment for, of, and as learning while sharing approaches to consider when confronted by common assessment conundrums.

Dr. Wendy Crocker Biography

Dr. Wendy Crocker has been untangling assessment conundrums for many years as a public school teacher, instructor in the Child and Social Institutions program at King’s University College, and in the graduate programs at the Faculty of Education at Western, and at Northeastern University in Boston. Wendy is an advocate for multimodal representations of learning, performance assessment, and active learning strategies and is the 2016 recipient of the Angela Armitt Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Refreshment Break - 10:30 am to 11:00 am

Outside Social Science Centre Room 2050.

Concurrent Sessions A - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

A-1 SSC 2050
Defining, Fostering, and Assessing Participation

Rob Austin, Ivey Business School
Stephanie Horsley, Don Wright Faculty of Music


Assessing participation can sometimes seem arbitrary and subjective. This session outlines pedagogical approaches that help students conceptualize and/or define what the course expectations are when they are evaluated on their participation. It also addresses practical issues related to how instructors grade contributions during discussion and how to get students to contribute their thoughts in contexts where extrinsic incentives for doing so (e.g., grading) are not practical or even legal. By drawing on examples of teaching with the case method approach and from supporting skill development in teacher-educators, we share tools and strategies for helping students reflect on their participation throughout the course, set goals for improvement, and accurately self-assess their participation at the end of the term.

A-2  SSC 3018
Effective Practices for Peer Review of Teaching: Moving Beyond the Student Perspective

Ken N. Meadows, Centre for Teaching and Learning
Karyn Olsen, Centre for Teaching and Learning


Student feedback is a valuable resource for reflecting on your teaching but it draws on only one perspective. Faculty colleagues can also provide unique insight into your approaches to teaching and course design practices. Join this interactive session to discuss the who, what, when, where, why, and how of getting peer feedback on your teaching. We will start by exploring models of peer review and their benefits. We will also discuss effective processes for collecting feedback in the classroom, online environments, and on course structure/materials. In small groups, participants will generate guiding questions for obtaining feedback and assess existing templates for peer review. Participants will leave the session with a set of resources that will guide both the collaborative process of getting feedback and ways of implementing self-reflection strategies.

Lunch Break - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions B - 1:00 Pm to 2:00 pm

B-1 SSC 2050
Flexible Assessment: Designing Effective Assessments that Support Student Wellness

Nicole Campbell, Physiology and Pharmacology
Immaculate Namukasa, Education
Sandra Smeltzer, Information and Media Studies


Western is dedicated to a thriving campus, which involves promoting the mental health and wellness of our students. This commitment is increasingly important as more and more students are reporting that anxiety and stress are having a negative impact on their academic success and there is a corresponding upsurge in demand for wellness support services. The way we design our courses, including assessment methods, processes, and policies, can have a substantive impact on the wellness of our students. In this session, we will discuss practical ways instructors can maintain or improve the design and administration of assessments that promote wellness and deep learning while maintaining the integrity and rigor of our pedagogical practices.

B-2  SSC 3018
Designing Inclusive Assessments for ESL Learners                                              

Paul Schmidt, Writing Support Centre
Aisha Haque, Centre for Teaching and Learning


This session will highlight inclusive assessment approaches to support students who speak English as an additional language. Strategies will include considerations for assignment design across the disciplines as well as specific suggestions for the design and evaluation of written assignments. 

Refreshment Break - 2:00 pm to 2:15 pm

Outside Social Science Centre Room 2050

Closing Plenary - 2:15 pm to 3:30 pm - SSC 2050

New Policies for Student Absence and Accommodation -- Is Your Syllabus Ready?

Susan Knabe, Associate Dean, Undergraduate, Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Wendy Dickinson, Acting Associate Director, Accessible Education 

Ken Yeung, Associate Chair Undergraduate, Department of Chemistry
Gail Wright, Academic Counsellor, Faculty of Social Science

Western has two new policies that guide academic accommodation for students. Join us to ask questions, explore how the new policies will affect how you plan for makeup exams and alternative assignments, and hear what strategies faculty colleagues are planning to implement as they prepare to support students in large and small classes in different disciplines.

New Policy on Academic Consideration of Student Absences

Under the new policy on Academic Consideration for Student Absences in undergraduate first entry programs, Students who experience an unexpected illness or injury or an extenuating circumstance (48 hours or less) that is sufficiently severe to temporarily render them unable to meet academic requirements (e.g., attending lectures or labs, writing tests or midterm exams, completing and submitting assignments, participating in presentations) should self-declare using the online Self-Reported Absence portal. This option should be used in situations where the student expects to resume academic responsibilities within 48 hours or less.” Students will be able to use two self-reported absences between September and April, and one from May to August.

New Policy on Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The new policy on Accommodation for Students with Disabilities changes the way Accessible Education (AE - formerly Services for Students with Disabilities) works and communicates with faculty. One key change of interest to faculty is that students will now be able to appeal decisions made by Accessible Education.  The appeals process relating to faculty will also be more clear and streamlined.  After consulting with the AE Counsellors about recommended accommodations, faculty or students with concerns can appeal directly in writing to the Associate Director of AE.  There is no longer a requirement that appeals go through departmental chairs and Deans.  If matters cannot be resolved at the Associate Director level, faculty or students may appeal to the Vice Provost (Academic Programs) for a final decision.

Conference Information


Registration Instructions

  1. Login to Western Connect using your Western username and password.
  2. Go to the Centre for Teaching and Learning section and select Event Calendar.
  3. Search for and select the event you wish to register in. Details and a description of the program will appear.
  4. Select the Register for this Event button and follow instructions to select your sessions of interest.
  5. You will receive an automated confirmation email to your Western email account. 

If you have any questions or problems registering for this event, please consult our help guide or contact ctl@uwo.ca.


This event is open to all; however, it is designed with instructors in mind.


  • Spring Perspectives - annually in May
  • Fall Perspectives - annually in August

What to Expect

Offered twice a year, Perspectives on Teaching is a full-day conference designed to showcase teaching innovations at Western, and introduce instructors to best practices in student-centered instruction which can enhance the student experience. Approximately 300 faculty, graduate student instructors and staff participate in each Perspectives on Teaching conference. The conference program typically includes a keynote address and 6-9 concurrent sessions.

Faculty members are invited to present innovative teaching approaches or research on their teaching during Spring Perspectives each year.  

Previous Conference Programs

Visit our Youtube Channel for video clips from past conferences.