While sitting in an 8:30 morning class of over 100 students with caffeine as the sole driving force for consciousness it is easy to overlook the dynamics at play. It is easy to miss the carefully structured slides made with purpose to be as accessible as possible. As you pull your iClicker out it is easy to miss how each question was designed according to Bloom’s Taxonomy so that concepts are tested at different levels of comprehension. Designing a lecture that keeps everyone’s abilities in mind is not a simple task.
Upon starting to work at Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) I had no idea how many resources and mechanisms are in place to allow the teaching community at the University of Waterloo to continually improve. There is undoubtedly a necessary push to keep up with the ever-changing technology in the classroom but the aspect of being inclusive is not always as clear cut. It amazed me to see how many faculty and staff members at the university took time out of their day to participate in workshops at the CTE such as “CTE779: Accessibility in Teaching”. Teaching staff do not just settle and do their required job but rather look for ways to learn and improve their teaching methods so that their students get the most out of each lecture.
From an undergraduate student perspective it is comforting to know that there is genuinely a concern for creating the best learning environment where lessons learned will be fundamental in any future academic endeavors. It is through constant self-assessment and passion for teaching others that our community excels as a world-leading university.
Photo taken at the 2016 Teaching and Learning Conference by CTE Staff