John Michela’s Response to Gwyn Morgan — Mark Morton

In response to Gwyn Morgan’s Globe and Mail editorial (in which he decries the quality of university teaching), John Michela (of UW’s Department of Psychology) submitted a countering letter to the editor. The Globe and Mail published that letter on October 5, but in an edited form. Here, for the record, is Professor Michela’s unedited letter: Continue reading John Michela’s Response to Gwyn Morgan — Mark Morton

How much is enough? – Donna Ellis

As we head into a new academic term, I thought I’d do a little reflecting on some reading I’ve been doing lately (nothing like the end of term office clean-up to uncover a few gems saved up over the term!). One article review that struck me from The Teaching Professor was about how many tests are enough to help maximize student learning. When I consult on course designs, this question often arises. So what does the literature have to say? Continue reading How much is enough? – Donna Ellis

Teaching Conference Worth the Wait – Colleen Whyte

I first learned about the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) after enrolling in the CUT program early in my doctoral studies. For the last few years, I’ve been keeping an eye on the location of their annual conference, waiting for it to come a bit closer to home. The conference finally came to Toronto in June of this year with the theme of “Creative Teaching and Learning: Exploring. Shaping. Knowing,” and it was well worth the wait. Despite the overwhelming security measures that took place for the neighbouring G8 conference, over 600 attendees from Canada, the United States and abroad attended the three day conference. Continue reading Teaching Conference Worth the Wait – Colleen Whyte

A Peer Teaching Model for Senior Students

In my role as the CTE Liaison for the Faculty of Engineering, part of my job is to assist professors by providing pedagogical advice. This task requires some research from my side in addition to my experience as an engineering student Continue reading A Peer Teaching Model for Senior Students

Looking Forward to the OND – Jane Holbrook

I spent most of yesterday starting to get my presentation together for the upcoming Opportunities and New Directions conference that will be held here, on campus, on Thursday, April 28th in Hagey Hall. This is the second year that UW will be hosting this one-day conference of research on teaching and learning. Dr Nicola Simmons, our CTE Research and Evaluation Consultant, is aiming to make this an annual event. Continue reading Looking Forward to the OND – Jane Holbrook

SCoPE out this rich international resource – Trevor Holmes

I’ve just returned from four days in British Columbia, where I had a small glimpse of Olympic fever in Vancouver as I passed through coming home from a conference in Kamloops. While Canada’s medal quest will be over in a short while, a site I’ve used before and was reminded of this past Saturday truly deserves the Gold. It’s called SCoPE, and it’s for anyone interested in higher education research and practice, often but not exclusively with an online flavour. There are synchronous seminars with live interaction, as well as asynchronous discussions and archives of past events. The content-rich site has documentary, wiki, and video resources from their early seminars to their latest offerings — currently, “Pimp your Post,” about that important first class message in an online course. It’s free to join, and an excellent use of resources through BCCampus (after a start-up grant ran its course through SFU a while ago). This was just one of many resources showcased at Educational Developers Caucus 2010 at Thompson Rivers University; in the coming weeks I’ll report on other useful stuff I learned (or re-learned — sometimes it takes Your Faithful Curmudgeon a few tries).


The Centre for Teaching Excellence welcomes contributions to its blog. If you are a faculty member, staff member, or student at the University of Waterloo (or beyond!) and would like contribute a posting about some aspect of teaching or learning, please contact Mark Morton or Trevor Holmes.

On Congress, research and ideas, oh my! – Nicola Simmons

button_congress2009Last week I was in Ottawa at the Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education conference, part of the much larger Congress for the Social Sciences and Humanities. I wasn’t the only Waterloo attendee, and it was great to see colleagues who were there for their own disciplinary conferences. Continue reading On Congress, research and ideas, oh my! – Nicola Simmons