Teaching and Learning Starting Points

Whether you’re new to teaching, new to UCalgary, or just beginning to explore teaching and learning, the resources below will help you get started.


Course Design Program and additional learning modules | 9-12 hours+
Course instructor focus | Synchronous course and additional asynchronous learning modules

The Course Design Program uses evidence-based practical strategies to help inform and direct your course design. This program will help you to develop an overall course design plan and identify practical strategies for designing, teaching, and evaluating your course, whether your course is online, in the classroom, or blended.


Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education | 45-60 minutes
Course instructor focus | Self-paced reading

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that guides the design of courses and learning environments to appeal to the largest number of learners. It emphasizes flexibility in how instructional material is presented, how students demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how they are engaged in learning. This guide includes a description of UDL, an overview of the three UDL principles, and an example of incorporating UDL principles into a lecture class.

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Creating Student-Centered Course Outlines | 10 minutes
Instructor focus | Self-paced reading

The purpose of this handout is for you to explore the impact of a student-centered outline on student learning and how to intentionally develop one to reflect the learning happening in your course.

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Introduction to D2L (Course/learning management system) | 95 minutes
Course instructor focus | Synchronous and asynchronous video tutorial

Learn how to effectively use D2L (Brightspace), our university’s learning management system. By the end of this course, participants will be able to: navigate the D2L (Brightspace) Learning Environment, add content, create learning activities and assessment items in their course, and utilize various communication tools within D2L.

Explore Learning Technologies further.

Teaching Days | 50 minutes each
Course instructor focus | Synchronous online workshops over 3 days in August

Taylor Institute Teaching Days provides a meaningful and concentrated opportunity for academic staff, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and staff to prepare for the upcoming academic year, connect, reflect and strengthen teaching and learning practices across campus.

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Student Academic Integrity: A Handbook for Academic Staff and Teaching Assistants | 45–60 minutes
Course instructor focus | Self-paced reading

This guide begins with background sections that provide an overview of what academic integrity is, roles and responsibilities related to academic integrity, and how to speak the language of integrity. It is not meant to address all possible situations or outcomes, but instead to provide practical support to help you understand what you can do to promote academic integrity and what to do when a case of academic misconduct arises.

Academic Integrity Series: Urgent and Emerging Topics | 60 minutes each
Instructor focus | Current and archived online webinars and self-paced readings

The Academic Integrity Series: Urgent and Emerging Topics created a space for timely and provocative discussion around issues related to academic integrity in post-secondary education. Experts from UCalgary and across the country offered insights on trending topics, like counterfeit credentials, contract cheating and equity, that will affect educators, policy makers and higher education professionals for years to come.

Explore Academic Integrity further.

Learning Module: Anti-Racism, EDI and Positionality in Teaching and Learning | 2–3 hours
Course instructor focus | Asynchronous learning module

Racism has a long and complex history within our post-secondary education system. Access, opportunities and academic success have long been limited to certain racialized groups. Over time, significant strides have been made in this field, but many of these early practices remain embedded in the institutional fabric of modern-day universities. This online module addresses the history of racism, anti-racist pedagogy and strategies for anti-racist education. Participants in this learning module will increase their knowledge of racism, learn how to identify implicit biases and implement anti-racism strategies in the classroom.

Explore Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-Racism further.

Indigenous Ways of Knowing Course Design | 30 minutes
Course instructor focus | Self-paced reading

Incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing in course design involves providing all students with an equal opportunity to participate. Indigenous ways of knowing course design recognizes that some teaching practices and norms can lead students to disengage and acknowledges that some Western forms of assessment can be biased and fail to accurately measure students understanding of the course material. A course informed by Indigenous ways of knowing is an accessible, inclusive, safe, and successful place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

Explore Indigenous Ways of Knowing further.


The Story of ii’taa’poh’to’p | 1 hour
UCalgary community focus | Asynchronous online course

This course will introduce learners to the history and content of our Indigenous Strategy, ii’taa’poh’to’p, guiding our way forward ‘in a good way’ on the path towards reconciliation in response to the 2015 Final Report on Truth and Reconciliation. It includes the following topics: Territorial Acknowledgement, What is Reconciliation?, Our Journey, Guiding Principles, Conceptual and Cultural Models, Looking to the Future, and Resources.

Visit the HR website (halfway down the page) to register and learn more.


Beginning the Journey Towards Reconciliation | 3 hours
UCalgary community focus | Asynchronous online course

This course provides a basic introductory level overview of the history and diversity of Indigenous people in Canada. The topics covered in this session provide information on terminology related to Indigenous peoples and the concept of reconciliation, explore common misconceptions, and offer an opportunity for participants to learn more about and consider the effects of colonization and the impact of residential schools.

Visit the HR website (halfway down the page) to register and learn more.

Academic Staff Certificate in University Teaching and Learning | 34–36 hours per course
Course instructor focus | Four blended courses through the academic year

The Academic Staff Certificate in University Teaching and Learning provides you with opportunities to develop research-informed and scholarly teaching expertise, reflect on your practice and build your teaching dossier. Inspired by Kenny et al.’s (2017) Teaching Expertise Framework in Postsecondary Education, the certificate courses recognize that university teaching is complex and multi-faceted, and that teaching expertise is developed through an ongoing learning process that continues over time (Hendry & Dean, 2002; Kreber, 2002).

In each course, you’ll become part of a cohort of scholars as you develop skills and confidence in supporting student learning and engagement. You’ll also document your understanding of teaching and learning into a robust dossier that reflects your evolving experience, goals and skills. This program is accredited by the Educational Developers’ Caucus of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Explore key concepts further: Designing LearningEducational Leadership and MentorshipScholarship of Teaching and LearningTeaching ContinuityTeaching Dossiers

Learning Module: Developing Your Teaching Dossier | 2–4 hours
Course instructor focus | Asynchronous learning module

Developing a teaching dossier can be a transformative experience as it provides the opportunity to reflect upon, explore, and document your experiences, philosophy, approaches, and effectiveness. This module has been designed to guide you through the reflective and transformative process outlined in the  D-O-S-S-I-E-R Model: Develop your dossier; Organize, prepare and identify your purpose; State your teaching philosophy statement; Situate your teaching context; Identify your teaching approaches; Exhibit selected evidence of effectiveness and accomplishments; and Review, reflect and summarize your dossier including future goals for growth and development.

Explore Teaching Dossier resources further.

Summer Wellness Series | 90 to 120 minutes each
Course instructor focus | Synchronous workshops during summer and online video recordings

During the summer months, find support and community through wellness webinars, presented by the Taylor Institute and the Campus Mental Health Strategy. Past webinar topics include burnout, trauma-informed teaching and learning, diversity in mental health, self-care, resilience, emotional wellness, and mindfulness.

Teaching and Learning Wellness Framework | 20 minutes
Student focus | Self-paced reading

In this document you will find questions to consider and potential strategies to support student wellness in relation to policies and values, academic expectations, learning environments and experiences, student assessment, and reflection and resilience.

Explore Mental Health and Wellness further.

A Continuum of Teaching Expertise

The Continuum of Teaching Expertise recognizes that postsecondary teaching is complex, multi-faceted, and ever evolving. Combining the Developmental Framework for Teaching Expertise (Kenny et al., 2017) and the Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness guide (Kenny et al., 2018), this Continuum provides a simplified version of the Developmental Framework by summarizing its key elements and priorities. There are five areas of focus or domains that combine to capture the breadth and complexities of teaching in a postsecondary setting:

  • Teaching and Supporting Learning;
  • Professional Learning and Development;
  • Mentorship;
  • Research, Scholarship and Inquiry;
  • and Educational Leadership.

Using three categories or stages of teaching expertise—explore, engage, expand—this resource will encourage academic staff to locate themselves across the domains of teaching and customize their teaching development to best suit their current needs.

Explore the Continuum of Teaching Expertise

Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching

The University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching provide an opportunity for faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, librarians and staff to share, critically examine and build on our collective knowledge of teaching and learning.

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University of Calgary Teaching Awards

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. The awards are comprised of 15 categories that recognize teaching excellence in diverse learning contexts by individuals and teams through curriculum design and educational leadership.  

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Teaching and Learning Grants Program

The University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grants program is designed to provide support to enhance student learning experiences through the integration of teaching, learning and research, and to support faculty as they develop educational leadership capacity.

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