Teaching Days

Teaching Days

Get inspired! Discover teaching practices to spark your students' curiosity, build your confidence and energize your classroom this fall.

Join us for three days of teaching development workshops

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

Teaching Days 2023 will be held on August 22, 23 and 24.

This is a free event but registration is required. This event will be held exclusively online.

Learning outcomes

  • To prepare for teaching in the upcoming academic year
  • To connect and network with teaching colleagues
  • To strengthen teaching practices and expertise while reflecting on your practices and approaches

Day 1: Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Click on each time block for session information.

  1. Exploring the Purpose of Learning through an Interdisciplinary Conversation

    Presenters: Annette Tézli, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Alysia Wright, Ph.D., Taylor Institute

    McGuire (2018) pointed out that studying and learning are fundamentally different approaches to acquiring knowledge, the former less effective than the latter. Students who study process readings and lecture materials according to their relevance for assessments and then focus on memorizing soon-to-be-forgotten course content to reproduce it as accurately as possible on a test. On the other hand, learning requires a more in-depth engagement with and understanding and application of course material.

    This panel brings together teaching experts who will discuss the purpose and benefits of learning in the context of higher education. Further, we will discuss how to effectively facilitate learning in our classrooms rather than encouraging studying.

  1. Exploring ways to support neurodiversity within students' classroom and work-integrated experiences

    Presenters: Roxanne Ross, EdD, Student Success Centre, and Greta Heathcote, Office of Experiential Learning

    Neurodivergent student experiences in the classroom, on campus, and in the workplace are influenced by a variety of factors both environmental and individual. Understanding the neurodivergent student experience provides instructors with a view into the ways in which we can support student learning in accessible and equitable ways.

    In this session, we will look at different aspects of the student experience through the lens of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and contextualize the student journey; providing opportunities to reflect on different ways in which learner diversity could potentially impact learning experiences. With a focus on classroom learning and experiential/work-integrated learning, participants will work through scenarios and examples from current neurodivergent students to identify strategies connected to UDL that can remove barriers to fully participating in learning experiences. 

  1. Using Mentorship to engage students in the classroom

    Presenters: Fabiola Aparicio-Ting, MPH Ph.D., Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine Lorelli Nowell, RN, Ph.D., Faculty of Nursing

    Mentorship is about building trust, supporting, and encouraging growth and development.  These are also important elements of an effective learning environment. In this session, we will discuss ways to incorporate mentorship principles into the classroom to engage students and motivate their learning.  We will outline some mentorship basics, including goal setting, feedback and a growth mindset, and provide some strategies for instructors to try out.

  1. Supporting Instructor and Student Mental Wellbeing in Course Planning

    Presenter: Kim Johnston, Ph.D., Schulich School of Engineering

    Student mental well-being is a growing topic of conversation in the context of higher education. However, we can only have a conversation about supporting students' mental well-being in the classroom by also considering the mental well-being of the course instructors. At this time of year, many of us are planning course delivery for the academic year.  Student and Instructor mental wellness throughout the academic year can be strongly influenced by choices made in course planning.

    In this interactive session, participants will identify and discuss strategies to use in course planning to support student and instructor mental well-being.

Day 2: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Click on each time block for session information.

  1. Re-thinking Assessment

    Presenters: Jean-Yin Tan, DVM, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Nickie Nikolaou, Faculty of Law, Fabiola Aparicio-Ting, PhD, Department of Community Health Sciences

    During this session, a panel of 3 educators from different faculties at the University of Calgary will discuss how assessment has changed over time, how estimates have incorporated considerations for equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and how we navigate threats to academic integrity.

  1. Advancing Educational Paradigms:The Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Authentic Assessment

    Presenter: Soroush Sabbaghan, Ph.D., Werklund School of Education

    This session involves an academic exploration of the transformative potential of AI in reshaping pedagogical assessment methodologies.

    We will critically examine the shift from traditional, recall-based evaluations to future-authentic assessments, preparing learners for real-world complexities. We will engage with the philosophical concept of 'future realism' and its implications for education. The session will also elucidate the role of AI in facilitating individualized, adaptive learning experiences, focusing on fostering critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Case studies of AI-integrated assessments will be presented, offering insights into the potential of technology to revolutionize educational evaluations and better prepare learners for future challenges.


  1. Preparing Students for Assessment

    Presenter: Annette Tézli, Ph.D., Department of Sociology

    Assessments are an essential tool to monitor students’ learning. With a few exceptions, our courses bring together students from diverse backgrounds who come from various disciplines across campus and command very different skill sets.

    How can we ensure they are all equally prepared for the assessments in our courses? In this interactive session, we will first discuss some of the challenges we encounter when assessing our courses. I will share some strategies I use to provide the foundations for students’ success. We will conclude by brainstorming how these strategies could be applied to different teaching contexts.

  1. Formative Feedback for Reflection and Growth

    Presenter: Morgan Vanek, PhD, Department of English

    Formative feedback is valuable, especially in courses that emphasize critical writing, but it can be challenging to find strategies for delivering it that scale up for larger classes. In this session, workshop participants will survey and discuss the opportunities and limitations of a range of approaches for offering formative feedback on undergraduate writing assignments — including, for instance, collective feedback linked to a rubric, individual feedback focused on a specific skill, guided peer review sessions, and oral feedback. There will also be an opportunity to brainstorm discipline-specific learning objectives related to growth and novel approaches to its assessment and an invitation to discuss how formative feedback could be used to engage or otherwise navigate the introduction of ChatGPT. 

Day 3: Thursday, August 24, 2023

Click on each time block for session information.

  1. The Learning Process

    Presenters: Kim Grant, Ph.D., Taylor Institute; Mayi Arcellana-Panlilio, Ph.D., Cumming School of Medicine; and Tracey Clancey, Ph.D., Faculty of Nursing

    This panel brings together academics from across campus to explore the process of learning with our session participants, using a format that models its constructive, contextual, and collaborative nature. The session will begin with an invitation to participants to introduce themselves, their context, and what question/s they have about the learning process.  Together, panel members and participants will sort through these questions and organize them into larger themes, thus co-creating a framework for our conversations. At the end of the session, we will provide a list of resources for further investigation and future discussions. 

  1. Leveraging Learning Technologies

    Presenters: Tyson Kendon, PhD, Taylor Institute, Ganna (Anna) Pletnyova, PhD, Taylor Institute

    Join us for a session focusing on student-centred technology to increase engagement and interactivity in your class, however you choose to teach it. We will showcase some ways of using learning technology you may have yet to consider and discuss how learning technologies can support different ways of teaching and different modalities.

    We will share examples of YuJa in-video quizzes, creating interactive content with H5P and using Mentimeter to engage students and structure discussion. We hope you will join us in discussing how various learning technologies are used in your discipline and share your success stories and examples of enhancing student engagement and learning through learning technologies.

  1. Ensuring Effective Engagement Everywhere

    Presenters: Corey Flynn, Ph.D., Biological Sciences

    Keeping students engaged in learning exercises is critical to good knowledge retention (Fredricks et al., 2004). The challenge of student engagement is increasing with the greater prevalence of diverse learning environments (in-person, online, and blended/hybrid). Engagement strategies such as gamification, multimedia content, student collaboration, and flipped classrooms lead to better learning. However, tailoring these strategies to diverse learning spaces and modalities can be difficult. We will discuss suggested best practices for fostering engagement regardless of the location or modality.

  1. From the classroom to the workplace: Developing transferable skills for workplace success

    Presenters: Victoria Wert, Office of Experiential Learning and Alysia Wright, Ph.D., Taylor Institute

    Preparing students for academic and workplace competence is a central feature in many of our courses. How do we foster transferable skills for successful workplace entry in our classrooms? In this session, we share a variety of strategies for developing communication, leadership, teamwork, interpersonal, and adaptability skills among students. Participants will have the opportunity to share examples from their courses, discuss skill development with their colleagues, and prepare learning activities for the upcoming term.