General

  • General,  Inclusivity

    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Classroom

    Educators today are at the forefront of fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the classroom.  Promoting EDI in the classroom is a journey of continual learning and adaptation. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) has created a resource designed to enrich educator’s understanding and application of EDI principles and provide strategies for incorporating EDI principles into instruction and assessment. The inner petals of the EDI Flower represent the GMCTL Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (CUTL) competencies. Surrounding them are the outer petals, embodying the foundational EDI principles and emphasizing respect for the diverse identities in classrooms. The leaves symbolize five broad knowledge areas essential for…

  • General

    New Season and New Name for GMCTL Podcast

    The third season of the podcast from the Gwenna Moss Centre will go live in the next few weeks. Just as in the first two seasons, we’ll be speaking with instructors from across the institution about their teaching and how they connect with learners. One significant change to the podcast as of this season is the name. Formerly known as the Mastering Teaching Podcast, the podcast is now Power of Teaching. You don’t need to change your bookmarks, as the address will not change. You can still find it on your favourite podcast platform or at https://www.spreaker.com/show/mastering-teaching Be sure to share the podcast with your colleagues at USask and beyond,…

  • Curriculum Development,  Educational Theory,  Experiential Learning,  General,  Instructional / Course Design,  Instructional Strategies,  Wellness

    Your Brain on Experiential Learning

    “Is disengaged.” “Is easily distracted.” “Shows no interest.” “Never shows up.” No professor wants to use these phrases to describe their students, but disengagement is a persistent problem — making descriptions such as these all too common today. Experiential Learning can help. Experiential learning is a powerful educational approach that helps students remain focused as it promotes active learning, fosters creativity and innovation, and prepares students for the real world. Let me explain: Experiential learning engages multiple parts of the brain simultaneously When learners participate and apply their learning in authentic contexts, it activates different areas of the brain responsible for sensory processing, motor skills, and cognitive functions, such as…

  • Curriculum Development,  Educational Theory,  General,  Instructional / Course Design

    Defining Competencies and Outcomes

    Summary: Improve your course clarity with competencies and outcomes. Learn how to break down complex skills into measurable parts for better student understanding and success. Date of publishing: January 16, 2023 Defining Competencies and Outcomes Although there is no widely accepted distinction between a competency and an outcome, there is sufficient commonality for the following working definition to be used to improve the structure and clarity of courses and programs.   A competency is an overarching capability the learner can do. Examples include critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, design functions, or physical performative skills. Since a competency is generally too complex to measure on its own, it must be broken…

  • Authentic Assessment Grid
    Assessment and Evaluation,  Experiential Learning,  General,  Instructional Strategies

    Defining Authentic Assessment

    Summary: Authentic assessment emphasizes real-world application of skills and knowledge. Learn how it enhances student engagement and aligns with meaningful learning outcomes. Date of publishing: January 13, 2023 The term “authentic assessment” is often misleading as it is not just about assessing a student submission ‘authentically’; rather, it focuses on the context and relevance of learning beyond academia. The following definition considers the interconnectedness of learning tasks, activities, and feedback in designing authentic assessments. Authentic assessments are evaluations of student learning that use real-world tasks or performance-based assessments in authentic contexts. Authentic assessments rely on continuous feedback for improvement in their design. The goal of authentic assessment is to assess…

  • General,  Instructional / Course Design

    USask Releases New Syllabus Template and Guide

    Before starting work on your syllabus for the Fall term, be sure to look through the new syllabus template and guide. While you’re departments, colleges, or schools may have their own syllabus template, the guide will provide you with a clear explanation of what is required to be in your syllabus under the Academic Courses Policy, as well as examples of language that may help convey the tone you want to set for the course. In the following example showing the section of the guide on Participation, you can see That Participation is a required section in your syllabus under the Academic Courses Policy Two examples of language you might…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  General,  Wellness

    Helping Students Build Resilience

    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress and mental health challenges for many people, including instructors, staff, and students. To help our students, and each other, to build or rebuild resilience we need to take a multi-pronged approach. While the university offers a variety of resources, there are things instructors can do within their classes to help students build resilience. A new resource created with funding from the Government of Ontario and eCampus Ontario offers information and methods on how to increase resilience for students and educators in the areas of Community Resilience, Personal Resilience, Academic Resilience, and Career Resilience. The Thriving in the Classroom is a “toolkit [that] shares the…

  • Educational Technology,  General,  Inclusivity,  Instructional Strategies,  Open

    GMCTL to Launch New Open Course on Open in Early February

    The University of Saskatchewan is a leader in Canada around open educational resources (e.g. textbooks) and is moving toward wider integration of open pedagogy (students as contributors, not just consumers of knowledge). As part of this, and in the spirit of open educational practices (OEP), on February 1, 2022 we are launching a new open course to assist instructors in learning about all aspects of OEP. Open educational practices are a range of practices based on the idea that collaborating on the creation of and freely sharing knowledge, research, and learning materials benefits all of us. Key aspects of OEP include: Materials are accessible Anyone can create, collaborate on, and…

  • General

    Write your teaching statement, with a little help from a friend

    Teaching philosophy statements are challenging to write, whether you are writing one for the first time or revising one you wrote years ago. This blog post is designed to help you start writing or revising your statement. Part of what makes a philosophy statement challenging to write is that they are  diverse in style and form, depending on the author’s context. I suggest you start with the assumption that your statement need not look like others, although you can learn from them, and they can play an important role in the “recipe” I propose here to get over any writer’s block you might be facing. The recipe starts by reviewing…

  • General,  Inclusivity,  Instructional Strategies

    Challenging Conversations – Safe Spaces vs. Brave Spaces

    This is the second in a short series on having challenging conversations either in your classes or individually with students. The topics covered in these posts come from the GMCTL short-course Challenging Conversations. The ideas and concepts shared in the course and these posts were contributed in large part by Dr. Rose Roberts, Roberta Campbell-Chudoba, Dr. Wendy James, and myself, Heather Ross. We hear a lot about “safe spaces”. We see stickers on walls, doors, and windows with this term. The intentions are good, but they may not be the best approach. If you had to honestly answer, to yourself, nobody else, which of the following best represents where you…