Pre-Conference Speakers

Keynote presentation, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

"Focusing on Assessment for Improvement: Theory and Practice"
Ambassador Auditorium
Like any form of assessment, teaching evaluation can have at least two distinct (and often contradictory) purposes. Teaching evaluation can be used to prove whether an instructor’s teaching meets a pre-determined standard of quality. Teaching evaluation also can be used as a tool to improve an instructor’s teaching. This interactive session will explore theories and practices that allow teaching evaluation to be process that contributes to enhance both teaching and learning – for both individuals and for departments.
Peter Felten, Elon University and Laura Winer, McGill University

Peter Felten Peter Felten is assistant provost for teaching and learning, executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and professor of history at Elon University.  His recent publications include the co-authored books The Undergraduate Experience (Jossey-Bass, 2016), Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), and Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014). From 2010-2011, he served as president of the POD Network, and in 2016-2017 he is president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He also is a co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development.


Laura Winer Laura Winer, PhD (Educational Technology) is the Director of Teaching and Learning Services at McGill University. She has extensive experience in research, teaching, and administration in higher education, and has been at McGill since 1999. Laura has been leading McGill’s online course evaluation system since its beginning in 2004, and has worked intensively on both policy and implementation issues in the broad area of evaluation of teaching. TLS’ mandate spans supporting faculty in developing and enhancing their teaching, creating supportive physical and digital teaching and learning environments, and developing and offering skills development programs for graduate and undergraduate students.


Breakout sessions, 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Click on a name to reveal speakers bios below session description.

"Engaging the campus community in online teaching evaluation"
Dillon Hall, Rm. 359
Strategic communication and education are essential when implementing a new course evaluation framework. This is especially so when this change is coupled with the move to an online course evaluation system. Since 2011, the University of Toronto has been implementing both a new institutional course evaluation framework and a centrally-coordinated online system. In this workshop, we will highlight the 5 most powerful strategies that have helped us engage our community in this change process:
  • Supported and informed discussion of teaching and learning priorities
  • Establishment of working groups to engage a range of stakeholders in key issues
  • Strategic communications – through both central and local (Faculty) channels
  • Development and deployment of key educational resources
  • Utilization of data for improvement purposes
Workshop participants will be provided with specific examples from the University of Toronto’s experience that will help guide them in preparing a list of key actions for enabling a similar change process in their own institutional contexts.
Megan Burnett and Greg Hum, University of Toronto
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"Valuing Teaching through Comprehensive Assessment Frameworks"
Dillon Hall, Rm. 366
In this session, we will discuss the elements of a robust and holistic evaluation framework for the assessment of teaching during key academic HR processes, including interim, tenure and promotion reviews. Participants will analyze their own divisional/institutional policies in light of these comparisons and identify how to enhance their review processes to ensure a more comprehensive assessment of teaching. We will also explore ways to affect change based on individual roles and responsibilities and identify key considerations when revising policy.

(Please bring a copy of your institutional or divisional policies and/or guidelines for the evaluation of teaching at tenure/promotion.)
Pamela Gravestock, University of Toronto
"Teaching Dossiers: A Kaleidoscope of Divergent Reflection"
Dillon Hall, Rm. 365
Teaching dossiers are becoming increasingly common in the tenure, promotion, and hiring process. They are seen as an effective tool in conveying faculty's teaching effectiveness and accomplishments, and can play a major role in documenting their strengths for the review process. However, widespread implementation of teaching dossiers – whether required or simply recommended – is not without its problems, both in terms of development and assessment.

This breakout session will explore one university’s efforts to develop programs and initiatives that support faculty in the development of teaching dossiers at all stages of their careers as well as foster a more robust teaching culture that is better equipped to receive, review, and assess them. Participants will have an opportunity to both identify areas of tension and brainstorm strategies to better support and assess teaching dossiers in their own contexts.
Veronika Mogyorody and Jessica Raffoul, University of Windsor
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"Establishing teaching evaluation frameworks: When reality meets rhetoric"
Dillon Hall, Rm. 367
Teaching evaluation frameworks offer practical, flexible ways to reflect on and seek consensus about quality teaching, and can enable systematic, transparent approaches to identifying, supporting, and rewarding effective teaching. Two Canadian universities have been working with an Australian framework built with intensive faculty consultation across many disciplines (Chalmers, 2014. Each university is seeking to adapt the Framework to their distinctive institutional needs and to engage faculty with the value of the approach. This session will explore how the approaches taken at the two universities reflected institutional needs, context, and history, looking at both successes and challenges they’ve faced on the way. It will focus especially on important lessons learned about the road from changing documents, to changing practices and cultures, no matter where or why you start the process.
Nancy Turner, University of Saskatchewan and Bev Hamilton, University of Windsor
"Effective use of student evaluation of teaching data"
Dillon Hall, Rm. 368
Student evaluations of teaching are challenging to conduct, report, and use. Using the data effectively, individually or as an institution, is a whole other challenge.

In this session you will discuss with your fellow participants your 'wish lists', experiences, and challenges using student evaluation data. Laura and Phil will demonstrate a variety of ways to organize and make sense of your numerical scores and written comments using reports, visualizations, and interactive tools developed at their universities.

You and your fellow participants will then identify simple new approaches to using or modifying your current reports. Revisiting the experiences and challenges, you will identify next steps and possible concerns to address, in order to more effectively present results, promote inquiry-based interpretation, and communicate findings, for yourself and for your institution.

If possible, please bring a copy of your survey and sample reports to support the discussion.
Laura Winer, McGill University and Phil Graniero, University of Windsor
Download the Powerpoint