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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.64 - Graduate teaching fellowships: Promoting immersive and advanced teaching skill development

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For graduate students seeking careers in higher education, developing their pedagogical skills is becoming increasingly important. Providing a high-quality educational experience requires the ability to design learning outcomes-based curricula, create active-learning environments, and engage in high-impact educational practices (McTighe & Wiggins, 2012; Prince, 2004; Kuh, 2008). Building this pedagogical skill set requires that graduate students participate in immersive and advanced developmental teaching opportunities that include curriculum development, course management, and teaching as course instructors. Unfortunately, these types of opportunities are rare as most graduate students are employed as teaching assistants who have limited responsibilities and inadequate opportunities to develop advanced pedagogical skills. One example of a successful immersive and advanced teaching development program is the First Year Seminar program at the University of Guelph (Murray & Summerlee, 2007). This program annually provides two fellowships to doctoral students to develop and deliver an inquiry-based course as the instructors of record. In 2014-2015, we co-developed and team-taught a first-year seminar course. Through this experience, we were able to develop the pedagogical skills needed to design and facilitate an engaging course. Based on our experience, we encourage the provision of more immersive teaching opportunities to support advanced graduate student teaching development. We suggest that these opportunities should employ a team-teaching model, as we felt that this was integral to our pedagogical skill development and course success (Chanmugam & Gerlach 2013). In the poster session, participants will be able to discuss the value and practicality of implementing these opportunities in their own contexts based on the authors’ first-hand experiences and ‘lessons learned’, as well as their own prior experiences.


Chanmugam, A. & Gerlach, B. (2013). A co-teaching model for developing future educators’ teaching effectiveness. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 25(1), 110-117.

Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges & Universities.

McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2012). Understanding by Design® framework. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/UbD_WhitePaper0312.pdf.

Murray, J. & Summerlee, A. (2007). The impact of problem-based learning in an interdisciplinary first-year program on student learning behaviour. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 37(3), 87-107.

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.


Lauren Wallar

Lauren Wallar is a PhD candidate in Population Medicine at the University of Guelph and an Educational Development Specialist in the Faculty of Science at York University. Lauren is a co-recipients of the 2015-16 Career and Teaching Development Fellowship at the University of Gue... Read More →

Additional Authors

Matthew Little

Matthew Little is a PhD candidate in Population Medicine and International Development at the University of Guelph and a Vanier Scholar (2014-17). Matthew is a co-recipients of the 2015-16 Career and Teaching Development Fellowship at the University of Guelph.

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University

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