TSC Brochure (PDF)
The mission of the Teaching Support Centre is twofold. First, we foster and enhance best practices in teaching and learning at Western University, in partnership with Western Libraries, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and Information Technology Services. Second, we advocate for teaching excellence and scholarship at Western, nationally, and internationally.
We support the university’s teaching and learning mission by providing orientation, training, mentorship, research and innovation opportunities for all instructors at Western, including full and part-time faculty members, librarians and archivists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students so that, in turn, they can create high quality undergraduate and graduate learning experiences for students. Our mission focuses on three priority goals: pedagogical excellence, mentorship and professional development, and scholarship and innovation. In support of these goals, we offer certificate programs, workshops, conferences, communities of practice, courses, consultations, facilitation and online resources at the instructor, departmental, Faculty and institutional-level.
To facilitate Pedagogical Excellence, we:
1. Support instructors in the development of effective and evidence-based teaching practice;
2. Enable instructors to create deep and transformative learning experiences for students;
3. Provide feedback to instructors on teaching strategies and help them collect and interpret feedback on their teaching;
4. Promote the effective use of instructional technologies;
5. Strengthen instructors’ capacity to support meaningful learning for a diverse student body;
6. Support instructors and departments to use alternative, hybrid and blended teaching methods in courses and across programs to enhance student learning and;
7. Guide continuous curriculum development, including supporting course design and institutional program review.
To facilitate Mentorship and Professional Development, we:
8. Support faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at each stage of their academic careers;
9. Provide information and support throughout the promotion and tenure process;
10. Support effective graduate supervision and mentorship;
11. Promote the development of intercultural fluency in the classroom and across the curriculum and;
12. Foster the development and growth of educational communities of practice.
To facilitate Scholarship and Innovation, we:
13. Support teaching innovations through grants and awards;
14. Mentor educational leaders;
15. Promote the engagement of instructors in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and;
16. Model SoTL by conducting and publishing research on teaching.
"Without a doubt, the Course on Teaching at the University Level… was instrumental in assisting me to improve my teaching. During the workshop, I was challenged to try something new, in my case to incorporate technology into my teaching, and to think more clearly about how to explain complex concepts in lectures. It was a fantastic idea to put experienced and new professors from completely different disciplines together. This provided participants with an opportunity to experience new teaching approaches and to get a sense of the range of scholarship being done across the campus. As a new faculty member, I found this aspect of the course invaluable."
Erica Lawson, Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies and Feminist Research
"Through my involvement with various TSC programs, I have concluded that the TSC is like the iPhone of all things teaching…whatever your goals are, whatever you want to try out, or whatever information or pointers you need: there’s a TSC resource for that. Need to know how to design effective Multiple Choice exams? There’s a workshop for that. Need to know how to teach large classes? There’s a brochure for that. Having questions about specific situations in your supervision of graduate students? There’s an expert for that…Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the TSC has not only helped to make me a better teacher; I’ve also learned how to make more effective use of resources, which has saved me a tremendous amount of time."
Jan Cami, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
"Shortly after accepting my first faculty position, I enrolled in the week long Course on Teaching at the University Level. This was an invaluable experience, and gave me tools, tips, and confidence heading into my first term of teaching. Not only did I learn some great strategies to try in the classroom, but it was an opportunity to meet other faculty members...In the months and years that followed, I often called upon these friends and mentors for support and ideas. It has been a tremendous resource. I also attended many of the Faculty Mentor sessions…this series of workshops often highlighted many of the issues that were crucial to my career development at that time – writing research grants, forming supervisory skills for working with graduate students, dealing with difficult students, navigating the promotion and tenure process, etc. Again, not only was it informative, but also an opportunity to meet and share with others."
Cynthia Dunning, Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering
"The Instructional Skills Workshop was a intense, engrossing opportunity to explore novel ways of delivering content. I learned a great deal… both from the feedback that I received and from the opportunity to watch and comment on teaching by other faculty. The opportunity to discuss a broad range of issues related to teaching with other faculty and TSC personnel, all of whom are interested in our lives as educators, was itself informative, energizing and, yes, even fun. This was a wonderful three days. Can I do it again?"
John Mitchell, Professor of Psychology and Academic Dean, Brescia University College