Instructional Skills Workshop

Instructional Skills Workshop for Faculty (ISW)

  • Intensive three-day teaching workshop
  • Open to all Western Faculty (full and part-time)
  • Designed for both new and experienced faculty
  • Participants are required to attend the full three days
  • Limited Enrollment

Recall a learning experience that was particularly powerful for you. What facilitated that learning? Was it what someone did? Was it something you did? Was it something about the time or place? The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) offers you the opportunity to explore, in very practical and hands-on ways, the conditions that give rise to powerful learning experiences among your students.

These sessions provide new instructors with an introduction to designing and facilitating effective learning activities. The ISW also serves as a laboratory for experienced instructors who wish to refine and expand their teaching practice, to explore new ideas or to revisit the fundamentals.

During the three-day workshop participants design and deliver three "mini-lessons" and receive verbal, written and video feedback from their peers. Using an experiential approach, participants are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, the selection and writing of useful learning objectives with accompanying lesson plans, techniques for eliciting learner participation, and suggestions for evaluating learning. Participation in ISW creates an opportunity for new faculty to learn about Western’s unique learning culture and can also be a renewing and revitalizing activity for more seasoned members. Added benefits are a sense of collegiality, team building and self-discovery.

Upcoming Workshops

Tuesday, February 16th to Thursday February 18th, 2016

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The D.B. Weldon Library, Room 121, Teaching Support Centre

How to Enroll?

  • Please register online.
  • A $50.00 refundable deposit is required to complete your registration. Please make your cheque payable to Western University and bring/mail it to the Teaching Support Centre, Room 122, The D.B. Weldon Library. The cheque will be returned to all those who complete the three days of the workshop and to those who cancel five business days in advance of the session.

Core features of an ISW:

  • A small group of peers (5 or 6 participants)
  • One or two facilitators
  • 24 hours in class (3 eight-hour days)
  • A respectful, supportive, and confidential learning environment
  • Each participant delivers three 10-minute mini-lessons
  • Peers, as learners, provide feedback on what helped them learn

ISW offers participants the opportunity to:

  • Work closely with peers to improve each other’s teaching
  • Practice a variety of instructional strategies and techniques
  • Increase awareness of participatory learning concepts
  • Connect with colleagues from a range of disciplines
  • Experience the diversity of a contemporary classroom and consider the variable needs of learners
  • Recognize the importance of establishing a positive learning environment
  • Increase knowledge of self as teacher

Instructional Skills Workshop Online (ISWO)

May 25 - June 26, 2015

This workshop was developed to address the needs of Western’s faculty who teach online, and is designed to develop in practitioners increased competence, and confidence teaching in the online environment. This small enrolment, 26-30 hour workshop occurs entirely online in OWL over a four-week period, where the participants experience the dual roles of both being an instructor and student in an online course. During the ISWO, feedback and personal refection activities provide opportunities for individuals to learn from this dual role model. The workshop involves asynchronous interactions between group members and the facilitator. The activities in this short course are intended to provide an authentic environment where faculty can learn, experiment, and practice skills related to facilitating and assessing online learning.

Past participants have said,

“I have to thank you for demonstrating how you can structure a course— since seeing the ISWO I've been able to re-organize my own course, and sub-divide modules into topics to prevent students from becoming inundated with too much confusing material on one page.”

“I am so glad I was able to participate in the ISWO. I felt that it was extremely insightful being in the position of online student as this, itself, gave me ideas for what to do/not do.”

For more details, please contact