Winter Conference on Teaching

Please join us for a day of workshops to continue learning about effective teaching and become re-energized for a second term in the classroom. Attend the day and receive up to three credits from the Future Professor Series towards your Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.

Winter Conference on Teaching

Saturday, January 28
9:45 am - 4:00 pm


Welcome & Coffee

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
UCC 147 A/B

Keynote Session

Leadership in Higher Education:  What does it take?

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Allyson Skene (Learning Specialist, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor)

A “leader” is typically considered to be a person who holds a position of authority, or who has the charisma and dynamism to develop a vision and inspire others to follow it.  This perception is reinforced by much of the research on leadership where the focus is on heroic narratives (Lumby, 2012).

Such views of leadership, however, tend to privilege certain personality types, particularly those who are extroverted.  Indeed, significant research shows that those who most frequently take on (or are given) leadership roles are extroverts because they are much more likely to be perceived as effective by both superiors and subordinates (Judge et al, 2002; Bono & Judge, 2004).  At the same time, within higher education, much of what could be considered as ‘academic leadership’ is not actually provided by those in positions of institutional authority (Lumby 2012), and is instead exercised by those who would be much more likely to identify as introverts, and much less likely to perceive themselves as effective leaders or to seek leadership roles in the first place (Hautala, 2006), despite the significant and documented advantages of leadership by introverts in certain contexts (Grant, Gino & Hoffman, 2011; Atamani, 2013).

In this workshop, we will explore effective leadership in higher education.  Through a series of activities, we will examine characteristics of effective leaders, identify barriers that introverts in particular often face to obtaining and maintaining leadership roles in the classroom and beyond, and explore methods that can be used to nurture leadership capacity in oneself and others. Download References Cited (pdf)

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
UCC 147 A/B


Concurrent A

Teaching Writing as Ongoing Practise

Speakers: Zachary Bronson (FIMS) and David Huebert (English)

Teaching writing is one of the most important skills for Teaching Assistants across the Arts and Humanities and beyond; those notes you scribble at the end of essays may be the most powerful way you influence your students. This workshop, featuring hands-on tips and participant-driven exercises, emphasizes the value of teaching writing as an ongoing practise and offers ways to help students learn to appreciate the importance of revision.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
UCC 147A/B

Concurrent B

Browsers, and smartphones, and clickers, oh my! Increase student engagement and activate your classroom using online personal response systems

Speaker: Cortney Hanna (Health Sciences)

This interactive workshop will introduce attendees to five free online personal response systems and will demonstrate how these tools can be used to increase student engagement with classroom material. Attendees will have the chance to play around with the different technologies, as well as engage in discussion on how these tools can be best used in our classrooms.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Weldon Library, Room 258

Break - Refreshments served in Weldon Library, Teaching Support Centre, Room 122

Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award Winners Presentation

What are your colleagues doing in their classes to help their students grasp difficult concepts? How are they engaging their students? Come hear the GIFT Award Winners share their ideas – and perhaps you can adapt some of these ideas for your teaching too! Would you like to be a GIFT Award Winner? The Call for Proposals is still open!

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Weldon Library, Room 258


Call for Proposals: Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award

Have you ever had that moment in the classroom when your students finally grasp a difficult concept and you know that all of your hard work and planning has paid off? This January, the Teaching Support Centre wants to recognize and reward outstanding Teaching Assistants for their commitment to undergraduate student learning!     

The Teaching Support Centre selects the winners of the GIFT Award from a competitive pool of proposals submitted by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Each proposal provides a summary of an in-class activity, creative assignment, or another strategy that supports undergraduate student learning. Great proposals describe a course- or discipline-specific teaching idea but also include thoughts on how the strategy could be modified for use in other disciplines.

Winning proposals are featured at the Winter Conference on Teaching where each awardee will present their innovative teaching method to other Western grads and postdocs from across disciplines. 


  • A teaching award looks great on a CV and Teaching Dossier - especially when applying for future teaching positions.
  • By presenting their “Great Idea” at the Winter Conference on Teaching, winners have the chance to share successful teaching methods with other graduate student instructors and add an Invited Speaker line to your CV.
  • Winners receive a $100 gift certificate to the Western Bookstore or Hospitality Services.


Prepare and submit a 1-2 page summary of your teaching idea, including the following details:

  • A description of the intended audience (e.g., discipline, department, course, level)  
  • Learning outcomes (i.e., what the students will know or be able to do at the end of the lesson)
  • A lesson outline, including required time and resources
  • An explanation of any core concepts covered in the lesson
  • Your name, department, and contact information


Submit your proposal to Christina Booker at by Monday, December 19th, 2016. NOTE: Winners MUST be available on the afternoon of Saturday January 28th, 2017 to present their great idea!

Previous Great Ideas for Teaching Award Winners:

Previous Winning Submissions