In our programs, we don’t just emphasize theoretical knowledge; we also recognize the significance of practical experience. Many of our certificate programs incorporates a practicum, a hands-on, real-world application of the skills and concepts you’ll learn. These practica allow you to put your newfound knowledge into action, gaining invaluable experience in a classroom or educational setting. Explore these unique pathways to discover how they can shape your future in teaching and academia. Explore the five options below.
The In-Class Observation process is a part of three certificates offered by the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program: The Advanced University Teaching Preparation Certificate, the Accessible, Inclusive, and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies Certificate, and the Educational Technologies Certificate. This practicum aims to enhance your teaching skills and provide personalized feedback and support on your teaching.
Benefits of In-Class Observation
It is an effective way of receiving direct feedback on your teaching in order to improve your teaching performance in the classroom.
In-class observations allow you to showcase your teaching abilities and receive guidance on incorporating effective strategies. By observing your classroom interactions, instructional techniques, and student engagement, our Graduate Educational Developers can provide suggestions to enhance your overall teaching effectiveness.
For participants in the Accessible, Inclusive, and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies Certificate and the Educational Technologies Certificate, the in-class observation process specifically focuses on the identification of an EDIA or EdTech tool or strategy within your teaching.
Step 1: Submit an Observation Request
- Navigate to the certificates area by clicking on your name at the top right-hand corner of the home screen.
- Click on “Details and Registration” under the relevant certificates.
- On the right-hand side of this screen, you should see a drop-down menu titled “Practical Component” Click on this drop-down menu, and then click on the button “Schedule the Meeting/Consultation”.
- Create an in-class observation request, and then fill out the registration form.
- Finally, you must identify thee possible dates for your observation before submitting the meeting for scheduling.
- Review the TATP In-Class Observation Tip-Sheet on preparing for your ICO.
Step 2: Initial Meeting
Step 3: Observation
Step 4: Follow Up Meeting
As a part of the In-Class Observation process, the Graduate Educational Developer assigned as your observer will complete an ICO Feedback Form and upload a copy into the EVE system for you to review.
What is Microteaching?
Microteaching is a teaching technique and practice that involves delivering short, focused lessons in a controlled environment to a small group of peers. It is an opportunity for participants in TATP certificate programs to refine their teaching skills, receive feedback, and make improvements in a supportive setting.
Why do we Microteach?
Much of current microteaching emerged from the original approach developed by Dwight Allen in the form of the Teach, Review and Reflect, and Reteach model. We adapted this model for the TATP for several reasons:
- Participants often lack real classroom teaching experience
- Peer-to-peer learning is central to our work at TATP
- Three elements are crucial for teaching development: teaching, receiving feedback, and giving feedback
- Reflective practice is essential for skill development
Benefits of Microteaching
Participants in microteaching sessions will be able to hone their skills in the following areas:
- oral presentation skills (voice modulation and articulation, enthusiasm, gestures, non-verbal cues, clarity of explanations and examples)
- organization skills (structure of the lesson, strong opening and closing, good transitions between sections, clear learning objectives, effective use of time, good pacing)
- relating to the student (the speaker engages the audience, the material is audience-appropriate, effective questioning, use of relatable examples)
- effective use of teaching aids (handouts, blackboard, presentation software, overhead transparencies, props, charts, etc.
What should I expect during a Microteaching session?
During a Microteaching session you can expect the following:
Preparatory phase: Before the Microteaching session you will prepare a 10 minute lesson. This includes selecting the topic, defining clear learning objectives, planning the content and structure of your lesson, and preparing any necessary teaching materials or resources.
Introductory presentation: During this presentation, TATP Graduate Educational Developers will discuss the ground rules for microteaching, the session process, and the elements of effective feedback.
Delivery of teaching presentations and peer feedback: Each participant will deliver their 10 minute lessons. Participants will fill out feedback forms and have an opportunity to share verbal feedback with each participant.
Reflection and discussion: You will have an opportunity to reflect on your teaching experience, consider the feedback provided, and engage in a discussion with the observers and other participants. This discussion can involve further clarification, exploring alternative approaches, sharing experiences, and learning from each other’s perspectives.
What do I need to do to prepare for Microteaching?
You must come prepared to your microteaching session with a 10 minute lesson. This time limit includes questions from the “students”, your peer observers. We strongly suggest that you practice and time yourself before your session. Your lesson can be either “high tech”, involving presentation software, video or sound clips, etc. or it can be “low tech”, using only paper handouts and a whiteboard.
For the Educational Technology Certificate you must identify and prepare one educational technology tool or strategy to highlight in your session. For the Accessible, Inclusive, and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies Certificate, you must identify an EDIA focused tool or strategy to highlight in your session. You must include this information in your registration form for the Microteaching session you are attended, as well as prior to delivering your session.
Online and In-Person Microteaching
The TATP runs both in-person and online Microteaching sessions. Please consider which type of session you will be participating in when you develop your lesson and adapt your teaching strategies for online or in-person teaching.
Participant information and feedback forms are available for both types of Microteaching sessions.
How do I register for a Microteaching Session?
To enrol in Microteaching at the TATP, you must be a participant in one of three certificate programs: the Advanced University Teaching Preparation Certificate, the Accessible, Inclusive, and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies Certificate, or the Educational Technologies Certificate. You may be enrolled in more than one of these certificates at any given time.
There are two ways to register for Microteaching at the TATP.
The first is through the events calendar on the TATP website or in the TATP registration system, EVE. From here you may select the microteaching session that you wish to attend. The second way to register is through the Certificates Area in EVE. Click the “Details and Registration” button under one of the three certificates listed above. On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the plus sign next to the word “Practical Component”. This will show you the Microteaching sessions that are available for registration. Select the session you would like to attend
Once you have selected the session you would like to attend, on the right-hand side of the screen, click the “Register” button. This will send you to a registration form where you will be asked to identify which certificate you wish to use this session for, and which tool or strategy you will be highlighting in your teaching presentation.
Please note: Microteaching sessions are in high demand. If you need to cancel your registration in a microteaching session for any reason you must do so 3 days before the session takes place. If you need to cancel your registration afterwards, please email the TATP. Failure to cancel your registration and not attend a session may result in a restriction from registering in future Microteaching sessions.
- Cancellation for Microteaching Sessions: Attendance in Microteaching is to be taken extremely seriously. Due to high demand, TATP is unable to accommodate all interested participants and each Microteaching session carries a waiting list. Attendance and preparation are expected, and last-minute cancellations are not welcome. All participants are asked to confirm their attendance in Microteaching sessions. If you must cancel, please do so 3 business days prior to the workshop to allow TATP staff to offer the space to another student.
- Preparation for Microteaching Sessions: Microteaching sessions are dependent on each participant being ready to teach and provide feedback to their peers. Participants who arrive without adequate preparation not only miss the full benefit of the experience individually, they disrupt and detract from the experience of the group. For this reason, participants who arrive without a prepared teaching demonstration will be asked to leave.
- Behaviour and Conduct in Microteaching: Participants in Microteaching are expected to conform to University of Toronto expectations regarding academic and behavioural conduct. Further, presentation of content must conform to University policies that guide teaching and learning environments, such as the Ontario Human Rights Code and Appropriate Use of Information Technology. Participants in Microteaching should make all necessary efforts to provide feedback in a constructive and collegial manner. TATP Trainers may ask participants to change the tone of their comments or leave a session if uncivil or combative behaviour occurs or persists.
Peer Review Sessions
Peer review sessions are a crucial component of the Course Design Certificate program at TATP. These sessions provide a unique opportunity for participants to engage in reflective practices and offer feedback to their colleagues, creating a valuable dialogue among graduate students with diverse experiences at the University of Toronto. At TATP, we highly value peer review sessions as a means to actively involve learners in their own educational journey. Engaging in peer reviews not only fosters a deeper understanding of teaching and learning processes but also enhances critical thinking, self-reflexivity, and effective communication skills. By participating in peer review sessions, you can engage in meaningful conversations with your peers about their work, gain insights into different teaching approaches, and receive constructive feedback to enhance your own teaching.
How to Register for a Peer Review Session
To enrol in a Peer Review Session at the TATP, you must be a participant in the Course Design Certificate.
There are two ways to register for a Peer Review Session at the TATP:
The first is through the events calendar on the TATP website or in the TATP registration system, EVE. From here you may select the microteaching session that you wish to attend. The second way to register is through the Certificates Area in EVE. Click the “Details and Registration” button under the Course Design Certificate. On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the plus sign next to the word “Peer Review Session”. This will show you the sessions that are available for registration. Select the session you would like to attend
Once you have selected the session you would like to attend, on the right-hand side of the screen, click the “Register” button. Please note: you must complete the asynchronous course design modules prior to attending a peer review session
Preparing for the Peer Review Session
For your Course Design Certificate review session, you have the option of preparing either an assessment or a syllabus.
Option 1: Assessment
For this option, you can prepare an assessment from a course you’ve designed or are planning to design. Creating effective assessments is a critical aspect of teaching and an essential skill to develop. Here are some examples of assessments you might consider:
- Multiple-Choice Quiz: Develop a multiple-choice quiz to assess students’ knowledge of a specific topic.
- Essay Assignment: Prepare an essay assignment prompt that encourages students to critically analyze a subject.
- Group Project Guidelines: Create a set of guidelines for a group project that outlines the objectives, expectations, and assessment criteria. Y
- Case Study Analysis: Develop a case study for students to analyze. Case studies are particularly useful in fields like business, law, and healthcare.
Option 2: Syllabus
Alternatively, you can bring a syllabus for a course you’ve designed, are currently teaching, or plan to teach in the future. A well-structured syllabus is a cornerstone of effective course design. Refer to the TATP Syllabus and Lesson Design resource for help on constructing your syllabus.
During the Peer Review Session
During the peer review session, you will receive a set of instructions and materials, including handouts and worksheets, to complete the required peer review. Strict time limits will be followed to ensure sufficient time for all participants to offer and receive feedback.
What Format of Feedback Will You Provide: You might be asked to offer written and/or verbal feedback to one or more colleagues within the session. TATP provides a range of worksheets and resources to guide you through strategies for constructive feedback.
What Kind of Feedback Will You Provide: Your feedback should be formative, not evaluative, focusing on identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Avoid making judgments about your peers’ performance; instead, aim to inspire and motivate each other to enhance your teaching practices. Be mindful of your tone, use “I” statements, seek patterns, and reflect on your comments before offering them.
How Can You Prepare to Receive and Use Feedback: Self-reflection plays a crucial role during peer review sessions. Continuously assess your own performance and compare it to the feedback you receive. Be open to constructive comments and differentiate them from your personal identity. Focus on changes, improvements, strengths, effective practices, and values.
After the Peer Review Session
How Can You Leverage the Peer Review Session Experience: You can leverage the peer review session experience in several ways:
- Save documents and feedback notes for future reference in your teaching practice.
- Integrate feedback into your teaching portfolio or dossier.
- Reflect on the transferable skills gained from providing and receiving constructive feedback, enhancing your communication, mentoring, and coaching abilities.
Table of Contents
Statement of Teaching Philosophy (STP) Clinic
The Statement of Teaching Philosophy (STP) Clinic, is an immersive workshop tailored for individuals with a complete draft of their STP. Much like the peer review sessions in the Course Design Certificate program at TATP, our STP Clinic is designed to foster a collaborative environment for participants to engage in reflective practices and offer valuable feedback to one another.
How to Register for an STP Clinic
To enrol in an STP Clinic at the TATP, you must be a participant in the Exploring and Documenting Teaching Experience Ceritficate
There are two ways to register for an STP Clinic at the TATP:
The first is through the events calendar on the TATP website or in the TATP registration system, EVE. From here you may select the microteaching session that you wish to attend. The second way to register is through the Certificates Area in EVE. Click the “Details and Registration” button under the Exploring and Documenting Teaching Experience Certificate. On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the plus sign next to the word “Statement of Teaching Philosophy Clinic”. This will show you the sessions that are available for registration. Select the session you would like to attend
Once you have selected the session you would like to attend, on the right-hand side of the screen, click the “Register” button. Please note: you must complete the asynchronous teaching dossier modules prior to attending an STP Clinic
Preparing for the STP Clinic
For the STP Clinic, come prepared with a full draft of your Statement of Teaching Philosophy. This short yet impactful document serves as the foundation of your teaching dossier, making it an essential component of your academic portfolio. Your peers will offer insights and suggestions to refine your STP.
During the STP Clinic
Expect a structured session where you’ll receive instructions, handouts, and worksheets to guide your STP peer review. Similar to the peer review sessions, strict time limits will be followed to ensure everyone has the opportunity to provide and receive feedback.
Feedback Format: You will be asked to provide written and/or verbal feedback to peers during the session. TATP offers various worksheets and resources to guide you in delivering constructive feedback.
Feedback Focus: Emphasize formative feedback, avoiding evaluative judgments. Identify strengths and areas for improvement, inspiring and motivating each other to enhance teaching practices. Use “I” statements, seek patterns, and reflect on your comments before sharing them.
Preparing for Feedback: Active self-reflection is key during the clinic. Continuously assess your STP and compare it to the feedback received. Be open to constructive comments, differentiating them from your personal identity. Focus on changes, improvements, strengths, effective practices, and values.
After the STP Clinic
After the STP Clinic, consider the following steps:
- Document and Save: Preserve documents and feedback notes for future reference in your teaching practice. For example, you will be asked to fill out a Take-Home Worksheet that includes personal reflections and next steps.
- Integrate Feedback: Incorporate constructive feedback into your teaching portfolio or dossier.
- Reflect on Skills: Consider the transferable skills gained from providing and receiving constructive feedback, enhancing your communication, mentoring, and coaching abilities.
Dossier Consultation Process
Teaching Dossier Consultations
The dossier consultation process is a part of the Exploring and Documenting Teaching Experience Certificate and the Advanced University Teaching Preparation certificate. This process aims to provide valuable guidance and support to help you create a strong and compelling teaching dossier. Our Graduate Educational Developers will assist you in reviewing and refining your submitted dossier, ensuring it effectively represents your philosophy and accomplishments.
Dossier Submission Process
Participants are required to submit their teaching dossier, which includes a statement of teaching philosophy (STP) and two additional narrative sections in our certificate management system EVE:
- Navigate to the certificates area by clicking on your name at the top right-hand corner of the home screen.
- Click on “Details and Registration” under the AUTP or Exploring and Documenting Teaching Experience Certificates.
- On the right-hand side of this screen, you should see a drop-down menu titled “Teaching Dossier Consultation” Click on this drop-down menu, and then click on the button “Schedule the Meeting/Consultation”.
- Create a teaching dossier consultation, and then fill out the registration form.
- Finally, you will see the meeting screen where you will have the option to upload your dossier.
Once your dossier has been submitted, your documents will be sent to one of our Graduate Educational Developers who will schedule an initial meeting with you. This meeting is designed to be an open conversation where you have the opportunity to share your goals for the dossier, clarify any questions or concerns, and express your expectations for the consultation process.
After the preliminary meeting, the GED will carefully review your submitted teaching dossier. GEDs approach the consultation with the primary goals of identifying existing strengths and areas for improvement. The discussion focuses on the coherence and effectiveness of your STP, which encompasses your understanding and implementation of effective teaching strategies. When reviewing your STP and additional dossier sections, the GED considers the following:
- Statement of Teaching Philosophy:
- The STP is the heart of the dossier, providing context for other elements.
- The STP should vividly depict your believes about effective teaching, supported by specific examples.
- It can be written in first person, reflecting your personal reflections and experiences.
- It should outline future plans for professional development and growth.
- The STP should use an active voice and emphasize positive and proactive efforts, acknowledging challenges and demonstrating plans for improvement.
- Supporting Teaching Materials/Additional Narrative Sections:
- The GED examines the alignment between your claims in the STP and the supporting materials.
- The supporting materials should reflect your teaching experiences, strategies, and accomplishments described in your STP.
- The GED provides feedback on how your dossier tells a coherent story about your teaching, substantiated by evidence.
The Graduate Educational Developer assigned to your dossier consultation will fill out the TATP Teaching Dossier Feedback Form and upload it into EVE for you to review.