About the Certificate...2 Purpose Advantages. Certificate Components...3

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Guide to the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

at Dalhousie University

About the Certificate ...2

Purpose Advantages

Certificate Components ...3

Theory Practice Professional Development Capstone: Teaching Dossier

Procedures ...5

Program Registration

CNLT 5000 - Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Professional Development Opportunities

Tracking Your Progress Re-submission of Work Certificate Completion

Program Development ... 9

Certificate Policies ...10

CLT’s Commitment to the Certificate Program and Participants Participants’ Commitment to the Certificate Program

Policies Specific to Certificate Components ...11

Resources ...13


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The Centre for Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie University, in collaboration with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, has designed the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (CUTL) to assist academic departments in preparing students for their teaching responsibilities and to enhance their professional development opportunities for other careers. Program requirements are ideally designed to be taken over the length of your time as a graduate student at Dalhousie and thus should not extend time to degree completion.

Purpose of the Certificate

The purpose of the CUTL is to provide an organized set of opportunities for graduate students to:

• acquire a comprehensive set of concepts, techniques, and teaching skills necessary to become effective teaching assistants and future university teachers, as well as more effective presenters in other contexts.

• engage in reflective practice and receive feedback from experienced faculty about disciplinary-based teaching.

• connect with peers across the disciplines through discussions of learning and teaching • create a broader and deeper understanding of academic life.


Participation in the CUTL will better prepare participants to: • work as a TA at Dalhousie.

• demonstrate teaching competence when seeking employment. • talk about their teaching with confidence in job interviews.

• take on the responsibilities of a faculty member or other roles within and beyond the university.

• demonstrate their commitment to and achievement in teaching development through an officially documented certificate and transcript notation.



There are 4 components to complete the Certificate program:

1. Theory 2. Practice

3. Professional Development 4. Capstone: Teaching Dossier

1. Theory

The theory component will introduce participants to the scholarship of teaching and learning and provide an opportunity to read and discuss selected literature in the field. To complete this component participants may select one of two options:

Option 1 – Credit Course: Participants may enrol in a 0 credit-hour pass/fail course

(CNLT 5000 - Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) taught by CLT staff. There are no prerequisites for this course. The course will provide foundational knowledge about university teaching and learning, and assignments will enable participants to pursue their own teaching interests and/or discipline-specific concerns. Completion of this course will be noted on the participant’s university transcript.

Option 2 – Learning and Teaching Project: Participants may complete a project that

will require them to engage in an in-depth study of a teaching issue of particular interest to them. Examples of possible projects might include: designing a course, creating an annotated collection of teaching resources in a discipline, or conducting an inquiry into some aspect of teaching and learning. Regardless of the specific nature of the project, students will be required to engage in a review and analysis of selected, relevant literature and will also be required to disseminate their work in ways that may include: a presentation in the home department, a CLT workshop, a conference presentation, a CLT project proceedings, or a peer-reviewed journal publication.

2. Practice

The practice component will provide participants with an opportunity to implement acquired concepts, skills, and techniques, receive peer feedback, and reflect upon and revise their teaching practice. The completion of this component will depend on the participant’s discipline and circumstances, but in every case, will include three interconnected components:

a) reflection on teaching: Learning to reflect on the complexities of teaching practice - planning, implementing and self-evaluating - are integral to the professional development of teaching. A written plan and subsequent self-evaluation will be required for a minimum of 3 class periods.


b) teaching experience: Participants will document a minimum of three class periods in which they were the primary instructor (e.g., teaching assistant, lab or studio instructor, lecturer) as part of the development of their teaching dossier.

c) feedback on their teaching: The participant will arrange to have a peer or a faculty member observe his/her class and provide formative feedback on a minimum of three occasions. On at least one of these three occasions, the observation and feedback should be conducted by an experienced faculty member. An opportunity should be available following each observation for the participant to reflect on his/her teaching and to discuss the feedback provided with the observer.

3. Professional Development

This open-choice component is designed to nurture the habit of continuing professional development by requiring participants to assess their own learning needs and to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of professional development workshops offered by CLT, other universities, discipline-specific or teaching conferences, or by their academic units.

Participants will set goals for their professional development in this context and provide a one-paragraph annotation of each of their experiences, adjusting their goals as they progress through the workshops.

Participants may also lead discussion groups or run workshops for CLT or their home departments for double-credit hours towards the completion of this component.

4. Capstone: Teaching Dossier

Participants will create an 8-10 page teaching dossier supported by selected samples of evidence. The creation of a teaching dossier provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on their experience within the program and will allow them to document their teaching for the job search process.




How should I register for the Certificate program?

Fill out an application form – in person, by mail, email, or on-line.

Where can I find an application form?

• CLT Offices – Killam Library, Room G90 (main floor) • CLT email – clt@dal.ca

• CLT website - www.learningandteaching.dal.ca

Participants will receive an information package upon registration that will include: this Guide to the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning and a Tracking Card to record participation in/facilitation of workshops/conferences and to record completion of program components.

Who is eligible to register for the Certificate Program?

• Doctoral students enrolled in a program of study at Dalhousie University are eligible to participate.

• Masters students enrolled in a program of study at Dalhousie University are welcome to register for the Certificate program if they provide a letter of support for their participation from their supervisor. This requirement acknowledges the time constraints in many Masters programs.

• Post-doctoral fellows at Dalhousie University are also welcome to register for the Certificate program.

N.B. CLT strongly advises graduate students to enrol in the program only after completing

the first year of their academic programs.

Can I still be enrolled in the Certificate program if I am working away from the Dalhousie University campus?

Participants enrolled in the program may maintain their registration and work on the completion of their Certificate if their period of absence from campus is no longer than two academic terms. To complete the course option, however, participants must be present on campus for the term in which it is offered.

What is the cost of the Certificate program?

This Certificate program is offered at no extra cost to graduate students. Those participants who opt to register for the course will not have to pay additional fees for the course over and above their departmental/program fees.


Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CNLT 5000)

How should I register for CNLT 5000?

Participants registered for the Certificate and who wish to enrol in the course option must register separately for it. Procedures for course registration for CNLT 5000 are the same as any other university course. The registrar’s office has made provisions for Certificate program participants to register in CNLT 5000 over and above regular program requirements.

Can I take the CNLT 5000 course towards my program of study?

CNLT 5000 is taken by students over and above their program requirements. This course does not fulfil or replace any departmental requirements.

Will CNLT 5000 appear on my transcript when I have completed it?

• Completion of this course will appear on a participant’s transcript.

• Post-doctoral fellows may audit the course for the purpose of completing the Certificate program requirements.

Where can I find more information about CNLT 5000?

Please see the CUTL website for course details at: http://learningandteaching.dal.ca/cutl.html

Professional Development Opportunities

How can I find out about professional development workshops throughout the year?

CLT Workshops and conferences are advertised in the following locations: • CLT website http://learningandteaching.dal.ca/

• CLT newsletter Focus on Learning and Teaching • Notice Digest

• Dalhousie Events Calendar

• via departmental and Faculty of Graduate Studies mailings and emails

How can I register for professional development workshop or conference?

Participants may register for CLT workshops by emailing clt@dal.ca or phoning 494-1622. Please notify the CLT if you are unable to attend a workshop.


Tracking Your Progress

How can I keep track of my progress in the Certificate Program?

The Guide to the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning will be accessible via a CUTL WebCT site. CLT will advertise up-coming workshops on the CLT website and on the CUTL WebCT site.

The WebCT site will also allow participants to track their progress throughout their time in the program via a Certificate Program Component Checklist. CLT will record any CLT workshops you attend, as well as course, project, and dossier completion.

To validate workshop participation participants will be supplied with a Tracking Card when they register for the Certificate program and must obtain the signature of the workshop facilitators for those professional development workshops they attend. The Tracking Card will enable participants to validate their attendance at CLT/Dalhousie workshops, and workshops offered by their department, other universities, or professional societies and organizations.

Participants will also receive a Certificate Program Component Checklist, incorporated as part of the Tracking Card, on which they can record completion of other program requirements. With participant permission, the WebCT site will also maintain a list of those participants who have completed the program.

Resubmission of Work

Can I resubmit written or oral work?

If a Teaching Dossier, Teaching and Learning Project, or any other part of the Certificate submitted for Certificate completion is assessed by the CUTL administrator as not fully or appropriately completed, the participant will be informed immediately and provided with constructive feedback. Resubmission of any written or oral work will be accepted by CLT for reassessment within 3 months after the work was originally submitted.


Certificate Completion

How long will it take to complete the Certificate program?

Participants should plan to take at least 2 years to complete the Certificate. In no circumstances will Certificate program participants enrolment exceed the duration of their graduate program.

If I am inactive in the program for some time, will my enrolment be suspended?

Participants who are inactive in the program for a period of six months will be considered to have withdrawn from the program unless they advise CLT of their interest in continuing in the program. CLT will remove inactive participants’ names from the registrants list. However, any participant who still meets the requirements for enrolment may re-register when they are able to resume active participation.

How can I ensure that I remain an active registrant in the Certificate program?

To remain actively registered in the Certificate program, participants must fulfil at least one component (e.g., workshop, course, teaching observation) of the Certificate program per year.

Can I receive an extension for participation in the Certificate program beyond the duration of my graduate program?

In no circumstances will Certificate program participants exceed the duration of their graduate program.

Can I complete the Certificate program after I have graduated from my academic department?

Participants must complete the program before graduating from their academic program. CLT will not be able to provide transcript notification of Certificate completion or provide a certificate of completion after a participant has graduated.

How should I notify CLT that I have completed the program?

Upon completion, participants will notify CLT that they have completed all the components of the Certificate. CLT will verify that completion of all components has been fulfilled at which time CLT will notify the Registrar’s Office that the participant has completed the Certificate. Participants will then receive a notification on their transcript to this effect. If you are completing the Certificate program in your graduating year, please ensure timely submission of work and notification to CLT of Certificate program completion to ensure the Registrar’s office can be informed and notification of completion noted on participant’s transcript prior to graduation.


How will my completion of the program be recognized?

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a notation in the comments section of their transcript. Participants will also receive a formal certificate from CLT signed by the Director of CLT, the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and the Vice-President Academic. Certificates will be awarded at a Graduation Luncheon held semi-annually in May and December.

Can I obtain a replacement certificate?

Should a graduate of the program wish to receive a replacement certificate the CLT will provide one at a nominal fee to cover the cost of producing a replacement certificate.

Program Development: Participants’ Role

Tracking student development and perspectives during and following the Certificate program will enable CLT staff to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and to use such feedback to optimize the learning experiences of participants. Your participation in this process is encouraged.

Participants will be invited, on a voluntary basis, to complete an entrance and an exit survey in order to document their perceptions of skill development, theoretical understanding, and professional development during the course of their participation in the Certificate Program. Dalhousie University Student Ratings of Instruction will be completed by participants who complete CNLT 5000.

CLT will also encourage students who successfully complete the Certificate program to provide contact information so that CLT staff can request a single interview 18-months after the Certificate is completed to track the longer term impact of the program as graduates transition to faculty positions or other professional roles.


CLT’s Commitment to Certificate Program and Participants


CLT is responsible for registering participants, up-dating the CUTL website and Web-CT sites, and sending program materials to you upon request.


• CLT will offer the CNLT course once per calendar year.

• CLT will offer workshops on a regular basis in Fall and Winter terms and hold TA Days annually in September.

• If it is necessary for CLT to cancel a workshop (for instance because of low enrolments or inclement weather), this will be done as early as possible and email notification of cancellations will be sent to all registered participants.

• Should CLT need to change or alter the Certificate program, a grandparenting policy will be in place to ensure that participants already enrolled in the program for at least 1 year will have the option of completing the Certificate program as outlined in the Certificate requirements in effect at the time of registration.


CLT staff will provide workshops, one-on-one consultations for writing Teaching Dossiers, and on-going advice and assistance for Teaching and Learning Project, or any teaching and learning related issue or activity you may wish to discuss.


CLT staff will assist in arranging teaching opportunities in circumstances where participants experience difficulty in finding appropriate teaching experiences.


CLT will provide a certificate to each participant on completion of the Certificate program and will ensure that notification is provided to the Registrar’s office upon participant’s completion of the Certificate to appear as a notation on the transcript.

Participants’ Commitment to the Certificate Program

Participants are requested to respect the integrity of the programme by:

• Demonstrating commitment to university teaching and learning by allowing sufficient time to develop their teaching, and preferably by engaging in the program over at least a 2 year period.

• Recording workshops/conferences attended.

• Ensuring that contact information held by CLT is up-to-date.

• Ensuring that the Tracking Card is signed for attendance at ALL workshops as proof of



The Teaching and Learning Project

• The nature and parameters of each project will be agreed upon in concert with CLT staff.

• Any changes to the initial proposal must be approved by CLT staff. • Project outcomes will be assessed by CLT staff.

• Evaluation Criteria for Teaching and Learning Project: As projects will vary significantly, evaluation criteria will be determined jointly at the outset of the project by the participant and CLT staff. A copy of the established criteria will be on record with the participant and on file at CLT. This criteria will be used to evaluate the success of the Teaching and Learning Project.

Professional Development Workshops

• Workshops that are teaching related but not sponsored by CLT will be accepted towards meeting the professional development hours requirement. Please ensure that the workshop/conference organizer(s) sign your Tracking Card.

• Participants may also lead discussion groups or run workshops for CLT or their home departments for double-credit hours towards the completion of this component.

Defining ‘teaching opportunity’

For the practice component of this program, participants must engage in 3 opportunities to have their teaching observed and receive feedback.

A ‘teaching opportunity’ may include: • Teaching your own course.

• Teaching in a class such as a lab, tutorial group, or studio. • Guest lectures or classes in another instructor’s class.

If participants experience difficulty in obtaining teaching opportunities they should consult with the CUTL administrator for assistance.

Defining ‘experienced faculty member’

For the purpose of receiving feedback on your teaching, at least one of the three feedback sessions should be provided by an experienced faculty member. This faculty member can be someone either in or outside of your department, tenured or non-tenured, but should be a person who has had at least 3 years of university teaching experience.

Defining ‘peer feedback’

Peer observers should use one of the peer feedback forms suggested by CLT during a classroom observation. This form and/or the written report given to the participant by the observer will remain confidential. CLT will not keep copies of classroom observation forms or reports on file. The participant must, however, have the completed form and/or report signed off on the CUTL Program Component Checklist by the CUTL administrator as proof


Defining ‘teaching dossier’

Participants teaching dossiers will include a teaching philosophy and approaches to teaching as well as other sections in keeping with their teaching experience, background and departmental context. The Dossier should be between 8-10 pages in length. A guiding template can be found on the CLT website and teaching dossier workshops will be offered by CLT to advise and assist participants.

Evaluation Criteria for Teaching Dossier

Please refer to the Recording Teaching Accomplishment Guide for further information and guidance, available through CLT.




• Centre for Learning and Teaching Resource Library, Killam Library, Room G90 • Centre for Learning and Teaching web site at

http://learningandteaching.dal.ca/cutl.html • Certificate Program WebCT site

• Your Department: some departments have TA Co-ordinators. Check with your department.

• Computing Services at http://ucis.dal.ca/ • Intergrated Learning Online at

http://integratedlearningonline.academiccomputing.dal.ca • Dalhousie Libraries at http://library.dal.ca




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