Instructional Skills Workshops for Faculty

This 24 hour (over 3 or 4 days) Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)focuses on teaching groups of students and is designed to enhance the teaching effectiveness of both new and experienced educators. In a supportive atmosphere, you will have a chance to try new teaching approaches and to sharpen existing skills. During the workshop, you will design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive verbal, written, and video feedback from your peers. In addition, you will reflect on your own teaching practices. The success of this program relies on active participation and collaboration of all participants who, as a team, work together to support each other in enhancing their teaching effectiveness. A certificate of completion will be awarded to each participant.


We offer a number of Faculty ISW programs throughout the year. Please see our list of upcoming sessions below. If you are interested and are eligible to apply, please fill in an application. All applications will be reviewed and you will be notified within two weeks of applying if you have been accepted into the program.

Am I eligible to apply?

We use the term “faculty” to mean anyone who:

  • Teaches a credited course at UBC
  • Coordinates programs for students enrolled in credit courses at UBC
  • Leads or designs teaching and learning events, not mentioned above, that are for, or otherwise support, students enrolled in credit course at UBC
  • This includes UBC faculty, postdoc and staff

Online ISW

While UBC’s courses operated in remote teaching mode, we are offering our Faculty ISWs in an online format with slightly adjusted schedules. Participants will take part in a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. These sessions are designed to provide participants with the opportunity to experience and try effective remote teaching approaches.

August 2021

  • July 20: 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • August 5, 6, 9, & 10: 9:30am – 3:30pm


December 2021 (2 cohorts)


  • November 26: 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • December 7, 13, 14, & 16: 9:30am – 3:30pm

In person

  • December 13, 14, & 16: 8:30am – 4:30pm




Our Faculty ISWs are 24-hour professional development sessions designed for faculty members interested in developing and enhancing their instructional skills. Participants will work closely with peers and facilitators from across disciplines to reflect upon and improve their teaching by receiving valuable feedback and by practicing a variety of instructional techniques in a supportive atmosphere. We take a learner-centered approach that may have you looking at your students in a whole new light! Participants benefit from practicing skills and sharing ideas in a cooperative environment.

Program goals

By the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Use learning objectives to organize teaching and to help students consider what they are expected to learn
  • Write a useful, practical and aligned lesson plan
  • Incorporate active learning strategies
  • Consider students’ differing learning needs
  • Use simple techniques during lessons to test learning
  • Use common instructional aids effectively
  • Use good questioning techniques during a classroom session
  • Give and receive constructive feedback
  • Increase confidence and competence in the classroom


The workshop consists of teaching practice, theory application and topical sessions. Participants will review important concepts in a group teaching situation, such as planning a lesson, increasing participatory learning, and providing feedback to students. Sessions will also be available on a variety of teaching and learning topics such as experiential learning theory, questioning skills, classroom activities, and evaluation of student learning. During the workshop you will teach three short lessons in a group setting and receive constructive feedback from facilitators and peers. In this supportive atmosphere you will have the opportunity to develop new teaching skills, to enhance existing skills, and/or to try new and challenging ideas.


Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, participants must be comfortable communicating verbally in English. All Faculty ISWs run for three or four days from 8:15 am – 5:00 pm each day and include online pre-work. Attendance is required for the full time. Online ISWs follow a modified schedule to limit synchronous time.

What past participants have said:

“I will recommend this to colleagues without hesitation.”

“[The ISW] changed the way I think about teaching for the better!”

“[Taking the ISW] was a wonderful experience, both personally and professionally. It exceeded my expectations.”

“I would love to take it again.”

“[I get] tips I can apply from both peers and facilitators.”

For more information about Faculty ISWs, please contact Jens Vent-Schmidt or Carissa Block.