Skip to main content

University Teaching Development Program (UTDP)

If you are a new or experienced teacher this program will provide you with a solid foundation in university teaching and learning, and an opportunity to advance your scholarship in this area. In addition, you will be an active participant in the evolution of the Ryerson teaching community.  

The next UTDP session is upcoming Winter 2019. Please sign up here to receive a notification when the registration opens.

The program typically enrolls 14-16 to allow for individualized attention and follow-up. Due to a high demand we suggest signing up as early as possible. While the program is available to all teaching faculty at Ryerson, in case of demand exceeding available spaces, RFA members will receive priority.

The UTDP has received accreditation through the SEDA UK Professional Development Framework (SEDA-PDF).

SEDA UK is a professional association for staff and educational developers in the UK that promotes innovation and good practice in higher education.

The UTDP has been accredited through the SEDA-PDF named award “Learning, Teaching and Assessing.” All programs accredited by SEDA are guided by the SEDA values.

Program Description

The program is suitable for faculty at various points of their careers, both new academic teachers, and mid-career faculty. The primary goals of the UTDP are to provide new academic teachers with a solid foundation in university teaching and learning, to help reinvigorate teaching of mid-career faculty, to provide all participants with an opportunity to improve their practical teaching skills and to help them become more reflective practitioners. As well, the participants are exposed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, have an opportunity to network with peers, and form lasting connections to a larger teaching and learning community at Ryerson. The primary goals are achieved through engagement in pedagogical issues pertaining to higher education during workshops and seminars, and through the application of the practical skills.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyze and engage in pedagogical issues relating to higher education.
  2. Design and deliver an effective, engaging and inclusive lecture.
  3. Design effective evaluations that address the learning outcomes of the course you are teaching.
  4. Design and develop a course based upon your stated learning outcomes.
  5. Effectively incorporate technology into your teaching practice.
  6. Develop your Teaching Dossier.

Completion Requirements

To earn the UTDP Certificate, participants must, within a two-year time-frame, do the following:

  1. Participate in each of the workshops and seminars in the UTDP Workshop Series 
  2. Complete an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)
  3. Submit a Teaching Dossier
  4. Submit a 1000-word (or more) reflection detailing how participation in the UTDP has allowed them to demonstrate the SEDA Values1 and Outcomes2. Note: This reflection will only be required once the SEDA accreditation process has been completed.

Participants who complete all four components of the Program will receive their UTDP certificate of completion. UTDP Graduation Ceremony takes place every year at the end of March, with a typical graduating cohort of ten (10) participants.

UTDP Workshop Series

The series consists of ten (10) two-hour sessions: three (3) seminars focusing on personal reflection, discussions of cohort experiences vis-à-vis their teaching and on creating a peer support network, and seven (7) themed workshops requiring active engagement of participants. Each participant also has an opportunity to book at least one hour of one-on-one mentoring session with the Lead Facilitator.  

Complete Winter 2018 Schedule for Seminars and Workshops [pdf]

Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)

The ISW is an intensive series of sessions designed to enhance the teaching effectiveness of both new and experienced educators. The ISW can be completed as a stand-alone credit – its participants receive a certificate upon completion which is widely recognized at many Canadian and international post-secondary institutions3. The ISW framework is peer-based, with participants interacting in a small group setting (four to eight) under a guidance of trained facilitators. Using an intensive experiential learning approach, participants are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, review basic ideas about teaching and check current practices, practice selection and writing of learning objectives with accompanying lesson plans, plan techniques for eliciting learner participation, offer suggestions for evaluation of learning and, within the safe environment of the workshop, try new teaching strategies and techniques. ISWs are offered through the LTO for anyone who is involved with teaching, including faculty, librarians, instructional staff, teaching assistants, graduate assistants and post-docs. Currently, the ISW is offered in two formats:

  1. Face-to-Face (f2f): During this three (3) week workshop (three full days, one day per week, 24 hours total), participants design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive verbal, written and video feedback from the other participants who have been learners in the mini-lessons. In groups, participants discuss various teaching and learning topics like active learning, motivation and inclusion of diverse students, etc.
  2. Blended/Hybrid: During this four (4) week workshop (four half days f2f and online participation, 24 hours total), participants design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive verbal, written and video feedback from the other participants who have been learners in the mini-lessons. Online in small groups, participants discuss various teaching and learning topics like hybrid teaching, active learning, motivation and inclusion of diverse students, and incorporating technology tools in teaching.

The fee for the ISW is waived for the UTDP participants. The list of dates are available at the ISW webpage.

Teaching Dossier Review

UTDP participants are required to assemble and submit to the Lead facilitator a Teaching Dossier for feedback and review. Within two weeks of submission, the Lead Facilitator meets individually with each submitting participant for a one-hour feedback session. The feedback is designed to help participants create Teaching Dossiers that are directly helpful in their professional careers: all tenure-stream faculty at Ryerson are obliged by the RFA Collective Agreement, Article 5.8, to submit a Teaching Dossier as part of their Tenure Dossier. Chang School (continuing education), sessional and part-time instructors need to submit Teaching Dossiers when applying for a teaching contract.


[1] Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA)

[2] Information on the SEDA Values and Outcomes

[3] Instructional Skills Workshop Network



Lauren Wilson, Manager