Call for Proposals

11th Annual University of Toronto Teaching & Learning Symposium


May 1, 2017

Desautels Hall, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
95 St. George Street

Keynote Speaker: Sanjay Sarma, Vice-President for Open Learning, Office of Digital Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


The Call for Proposals is now closed.

Submission deadline: February 27, 2017

Notification of acceptance will be sent out in early March.


Questions about the proposal submissions process can be directed to: 
Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation at or 416-946-0464.

This tri-campus event for U of T faculty and staff, hosted by the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation and the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, is intended to stimulate discussion and the sharing of research, practices and experiences around teaching and learning. It is a cross-divisional forum that allows faculty, librarians and staff to celebrate their commitment to teaching and learning. This year’s Symposium will take a collaborative approach to considering instructional, course, curriculum and program design in higher education.


The 11th annual Symposium will explore ideas, issues and possibilities relating to course and curriculum design/reform, and learning science – and where these intersect. How can individuals, divisions and institutions look at their instruction, courses, program and curricula with an eye towards renewal and change? In what ways can we use advances in learning science to guide this renewal? What knowledge, skills and competencies are worth developing and transferring as we consider curricula and course development, and how do we integrate these? How can specific advances in pedagogical practices revitalize traditional modes of teaching and learning throughout myriad disciplines in order for curriculum changes to have the widest impact on student learning? What innovations are arising within specific disciplines to challenge, provoke and rejuvenate teaching practices?


The morning of the Symposium will be spent addressing the main theme through a facilitated design process focused on curriculum, program and course development, renewal and design. Participants will examine and propose strategies and approaches to meeting these challenges in their own departments and disciplines.

Participants will actively engage with questions affecting their own teaching practice, their division and their discipline, around undergraduate, graduate and professional education at the University of Toronto. As well, participants will generate ideas and recommendations for shaping the future of higher education at the University of Toronto.

The afternoon will be dedicated to concurrent sessions. Proposals will be accepted for the following formats. We encourage prospective participants to integrate students into proposals, either through direct sharing of their experiences or as co-facilitators where appropriate.

Proposals will be accepted exploring the following intersections:

1. Learning Science + Pedagogy: Advances in the Disciplines
2. Curriculum + Change: Renewal and Revision
3. The World + the Lab + the Classroom: Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning

Prospective facilitators are asked to identify their area of interest, and submit a general outline of the session, including outcomes (for all formats), citations (for Research on Teaching and Learning) and interaction processes (for workshops).

Interactive Workshop (1 hour)
Interactive workshops combine presentations or discussions with activities that engage all participants and encourage discussion and reflection. Prospective facilitators are asked to submit a general outline of the session, including outcomes and interaction processes.

Research on Teaching and Learning (completed or in-progress; 20 minutes)
Each Research on Teaching and Learning session will be one-hour in length, and comprised of three 15-minute talks, allowing 5 additional minutes for discussion at the end of each presentation.

These sessions will focus on sharing a teaching and learning-focused research project, providing a snapshot of the research design, research methods and initial findings from in-progress projects or results from a recently completed research project.

Lightning Talks (20 minutes)
These sessions will be comprised of three 15-minute Lightning Talks, allowing 5 additional minutes for discussion at the end of each presentation. The sessions will consist of moderated quick talks covering a variety of areas. Example formats for Lightning Talks include:

Teaching strategies: these sessions will focus on sharing effective teachings strategies, including the purpose, indented outcomes, facilitation and examples. Discussion regarding how others can apply the strategies in their own teaching contexts should be addressed.

Nifty assignments: these sessions focus on the sharing of a ‘nifty assignment’, giving details of the development and administration of the assignment, student outcomes, and strengths and challenges of the assignment.

The submission of original formats is also encouraged.

Symposium-You (30 minutes)
These participant-driven roundtables, two per session, give further opportunity for reflection on issues on innovations in the disciplines, with a focus on facing challenges and problem solving.

Facilitators will be asked to prepare a conversation topic on discipline-focused teaching innovations and challenges – discussions can be based around reflections on personal innovations and practice, teaching dilemmas, or bringing forward an idea for the group to consider.

Facilitators will give a short, 5-minute introduction to their topic, followed by 25 minutes of questions, discussions and conversation. These sessions should be considered dialogical and are primarily intended to foster reflection on teaching challenges and issues, and discussion of possible creative responses drawn from both personal experience and wider sources.
Prospective facilitators are asked to submit a session title and an overarching discussion question. The submission should also include 3 to 5 discussion points that will be used to guide the Symposium-You session.

Instructions for Submission of Proposals

On the proposal submission form, you will be asked to provide a primary contact, additional presenters’ names and titles (as appropriate), session title, and abstract (max. 250 words). Proposals for research talks must include citations; we encourage participants to also include citations for other formats.


Please note: appointed faculty members, sessionals (CUPE 3902, Unit 3) and CLTAs can present; graduate or undergraduate students cannot lead a presentation but may co-present with a faculty member.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out in early March.

Questions about the call for proposals or proposal submissions process can be directed to: 
Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation at or 416-946-0464.

Please briefly indicate the key take-aways for your session. What specific skills or knowledge will the participants achieve through your session?

How will the participants engage with you and with each other during the workshop? Briefly indicate any activities that you will be using (e.g. individual writing, paired discussion, small group work, reaction to a video or audio clip, review and discussion of a case study, etc.). Because this is intended as an interactive hands-on session, we invite session leaders to think beyond the normal “q-and-a” format common in most concurrent sessions.