What is a Classroom? May 22 and 23, 2024

Welcome to the 2024 Teaching and Learning Symposium (TLS)!

We have an exciting two days planned and are pleased to share the final program with you.

With each Teaching and Learning Symposium, we always try to tackle a theme that affects our community now and that has implications for our path forward as educators. Facing big topics and figuring out how to approach or unpack them is common in our work in teaching and learning in higher education. And the Symposium has long been a space where we can have these conversations. This year, we decided to consider the classroom from new angles. We wanted to consider possibilities rather than limitations, so we invited proposals that commented on the who, what, when, where, and how of the classroom to acknowledge the many elements and variables and the ever-changing environment in which we teach and learn. It has always been important to ask the big questions and have these conversations; and to open up discussions and share both our experiences and successful strategies and also our challenges and concerns. As we wonder about the effects of generative artificial intelligence, and as global classrooms and community learning take on larger roles, we into you to consider what and who make up a classroom, and where, when, and how we learn.

One of the changes we made to the TLS program this year was to rename Lightning Talk to Spark an Idea. These short talks provide space to share strategies and assignments that have made a difference in classes and that can be easily adapted to other courses and disciplines. In changing the name, we wanted to encourage the notion that these talks are a springboard for more discussion and new ideas. The Teaching and Learning Symposium happens once a year but the work, the conversations, the collaborations happen continuously. We like to think that the TLS isn’t so much an event as the jumping off point for something new.

We look forward to spending time with everyone on May 22nd and 23rd!

Alison Gibbs, Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences and Director, CTSI

About the Teaching & Learning Symposium

The annual Teaching & Learning Symposium is the premier teaching showcase for the University of Toronto. It is also a signature event for the Offices of the President and Vice-President & Provost, and by extension, CTSI. Participating in the Symposium is an excellent way to learn more about the concerns and interests of U of T faculty and is a key window into innovative teaching practices and teaching inquiry across all three campuses. Hosting a concurrent session is a great professional development opportunity and allows you to connect with members of our community in a deeper way. 


60-minute session

These synchronous sessions give further opportunity for reflection on issues or innovations, with a focus on facing challenges and problem solving. These sessions should be considered dialogical or an opportunity to engage participants in collective ideation about what we can do to improve equity and access in teaching and learning.

60-minute session

Interactive Workshops are synchronous sessions that include a live presentation with audience interaction/activities as well as a time for discussion/Q&A.

30 minutes each

These online synchronous sessions focus on sharing a completed teaching and learning-focused inquiry project, providing an overview of the design, methods and findings. We recommend a 20-minute presentation and 10 minutes for discussion.

15 minutes each

Teaching Strategies (LTTS): these talks focus on sharing effective teaching strategies, including the purpose, intended outcomes, possible demonstration of the strategy and examples. Discussion should address how others can apply the strategies in their own teaching contexts.

Nifty Assessments (LTNA): these talks focus on the sharing of a ‘nifty assessment’, giving details of the development and administration of the assessment, intended student outcomes, strengths and challenges of the assessment, and discussion regarding how the assessment might be used in other disciplinary contexts or delivery modes.