Welcome to the Centre for Teaching and Learning
The staff of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) work to promote the Aurora College Values, Mission, and Vision, and the strategic goal of academic excellence through consultation and the development and delivery of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff in the following areas:
Evidence-based research in adult learning and development
International standards of higher education teaching and learning excellence
Research-informed best practice in instructional design and the use of educational technology
Advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning
CTL Staff provides one-on-one consultations with faculty/staff, program consultations with program heads and chairs, coordinate and/or deliver professional development sessions on a wide variety of topics of need and interest, and develop pedagogical content in the area of teaching, instructional design and educational technology to be shared with faculty through this CTL website.
For the 18-month pilot, Aurora College’s CTL staff will consist of five positions:
Adult Learning Specialist – Teaching and Learning
Adult Learning Specialist – Educational Technology
Adult Learning Specialist – Instructional Design
A part-time Administrative Assistant
History of CTL
The first Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in higher education began at the University of Michigan in 1962. In Canada, the first centre started at McGill University in 1968, called Teaching and Learning Services. Since the 1960s, these types of centres have sprung up in colleges and universities across the globe. The Canadian Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning website lists over one hundred CTLs at post-secondary institutes in Canada.
CTLs in higher education go by various names: Centres for Teaching and Learning, Centres for Teaching Excellence, Centres for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Academic Centres of Excellence, Faculty Development Centres, Teaching and Learning Commons and other variations on the theme of teaching and learning excellence.
While the primary purpose of CLTs is to promote teaching skill in faculty who are discipline specialists, there is clearly no “one-size-fits all” mold to these centres. Although there is variation, common functions include building faculty capacity in the use of educational technology, instructional design, development of faculty teaching skills, and promoting proven ways to engage students in learning. CTLs have evolved over time and are now seen as hubs of pedagogical innovation – they play a significant role in achieving the strategic goals of the institution, and shaping organizational culture.
Aurora College CTL Pilot
In early 2020, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Aurora College formed an ad hoc committee to help faculty, staff and students manage the forced transition to remote learning. In June of 2020, a discussion paper about formalizing a Centre for Teaching and Learning was presented to the Executive leadership team at Aurora College. It was determined that, in conjunction with Aurora College’s transition from a community college to a polytechnic university, the time was right for a CTL. The current Centre is a part of an 18-month pilot program, which will run from October 2020 to the end of April 2022.