TLSS - Teaching and Learning Support Service

TLSS Blog

Blog on university teaching.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS). Blog entries are written in the preferred language of the blogger, which is why some contents may appear in English on the French version of the TLSS website, and vice versa. We do not translate and we do not correct spelling errors our bloggers’ blog posts that are considered as opportunities to exchange and create a constructive dialogue on teaching and learning. However, they should not be viewed, in any way, as resources or recommendations from the TLSS.

Communication Tips for a Successful Teaching Experience

Effective teaching is about communicating and interacting wisely with students: Integrating substance and style to your messages allow you to optimize learning by supporting intellectual excitement and interpersonal rapport. Indeed, students learn best when instructors are interested and interesting!

Now, consider the following two questions: What and how is the course content communicated? How do you enhance the students-professor pedagogical relationship? Here are some tips to guide you in answering those questions:

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Exposition to Classical Music: “I Believe in the Tremendous Power of Classical Music to Heal, to Change, to Move, and to Inspire. It Adds Much Value to the Society” (Saeideh Rajabzadeh)

Raising a question: Do we still need classical music?

After 9/11 many orchestras gave some free performances to expose people to the beauty and harmony of classical music to help them deal with shock, anxiety and grief. As the Louisiana Philharmonic orchestra’s executive director Sharon Litwin remembers, in New Orleans, when people were leaving the opening night concert, “you could see they shed so much of weight”. The music did “what music is supposed to do: it touched your soul, it soothed, it calmed” (the New York Times, 2001).

However, having come recently to Handel’s Messiah performed at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, I was surrounded by the audience, the average age of which is approximately 55 years old. That is why I asked myself a question: do we still believe in the intrinsic power of classical music or is this genre outdated and attractive for a small cohort of the population? To find a reasonable answer to these inquiries, I conducted an interview with Saeideh Rajabzadeh – a third-year student of the uOttawa School of Music, specializing in vocal performance. She has collaborated as a chorister with National Arts Centre Orchestra and Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has sung choral masterworks under the baton of renowned conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Alexander Shelley, Alain Trudel, Duain Wolfe, Jack Everly and many more.


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Photo Credit: Kelly Hotte Photography

Classical music is not part of our culture anymore, is it?

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Educational Developers' Cookbook

This blog entry shares information received from Celia Popovic • Director of Teaching Commons at York University:

"I am delighted to share with you the Educational Developers' Cookbook.

Thanks to the generosity of our community we now have a collection of ideas for ice breakers, workshops and feedback methods
The collection may be viewed here: http://teachingcommons.yorku.ca/educational-developers-cookbook/

This is an ever expanding collection - so please do send any ideas using the template on the cookbook page.

I'd like to particularly thank Lisa Endersby here at the Teaching Commons who has diligently updated the site

Best wishes 
Celia"
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How to make your first presentation, or Is it worth to start giving talks

Image salle de classe“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

Excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.

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La Journée d'orientation pour les assistants d'enseignement 2016 : un événement couru!

Le 10 septembre dernier, l'équipe du SAEA avait donné rendez-vous aux assistants d'enseignement de l'Université d'Ottawa en vue de sa traditionnelle journée de formation en début de semestre. Cette année, 400 assistants d'enseignement se sont présentés sur le campus, un samedi matin, pour recevoir les précieux conseils de nos experts en pédagogie universitaire et profiter de l'expérience de nos conférenciers invités.

Cette activité gratuite proposée au début de chaque semestre attire de plus en plus de participants toutes les années. En effet, on remarque notamment cette augmentation d'inscriptions par le nombre de pizzas que nous devons commander! Eh oui, pour s'assurer qu'ils retiennent tous les nombreux renseignement, les trucs et les astuces présentés en rafale, nous leur avons offert un goûter ainsi que quelques collations.

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“History must come alive”: breaking away from passive education learning

(Source: This media release was published by the University of Ottawa)

OTTAWA, June 10, 2015 — Have methods for teaching history advanced as much as technology? Today’s teachers enter the education field with university degrees, deep commitment and passion. In addition, they’re technologically savvy.  But according to a study (in English and Spanish), the teaching methods they have been exposed to have not evolved with technological advances. The lecture model prevails.

In fact, 78% of survey respondents claimed that their primary role in university courses was to listen to their instructors and take notes. Only half said they used computers very often in class, and only 6% said they visited museums or historical sites during their degree. These results are similar for students who studied in Ontario or elsewhere.

Researchers discovered a strong desire in teachers to adopt new ways of teaching. Yet the history curriculum has not been adapted to today’s students.

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