Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is a Canadian, grassroots, certificate program. During this intensive three-day workshop (24 hours in total), participants will work collaboratively in a small group setting (e.g. 1 Facilitator: 5 Participants) to further develop their teaching effectiveness as well as receiving feedback on new teaching strategies and techniques. Participants will design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive reflective verbal, written and video feedback from the other participants who have been learners in the mini-lessons. Using an intensive experiential learning approach, participants are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, the selection and writing of useful learning objectives with accompanying lesson plans, techniques for eliciting learner participation, and suggestions for evaluation of learning.

The workshop encourages reflection and examination of one’s teaching practices with feedback focused on the learning process rather than on the specific content of the lesson. The ISW engenders participatory learning and the building of community that can transfer back into the classroom and the institution. Because this is a peer-based workshop, your success (and the success of others in your group) is entirely dependent upon your commitment to the process. It is imperative that you commit to the 3 days in their entirety.

ISWs are available for faculty (full-time and contract only) and Staff, and will be run periodically throughout the year.  A certificate will be issued upon completion that is recognized at most Canadian and international postsecondary institutions.

Here is what two of our participants have had to say:

Participants of ISWs consistently remark on the transformational nature of the experience. Perhaps more important, however, is the subsequent impact on students. In one ISW held in 2015, a group of participants from the Schulich School of Business focused on how to teach quantitative courses more effectively.  We were delighted to learn that in the semester following the ISW students’ performance improved markedly, as evidenced by their final grades, with the only change having been the instructors’ pedagogy.

I just want to share with you that I received first place for the Schulich Teaching Award for 2016. I’m sure that part of my success was related to the fact that I took the ISW last summer and that allowed me to learn a lot from your experience and apply in class. Thank you!!

For further information or inquiries, contact Mandy Frake-Mistak at

View a list of Upcoming Workshops

Are you interested in becoming a facilitator of the Instructional Skills Workshop? Visit our Facilitator Development Workshop page.