Faculty orientations at Ontario universities vary widely by content, report finds

January 25, 2012

According to the first of a 2-part study on PSE teaching development, commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, new faculty orientations, conducted by all but 2 of the 20 Ontario universities participating in the study, vary widely in their content. Some offer a general introduction to the university and/or a list of local resources, while others focus on specific teaching skills and explore a range of teaching and learning issues and strategies. Less than half of the institutions focus on student assessment or course design, and just 13% include a panel discussion with students. All of the universities offer workshops and/or other programs, such as teaching certificate programs or mentorship programs, for their new faculty members throughout the year. None has sessions on designing and teaching fully online courses. While Ontario's teaching and learning centres have done a reasonably good job of offering orientation sessions to new faculty, there is room for improvement on the attendance rate and duration of some orientations, the study's authors say. Research Summary | Full Report