Teaching and Learning Professional Development Online

Members of our team have been working on a pilot project to migrate aspects of our teaching and learning professional development offering to an online, self-paced, asynchronous format to better support our faculty, staff, and students with busy schedules.

Image credit: By geralt via Pixabay.

Even though I have been facilitating blended Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) for a few years, it was a steep learning curve for me to learn how to design a completely stand-alone module online with interactive mechanisms for feedback and/or assessment. It quickly became apparent that my familiarity with the subject matter prevented me to recognizing what is easy and what is difficult for those who are beginning to teach – I had to actively check my own needs to share other interesting relevant concepts and return to those that are aligned with learning objectives. The design process was also challenged by my typical experience of working in a face-to-face format – I found myself having to acquire additional pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1986, 1987) to effectively support learning in a fully online asynchronous format. One of my mentor suggested that I “role play” and really put on the participants’ perspectives when reviewing and revising the online content!

So far, we have developed foundational content intended for those who are beginning to teach and are looking to learn core components of lesson planning. We are launching our pilot this week, with the intention to seek participants’ thoughtful feedback to better support their teaching and learning professional development goals and needs.

Should you be affiliated with UBC, you may self-enroll via https://canvas.ubc.ca/enroll/LB9YAF.


  • Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher. 15(2): 4-14.
  • Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review. 57: 1-22.


Our Pop-Up Community of Practice

The lifespan of community of practice moves through a series of predictable and overlapping phases: identifying questions or issues, recruiting community members, learning and sharing, implementing changes in practice, and reflecting on and sharing results.
The Community of Practice Life Span. Developed by the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC). CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.

The opportunity to collaborate with Sue Doner (Instructional Designer; CETL @ Camosun College) and Ruth Fraser (Director; Services for Students with Disabilities @ KPU) on an accessibility session during the 2018 Festival of Learning came about by reaching out to Sue at an Open Education event last year to share my interests in Universal Design for Learning; I never imagined that a simple introduction could transform into something so fulfilling and meaningful! 

Our intimate session allowed for collegial exchanges of personal stories and experiences relating to ensuring accessibility to a diversity of learners in an online learning environment. We were able to draw upon one another’s knowledge and expertise, examine our own blindspots, and begin to identify important considerations and approaches when grappling with accessibility concerns in an online learning environment. There was an open invitation to our participants at the end of this brief session: to continue to engage with one another beyond this pop-up community of practice and to nurture the connections that we created here.

I am looking forward to see how this pop-up community of practice take shape with time and to learn how we help shift the conversation around accessibility in higher education one baby-step at a time!

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ― Mother Teresa

You may find a copy of our session plan. Please reach out to share your thoughts and become a member of our pop-up community of practice!

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