Course in Effective University Practices

As a result of the partnership between the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), the Course in Effective Teaching Practices launched in June 2019 with 45 continuing appointment faculty members. Faculty completed 25 online models over the course of the year, focused on evidence-based instructional practices culminating in a “Certificate in Effective University Instruction” offered through ACUE and endorsed by the American Council on Education.

Cora McCloy, CTSI Faculty Liaison Coordinator, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, co-facilitated the program with Karen Reid (Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science, FAS). They led four face-to-face sessions and met with faculty participants on a regular basis to provide personalized support. Carol Rolheiser and Megan Burnett, University Leads for the initiative, worked with ACUE personnel and leaders across U of T to ensure success of this pilot initiative.

Taking Teaching to the Next Level in Toronto
A featured video interview with Carol Rolheiser and Megan Burnett on the ACUE website.


  • U of T ACUE participants boasted a 96% completion rate of the course – achieving well beyond the ACUE average of 80%
  • Most participating faculty said they would recommend the course to a colleague (87%), and the majority (97%) also indicated that the course was helpful in refining their teaching practice
  • Course participants indicated that as a result of the course, their beliefs about teaching changed with 100% of faculty reporting increases in their use of research to inform practice and their use of student feedback to adjust instruction

“It was amazing the support that was there for us. It wasn’t just about being a student and being an educator at the same time, and using applied learning techniques, it was about community. That’s why you are seeing that 96% [completion rate]. That’s why you are seeing so many of us finish this course.” (U of T ACUE participant)

Quick Stats

Participation–Of 45 active course takers:

  • 96% completed the course
  • 4% completed 0-10 modules


  • 2% Professor
  • 2% Associate Professor
  • 36% Assistant Professor
  • 16% Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
  • 41% Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
  • 2% Other

ACUE Course Participant reflection regarding implementing a technique learned from the module into their teaching


  • 87% of faculty would recommend the ACUE course to a colleague
  • 97% of faculty report modules were helpful in refining their practice
  • 94% of faculty found the content relevant to their work


Faculty report improved knowledge of evidence-based teaching practices. On average, course completers:

  • Learned 70 new practices
    • All course takers on average learned 2.8 new practices per module
  • Learned 73 more about practices
    • All course takers on average learned 2.9 new practices per module


Faculty report implementing evidence-based teaching practices. On average, course completers:

  • Implemented 23 new practices
    • All course-takers on average, implemented 0.9 practices per module
  • Plan to implement 60 additional practices
    • All course-takers on average, implemented 2.4 practices per module

After completing the course, U of T faculty reported increases in their confidence using evidence-based practices such as Designing an Effective Course and Class, Establishing a Productive Learning Environment, Using Active Learning Techniques, Promoting Higher Order Thinking and Assessing to Inform Instruction and Promote Learning.

Visit Re:Think to read ACUE participants reflections on learning and teaching online:

“It was a fantastic experience for me. One of the most important things I took from the course was the extremely encouraging atmosphere.” (U of T ACUE participant)