i n s t r u c t i o n a l   s k i l l s   w o r k s h o p s

This page provides details for the Instructional Skills Workshops offered by and for the Mathematics Department at UBC. If you are interested, you can sign up at the bottom of the page.

what is an ISW?

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is an internationally recognized 3.5-day workshop designed to enhance teaching effectiveness.

A workshop group consists of up to seven participants and two facilitators. Each day, facilitators lead discussions on major topics in mathematics teaching (e.g. "Learning Objectives in First-Year Calculus"), and participants design and deliver three "mini-lessons" followed by a variety of feedback. In order to encourage discussion, the workshop group has breakfast and lunch together. All meals and snacks are provided.

The Instructional Skills Workshops offered through the Mathematics Department have been designed by and for mathematicians, with mathematics-specific content and an emphasis on transferring instructional skills to the classroom.

why take an ISW?

Taking an ISW will help you be reflective about your own teaching. It will provide a vocabulary for talking about and assessing teaching, as well as practical advice on planning and delivering lessons.

The ISWs offered by the Mathematics Department have additional benefits: they foster a teaching community in the department, introduce you to like-minded colleagues, and provide a rare opportunity to discuss mathematics teaching intensively.

An ISW will also form a strong part of your teaching portfolio; it is an internationally recognized certification.

Below are some comments from past participants in the Mathematics Department ISW.

I would recommend this workshop to others because talking about teaching — just like talking about mathematics — is how we learn to teach better. This ISW provides a medium to accomplish this.

Such a big difference from when we started. This was interesting, but more importantly, useful.

The facilitators brought peer-level participation and discussion which was highly valuable. The community formed here will hopefully endure.

This was a great experience, with lots to take away and apply!

when is the next ISW?

Online registration will open a few weeks before each ISW. If you know you will be available and wish to reserve a spot, you can do so by sending an email to Fok-Shuen Leung. The next ISW will be at the end of the spring term.

It is often possible to rearrange exam proctoring duties in order for you to attend an ISW.