TEF: Instructional Skills

Instructional Skills

This dimension describes how instructors plan, develop, reflect on, and revise a variety of teaching methods to facilitate learning for all students.

Sketch of people sitting around a table learning together.

Key Areas of Focus:

  • Develop and maintain a variety of teaching and learning strategies 
  • Select appropriate teaching strategies for learning objectives (e.g., knowledge, skill, attitude) to achieve course outcomes 
  • Cultivate a learner-centred approach that meets the needs of diverse learners (e.g., Universal Design for Learning [UDL]; culturally responsive teaching [CRT]) 
  • Consider learning theory when developing and facilitating lessons 
  • Reflect on the effectiveness of learning activities and strategies used to support student learning 
  • Incorporate relevant technology, equipment, and materials to facilitate student learning and communication 

Sample Indicators of Effective Practice

Sample indicators are organized into three levels: Involved, Engaged, and Leading. Levels are not dependent on the length of time instructors have been teaching; Lethbridge College instructors begin their teaching careers with varied professional and academic backgrounds. Instead, as instructors move from Involved to Engaged to Leading levels, the complexity of demonstrated skills and tasks increases.

Involved

Instructors at the Involved level use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to plan lessons that address learning outcomes and engage all learners.

Examples

  • Identifies multiple ways to develop and facilitate learning experiences and uses varied methods to facilitate student learning and eliminate potential barriers to learning 
  • Uses lesson plans that identify outcomes, teaching method(s)/strategies, and learning activities 
  • Considers the importance of placing varied learner needs and diversity at the centre of all teaching activities and goals and seeks out ways to make courses more inclusive and accessible to all students 
  • Recognizes that teaching expertise develops over time and is aware of various learning theories 
  • Evaluates lesson success and adjusts accordingly 
  • Selects technology and tools appropriate to the delivery method and outcomes; considers opportunities for students to use technology to support their own learning 
  • Identifies opportunities to integrate new instructional equipment, materials, and/or texts into teaching practice 
  • Knows where to go and who to ask for help with lesson planning, subject matter expertise, teaching strategies etc., if needed 

Engaged

Instructors at the Engaged level develop, reflect on, and revise their teaching approaches to meet diverse learner needs and adopt new tools and technologies to create innovative, meaningful learning opportunities that align course components.

Examples

  • Chooses the most effective teaching/learning approaches to suit learning outcomes (considering such factors as learner needs, preferred teaching style, course context, and the need for high-quality instruction and resources) 
  • Develops lessons that intentionally align course components (i.e., learning goals, learning activities, assessment strategies) 
  • Develops lessons and learning experiences with a range of learners in mind (e.g., focuses on decolonization of material and instruction; actively uses Universal Design for Learning principles) 
  • Identifies useful learning theories and how these principles influence teaching style and lesson development 
  • Evaluates teaching strategies and how they support learner needs and learning objectives and adjusts teaching practice accordingly 
  • Adopts new tools and technologies appropriate to the delivery method and outcomes; creates meaningful learning activities and materials for students that encourages them to leverage technology to support their own learning 
  • Adopts new instructional equipment, materials, and/or texts to enhance learning activities 
  • Seeks out further opportunities to improve teaching strategies and learner activities, including bringing in colleagues and industry contacts as necessary 

Leading

Instructors at the Leading level share evidence-based teaching strategies, lesson plans, and course materials with colleagues in order to provide innovative, meaningful learning opportunities for diverse learners in their courses, programs, and the larger college community.

Examples

  • Creates new tools and techniques and/or adapts current tools and techniques to facilitate learning and eliminate potential barriers to learning 
  • Formally and informally shares lesson plans, course materials, and teaching approaches with colleagues 
  • Shares developed lessons and learning experiences that use decolonization techniques, culturally responsive teaching methods, and/or Universal Design for Learning principles with colleagues inside and outside of the college 
  • Shares an established range of evidence-based teaching tools and techniques influenced by various learning theories with colleagues 
  • Collects feedback at various times (e.g., mid-semester, end of term) from a variety of sources (e.g., students, colleagues, self-reflection) and adjusts teaching practices accordingly 
  • Encourages and assists learners to adopt and experiment with various technologies to support their own learning and collaboration with others 
  • Shares new instructional equipment, materials, and/or texts with colleagues to enhance learning activities 
  • Coaches/mentors effective teaching strategies and learning activities to novice teachers