Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching Excellence Framework image. Multicoloured circle.

What is the TEF?

Lethbridge College demonstrates an ongoing commitment to advancing excellence in teaching and learning. Developed in collaboration with Lethbridge College instructors, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is an important resource that supports instructors as they seek out opportunities to engage in continuous professional learning to improve their teaching practice and benefit student learning.

The Purpose

The purpose of the TEF is to:

  • identify the foundational body of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of instructors at Lethbridge College as they grow and develop in their teaching careers.
  • aid instructors in determining and prioritizing areas of development to support professional growth.
  • increase awareness of internal PD opportunities and the knowledge, skills and attitudes participants can expect to develop in alignment with the TEF.
  • encourage and support reflection on instructor teaching practice.
  • clarify and affirm instructors’ influence on student learning.


Six dimensions make up the heart of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Think of the dimensions as the “big ideas” that shape the types of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that instructors at Lethbridge College are encouraged to develop.

Each dimension contains four to six focus areas. The focus area will help to point instructors to the knowledge, skills and attitudes deemed necessary to support their teaching practice.

Click on each dimension for more information and indicators of effective practice.  

Learning Environment

This dimension describes how instructors foster a supportive, inclusive, and equitable learning environment for all learners.

Instructional Skills

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

Course & Curriculum Design

This dimension describes how instructors design, revise, and keep courses up-to-date given the larger frames of program curriculum and the needs of diverse learners.


This dimension describes how instructors assess and evaluate student learning while considering institutional policies and procedures.

Subject-Matter Expertise

This dimension describes how instructors remain current within their respective fields, professions, and/or industries and how they share their expertise for the benefit of student learning.

Scholarly Teaching & Scholarship

This dimension describes how instructors engage in reflective teaching practice to inform their teaching approaches, teaching philosophy, and research interests for the benefit of student learning.

How can you use the TEF?

The Teaching Excellence Framework recognizes that instructors are best positioned to prioritize their own learning needs based on their awareness of the unique and varied teaching contexts in which they teach. Instructors planning their professional development are encouraged to use the TEF as a source of inspiration to identify areas of future growth and/or to reflect on existing areas of strength that could be further developed.

Sample indicators of effective practice within each TEF focus area illustrate how instructors might apply the focus area in their own teaching contexts. The sample indicators will help instructors to pinpoint the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they already possess and/or those they would like to further develop.

The sample indicators are organized into three levels: Involved, Engaged, and Leading. The levels are not dependent on the length of time that one has been an instructor; Lethbridge College instructors begin their teaching careers with varied professional and academic backgrounds. Instead, as one moves from Involved to Engaged to Leading, the complexity of the skills and/or tasks increase.

Click on each dimension, above, for more information and indicators of effective practice. 

What is the intended impact?

In the short term, the goal of the TEF is to support reflective teaching practice among instructors and improve the efficiency of the PD planning process.

In the mid-term, the TEF framework will enable the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation (CTLI) to offer more targeted professional development offerings—in alignment with the dimensions and focus areas identified in the TEF.

The intended long-term impact of the TEF is to advance instructors’ knowledge and skill as educators to provide an all-around better learning experience for both instructors and students.

How was the TEF Developed?

With support from college leadership, the TEF was developed by the Teaching Excellence Working Group, comprising faculty from each academic centre and the Educational Development Team, located in the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation (CTLI). In addition to the working group, a variety of other stakeholders were consulted including Human Resources, Student Affairs departments, and the Lethbridge College Faculty Association.

Milestones in the engagement process included:

  • a presentation at a Lethbridge College Town Hall meeting in February 2020 to update all staff and faculty on the project purpose and goals and offer an opportunity for written feedback.
  • four information sessions to update instructors on the project purpose and to seek focus-area feedback on the dimensions, areas of focus, and the visual representation of the framework.

Thank you to Gillian Comchi, Julie Deimert, Jim Laing, Ronald Papp, Shane Roersma, and Ibrahim Turay for their engagement as part of the Teaching Excellence Working Team.


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