Programming Guide

CAFÉ offers programming throughout the academic year. Details and registration information about our events are listed in the current programming guide.

CAFÉ programming guide

Regularly scheduled activities include:

Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)

Recognized and offered by universities across Canada and around the world, the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is the perfect opportunity for faculty to enhance their teaching practices. Led by experienced faculty who are trained ISW facilitators, the ISW is an intensive four-day workshop grounded in peer-driven, experiential learning. Participants explore theories and practices of teaching and learning, learn how to create effective learning objectives and teaching plans, and gain new techniques to elicit greater participation in class and to assess learning. As part of the workshop, participants design and conduct three “mini-lessons” and receive verbal, written, and video feedback from the other participants. As valuable for faculty new to the profession as it is for experienced instructors, the ISW offers participants new ideas and techniques to facilitate better learning in the classroom.

Participants receive a certificate upon successful completion of the ISW.

Please note: as this is an intensive four-day process, it is essential that participants commit to attend every part of the workshop.

Enrollment for the ISW is limited to a maximum of six faculty members per session.

Comments from participants:

"I found these four days made me aware that I teach primarily to my own learning style. A growth-producing experience."

"I valued the climate of trust that developed in my group. I wouldn't hesitate to invite any of my ISW group into my classroom now if I wanted specific feedback."

If you are interested in taking an Instructional Skills Workshop please contact


ISW Facilitator's Development Workshop

This five-day intensive workshop is for faculty members who have completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and wish to become trained ISW facilitators. Spaces are limited in this workshop and are available by application only.

Please contact for dates of upcoming workshops and to apply.

New Faculty Orientation

We are pleased you have decided to come to MacEwan. It is our desire to make your transition to your new work home as pleasant and meaningful as possible. To this end we trust you will take advantage of our orientation program.

The program consists of two components:

  1. A two day session in August
  2. Eight monthly sessions throughout the academic year

NOTE: Participation in the New Faculty Orientation Program is required for all Full-time Probationary and Full-Time Limited-Term new hires. Participation is optional for Sessional hires but Sessional faculty are strongly encouraged and warmly welcomed to participate in as much of the orientation as possible.

The program has been designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • To introduce new faculty to the MacEwan culture, faculty roles and responsibilities, and institutional expectations in the areas of teaching, research, and service.
  • To provide an opportunity for new faculty to build social and professional networks through interaction with colleagues from across the university.
  • To introduce key contacts and campus resources.
  • To provide an introduction to academic and administrative structures, policies and procedures, and personnel.
  • To provide opportunities for enhancing the teaching, scholarly activities and service requirements for new faculty.

The program is designed to provide opportunities for new faculty to:

  • meet experienced faculty, academic administrators, and support staff
  • learn about and interact with MacEwan students
  • discuss teaching issues and challenges with peers, and identify strategies for success
  • learn about resources in support of teaching and research
  • become familiar with policies and procedures promoting mutual respect and understanding in our diverse community
  • be introduced to university policies guiding teaching and research
  • participate in sessions/workshops on a variety of topics related to teaching, scholarly activity and service at MacEwan 

Teaching Excellence Program

MacEwan’s new Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) gives faculty the opportunity to improve their teaching skills while earning a certificate of completion, $500 towards further professional development opportunities, and an opportunity to attend the National Great Teachers Seminar in Banff.

The Teaching Excellence Program brings together many of the core programs offered by the Centre for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ) into a rigorous curriculum that covers everything from student engagement and instructional skills to course redesign and teaching with technology.

To complete the Teaching Excellence Program, faculty members must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Instructional Skills Workshop (four days)
  • Teaching Triangle (five meetings across one semester)
  • Course (Re)Design Institute (five days) or our new Teaching with Technology summer institute (2014)
  • 12 hours of related workshops or courses, covering at least three of the following areas:
    • Student Engagement and Active Learning
    • Teaching with Technology
    • Academic Integrity and Information literacy
    • Curriculum and course design
    • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Preparation of a teaching portfolio
  • National Great Teachers Seminar in the Canadian Rockies (free attendance after completion of all other elements in the TEP)

Participation is limited to 40 faculty members per year. Faculty participating in the Teaching Excellence Program will receive credit any elements of the Teaching Excellence Program already completed.

To register or for more information, please contact

Teaching Triangle Program

One of the realities of life as a university instructor is that we rarely get a chance to learn from our colleagues by watching them teach. The new MacEwan University Teaching Triangle program offers faculty the opportunity to work in groups of three and to spend time in each other’s classrooms with the aim of reflecting up and improving their own teaching.

The Teaching Triangle program differs in one significant way from a peer observation process or mentoring program. The goal of each observation is not to critique the faculty member being observed but for the two faculty members in attendance to reflect on they have learned about teaching from observing their colleague. Over the course of a semester each member of the triangle will be observed once and be an observer twice. These classroom visits will be preceded by an opening meeting with the Faculty Development Coordinator to discuss the group’s goals for the triangle and a follow-up debriefing once the observation process is complete.

Inevitably, it is fair to say, each member will still get formative feedback from the others about their teaching. By placing emphasis, however, on what the observers have learned from the act of observing, the Teaching Triangle provides a greater opportunity for both self-reflection and positive feedback that will help faculty identify their strengths and areas in which they wish to improve. Equally important, the Teaching Triangle becomes a highly effective means of sharing and transferring good teaching practices between faculty members.

Participants will complete the Teaching Triangle program in a single semester and will be able to repeat the program as many times as they wish.

There are two options when applying to be part of the Teaching Triangles program

  1. Faculty can determine their own triangle and then register it with the Faculty Development Coordinator
  2. Faculty interested in participating can submit their names and have the Faculty Development Coordinator match them with other participating faculty

To register or for more information, please contact .

If you have an idea for a Faculty Development session, or are interested in a particular web-based opportunity, please contact

Paul Martin, Faculty Development Coordinator