What is the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)?

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is offered within a small group setting (four to six participants per small group) and is designed to enhance the teaching effectiveness of both new and experienced educators. During the three-day workshop, you will design and conduct three 10-minute "lessons" and receive verbal, written and video feedback from the other participants who have been learners in the lessons.

Using an intensive experiential learning approach, you will be provided with the following:

  • Information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners
  • Selection and writing of useful learning objectives with accompanying lesson plans
  • Techniques for eliciting learner participation
  • Suggestions for evaluation of learning

The workshop encourages reflection and examination of your teaching practices with feedback focused on the learning process rather than on the specific content of the lesson. Effective feedback skills, practiced in the workshop, are useful for educators in both the classroom and institutional business environments. The ISW leads to participatory learning and the building of community that can transfer back into the classroom and the institution.

Participation in a workshop creates an opportunity for new faculty, staff and graduate students to learn about the unique culture and value system of the organization, and can also be a renewing and revitalizing activity for more seasoned members.

Why participate in the Instructional Skills Workshop?

The ISW aims to provide a transformative experience for instructors. Instructors who complete the ISW report adopting learner-centered instructional practices, increased instructional confidence and practicing principles of peer feedback (Macpherson, 2011). As the workshop is developmental, it is beneficial for instructors who are new to teaching as well as those with many years of experience. The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) found, in a 2014 study, that instructors who participated in the ISW made increased use of learner-centred strategies and reflexive practice.

How do I participate in the Instructional Skills Workshop?

Participation is free to members of the University of Guelph community. To participate, please contact the Educational Development team to find out when the next scheduled workshop will take place.

What is the Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW)?

The primary goal of the FDW is to train individuals to facilitate the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW). ISW activities form the nucleus of the FDW as participants develop new knowledge and techniques for facilitating group development and group feedback, explore formative evaluation techniques, refine their own teaching approaches, and receive feedback on their own teaching and facilitation skills. As with the ISW, the FDW is a peer-based model providing participants a small group setting in which to practice their facilitation skills with guidance from FDW trainers.  

The FDW is a five-day long program, providing a challenging and supportive atmosphere for participants to engage in their own professional development around facilitation and teaching. 

How do I participate in the Facilitator Development Workshop? 

If you have already completed the ISW and are interested in becoming an ISW facilitator by completing the Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW), please contact the Educational Development team to be added to our FDW contact list to be notified of the next FDW offering. The FDW is free to members of the University of Guelph community. 

Contact Us


E-mail the Office of Teaching and Learning ( with any questions related to your teaching and learning needs.