The MacPherson Institute is proud to offer Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Throughout their studies, students and fellows may earn one, or both, of two certificates of completion offered.
The Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion program as a whole has been accredited by the Educational Developers’ Caucus (EDC) according to the EDC Accreditation Framework. For specific information about the program, please see the Program Details tab above.
The Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching offers the Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Students and fellows may earn one, or both, of the following certificates of completion throughout their studies:
Teaching and Learning Foundations Certificate of Completion
(1) EDUCATN 600: Essential Skills in Teaching and Learning (I)
Students select and complete six workshops from a list approved by the Paul R. MacPherson Institute on Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. The workshops are focused on key foundational themes in teaching and learning in higher education. Students are also responsible for writing a series of reflections.
(2) EDUCATN 650: Peer-Evaluated Teaching Experience
This zero-unit graduate course is offered in a small group setting and is designed to enhance teaching effectiveness. During the course (full virtual attendance/completion of all components is mandatory to earn a pass), students design and conduct three lessons and receive verbal, written, and video feedback from other students. Using an intensive experiential learning approach, students are provided with information on the theory and practice of teaching adult learners, the selection and writing of useful intended learning outcomes with accompanying lesson plans, techniques for eliciting learner participation, and suggestions for evaluation of learning. Reflection and examination of one’s teaching practices are encouraged.
Teaching and Learning Scholar Certificate of Completion
The two Teaching and Learning Foundations Certificate of Completion courses (i.e., EDUCATN 600 and EDUCATN 650), PLUS…
(1) EDUCATN 700: Essential Skills in Teaching and Learning (II)
Students select and complete six workshops from a list approved by the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. The workshops are focused on key scholarly themes in teaching and learning in higher education. Students are also responsible for writing a series of reflections.
[Prerequisite: EDUCATN 600]
(2) EDUCATN 750/751: Principles and Practices of University Teaching
This course can be taken as a three-unit (EDUCATN 750) or zero-unit (EDUCATN 751) graduate level course. The focus is on honing essential pedagogical and practical teaching skills. This includes sessions on curriculum design, teaching strategies, assessment strategies, and developing a teaching portfolio.
(3) EDUCATN 760: Self-Directed Study
In this zero-unit graduate course, you will engage in a self-directed study on a higher-education topic of your choice from one of three streams: a research project, developing a workshop, or developing an online learning module. As you develop your project, you will receive feedback from your peers and the course instructor. At the end of the term, you will be expected to present your work and articulate a plan detailing how you will share your project with others.
[Prerequisites: EDUCATN 600 and EDUCATN 650]
- Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows do not incur any fees for taking the courses.
- All of the courses are Pass/Fail and appear on graduate students’ transcripts.
- All of the courses are 0 unit with the exception of EDUCATN 750, which is 3 unit. Graduate students should ask their department/school whether they have permission to take the 3 unit version of the course (i.e., EDUCATN 750), and if so, whether the course will count towards their degree requirements.
- In addition to the EDUCATN 650 course counting towards the Teaching and Learning Foundations Certificate of Completion, it also earns individuals the internationally recognized “Instructional Skills Workshop” certificate.
Graduate students can register for the courses through Mosaic. Postdoctoral fellows can register for them by emailing Emily Hynes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and requesting that their name be added to a class list. Registration is first come, first served. Registration opens August 1, December 1, and April 1 for the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms respectively.
Testimonials from previous earners
Firat, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Business, Foundations Earner
“I would strongly recommend taking the EDUCATN 600 and 650 courses and earning the Foundations Certificate of Completion. Taking these courses will allow you to establish a solid pedagogic foundation. You will also have [a] competitive advantage in the academic job market with this Certificate of Completion which demonstrates your teaching skills.”
Gwendolyn, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Science, Foundations Earner
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the EDUCATN courses within the Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program. The course content is both relevant and beneficial to my current and future teaching experiences in post-secondary education. … The graduate-level courses offered through the MacPherson Institute’s Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program are a hidden gem at McMaster University, and I would encourage graduate students from all faculties to take advantage of the opportunities they provide, especially if they have interest in teaching.”
Sujane, MSc Graduate in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Foundations Earner
“The Teaching and Learning Foundations Certificate [of Completion] … has been a benefit to my academic journey and career development. I was able to not only learn very specific ways to improve student engagement (e.g. in a tutorial), but also had the opportunity to consciously reflect upon what kind of instructor I aspire to be. I think having a space dedicated to 1) exploring better teaching strategies within a university setting and 2) building a supportive community for those who hope to or are already teaching is what allows McMaster to stay ahead and continue to grow.”
Andrea, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Scholar Earner
“The … Teaching and Learning Certificates [of Completion] Program provides graduate students with an exceptional opportunity to gain formal instruction in higher education teaching and learning. I particularly like the inter-disciplinary nature of the program and having the opportunity to meet and learn from graduate students across the university. The interactive nature of the program allowed us to share teaching experiences and learn from both students and instructors. The program broadened my teaching knowledge and skill set, as well as complemented my practical teaching experiences throughout my graduate studies. I highly recommend the program to all graduate students with an interest in teaching.”
Megan, Former Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering, Scholar Earner
“In addition to offering practical techniques and resources, the teaching and learning classes offered at the MacPherson Institute offered me the valuable opportunity to reflect and consider my approach to post-secondary teaching. The guided support in self-assessing my personal teaching and communication practices really benefited my confidence and ability to implement new and more effective teaching methods.”
Angela, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Humanities, Scholar Earner
“The Teaching and Learning Certificates of Completion Program supported me in the redesign of a course, the earning of a Teaching Fellowship sessional contract for teaching the course, and the skills to evaluate the outcomes of the redesigned course; earning my PhD comprehensive with this teaching and learning research project. Curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation are important transferrable skills that are sure to expand my future employment opportunities.”