With this web site, we hope to provide you with a better understanding of how "The Learning and Teaching Centre at the University of Victoria" supports and enhances the teaching improvement efforts of those who instruct at UVic through increased awareness of current research and teaching strategies in higher education. Our goal is to offer consultation for academic units as well as consultation for instructors, and to foster an exchange of ideas to improve instructors' ability to provide an optimal learning experience to all students. We report to the Vice President Academic and Provost [VPAC] and our Director and Advisory Council provide advocacy for Learning and Teaching through the Senate Committee on Learning and Teaching [SCLT] and on-going research initiatives.
Established in an effort to enhance teaching effectiveness at UVic, the Learning and Teaching Centre first opened its doors in 1981, operating out of a small office in the Faculty of Law. Former dean of Law Neil Gold was appointed as the Centre’s first director by the office of the Vice-President Academic, working for a one-year term on a part-time basis. 3M Award winner Connie Rooke (English Department) and Antoinette O’Berg (Faculty of Education) followed consecutively as part-time directors, before one of the first faculty members recruited to the University's School of Social Work, Dr. Andy Farquharson, returned from study leave to work full-time at the position for the next 15 years.
Initially, the LTC’s role at the University of Victoria was limited to running teaching workshops, as well as putting out an elaborate newsletter (which was eventually cut down to a calendar of events). During Farquharson’s stint as director, he and his assistant Barbara Judson worked to put the focus back on teaching, expanding the Centre’s responsibilities to include the training of TA’s and forming a relationship with the Graduate Students Association. In 1987, Farquharson successfully approached the University Senate to create an award for excellence in teaching, leading to the eventual formation of teaching excellence awards within each Faculty.
After Farquharson’s retirement in 1999, Dr. Geraldine Van Gyn (Faculty of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) took over as director, co-authoring the Green Guide: Teaching for Critical Thinking (2006), and building the Centre’s national reputation in Course Re-design and other key areas, before taking administrative leave in 2006.
Presently, the LTC resides on-campus in the Harry Hickman Building. The current director, Teresa Dawson (Department of Geography), is maintaining a focus on teaching excellence while also encouraging a stronger direct link to student academic learning support consistent with the University’s new Strategic Plan. In particular, the LTC is the home of the University of Victoria’s Writing Centre.