Initial “Launch” Workshop

Dates: Tuesday August 25 and Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (2 days)

Time Each Day:  8:30 AM – 3 PM each day (breakfast and lunch will be included)


The goal of a faculty member is to thrive and excel, not merely survive.

The Faculty Fast Start Institute is a Fall 2015 (one semester) program for early career, teaching faculty in regular positions, designed to accelerate the development of skills, perspectives, attitudes and insights needed for long-term success as career faculty members. This entirely voluntary program will be especially useful to those who are in the first 1-2 years of their initial teaching appointments.

The Institute will be hosted and facilitated by three staff members of the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning: Bill Roberson and Tine Reimers, both Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialists, and Liesel Knaack, Director.

Participants are asked to commit to both days of the “Launch” Workshop on August 25 and 26, and to voluntarily participate in the following suite of activities during the Fall 2015 semester:

    • Meet mid-semester (Fall 2015) over lunch with entire cohort of Faculty Fast Start Institute participants for sharing individual experiences at VIU
    • Develop a professional growth and career plan
    • Conduct a confidential “mid-term survey /informal feedback” of students in your Fall 2015 classes
    • Observe—and have your class observed by—a faculty peer from the Faculty Fast Start Institute
    • Develop and document a mentoring relationship with another VIU faculty member
    • Write a one-page reflection statement at Fall semester’s end (based on career goals, survey and peer observation)

Registration: The registration site will ask you provide us with a few details of your teaching practice and background, for the purpose of helping the facilitators with their planning of the Institute.

Location: Room 509, Building 305 – Nanaimo Campus Library (for those whose main campus is Cowichan or Powell River any travel expenses will be covered by the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning)

Outcomes of Institute

What do the most successful teaching faculty members do that helps them find traction in their teaching careers and as productive members of their institutions? The Institute focuses on three related areas of professional activity:  1) teaching and mentoring of students; 2) strategic thinking for navigating the institution and professional relationships; 3) thinking and acting proactively to reach your own career goals.

Overview of what participants in the Institute will learn:

    1. How to teach for maximum impact on student learning while managing your time efficiently, including how to…
      • stimulate high student interest—no matter the subject
      • promote students’ ability to self-teach and learn independently
      • identify and avoid low-impact teaching practices that waste your time
      • evaluate student learning productively but economically
      • teach new subjects for the first time, without wasted labour and over-preparation
    2. How to navigate the institution, including how to…
      • deal with the political dynamics of academic departments
      • interact with difficult colleagues
      • find mentors and be mentored
      • “manage up” in order to protect your goals and priorities
    3. How to strategize for the purpose of reaching your professional goals, including how to…
      • establish/define your role in your department and in your institution
      • evaluate and select opportunities to lead and serve
      • communicate intentionally in support of your purposes
      • anticipate the consequences of your own actions, before you commit them

NB: This Institute is solely to support faculty members’ growth and professional learning at a teaching-focused institution. Learning experiences will be conducted in a confidential and supportive manner. The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning never engages in any activity around faculty evaluation or work performance reporting. 

For More Information

Bill Roberson (, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialist at the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning