Growing our Teaching Praxis: Piloting the Instructional Skills Workshop at the Mount


  • Leigh-Ann MacFarlane Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Emily Ballantyne Mount Saint Vincent University


Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW), Faculty development, Atlantic Canada Network, Implementation strategies


At the Mount, we recently adopted the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW), which is an experiential peer-to-peer teaching development opportunity. In this report, we reflect on the successes and challenges of our first iteration of this workshop in August 2018. We share how this experience has impacted our faculty and what its implications could be for implementation across Atlantic Canada. Our adoption of the ISW works in tandem with a larger project to establish this internationally-recognized workshop in Atlantic Canada. One of the goals of this report is to share best practices with faculty and facilitators at other institutions who are also beginning to deliver these workshops. We know that trial and error is a part of the teaching experience and we want to use the pilot as a jumping-off point to create a richer dialogue about teaching both at the Mount and across Atlantic Canada.

Author Biographies

Leigh-Ann MacFarlane, Mount Saint Vincent University

Leigh-Ann MacFarlane. Leigh-Ann MacFarlane is an Educational Developer and part-time biology instructor at Mount Saint Vincent University. She brings to her positions a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics, over a decade of diverse undergraduate teaching experience, and training in higher education teaching and learning.

Emily Ballantyne, Mount Saint Vincent University

Emily Ballantyne is the Instructional Developer at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has worked in higher education for almost a decade as both a part-time university instructor and an instructional designer. She loves working with faculty to explore the benefits of online learning.


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ISW International Advisory Committee (2017). The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) program description. Retrieved from ISW Network. (2019). ISW Around the World. Retrieved from

O‘Brien, C. & Kay, W. (2017). Instructional skills workshop initiative in the Halifax area. FOCUS, 25(3), 4-5. Retrieved from