The RGASC’s mandate is to help students identify and develop the academic skills they need to succeed in their studies and to work with faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants to help them create the best possible environments for learning in their classes, labs, and tutorials. Instructors can access support for their students in the areas of:
Instructors can also recommend students books a one-on-one appointment at the RGASC. Appointments are offered in-person and online in the areas of writing, math and numeracy, and study skills. More information can be found on our website here.
The RGASC in consultation with the Academic Integrity Unit within the Office of the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, has developed an Academic Integrity Quercus module. The module introduces students to Academic Integrity and the values connected to maintaining honesty and fairness in our learning environment. The module includes an Academic Integrity assessment that allows students to test their learning once they have completed the module.
If you are an Instructor or Faculty member and would like to add this module to a course Quercus, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and the course code.
Our support for instructors’ use of writing in their courses can include helping develop and/or giving feedback on assignments, rubrics, and instructional material and exercises, as well as helping develop teaching interventions for class or tutorial. Writing Specialists can also advise on or assist in writing-related SoTL research that instructors may wish to conduct. As well, the RGASC also hosts the Writing Development Initiative (WDI), which is a potential source of support and funding for instructors who would like to enhance the writing component of a given course.
Courses with Teaching Assistants
For courses with Teaching Assistants, we can organize and facilitate benchmarking (also known as norming) sessions to ensure TA grading consistency. We can develop or assist in developing course-specific TA training sessions to assist TAs in dealing with student writing: we can also facilitate these sessions as desired. Twice yearly we run 7-hour WDI Writing TA Training Sessions, which TAs in WDI-supported courses can attend.
Writing Workshops and Office Hours for Courses
We can create, develop, give feedback on, and/or run workshops and presentations on a wide variety of writing-related topics, from academic integrity to paragraphing to structuring papers; these workshops and presentations can be tailored so as to be course- and assignment-specific. We can also set up assignment-specific Writing Office Hours (WOHs): in these, students have the opportunity to get feedback on their upcoming assignments from a Writing Specialist. (WOHs are similar to our regular writing-related appointments, but WOHs are focused only on a specific assignment, and are shorter than regular appointments with more targeted feedback).
UTM instructors can book an appointment with a Writing Specialist to discuss these and any other kind of writing support by submitting a request to email@example.com.
The following is support the RGASC offers for English Language Learners at UTM. Instructors can either direct students to access programs on their own, or instructors can arrange for that support to be integrated into their courses.
Students in UTM courses can practice and improve their academic skills through in-person appointments, online synchronous and asynchronous appointments. These appointments often relate to writing skills, including language and grammar, but can also focus on general study skills, such as time management, note-taking, or critical reading. They are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Programs and Courses
Other supports that are offered include the formal workshop series, Professional English Language Skills (PELS), which can either be offered to students as part of their Co-Curricular Record, or as a component in a first-year course. PELS can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of students in any course, and instructors are encouraged to contact the RGASC for further information. PELS can be delivered in-person through a traditional workshop format or online where students access asynchronous instructional modules and individualized feedback on their written submissions from an ELL Specialist. In addition to PELS, the RGASC also offers on-demand workshops on a variety of topics, including those based on common language issues, and instructors can arrange for an ELL specialist to deliver these workshops either during or outside of lectures.
Instructors may also want to encourage students to enroll in ISP010: Basics of Writing in English (BoWiE), a non-credit course focusing on the fundamentals of writing. As part of the broader set of offerings by the Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy (ISUP), ISP010 is designed to support students who are unlikely to demonstrate success in ISP100, a required course in a number of programs across campus. If space is available, UTM instructors can suggest that students apply to take ISP010 to enhance their writing skills.
Consultations with one of our ELL Specialists are always welcomed. We encourage instructors to reach out for support with assessment or other pedagogical strategies to support ELL students in their courses. UTM instructors can book an appointment with an ELL Specialist by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is numeracy support that instructors can access for their courses, or recommend to students in their courses. We understand "numeracy" to refer to the ability and confidence to engage with quantitative information in a given context by applying mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches to make informed decisions, to problem solve, and to logically reason in every day situations.
Instructors can refer their students to the RGASC to Math Skills Appointments for individualized numeracy support. The Math Skills appointments are available in-person or online using Zoom. Appointments are with a math instructor, are 50 minutes long, and focus on working with numbers in a specific context where mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches are used to explore and interpret the numbers to explain a phenomenon. More information about one-on-one appointments at the RGASC and how to book them can be found here.
Instructors can encourage students to enrol in ISP130: Numeracy for University and Beyond, a for-credit course designed to develop students’ confidence in engaging with quantitative information. Capped at 30 students per section, ISP130 is taught by Numeracy Specialists who use interactive group work and real-world applications to help students develop a framework for understanding numeracy.
Finally, the RGASC’s Numeracy Specialists can also advise or assist instructors with numeracy-related SoTL research.
UTM instructors can book an appointment with a Numeracy Specialist by submitting a request to email@example.com.