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Postdoc Teaching Practicum

February 1 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST

Work with an experienced instructor in your discipline to enhance your understanding and experience of teaching a university course in this 5-month mentorship program. During the mentorship program, you will observe a mentor in their teaching, teach guest lectures and receive feedback on your teaching, discuss approaches to teaching with your mentors, and engage in group discussions of teaching with other participants. Throughout the program, you will also attend a series of synchronous sessions on teaching development topics, like lesson planning; teaching portfolios; equity, diversity & inclusion; and teaching-as-research. By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Create a framework for how a typical university course operates
  • Articulate how teaching and learning theories intersect with the practical requirements of a university course
  • Design university lessons which incorporate learner-centered lesson planning basics, demonstrating the alignment of learning objectives, learning activities and assessment techniques
  • Develop and refine a teaching portfolio using the evience of teaching effectiveness gathered throughout the internship

This course is part of CIRTL’s fall programming for postdocs.


Natalie Westwood, University of British Columbia

Course Schedule

This 5-part mentorship program has synchronous sessions on Thursday, December 7, January 11, February 1, March 7, and April 4 at 2-4PM AT / 1-3PM ET / 12-2PM CT / 11AM-1PM MT / 10AM-12PM PT (note that the course spans the 2023-2024 winter). Participants will be expected to do extensive independent work and work with their teaching mentors outside of these monthly sessions.


This short course is designed exclusively for postdoctoral researchers in STEM/SBE disciplines.

Registration and Enrollment

Registration is open Thursday, August 24 and closes Wednesday, November 8. Registrants will be directed to a short application to confirm their postdoc status, confirm past experience with teaching and learning professional development, and share their teaching experience. Before registering, participants will need to set up a guest account on University of British Columbia’s website (see directions for this at the bottom of the registration page).


If you have a disability, please let us know your learning needs. Contact Kate Diamond (, who is supporting this course, to let us know how we can help you have a successful experience. In addition to meeting individualized needs, we will also take measures throughout the course to support accessibility for all our students:

  • Using alt-text on images in reading materials
  • Sending regular reminders with upcoming assignments to all students
  • Sharing materials for synchronous sessions with students via a course website (slides, breakout group activity instructions, etc.)
  • Enabling live captioning in synchronous sessions
  • Incorporating multiple modes of interaction into synchronous sessions
  • Sharing recordings from synchronous sessions
  • Allowing students to make up absences and submit work late with no penalty

Learning Outcomes

All CIRTL Network programming is designed to help participants achieve familiarity with our Core Ideas. This course is designed around the following learning outcomes.

Practitioner: Learning Community

  • Contribute to local professionally-focused learning communities associated with teaching and learning
  • Implement one or more learning community strategies for students in a learning experience
  • Integrate one or more learning community strategies into a teaching plan so as to accomplish learning goals and learning-through-diversity