Teaching & Learning Resource Guide
This resource has been developed to help ensure a safe and supportive return to in-person teaching and
learning. The Winter 2022 semester has been a semester like no other, including delays to in-person
classes. With the return to in-person teaching and learning on February 28, 2022, staff and students are
returning to campus with varying degrees of excitement and comfort, and we ask all to invoke kindness,
compassion, and respect for each other as we teach and learn together.
We recommend that teaching teams (including course instructors, graduate teaching assistants and
instructional support staff) engage in conversations around how to ensure a healthy, safe and inclusive
learning environment, as well as with students on the first day or first week of the return to in-person
classes. Below are some resources that can help set up and maintain a positive learning environment.
- Teaching and Learning FAQ for Academic Staff
- Strategies for promoting inclusive and positive learning environments
- Educational Resources for promoting and supporting mental health
- Planning for teaching and learning disruptions including how to maintain continuity in instruction, student learning and student assessment through adaptive course design
As you prepare for in-person teaching, ensure you are familiar with the UCalgary’s COVIDSafe Campus
measures for the Winter 2022 term.
UCalgary is committed to establishing an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible campus that is free from harassment, bullying and discrimination. It is important to acknowledge that discriminatory behaviours towards members of our community may be present when perceptions of non-compliance are addressed.
We encourage members of the University community to remove barriers for equity-deserving groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, visible/racialized minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+, and to reinforce actions that reflect our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. For more support you can access resources through Protected Disclosure, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Indigenous Engagement.
Preparing for return to in-person classes
- Connect with the members of your teaching team (co-instructors, course coordinator, teaching
assistants, teaching support staff), to discuss your plans.
- Develop a plan for situations that may arise through the term including supporting students and staff who may become ill and strategies for managing issues that can arise during classes, tutorials and labs.
- Connect with students ahead of the first day of class to share information and expectations
related to mask protocols, in-class engagement and interactions with you and your team.
First day of returning to in-person classes
- Review protocols with students and establish clear classroom/lab expectations around these
- Include links to resources available through the Student Wellness Services and the Student
Success Centre, where students can seek additional help and support throughout the semester.
- Ensure students are aware of what to do if they are ill and/or experiencing COVID symptoms.
- Share with students how in-person learning activities will be structured including what kinds of
learning activities students can expect, and how safety and accessibility will be maintained.
Strategies for addressing issues
Academic staff, teaching assistants and teaching support staff play an important role in setting
expectations and maintaining a positive, inclusive learning environment. At times that may include
addressing challenging behaviours that arise during a class, lab or tutorial. Planning ahead is key to
prevention and de-escalation of situations. As with any other classroom management issue, if challenging
circumstances arise that substantially disrupt the learning environment, or pose health and safety
concerns, you may request assistance from Campus Security.
- Ensure all members of the teaching team understand safety regulations and protocols and have strategies for addressing safety concerns.
- Ensure students understand classroom and lab safety requirements including mask requirements and understand how safety concerns or disruptive behaviours will be addressed.
- Let students know that if any member of the teaching team (course instructors, GATs, support staff) believes that the health and safety of the class is at risk for any reason, they may choose to pause or cancel the class, tutorial, or lab.
- If a disruptive situation emerges during a class, tutorial or lab including, disrespectful or confrontational behaviour or non-compliance with health and safety measures we advise:
- Take a moment to collect yourself so you can respond to the situation thoughtfully and use strategies planned out ahead of time.
- Invite the disruptive student(s) to speak with you privately to discuss the situation. This might require pausing the learning activity or stepping outside of the room with the student(s).
- Start a conversation from a place of wanting to learn more about cause of disruptive or confrontational behaviour and how it can be resolved.
- Avoid calling out an individual student or group of students in front of the class
- Avoid making judgements and assumptions about the cause of the behaviour. Beginning with this premise can help de-escalate situations in the moment.
- If the situation is disruptive to other students’ learning you may ask the student to leave the learning environment.
- If the situation is immediately threatening to the safety of others, you may pause or cancel the learning activity, and call Campus Security (403-220-5333) if needed. Please note that this should be a last resort measure.
- If there is a disruptive or confrontational situation, please reach out afterward to the course instructor (GATs, instructional support staff) or academic leaders for support.
Creating a safe and positive learning environment is a shared responsibly. Thank you for all your