About us

We enhance the teaching improvement efforts of UVic instructors using current research and teaching strategies in higher education. We also oversee the TA training program, the Teaching Assistant Consultant program, the Math & Stats Assistance Centre and the Centre for Academic Communication. Our goal is to offer consultations to all academic units and to provide an optimal learning experience for all UVic students. We report to the Vice President Academic and Provost (VPAC).

Please feel free to contact our staff if you have any further questions about our mission or our services.

Director's message

Welcome to the virtual Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI)! Our goal is to promote academic excellence in learning and teaching and support curricular and program excellence within academic departments. The scholarship of learning and teaching is foundational to all that we do! Learning and teaching processes must be pedagogically strong, evidenced-based and reflectively inspired with continual improvement as our shared goal.

I invite you to become part of the LTSI, to join in our many offerings of workshops and programs. Visit or contact the Centre for Academic Communication or the Math and Stats Assistance Centre to learn more about the resources available to students. Take part in the JCURA awards program and foster research skills for undergraduate students. Apply for a teaching scholarship grant to answer your own questions about better teaching practices. 

Most importantly, I would encourage you to envision teaching as a valued relationship through which we foster the development of our students as human beings and mentor our next generation of scholars. 

Please feel free to if you have comments, suggestions, or recommendations for the LTSI – I look forward to hearing from you. 

Laurene Sheilds, Executive Director

Established in an effort to enhance teaching effectiveness at UVic, the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) first opened its doors in 1981, operating out of a small office in the Faculty of Law. Former dean of Law, Neil Gold, was appointed as the Centre’s first director by the office of the Vice-President Academic, working for a one-year term on a part-time basis. 3M Award winner, Connie Rooke, (English Department) and Antoinette O’Berg (Faculty of Education) followed consecutively as part-time directors. One of the first faculty members recruited to the University's School of Social Work, Dr. Andy Farquharson, began to work full-time at the position for the following 15 years.

After Farquharson’s retirement in 1999, Dr. Geraldine van Gyn (School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) took over as director, co-authoring the Green Guide: Teaching for Critical Thinking (2006). She began building the Centre’s national reputation in Course Re-design.

Subsequently, Ms. Teresa Dawson served as Director for the next 10 years. She was instrumental in the implementation of the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards. She also brought the TA Consultant model to the university and worked collaboratively with other stakeholders to produce the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE) graduate certificate program. Under her leadership, the student academic success portfolio was developed including the Centre for Academic Communication and the Math and Stats Assistance Centre. As a facilitator, Teresa conducted curricular retreats and co-developed the open source CourseMapper software to facilitate curricular design.

Presently, the LTSI is in the Harry Hickman Building. The current Executive Director, Dr. Laurene Sheilds, (School of Nursing) is maintaining a focus on teaching excellence while also encouraging a stronger direct link to student academic learning support consistent with the University’s strategic initiatives.