Literature Review-Professional Development

A fourth area for gaining insight into teaching practice is through examining current literature on Teaching and Learning or participating in Professional Development opportunities. There are many conferences, workshops and events offered on campus, locally, provincially, nationally and internationally that will provide opportunities to engage in looking at and thinking about classroom practice. The demands of keeping up to date in any field of study can be daunting, but a necessary part of staying current. Keeping up to date in the field of Scholarly Research in Education is no different but can be an important part of reflecting on classroom practice and planning as well as keeping informed about new areas of research and study in teaching and learning.

There is a variety of methods for keeping up with research and practice in teaching:

  • reviewing literature - provides a look into what is going on in teaching across a broad range of locations, subject disciplines and levels on your terms and at your pace.
  • attending workshops/conferences - provides opportunities to network with people outside of your subject discipline locally and internationally in the context of teaching and learning research

Reviewing Literature

There is a broad range of teaching and education-based journals that provide a wonderful sampling of the work that is being done (both research and practice-based) currently. Some journals are more focused on technology or specific disciplines of teaching. However, there is academic literature that caters more to a broad sampling of foci. Some of the top ranked educational research journals are:

An exhaustive ranking list of Educational Journals is provided by SJR - Journal Rankings.


Attending workshops and conferences can be time consuming and expensive in some cases, but they often yield some of the best results when it comes to re-charging interest and passion towards teaching practice. This is most commonly a result of interacting with other people who are passionate about the area and who are doing interesting and innovative things in their professional practice. Sometimes this interaction serves to provide new focus, other times it helps to galvanize the work that is already being done. It is also very often helpful to realize that you are not alone in your struggles and frustrations - there are others out there dealing with the same barriers and frustrations.

Starting locally, the Teaching Centre runs a number of workshops and events all geared at different aspects of the teaching experience (from technical workshops to new research and methodologies):

On-campus Workshops

There are also some very good conferences within the province that provide an opportunity to begin networking with Faculty from across the province:

Provincial Conferences

And there are a number of excellent national and international conferences that draw some of the biggest names in research and practice together to discuss barriers and opportunities in education:

National Conferences

International Conferences

This list is not intended to be definitive, simply a sampling of some of the workshops and conferences that we have participated in. For a more detailed list of education focussed conferences, check out Clayton Wright’s yearly updated list of Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences.