Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ETaL)

The Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ETaL) program is a Career Development Certificate credentialed through the School of Continuing Education at Red Deer Polytechnic. This program is currently offered internally to Red Deer Polytechnic faculty as a voluntary program and is taught by the faculty Learning Designers in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Learning Designers all have advanced degrees and extensive teaching experience at the post-secondary level.

Grounded in the foundations of learner-centred teaching, evidence-based practice, and self-reflection, participants are able to incorporate and apply the work of the program to their current teaching. During the three years of the program (five years if taken part-time and less than three years if taken on an accelerated, or fast-track, schedule), faculty meet in interprofessional groups to explore teaching and learning in post-secondary in Canada. Though many faculty complete the program within the three-year time period of a full-time program, the program is not limited to a cohort model. Faculty on the fast-track or part-time schedules join faculty in the full-time program for modules as needed for completion. Registration now Closed.

At the end of the three-year Excellence in Teaching and Learning program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Reflect on individual professional growth through the connection of pedagogical practice to content expertise on an ongoing basis in order to meet the needs of learners.
  2. Create and maintain classroom environments conducive to learning which promotes respect for the diversity of learners.
  3. Practice effective collaboration and communication skills in the learning environment.
  4. Practice ethical and professional conduct.
  5. Examine and critically assess trends and research in the scholarship of teaching and learning for effective implementation.
  6. Integrate technology into teaching practice in order to best serve the needs of diverse learners.
  7. Identify individual challenges and opportunities related to teaching and learning and implement constructive solutions which incorporate appropriate pedagogy.

Program Details


This Graduate Profile has been adapted from the Educational Competencies identified for university and Polytech professors. Copyright © 1992, 1996, 2001-2003 by Robert W. Eichinger and Michael M. Lombardo. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This work is derived from the LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT® Competency Library developed and copyrighted by Robert W. Eichinger and Michael M. Lombardo for Lominger Limited, Inc. This list of Competencies has been expanded.
See Revised List Here

Genuinely cares about people; is concerned with their academic and non-academic problems; is available and ready to help; demonstrates real empathy with the joys and pains of others.

Generates many new and unique ideas; makes connections among previously unrelated notions; is unafraid to use unorthodox methods; is seen as original and value-added in brainstorming settings.

Is a people builder; provides challenging and stretching tasks and assignments; constructs compelling development plans and executes them; pushes direct reports to accept developmental moves.

Is widely trusted; is seen as a direct, truthful individual; presents truthful information in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent himself or herself for personal gain.

Is intelligent and capable; deals with concepts and complexity comfortably; is good at learning and deciphering new knowledge; able to assimilate new skills independently.

Is warm and easy to approach; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact to diffuse tense situations; has a style and charm that immediately puts others at ease and disarms hostility.

Practices attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when he or she disagrees.

Creates a climate in which people want to do their best; can assess each person’s strengths and use them to get the best out of him or her; promotes confidence and optimistic attitudes; is someone people like working for and with.

Is personally committed to and actively works to continuously improve himself or herself; recognizes the need to change personal, interpersonal, and managerial behavior; actively seeks feedback.

Is intelligent and capable; deals with concepts and complexity comfortably; is good at learning and deciphering new knowledge; able to assimilate new skills independently.

Uses his or her time effectively and efficiently; concentrates his or her efforts on the most important priorities; adeptly handles several tasks at once.

Manages all kinds and classes of people equitably; supports equal and fair treatment and opportunity for all; fosters a climate of inclusion, where diverse thoughts are freely shared and integrated.

Is able to communicate clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that instigate appropriate actions.

“I changed quite a few things about my approach and the one… that the program has helped me with is to do more formative feedback with the students so that they can get feedback as they go and not feel under pressure that everything is for grades.”

Over the three-year period, faculty complete seven courses, called Modules, and a major Capstone Project in their third (final) year. Each Module takes approximately 15-20 hours to complete in a blended format consisting of two face-to-face seminars and work completed collaboratively and independently online through our Learning Management System and through ePortfolios. Assignments for each module include a mix of practical and applied assignments in which faculty take their learning and apply it to their teaching context, reflective assignments in which faculty reflect on their learning and the application to their teaching context, and discussion assignments in which faculty engage in an online community of practice. The Capstone Project is a self-directed project in which faculty explore a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning topic in more depth and present their SoTL results as a poster presentation to the Polytechnic at the end of the year. Faculty Learning Designers provide feedback throughout the program with a Learning Designer following a cohort through the three-years of the Program in order to provide consistency in feedback.

Year 1

Pre Module:

Self-Reflective Practice *

Module 1:

Course Design & Course Outcomes*

Module 2:

Assessment & Evaluation

Module 3:

Technology Enhanced Learning

Year 2

Module 4:

Indigenization of Post-Secondary in Canada

Module 5:

Learner-Centred Classroom

Module 6:

The Inclusive Classroom

Year 3

Capstone Planning

Capstone Project

Capstone Presentation

*Prerequisite module

“I’m trying new things with technology that I’ve been kind of too scared to dabble in… I absolutely think different[ly] about teaching and learning now…I think that what’s best about the program is that CTL and all the people here backup everything that we do in the program.”
“My approach to teaching has changed through the program and part of it is that I’m a lot more attentive and aware of my students’ needs, where they’re coming from, the diversity of their backgrounds. I reach out to get to know the students a lot more than I used to.”

Module Structure and Requirements: each module consists of a two-hour face-to-face seminar followed by a final two-hour wrap seminar

  • each module has a required reading/preparation element prior to the first face-to-face seminar; all readings are available online through the Blackboard course site
  • each face-to-face seminar involves discussion of the core topic for the module based on preparation
  • all module assignments are completed through Blackboard; each module consists of 4 assignments in the form of journal entries, group discussions, and course component (re)design assignments (e.g. course outcomes, authentic assessment, universal design)
  • all requirements must be completed prior to the final wrap-up seminar for each module
  • there is a 4-6 week interval between the initial module seminar and the module wrap-up seminar during which requirements can be completed at your own pace
“It was the connections that I made within my community…and now we see each other as we’re growing and we’re able to support each other… also the connections that I made with the staff here at CTL…these guys are experts and their doors are always open and if I need to talk to them about anything…they’re always there.”
Program Progress and Completion Requirements

Successful completion of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ETaL) depends on several criteria related to contributions to the community of learning, reflective teaching practice, and meeting the stated program and module outcomes. The specific requirements involve the Pre-Module seminar attendance, participation, and assignments, seminar attendance and participation in each of the 6 modules, learning activities and assignments completed online, and the completion of a capstone project.

Pre-Module: Self Reflective Practice

The Pre-Module frames the program, outcomes, overview of structure and expectations, and answers participant questions. If participants are unable to attend the group seminar, it is accomplished on an individual basis, and takes place prior to Module 1. This is the only time an individualized seminar is possible in place of a group seminar.


The Pre-Module consists of readings and learning activities to be completed before Module 1 as preparation for the program. Participants who have completed Introduction to Teaching and Learning (ITL) receive credit for the Pre-Module through recognition of prior learning (PLR). ITL graduates are still required to attend the Pre-Module Seminar and may be required to complete assignments that differ from ITL (such as the creation of an ePortfolio).

Module Progress and Completion

The Pre-Module: Self-Reflective Practice and Module 1: Course Design and Course Outcomes are prerequisite to all other Modules.


Following Module 1, faculty may complete Modules in any order. Normally, we recommend faculty complete three modules per year as a maximum but, depending on individual schedules and the schedule of Modules, faculty may complete more than three Modules in one year.


Face-to-Face Module Seminars: These two-hour seminars consist of content, discussion, and activities that are considered to be the essence of the Module. In these seminars, faculty gather with colleagues from programs throughout the Polytechnic in a supportive atmosphere of sharing experiences and learning. These seminars prepare faculty to continue with the learning activities for the module. Participants unable to attend this seminar will not be able to complete the module and will be withdrawn from the Module and invited to register in a later offering (attendance at the initial Module Seminar is required for completion).


Learning Activities: As a blended course on Blackboard, each module contains readings, website links, videos, journals, discussions, and other activities that are completed at the faculty member’s pace within the module timelines. All learning activities must be completed prior to the module’s final Wrap Seminar. Successful completion of learning activities is required to complete the module and to continue to the next planned module.


Wrap Seminar: This two hour face-to-face seminar reviews and solidifies the module learning. Participants are expected to attend a minimum of 80% (five of the six) of all wrap seminars for program completion.Module 4 has additional required seminars taught online through Blackboard Collaborate. The dates and times of these will be decided in each offering of Module 4.

Capstone Project

Following completion of the six Modules and Pre-Module, faculty engage in planning and carrying out a capstone project that draws upon elements of the modules and applies to their teaching and student learning. Participants will work with their cohort colleagues and facilitators for learning support. The Capstone can be completed as an independent project or can be completed in collaboration with another ETaL participant or with colleagues outside of ETaL. The Capstone involves regular Seminars, assignments, and the creation of a poster. At the culmination of the projects, the demonstration of learning is shared and celebrated at the Capstone Event. Capstone presentations are also pre-recorded and archived on YouTube.

Completion Deadlines

The full program (6 modules and capstone) is normally completed within 3 years. Some faculty are able to complete in fewer than 3 years depending on the schedule of Modules and their individual workload. The maximum time for program completion is 5 years. ETaL is a Career Development Certificate from the School of Continuing Education at Red Deer Polytechnic. All participants will be enrolled through the RDP Registration system and Module completion is tracked using this system. Participants can see their completion record in the Loop through the Student channels. Upon completion, faculty in the program receive an RDP Parchment and are eligible to attend Spring Convocation.

Prior Learning Recognition (PLR)

ETaL follows the PLR Policy at Red Deer Polytechnic. If you have questions about PLR or would like to initiate PLR, please contact the CTL (


1. ITL@RDP: Completion of the Introduction to Teaching and Learning Program at Red Deer Polytechnic provides participants with Prior Learning Recognition towards the Pre-Module of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Career Development Certificate as detailed below. The ETaL Pre-Module does not provide PLR for ITL@RDP.

2. Excellence in Teaching and Learning Career Development Certificate: The following ETaL Modules are eligible for Prior Learning Recognition with the following parameters:

Course Name & Description

Prior Learning Recognition (PLR)

Pre-Module: Self-Reflective Practice:

Introduce self-reflective practice in post-secondary education. Explore personal beliefs about teaching and learning in order to evaluate approaches to teaching and learning as these relate to one’s teaching context in post-secondary education.

Please Note: This program is only open to current RDP faculty.

Prior Learning Recognition: Partial

Participants in ETaL who have completed the full ITL@RDP program within the previous Calendar Year are granted partial PLR for the Pre-Module.

Partial PLR includes the recognition of assignments completed for ITL@RDP. Participants are required to attend the Pre-Module Seminar and to submit the appropriate ITL@RDP assignments to the Pre-Module Instructor via the LMS.

ITL@RDP Participants who completed ITL@RDP more than 12 months prior to the start of ETaL will be required to redo some assignments.

Course Design and Course Outcomes:

Introduce concepts related to course design and delivery at Red Deer Polytechnic including outcomes based course design, universal design for learning, and learner-centred practice. Examine current trends, theory, and practice related to course design in order to assess courses for redesign and reflect on teaching practices.

Please Note: Module 1 is a Pre-requisite Module for all subsequent Modules.

Prior-Learning Recognition: None

Module 1: Course Design and Course Outcomes is not eligible for Prior Learning Recognition.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Introduce authentic assessment in post-secondary education. Explore alignment between course learning outcomes, learning activities and assessment, and examine the role of formative and summative assessment. The role of metacognition/ self-reflective practice around teaching and learning is examined in order to introduce students to this practice.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

This Module is eligible for full or partial Prior Learning Recognition based on the submission of the Prior Learning Recognition Matrix and supporting documentation.

Technology Enhanced Learning:

Learn how to use technology, tools, and resources to create an engaging and interactive learning environment that authentically assesses student learning. Reflect on the connection between technology and pedagogy and the impact on teaching practices.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

This Module is eligible for full or partial Prior Learning Recognition based on the submission of the Prior Learning Recognition Matrix and supporting documentation.

Indigenization of Post-Secondary Education in Canada:

Examine the history and impact of Canada’s residential schools on its Indigenous Peoples. Explore the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how they influence post-secondary institutions.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

RDP Faculty who have attended and completed all assignments associated with the open course “Indigenization: Foundations and Context” will be granted Full Prior Learning Recognition.

RDP Faculty who have completed non-RDP courses related to this topic will be granted Partial Prior Learning Recognition for assignments based on their supporting documents. They will be required to attend the face-to-face Seminars.

Learner-Centred Classroom:

Examine current trends in the theory and practice of creating a learner-centred classroom. Explore the concepts of power-sharing, student responsibility for learning, metacognition, motivation and student engagement for creating a classroom climate that facilitates learning. Reflect on current practices and areas for growth.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

This Module is eligible for full or partial Prior Learning Recognition based on the submission of the Prior Learning Recognition Matrix and supporting documentation.

The Inclusive Classroom:

Explore the concepts of inclusive education in a post-secondary environment. Explore trends emerging in post-secondary education relating to student demographics and supports for diverse student populations including Indigenous students, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and EAL/ESL students.

Please Note: This course must be taken as the final course prior to Capstone.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

This Module is eligible for full or partial Prior Learning Recognition based on the submission of the Prior Learning Recognition Matrix and supporting documentation.

The Inclusive Classroom:

Integrate learning from prior courses into a capstone project that illustrates growth and development. Capstone projects are self-directed to explore topics that are meaningful to the teaching context of each learner.

Prior-Learning Recognition: Eligible for Partial or Full

This Module is eligible for full or partial Prior Learning Recognition based on the submission of the Prior Learning Recognition Matrix and supporting documentation.

Register Now