SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

April 18, 2016 13:00 ET

University of Calgary opens the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Innovative teaching and learning institute made possible by $40-million gift from the Taylor Family Foundation

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - April 18, 2016) - President Elizabeth Cannon along with the Taylor family, Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, partners and members of the campus community unveiled a state of the art teaching and learning 'incubator' as the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning officially opened its doors during a special ceremony. The launch of the Taylor Institute also serves as an anchor to 50th Anniversary year celebrations at the University of Calgary.

All of this is possible thanks to a $40-million gift from the Taylor Family Foundation. The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is the only gift in the history of the University of Calgary to fund an entire building. This gift demonstrates the magnitude of support from the Taylor family for the university and their commitment to transforming teaching and learning.

"With a wealth of new hands-on learning experiences available to students both on and off campus, the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning will shine a light on teaching excellence, and serve as a touchstone for improvements across the country and around the world," says President Elizabeth Cannon. "We are extremely grateful to Don and Ruth Taylor and their family for the tremendous support to our students, our faculty and our university."

What is learned in the Taylor Institute will transform teaching practices through the integration of teaching practices, learning technologies and optimal designs for learning spaces.

"The improvement and enhancement of teaching skills at the university level is something that we have always been strong supporters of," says Don Taylor. "Enhancing the learning process for future generations is integral in this partnership and we're excited about what lies ahead when it comes to teaching and learning."

By acting as a teaching and learning hub for not only University of Calgary faculty, but for all postsecondary teachers across Alberta, Canada and beyond, the Taylor Institute offers a place where students and professors can investigate new approaches to learning, enabled by technology-rich spaces with the best educational tools available anywhere in the world.

"The Taylor institute for Teaching and Learning will go a long way in helping not only Alberta, but our country better understand and improve student learning. It is a visionary teaching and learning hub that will advance accessible education for students for years to come," says Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta.

The Institute also brings together undergraduate students from a variety of faculties to collaborate on social issues, conduct research, and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills key to their future career success.

"Transparency, flexibility, and collaboration are at the core of our programs, and this building perfectly supports these concepts," says Nancy Chick, University Chair in Teaching and Learning, academic director for the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

The building is designed by Gibbs Gage/Diamond Schmitt Architects and allows for the building's walls, furniture and technologies to be reconfigured in countless ways -- allowing students and teachers numerous options for working in every space.

The Taylor Institute uses 71 per cent less energy than a conventional building of the same size. This was achieved using a variety of energy saving measures including high performance windows, LED lighting controlled by daylight sensors, low-flow hot water fixtures supplied by a high efficiency water heater, a well-insulated roof, radiant heating and cooling, and sourcing energy from the campus district energy plant.

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

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