Session Descriptions

Whether you're a new graduate teaching assistant or an experienced, senior-level TA, you're sure to find something in our campus-wide TA workshops to get you energized about teaching. The day also offers an opportunity to get to know other TAs who'll eventually become your friends and colleagues.

Print Schedule and Session Descriptions

Skills Sessions

The Time Juggle:
Navigating Your Roles as a Teacher, Student, Scholar, and Person with a Life!

Robyn Wright DunbarDirector, Center for Teaching & Learning; Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Stanford University

New to teaching? You’ve just added a major role in an already busy life. Experienced teacher? You know this challenge first hand. How do you handle the time juggle and make space in your life for what’s important? Align your calendar with your priorities in this hands-on session.

The First Day of Class

Elizabeth Weber EdwardsAssociate Director of Graduate Student Development, Office of Graduate Studies

The first day of class is your opportunity to create a strong and positive impression on your students. It's a time for you and your students to share expectations, establish classroom norms, and create excitement for the subject and the class. In this session, you'll learn specific strategies for making the most of new beginnings.

Designing & Delivering Effective Lectures

Samuel A. NelsonAssociate Director, Center for Entrepreneurship

Lectures are a predominant method of transferring information in university classrooms, yet they tend to be instructor-centered and can have a bad reputation among students. In this workshop we’ll focus on how to engage students in the current age of smartphones and information overload.

Critical Moments in the Classroom: Case Studies

Suzanne PrengerIntensive English Program

Discuss case studies of several critical situations that may at some point reflect your own experience as a GTA, such as racial conflicts, begging for grades, or group work friction. Then discuss strategies you might use to manage the situations or, better yet, prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.

Grading Homework, Exams, Lab Reports or Problem Sets

Cory ForbesAssociate Professor, School of Natural Resources

This session presents important considerations for assessing student work, including: grading consistently; communicating your grading criteria to students; giving constructive feedback; and managing your time when grading large amounts of student work. Because grading practices vary widely, we will also discuss strategies for learning more about grading in your specific TA assignment.

Writing Your Syllabus

Susan Levine OuradaAssociate Professor, Dance

The class syllabus sets the tone for the whole semester. What is the most effective way to design a syllabus focused on students and learning? We'll discuss choosing content, organizing assignments, and other topics, all with the learner in mind. This session is great for TAs responsible for adapting their own syllabi, or those looking to include syllabi in their teaching portfolios.

Effective Online Teaching
(Professional Development for Experienced Grad Students)

Tareq Daher & Greg SundermanOffice of Online & Distance Education

Like other forms of teaching, effective online teaching is based upon principles from instructional research. After a brief introduction to online learning trends, we’ll conduct an interactive session focused on fundamental areas of online teaching, including instructor presence, student engagement, organizing and planning, and assessment tools. Campus support resources will also be highlighted.

Disciplinary Breakout Sessions

Join new and experienced TAs in your discipline and learn about effective teaching methods relevant to the teaching you'll be doing as a TA — for example, holding office hours, grading papers, running a lab, or teaching a recitation.

Each session will focus on applying what you've learned about the principles of learning and effective teaching within the context of your discipline. Sessions will be facilitated by experienced faculty and award-winning teaching assistants.

Wrap-Up Session: Metaphors, Messages, and Morals to the Story

Laurie BellowsAssociate Dean, Graduate Studies


Elizabeth Weber EdwardsAssociate Director of Graduate Student Development

What did you learn as a participant in this year’s Campuswide Workshops for Graduate Teaching Assistants? What are your takeaways? This session will focus on the key themes discussed throughout the day, within the context of “metaphors, memorable messages, and morals to the story.”