Session Descriptions

Whether you're a new graduate teaching assistant or an experienced, senior-level TA, you're sure to find something in our campuswide 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


Putting the Research on Learning into Practice

Dr. Terry DoyleFerris State University
Almost daily neuroscience, biology, and cognitive science researchers reveal new insights about how the human brain works and learns. This research has the potential to elevate the learning success of all students — regardless of their learning situations. This presentation will discuss seven findings about how the brain learns and how to integrate these findings into your daily teaching practices.

Skills Sessions

Three Teaching Practices that Optimize Student Learning Opportunities

Terry Doyle, Ph.D.Ferris State University
Based on the current research on learning and memory, this Skill Building session will focus on the three key teaching practices that promote long-term student learning: using a multistory approach to teaching, teaching the patterns of the content material, and teaching the memory processes and recall methods that optimize long term recall. Learn how to put the current research on learning and memory to work so that your students can apply what they've learned long after the semester ends.

Effective Online Teaching

Tareq Daher, Ph.D. & 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. 

Grading Essays and Lab Reports

Brett SallachCivil Engineering
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.

Student Learning and Engagement in Large Lecture Classes

Joe Dauer, Ph.D. & Heather Bergan, Ph.D.School of Natural Resources
Whether you're teaching 40 or 250 students, you can engage students through in-class activities and assignments. In this session, learn how group work effectively shrinks the classroom and promotes student learning. You'll also  develop a game plan for the workload associated with grading written work, exams, and assignments.

The First Day of Class

Elizabeth Weber Edwards, Ph.D.Associate 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.

Using Technology to Promote Student Learning

Guy Trainin, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education
This session will focus on how the use of technology (from simple to more advanced technologies) combined with effective teaching strategies can positively impact student learning.

Working with Your TA Supervisor

Nathan Wakefield, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Mathematics
One of your best resources as a new TA is your TA supervisor. Learn strategies for consulting effectively with your supervisor to help you plan to teach, work with students, troubleshoot classroom problems as they arise, and help students get the most from your course.

Other Sessions

Faculty Panel

Words of Wisdom: Advice for New and Experienced TAs

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.