Session Descriptions

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 • Nebraska Union

Updates for this year coming soon

Meanwhile these pages still show last year's details to give you an idea of what kind of events and sessions to expect.

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.


How Teaching Impacts Student Learning & Your Professional Development

Dr. Lindsay WheelerUniversity of Virginia
Get thinking about teaching not only as something that can impact students but also your professional development. We will discuss teaching methods shown to improve student learning in higher education, as well as the research on how effective teaching can positively impact your own research, mentoring, and leadership skills.

Skills Sessions

Strategies for Developing Deep Level Learning in Your Students

Lindsay Wheeler, Ph.D.University of Virginia
In every discipline, engaging students in their own learning is key to helping them develop a deep understanding of concepts. In this hands-on session, we’ll explore proven strategies you can use in the classroom to help students gain deep understanding.

Designing & Delivering Effective Lectures

Samuel A. Nelson, Ph.D.Associate Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
Lectures are a predominate 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 smart phones and information overload.

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 Homework, Exams, Lab Reports or Problem Sets

Cory Forbes, Ph.D., Diane Lally & Devarati Bhattacharya, Ph.D.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.

Teaching as Research

Cal Garbin, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychology

Teaching-as-research involves the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and learning outcomes of students. In this session you’ll learn how to approach your teaching from a research perspective: 1) identifying a teaching issue or question; 2) translating theory to hypotheses; 3) action research design; 3) collecting data; 4) analyzing and interpreting results; 5) translating results to practice; and 6) planning the next study.

The First Day of Class

Richard Lombardo, Ph.D.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.

Working with Your TA Supervisor

Lisa A. Kort-Butler, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
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.

Wrap Up

Wrap Up Session: Advice for New and Returning TAs

Jessica De Silva, Adam Blood & Aditya Gupta
A panel of experienced TAs will answer questions, offer strategies and describe “best practices” based upon their teaching experiences at UNL. This session is a great opportunity to explore what makes an effective teaching assistant.

Other Sessions

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.