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Teaching Assistant Orientation and Preparation Course

The Teaching Assistant Orientation and Preparation Course (GRAD T580) are offered once per year in the fall and are required for all new and incoming graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs)/Teaching Fellows (TFs). Training begins with a two-day orientation, or pre-term workshops, followed by the TA Preparation Course, GRAD T580, which is a free, one-credit special topics course that meets a select number of times during the fall quarter. Please refer to the syllabus linked below for more information.

In addition to the orientation and prep course, TAs/TFs are encouraged to attend teaching workshops for additional discussion and professional development in teaching, learning and other relevant topics for graduate students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through participation in this course, the teaching assistants/fellows will be able to identify and articulate:

  • The nature and importance of their roles as "teachers" within the Graduate College;
  • The importance of clear and measured objectives for lessons, tutoring and other activities and the ability to assess them;
  • The importance of designing assessments (formative and summative) that provide evidence of the achievement of lesson goals;    
  • The  expectations and needs of a diverse student population and the instructional teaching techniques and strategies for meeting these needs;
  • Effective styles of communication and interactions with instructors, students and peers;
  • The importance of being a reflective practitioner;
  • The many and varied support services available on the University level for them and for their students. These include the Office of Equality and Diversity/ Disability Services, the Counseling Center, etc.

2019 TA Orientation/Pre-Term Sessions (Required)

Day 1 - Thursday, September 19, 2019
8:30AM-2:30PM

Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session is archived on YouTube

Day 2 - Friday, September 20, 2019
TBA

Students will report to their academic department for specific training and a scavenger hunt assignment. Please contact your department for more information.

2019 TA Prep Course Sessions (Required)

Week 4: Friday, October 18, 2019 - Midterm Check-In
1-3PM

Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session will be archived on YouTube for later viewing

Week 9: Friday, November 22, 2019 - Final Meeting & Reflection
1-3PM

Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session will be archived on YouTube for later viewing

2019 TA Prep Course Workshops (At Least 1 Required)

In addition to the sessions above, all new, incoming TAs/TFs will be required to attend ‚Äčat least one of the following workshops during the 2019 fall quarter. Please indicate which workshop(s) you will attend by emailing us at graduatecollege@drexel.edu.

Workshops facilitated by Johanna Inman, Director, Teaching and Learning Center

Workshop 1: "Why Aren't Undergrads as Interested in This Stuff as I Am?"

You've devoted your life to your discipline and find it fascinating, but some of your students may be less than enthusiastic about it. In this session you will learn principles and strategies for inspiring motivation and instilling the will to work in your students.

Week 1: Friday, September 27, 2019
12-1PM


Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session is archived on YouTube

Workshop 2: "Learning is not a Spectator Sport!"

The research on how learning works has shown that students learn better and retain more when they are directly involved in their learning. In this workshop, TAs will be presented with the principles of active and collaborative learning, discover a few time-tested active learning techniques, and have the opportunity to brainstorm ways they can apply this research to their own teaching contexts.

Week 2: Friday, October 4, 2019
12-1PM


Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session is archived on YouTube

Workshop 3: "How to Grade Effectively without Losing Sleep (or Your Mind)"

One of the toughest parts of being a TA is the grading process. TAs need to balance fairness with adherence to learning objectives, while allowing time for their own work and other life obligations. This interactive session will include a discussion of various grading strategies, how to handle grading disputes, and techniques for time management or grading responsibilities.

Week 3: Friday, October 11, 2019
12-1PM


Graduate Student Lounge
Main Building, Room 010A, Lower Level
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This session will be archived on YouTube for later viewing

2019 Course Materials

Additional Materials

If you have any questions about the TA Orientation or Prep Course or if you are unable to attend for any reason, please contact the Graduate College at graduatecollege@drexel.edu.