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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.

2020 Virtual TA Orientation (Required)

Day 1 - Thursday, September 17, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT

Here are the archived videos:

1. TA Orientation - Introductions.mp4

2. TA Orientation - Teaching & Learning Center & Icebreakers

3. TA Orientation - • Dr. Teck-Kah Lim, Overview of TA Roles and Responsibilities

4. TA Orientation - Office of Equality and Diversity

5. TA Orientation - The Office of Residential Living and Student Conduct

6. TA Orientation - CASTLE Presentation

7A. TA Orientation - Experienced TA Panel Q & A

7B. TA Orientation - Experienced TA Panel Q & A.mp4


2020 TA Prep Course Sessions (Required)

Midterm Check-in - Friday, October 16, 2020
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

Final Meeting - Friday, November 20, 2020
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

2020 TA Prep Course Workshops (At Least 2 Required)

In addition to the orientation and prep course sessions above, all new, incoming TAs/TFs will be required to attend ​at least two of the following workshops during the fall quarter.

To RSVP and for session access, please contact the Graduate College at graduatecollege@drexel.eduPlease RSVP at least one business day in advance to guarantee a response.

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

Facilitated by Johanna Inman, Director, Teaching and Learning Center

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.

Friday, October 9, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EDT

Here is a link to the recording on Zoom: https://drexel.zoom.us/rec/play/0CcSuW2vb5J_spNmW10I-iQT-TKD-hmoVQDcL9bn-hRw4Su4WGrj9UMeETM9o9zMSChvduWCK1KV4Yfk.eW936BfWjJRZxiq0 

Workshop 2: Remote Teaching Strategies to Keep Students EngagedJohanna Inman

Facilitated by Johanna Inman, Director, Teaching and Learning Center

Many of our students have likely been experiencing feelings of isolation during this pandemic, but our courses can keep them connected to a supportive learning community. So, how can you encourage students to stay connected with you, course materials, and each other in a remote learning environment? In this workshop, we’ll explore recommendations for three types of interactions every online course should have to keep students connected and engaged!

Monday, October 26, 2020 - Friday, October 30, 2020
Via VoiceThread

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

Facilitated by Johanna Inman, Director, Teaching and Learning Center

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.

Friday, November 13, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Via Zoom

2020 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.