Jan. 12, 2021

Taylor Institute resources help grad students sharpen teaching skills

Grad student programming at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning can help teaching assistants gain confidence in online learning environments, using learning technologies

Graduate students play an undeniably important role in delivering world-class learning experiences at UCalgary — there are more than 1,400 teaching assistants on campus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, most have found themselves adapting to remote and online teaching while balancing their other academic commitments. 

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (TI) offers comprehensive programming to support the needs of the campus teaching and learning community, including targeted programs and resources designed to meet the needs of graduate student teaching assistants.  

Graduate student teaching squares badge program

The Graduate Student Teaching Squares Badge Program is designed to enhance teaching and learning and to build community through a process of reciprocal peer observation, self-reflection and group discussion. “Participating in Teaching Squares allowed me to witness first-hand my graduate assistant teaching peers in action," says Vincent Yong, a grad student in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, who participated in the fall 2020 program.

"I experienced the different teaching strategies and methods deployed that can be customized as part of my teaching methodology, although my peers were in different faculties and teaching different subject matter.”

The deadline to register for the winter 2021 session is Monday, Jan. 25.  

Learning technology workshops 

The TI offers a number of workshops for grad student teachers to boost their capacity and confidence in using the most current learning technology:

Emerging Teachers Development Badge 

The Emerging Teachers Development Badge for Graduate Students introduces teaching assistants to topics related to developing their university teaching, with opportunities for discussion, practice and reflection. Collaborative, critically reflective conversations with colleagues explore current issues, theories and research in post-secondary education. 

Explore more workshops and programming offered at the TI.

Learning module: Teaching assistant orientation

The TI has transitioned the face-to-face Teaching Assistant Orientation into an online learning module. The orientation is for all teaching assistants, regardless of experience. It introduces them to a model of professional development that encourages growth in teaching assistants' ability to support learning. Learn more here.

Graduate Student Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

The Graduate Student Certificate in University Teaching and Learning provides an opportunity to develop evidence-based teaching expertise and skills that are relevant across disciplines in post-secondary education. Those who participate develop skills and confidence in supporting student learning, success and engagement. By completing four out of five required badges, participants gain essential teaching and learning skills and knowledge applicable to diverse career paths in academia, government, industry and the non-profit sector. For more information about the certificate, visit here.