Fall 2014

ST GEORGE WORKSHOPS   


WHAT DO I DO IF I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER?

Megan Burnett, Assistant Director, CTSI/TATP
ELECTIVE
TAs are both students and teachers, and while this dual position can help TAs connect and empathize with students, it can also mean that TAs are sometimes in the uncomfortable position of knowing only a little bit more about the subject of their lab, tutorial, or assignment than their students. This workshop will explore strategies TAs can use to continue to field and encourage questions and discussions even when they are unsure about their own expertise in the subject matter. This session will also touch on how to approach your Course Supervisor to request support or clarification around subject matter you are not yet totally confident teaching.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor

*This workshop can count as discussion based tutorial training


MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON CAMPUS: IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO STUDENTS

Janine Robb, RN, MSc, Executive Director, Health and Wellness
Sandy Romain, TATP Social Sciences Coordinator

CORE
This interactive workshop will be an opportunity for teaching assistants to develop greater confidence in their ability to recognize and respond to student mental health issues. This workshop will include discussion of the following:
  • Common mental health issues faced by university students
  • How to identify and respond to students who may require mental health support or services, based on case studies
  • Information and resources available to UofT (including UTSC and UTM) communities and how to make a referral

Monday, October 20, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


FOSTERING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: NOBLE INTENTIONS & STICKY SITUATIONS 

Martha Harris, Academic Integrity Officer, OSAI, Faculty of Arts & Science
Saira Mall, Manager of Academic & Collaborative Technology Support, CTSI

CORE
You are invigilating an exam for a course you have TA’d. Walking past a student’s desk in the exam hall, you notice an extra piece of paper peeking out from underneath the student’s exam paper. What do you do? Or…what if a student comes to you during an office hour with the first draft of an assignment, and all of the research is taken from the Internet? Or…what if your instructor asks you to assign a failing grade to an assignment you think might have been plagiarized? When is plagiarism plagiarism? When is collaborative work cheating? What is academic integrity, anyway, and how is a TA supposed to foster it?

Despite the best intentions, many teaching assistants and students will encounter these dilemmas when navigating course work. In this interactive session, we will grapple with these questions and more, and you will work through some scenarios (based on actual cases at the University of Toronto) to devise strategies for preventative measures and next steps in these ‘sticky situations’.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


DEMYSTIFYING LIBRARY RESEARCH 

Monique Flaccavento, Public Services and Instructional Librarian, OISE/UT
Silvia Vong, Collaborative Learning Librarian, St. Mike’s College

CORE
What do you do with students who are baffled by Library research?  In this session, U of T librarians will share their top picks of tools, services, and research guides, and work with you to strategize responses to typical undergraduate research and essay problems.  Help your students go beyond Google and Wikipedia, discover ways to find better information faster, and figure out how long they’ll need to get their papers done.

Thursday, October 23, 2014
10am – 12pm
CTSI, Electronic Computer Lab
Robarts Library, 4033
*This workshop can count as skills based tutorial training


THE ART OF ASKING EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS

Charly Bank, Senior Lecturer, Earth Sciences

CORE
Questions drive research and learning. Instructors asking skillful questions inspire higher-order reasoning;  students asking questions show that they reflect and engage in the material. Yet asking good questions is an art, designing meaningful test questions is a challenge, and provoking students to come up with questions can be daunting. In this session we will:
  • discuss different functions of questions,
  • investigate problems and techniques associated with questions,
  • assess characteristics of good questions (and good questioners),
  • find out how to incorporate questions into our lessons, and
  • review how we can encourage questions from students.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
10am – 12pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor
*This workshop can count as EITHER discussion based OR Review tutorial training.


LOOKING AHEAD: DOCUMENTING YOUR TEACHING & PLOTTING YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Megan Burnett, Assistant Director, CTSI/TATP
Michelle Majeed, Course Instructor Training Coordinator, TATP

ELECTIVE
Many new TAs and instructors are unaware that in addition to their CV, junior scholars must also produce a teaching dossier, a portfolio that describes and documents their teaching expertise. This session focuses on providing TAs with practical tips on how to best describe, document, and demonstrate their teaching practice for grant, job, and fellowship applications. Get a head start by beginning your teaching career with an eye to collecting and preparing this documentation! Please note: This workshop is an extended version of the Documenting Your Teaching session that ran on TA Day 2013.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


BETTER TEACHING BY DESIGN: PRINCIPLES & STRATEGIES OF EFFECTIVE ASSIGNMENTS 

Dr. Andrea Williams, Lecturer of Writing Instruction and Writing Instruction for TAs (WIT), Faculty of Arts & Science

ELECTIVE
Assignments are important teaching tools that can help students acquire disciplinary knowledge and develop essential critical thinking, research, and writing skills. When assignments are well designed, students not only learn more, but the grading process becomes more meaningful for instructors and TAs.

In this session we’ll focus on principles and strategies of effective assignment design that apply to all disciplines, including how to scaffold assignments throughout a course and how to give students meaningful feedback. We will address how to foster academic integrity, build in proper supports and resources to help guide students through an assignment, and how to develop and communicate evaluation criteria to students. Participants will analyze sample assignments and, if they choose, get feedback on an assignment of their own, which they can use in their courses and teaching portfolios.

Monday, November 10, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


DEALING WITH STUDENTS IN DIFFICULTY 

Cheryl Shook, Registrar, Woodsworth College

CORE
This workshop will focus on how to identify, engage, refer and manage students who may be challenging. Students who are withdrawn, distressed, demanding or who present unusual requests or situations, including crisis situations, often need special support and/or attention. How and to whom to make appropriate referrals in a variety of situations will be reviewed along with the many resources available for teaching assistants and students.

Friday, November 14, 2014
10am – 12pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE LESSON PLANNING 

Megan Burnett, Assistant Director, CTSI/TATP
Ben Moulton, Sciences Coordinator, TATP
Michelle Majeed, Course Instructor Training Coordinator, CTSI

CORE
If you’ve ever struggled with how to thoroughly cover a topic, effectively organize material and manage your class or lab time? Then this session is for you. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the key elements of lesson planning. Understanding these elements of lesson design will help you to:
  • plan a lesson that entails a clear learning outcome and a road-map for how to accomplish this
  • get students prepared to learn
  • streamline your content so you have an achievable goal in a given time
  • build in time for discussion and active student interaction (i.e. achieve ‘deeper’ learning)
  • wrap-up a class effectively so students can reflect on what they’ve learned and be ready for what comes next in the course

Because you will be asked to complete a lesson planner during the workshop, it is imperative that you come to the session with a key learning goal and a sense of possible content for one class you’d like to teach in mind (or for a real class you know you’ll be teaching shortly!).

Thursday, November 20, 2014
10am – 12pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


PREPARING YOUR TEACHING DOSSIER 

Michelle Majeed, Course Instructor Training Coordinator, TATP
Sandy Romain Social Sciences Coordinator, TATP

CORE
The teaching dossier is a comprehensive record of teaching activities and accomplishments that is now required in applications for permanent positions at the University of Toronto and at an increasing number of institutions across North America. In this session, we will review the elements of a successful teaching dossier and discuss how to use it as a framework for setting goals for future professional development. Since many TAs have limited teaching experience, what a new TA can do to develop the beginnings of a meaningful dossier will also be highlighted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
2pm – 4pm
CTSI, Blackburn Room
Robarts Library, 4th Floor


UTSC WORKSHOPS


CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

 

Malama Tsimenis, Senior Lecturer, Centre for French and Linguistics, UTSC

CORE

Teaching assistants are often faced with problematic situations which, if not promptly addressed, can destabilize the classroom environment and ruin both the students’ learning experience and the TAs’ teaching experience.  In this interactive workshop, TAs will work together to come up with ideas and strategies to address a number of problematic case scenarios.   They will learn useful tips on how to effectively respond to these challenges without getting disillusioned in the teaching process and without compromising their relationship with their students. Strategies to prevent these situations will also be discussed.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
10am – 12pm
IC318



EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT GRADING

 

Ghazal Fazli, UTSC TA Trainer and PhD student in Health Policy

CORE

Have upcoming grading to do?  This workshop is designed to assist Teaching Assistants to maximize their contribution to students’ success and their own efficiency and productivity during the grading process. Topics covered will include effective feedback, language-related issues, academic integrity, time management, grading disputes, communication and marking rubric design. Participants are requested to bring a copy of a recent assignment, either their own or for a class in which they’re a TA.

Thursday, October 9, 2014
2pm – 4pm
IC318


STRENGTHENING UNDERGRADUATES’ RESEARCH AND WRITING SKILLS 

Sarah King, Coordinator, The Writing Centre, UTSC
Stephanie Perpick, Finance Librarian, UTSC Library

CORE

The workshop mixes brief presentations with hands-on activities that enable participants to (1) identify common undergraduate problems with research and writing, (2) learn current best practices and resources to address such problems, and (3) formulate strategies they would use to help students avoid or overcome a typical weakness in their research or writing.  The workshop will begin at 2:00 pm (not 2:10), and it will be divided into two one-hour segments: the first hour will focus on writing skills and the second on research skills.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014
12pm – 2pm
UTSC Library, AC286A


ENHANCING YOUR INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY/DIGITAL MEDIA SKILLS
Adon Irani, Academic Communication & Technology Specialist, Centre for Teaching and Learning, UTSC

ELECTIVE

In this session, TAs and graduate students will design a “digital media asset” that will enable them to better communicate research or teach using instructional technology. A variety of example assets will be provided and discussed in the session, and basic how-to primer documents will be made available with links to additional web resources and examples. The session will enable participants to assess their needs and determine the kind of digital media asset they wish to create. Each participant will be guided in the development of a technical project plan that encompasses the required steps to create the asset. Participants will receive individual feedback from the instructor on their technical project plan.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
10am – 12pm
IC318


TROUBLESHOOTING TA PROBLEMS AND DILEMMAS 

Ghazal Fazli, UTSC TA Trainer and PhD student in Health Policy

CORE

The first hour of this session will present case scenarios of dilemmas and difficult situations TAs often encounter.  Participants will work together to develop strategies to use in such situations.  In the second half of the workshop, participants will share problems they themselves have dealt with; each participant will bring a problem for others to help resolve, as well as a successful strategy for dealing with a TA dilemma.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
3pm – 5pm
IC318