White background with a line of diverse students standing across the horizon

Teaching Assistant Workshop Series

In this series of workshops, graduate students working as teaching assistants (TAs) or those interested in working as TAs will be introduced to pedagogical topics relevant to TA roles. In addition, special focus will be given to introducing them to skills essential to succeed in their respective courses. All topics in this series will be explored under the lens of student-centered learning and inclusive teaching practices. 

Participants can enroll for all/any of the workshop sessions included in this series.  

By the end of this workshop series, participants will have the opportunity to: 

  • Navigate and customize D2L course shells 
  • Use classroom management strategies to promote positive TA-student relationships in different course environments
  • Identify and apply appropriate assessment methods to evaluate student learning
  • Recognize the importance of and the strategies to engage in critical reflection of teaching practices
  • Identify ways to foster ongoing professional development in teaching and learning
  • Create a community based on teaching and learning for TAs 

Classroom Management Strategies for TAs

In this workshop, participants will explore classroom management strategies such as planning effective office hours, asking effective questions and responding to student questions, facilitating engaging student discussions in online and in-person learning environments, etc. We will explore these topics under the lens of inclusive teaching practices and universal instructional design.   

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize strategies that create equitable and inclusive classrooms/labs/tutorial sessions 
  • Use classroom management strategies to promote positive TA-student relationships 
  • Identify strategies to facilitate effective student discussions in different learning environments

Facilitator: Lorelei Anselmo
Date: Jan. 17, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Online

Register now

Student Assessment and Feedback Strategies for TAs

In this workshop, participants will explore key pedagogical aspects of assessment and grading in student-centred learning environments. We will discuss the importance of formative feedback and summative assessments along with a brief overview of rubrics and their use in grading. Strategies for providing feedback on students’ assignments will be discussed so that participants can provide meaningful and effective feedback to help their students succeed in the course.  

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the importance and role of formative feedback and summative assessments 
  • Select appropriate assessment methods to evaluate student learning; 
  • Use an assessment rubric to provide feedback and measure student performance; and 
  • Explore methods to provide effective feedback to students. 

Facilitators: Lorelei Anselmo and Lin Yu
Date: Feb. 7, 2023
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Location: Online

Register now

Enhancing TA-Instructor Partnerships

Teaching Assistants (TAs) are critical members of the teaching team. They bring to their position a wide variety of experience and backgrounds and contribute in meaningful ways. Creating a climate of mutual respect and reciprocity for each other while working as partners with your instructor can have a positive impact on teaching and learning goals.

In this session, we will: 

  • Discuss strategies to develop a positive partnership with your professor
  • Explore effective ways of enhancing communication with your instructor 
  • Create a climate of feedback and reciprocity that supports your mental wellbeing

Facilitators: Kyla Dias, PhD (student) and Lorelei Anselmo
Date: Feb 16, 2023
Time: 2 – 3 p.m.
Location: Online


Register now

Professional Development of TAs

In this workshop, participants will explore topics related to their professional development as a TA. This workshop will provide them with an opportunity to meaningfully reflect on their TA experiences; discuss their emerging teaching practices; identify teaching-related goals and explore available campus resources to promote further development.   

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize strategies to engage in critical reflection  
  • Discuss their TA experiences with peers and colleagues 
  • Explore their emerging teaching practices 
  • Develop awareness of campus resources and available programming offered by TI 

Facilitator: Lorelei Anselmo
Date: Mar 21, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Online


Register now

International TAs Conversation Series

The Conversation Series for International TAs invites you to engage in conversations about being a TA in the North American higher education context. There will be two sessions in the series, each dedicated to a particular topic such as providing feedback to students and resolving conflict.

Opportunities and Effective Strategies

Starting out as a TA can be challenging, especially being an international TA who may be comparatively new to the country and the teaching and learning culture at the University of Calgary. Rapid changes to online and blended learning environments have added extra challenges for international TAs to navigate. This workshop presents an open opportunity for facilitators and participants to share the experiences of being an international TA at the University of Calgary. Come to this workshop to discuss topics such as (but not limited to): 

  • Different types of TA duties and contract expectations 
  • Grading and giving feedback
  • Preventing plagiarism and resolving conflict
  • Effective communication with students and the teaching team

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to 

  • Identify the essentials of TA duties
  • Apply strategies of effective classroom management, 
  • Enhance their grading practices, 
  • Explore opportunities for giving constructive feedback, and improve their communication with students, instructors and fellow TAs

Facilitators: Lin Yu, Dr. Anna Pletnyova, PhD
Date: Jan. 5, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Online

Register Now

Fostering a Positive Learning Environment in Your Class

This workshop will focus on exploring strategies for fostering a positive learning environment to promote student learning and best support their wellbeing. The topics will include building relationships and a learning community, creating an inviting and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom, a thoughtful integration of learning technologies, effective use of learning spaces, group work facilitation, etc.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: 
- apply practical strategies to foster a positive learning environment for student learning and wellness in the classroom
- use learning spaces and technologies meaningfully with student mental and physical wellbeing in mind
- cultivate collaborative learning through building a learning community

Facilitators: Lin Yu, Dr. Anna Pletnyova, PhD
Date: Feb 28, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Online

Register Now

Past workshops

Winter 2022

Learn how to effectively use D2L (Brightspace), our University’s Learning Management System. This workshop will teach you basic navigation and customization of the D2L course shell, how to create learning activities and the basic setup of assessments. You will also learn how to utilize D2L’s communication tools. 

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate and customize the D2L course shell 
  • Create modules, add content, and set up assessments 
  • Utilize various communication tools within D2L 

Facilitators: Isadora Mok-Kulakova