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 behave 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 

D2L Fundamentals for TAs

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
Date: January 18, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Online

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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 an 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

Facilitators: Patrick Kelly, Lorelei Anselmo, Dr. Sreyasi Biswas, PhD
Date: February 15, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Online

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: Student Assessment and Feedback Strategies for TAs

In this workshop, participants will explore key pedagogical aspects of assessment and grading in student-centered 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: Haboun Bair, Dr. Sreyasi Biswas, PhD
Date: March 15, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Online

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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 

Facilitators: Lorelei Anselmo, Dr. Sreyasi Biswas, PhD
Date: April 19, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Online

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Additional workshops

International TAs: 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, improve their communication with students, instructors and fellow TAs

Facilitators: Lin Yu, Dr. Anna Pletnyova, PhD, Dr. Sreyasi Biswas, PhD
Date: January 25, 2022
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Online

Register now