Below I list and describe events (e.g., workshops, individual consultations) that I designed and facilitated solo or with other consultants. The events were interactive and the instructional strategies we applied included modeling, scaffolding individual and small group work, providing case studies and facilitating whole group discussion.
Instructional development events aim to enhance TAs and college instructors beginning and advanced teaching and assessment skills (Border & von Hoene, 2010), and the ability to communicate and tutor undergraduate students.
The objectives for these events are for participants to:
- Improve interpersonal skills for communicating with course instructors and students.
- Collaborate productively with other TAs.
- Manage their time effectively write learner-centered objectives and select learning activities to attain them.
- Modify or design a syllabus according to the Senate policies.
- Select, modify, and design effective assessment tools (e.g. rubrics) and provide informational feedback to students.
Examples (Beginning Level):
- TA & ITA 101: How to survive and thrive as a teaching assistant
- Getting Through The Stack: Effective Grading
Examples (Advanced Level):
- Syllabus Construction
- Grad Instructor 101: Planning your course without loosing your mind
- Grad Instructor 102: Beyond basic course design
- Engaging students across the disciplines: Active learning techniques
Professional development events provide career development to graduate and professional students to help them in their transition to academic and non academic positions after graduation.
The objectives for the events are for participants to develop:
- Analytical and reflective skills about their teaching.
- Writing skills for drafting and revising a teaching philosophy.
- The ability to collect, organize, present in a meaningful and persuasive manner materials and evidence that document their teaching effectiveness.
- Motivation and commitment to professional development.
Examples of Events
- SRTEs & Mid-semester feedback: Q& A for graduate students.
- Documenting your teaching: A teaching portfolio workshop.
- Preparing your teaching philosophy for the job market: Event prepared for the Penn State Postdoctoral Society.
Individual Consultations: Personalized mentoring is another means to accomplish the two primary goals of developing instructors’ teaching skills to improve teaching effectiveness and providing opportunities to participate and document professional development.
Examples of Consultation Topics
- Post-observation consultations.
- Syllabus construction/revision consultations.
- Writing a teaching philosophy.
Consultation Approach: In the consultations that I conduct I try to apply the coaching-based approach suggested by Palmer and Little (2011).
I initiate the discussion by asking what has brought the person at SITE and in what ways I could be useful. I try to listen deeply by paying attention to verbal and nonverbal cues and asking open-ended questions to help the instructor to clarify and interpret the situation, brainstorm and reflect solutions. I extend the clients’ thoughts by prompting action with questions that potentially move the instructor or student towards action (e.g., set goals & determine how to assess progress).
Image by Rosie Brooks via Jantoo Cartoons http://www.jantoo.com/cartoons/keywords/first-jobs