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Center for Teaching Excellence

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GTA/IA Workshops and Events

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to planning and implementing professional development programming for graduate teaching assistants. Graduate student workshops and events are designed to address teaching challenges unique to being a graduate student.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.

You can choose to use the Calendar View of CTE events if you prefer.

July 2021

Learn how to hold meetings or teach a class with this convenient and reliable web conferencing tool. With Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, instructors can record sessions, share materials, allow participants to chat with each other, use a digital whiteboard, allow participants to share presentations, and more.  Register

In this session, participants will learn how to use the Blackboard Grade Center to their advantage and manage grades more efficiently. Creating and managing categories, weighting grades, dropping grades, downloading grades to work offline and using Smart Views are some of the topics to be covered. We welcome users with any level of experience, but this course is designed for instructors or graders who are already comfortable with Grade Center basics.  Register

Learn to create tests and surveys, to use pools of questions while creating these items, and to modify the deployment rules for individuals or groups of students.  Register

If someone had told you a year and a half ago, that in March 2020 the entire university was going to be rapidly moved online within a week, you might have thought, “Oh how dreadful! That will never work!” But now that we are on the other side of it… what a difference a year and a half can make in how we fundamentally think about teaching, student learning and engagement, and course development, not just online but in general. This “forced experiment” in online education has broadened our perspective and forced us to rethink so many assumptions, expectations, and entrenched habits in teaching, learning, and academia.

Join us for a thoughtful discussion among fellow GTA/IAs and hear what your graduate student colleagues have experienced and learned during this pandemic-forced, online-and-hybrid, teaching-and-learning experience. What gave you joy, and what gave you angst? What were your successes, and what were lessons learned? We’ll also discuss some of the predictions for how online and face-to-face teaching in higher ed will change and continue in both the near and further-out future (and our experiences with those already!). 

Learn how to set up Blackboard assignments and SafeAssign plagiarism detection.   Register

In this session you will learn simple instructional techniques that benefit all users, technology tools that can be used to provide specific accommodations, and resources that are available to meet accommodation needs.  Register

August 2021

The past year has challenged faculty in ways that were not imagined a few years ago. This interactive session will help faculty identify and address the pressures and feelings that leave many of us feeling fatigued or burned-out at the end of the term. We will work together to identify factors that lead to faculty fatigue and then explore strategies for coping and sources of support that will help you take control of factors that can lead to a more satisfying approach to the challenges of teaching and scholarship during these times.  Register

Any UofSC graduate student teaching or instructional assistants (GTA/IAs) who will be involved with online teaching in some form this fall 2021 are recommended to participate in the Introduction to Online Teaching for Teaching Assistants (IOTTA) program.

These in-person workshops are designed to assist GTA/IAs with building their knowledge and skills in all aspects of teaching or instructional assistance online -- from aligning a syllabus, best practices in online engagement, to managing course materials and grading in Blackboard -- in a hands-on, practical skill development setting.

GTA/IAs will be working with their own assigned course materials and Blackboard environment to get the course ready to begin their instructional responsibilities by the start of classes on August 19th, 2021.

Registration deadline is Monday August 2, 2021 by 5 p.m. Upon registration, you will be contacted by Dr. Michelle Hardee to review the workshops you plan to attend and provide you with an agenda and additional information.


GTA/IA Fall 2021 Orientation begins on this date. Dates for In-Person and Online Synchronous workshops for GTA/IA orientation are August 11-12 and August 17-18. All graduate teaching and instructional assistants who have any kind of instructional or teaching assistance responsibilities must participate in Graduate TA/IA Orientation. These workshops provide concise, helpful information, resources and guidance on developing your teaching skills as you prepare to teach or assist your professor of record. Learn More

Do you hate grading? Are unsure that your assessments are accurately demonstrating student mastery of your learning outcomes? Try a new approach to your course design and grading criteria! Specifications grading is a framework to simplify grading and put the focus back on learning by setting explicit and challenging criteria for students to achieve their best.

In this webinar we will describe the specifications grading framework, benefits, and primary elements, along with some examples at the course level. We will then practice creating specifications for your own assessments. Feel free to bring your syllabus or an assignment you would like to improve!  Register

Creating a community of learners in your course requires more than just knowledge about a subject, it is about facilitating connections and empowering students through their strengths to develop collaborative partnerships. Benefits may include increase in overall satisfaction of the course, improved GPA’s, greater engagement, and higher retention. Join us as we discuss social learning theory and outline some strategies you can use to create a community of learners.  Register

Research highlights how course design affects students’ learning experiences and overall success. In this workshop, we will discuss best practices for designing an equitable and inclusive course to increase the opportunity for diverse learners to fully participate in the learning environment. Feel free to bring your syllabus as a reference to implement at least one strategy to make your course more inclusive and equitable.  Register

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.