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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Mungo Teaching Award Panel

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.

*Special Notice*

In order for attendees to personally track their current registrations and attendance at CTE workshops and events, CTE requires that registrants create an account in our registration system and login to register.  If you have an existing training account with the Division of Human Resources, Office of Organizational and Professional Development, you do not need to create an account. You can login using your HR training username and password. By logging in to register for CTE events, your complete record for both CTE and HR trainings will be available in a single location with a single account and login. 

View and print CTE training record.

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.

January 2023

The responsibilities of all instructors typically include grading student work. Yet ensuring that grading is both objective and efficient involves specific strategies and reflection on important considerations in advance, both aspects of which instructors may not be aware. For any level instructor, they need to define what their “grading philosophy” is for the course, and use practices, strategies, and techniques best suited for the specifics of the course and the assessment itself. Grading should be viewed and valued as a method for providing constructive feedback to students, with feedback types differing depending on the assessment type. How to develop your grading philosophy, incorporate relevant techniques, provide effective feedback, along with grading different types of assessment styles and rubric use, will be discussed in this workshop.   Register

You may have heard a student comment, “I’m a visual learner so I prefer to watch videos,” which you immediately recognize as a description of their “learning style”. The idea of learning styles holds that by matching instruction to students’ preferred mode of learning or media preferences, students learn better, and there are scores of frameworks categorizing learning styles (visual/auditory/kinesthetic, imaginative vs. analytic, sensing vs. intuition, etc.). But did you know that the idea of learning styles has been definitively debunked in cognitive psychology and neuroscience research literature? The myth of learning styles has been persistent in education for numerous reasons, primarily because for decades, research findings on learning have been incorrectly interpreted, and many practitioners simply don’t know the science that disproves it. Despite the intuitive appeal, there is little to no empirical evidence that learning styles are real.

So as an instructor, what does this mean for your teaching techniques and students’ learning abilities? In this workshop, you will learn about some of the more common learning style models and their fallacies, and apply a model to your own preferences that better illustrates our understanding of student learning abilities (Felder and Silverman, 1988). We’ll also explore some of the cognitive neuroscience behind how students learn, along with techniques and recommendations for being more inclusive in your teaching style to address all abilities, not just specific “learning styles”. A broader teaching approach is needed to improve learning outcomes, one that invites students to reflect on their learning, rather than narrow their style down (Ambrose et. al, 2010).  Register

Part of living a healthy life and caring for personal wellbeing is being mindful about how we spend our time as academics. This workshop will provide participants with tools and training for how to audit our time use and rethink our role as holistic (whole-person) faculty members. This includes revisiting the humanist angle on practices and expectations in the faculty lifestyle: time management, over-teaching, communication and meeting structures, and pedagogical social interactions. The session will provide practical examples of ways that the humanist learning model can be used to help reduce overwhelm for both instructors and students and help us re-orient our pedagogical decisions to refocus on the foundational purpose of education.  Register

Don’t stress! We can help. We will cover best practices for producing lecture videos from your office or home that are both engaging and accessible. We will include tips and resources for making your video content accessible and also provide additional resources available to you here at USC.   Register

According to the CDC, “26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability.” However, according to the National Institute for Education Statistics, “A majority of college students with disabilities at both 2- and 4-year institutions do not inform their college of their disability.” This means that the number of disabled students in our classes far exceeds the number of accommodation reports we receive from the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), making accessibility a crucial need in every classroom. What can we do to increase accessibility in our classrooms beyond complying with official SDRC requests. Why do some students choose not to disclose? In this presentation we offer answers to these questions by centering the perspectives and experiences of our disabled students.

In addition to offering pragmatic advice for implementing accessibility measures grounded in the principles of Universal Design for Learning and exploring barriers to disclosure, we discuss how to incorporate disabled pedagogy into your course. To paraphrase the late Black feminist scholar bell hooks (1994), disability pedagogy is against all forms of oppression, domination, and repression and is for the development of educational spaces that are safe, inclusive, and liberatory. Furthermore, disability pedagogy takes an intersectional approach to recognizing how multiple identities influence student experience and learning. Drawing upon our own experiences as disabled educators, we examine how disabled pedagogy breaks down traditional student-teacher hierarchies and empowers students to serve as actors in the co-creation of knowledge. Finally, we discuss how to “crip the curriculum” in order to demonstrate to students that disability is an integral part of knowledge production. This session will allow instructors to gain a greater understanding of how to serve their disabled students and create a more accessible and equitable classroom experience.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence  Register

February 2023

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative tools to address classroom roadblocks.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

Excellence is earned, not prescribed. So many of our rubric-driven students are just 'checking boxes' instead of actually learning. How can we break the zombie mold and get into creative, self-reliant modalities? This session focuses on methods to increase student autonomy and personal responsibility through creative syllabi, course design, and incentive models. Participants will discuss and collaboratively brainstorm active learning activities, assignments, and proof-of-knowledge exercises that push students to demonstrate their highest level of achievement, not simply default to what's expected of them.  Register

You may have heard (or uttered) the comments, “My students don’t turn in assignments or don’t show up to class meetings. How do I get my students to care about my class?” Current and upcoming students in higher education have weathered an extreme and singular event – trying to learn in high school and college during a global pandemic, remotely, and more often than not lacking the resources, skills, and learning “toolkits” that pre-pandemic students generally had available for them. Students seem to be disengaged, disinterested, and lacking any real motivation to do well in their classes. And with the constant presence of distractions from technology, students' attention spans are shorter and communication skills are in decline. It feels much more difficult to engage today’s students in the traditional classroom setting.

Fortunately, there are specific strategies that you as an instructor can use to enhance your teaching, engage students from the first class, and maintain that engagement throughout the semester. Learn different techniques to develop a personal connection with your students, encourage preparation and student involvement in your class as well as student investment in their learning, and expect (and receive!) excellence from your students. These strategies to engage students can be applied in small classrooms as well as in large lecture-hall style courses. Join us to learn how to create that positive, engaging learning environment where students “show up” in every meaning of the word. Register

Just days after the start of the Greensboro sit-ins In February 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what would become a widely influential speech titled, “A Creative Protest.” Despite the historical and rhetorical significance of what is commonly known as the “Fill Up the Jails” speech, no recordings exist. Here, for the first time, using advanced digital and audio technology, this project provides an opportunity for scholars, students and citizens to experience and explore this important speech.

The Virtual Martin Luther King Project contributes to contemporary humanities scholarship through emphasizing an understanding of context, providing direct engagement with the importance of location, highlighting the content of this speech in relation to our contemporary moment, and illuminating the material consequences of this experience. Additionally, the vMLK project enables a deeper consideration and understanding of the very nature of public address as experience.

This is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence.   Register

Technology misuse in the classroom has become so pervasive that we must rethink whether our energies should be spent fighting it or whether to work with students on a new paradigm. Yet struggles around technology are also the most obvious symptom of a much larger problem of many students’ inability to focus and the value many of them hold for multitasking.

Based on the recent text: Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It by James Lang, this session will address the pervasive problem of distracted students, including how to use research on the effects of the technology students use as a distraction (cell phones), or as classroom tools (laptops).

Lastly, in this presentation, attendees will explore the various methods of how to foster better attention from students in the classroom and begin to “shift our thinking away from preventing distraction” (Lang, 2021).

This is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

During this webinar, you will apply practical strategies to redesign components of your course using the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for course content, activities, and assessments. UDL is a research-based framework that instructors can use to promote inclusivity in course design to improve learning experiences for all students. We will discuss UDL and how you can apply the principle of Representation to course content, the principle of Engagement to course activities, and the principle of Action and Expression to course assessments. Please come to the webinar prepared to discuss your current course content, activities, and assessments.

This is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence.  Register

This presentation will focus on the importance of creating a final project that aligns with course goals and is also meaningful and sustainable. It will include tips and tricks, pitfalls to watch out for and best practices. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about a final project that has been implemented, as well as, begin to think of ways to implement this in their own courses.   Register

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.

This is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments  Register

A teaching philosophy statement provides a concise description of an instructor’s teaching approach, methods, and experience. Colleges and universities request a teaching philosophy statement from applicants for faculty positions, and some higher education institutions require one as part of the tenure and promotion consideration process.

What is your teaching philosophy? How do you write one, and what should you include? What if you have limited teaching experience? This workshop will help you articulate your teaching philosophy in a concise, effective essay. We will discuss the statement’s purpose, different aspects of your teaching experiences that can be included, and best practices and strategies for composing the statement. This is a working webinar, requiring that you do some reflective writing in advance of the workshop, so that the workshop can include analysis of your brainstorming, group discussion, and feedback. Participants will leave with an outline of their statement, written components, and guidance to continue crafting it.  Register

March 2023

Tips and hints on elevating student engagement in the classroom. In this session participants will actively participate in discussion and observe student engagement examples they can implement within their classroom.

This is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments  Register

Why do you have a syllabus? Do your students even read the syllabus? In this session, you will discuss purposes for the syllabus and how you can use it to convey your clear and concise course design, as well as some strategies to actively engage your students in the syllabus. Using the Transparency In Learning and Teaching (TILT) framework, you will revise your grading and assignments section to guide your students from day one! Please have access to a digital or paper copy of your syllabus in the session.  Register

Faculty job postings regularly request a diversity statement in addition to teaching and research statements. These written essays from job applicants help search committees identify candidates who have the skills, experience, and/or willingness to engage in activities that enhance campus diversity, equity, and inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) efforts.

How do you approach writing a diversity statement? What should it say and what are search committees looking for? What can be included research, teaching, and service activities, or rather values, views and future goals? Or both? What if you feel you haven’t experienced any DEIJ situations personally? This workshop will guide you in exploring your personal experiences and help you determine what to emphasize and include in your statement. You will learn what aspects of faculty life contribute to an institution’s DEIJ mission, and how best to illustrate your personal commitment to DEIJ goals using facets of your own experiences.

This is a working webinar that requires you do some reflective writing in advance of the workshop. You DO have a story to tell. Learn how to write a diversity statement that stands out!  Register

April 2023

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption. Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada's research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments. Register


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.