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GTA/IA Orientation

All graduate students who will be newly appointed Graduate Teaching or Instructional Assistants (GTA/IAs) are required to participate in the university-wide TA Orientation (TAO) prior to teaching their first semester. TA Orientation is an important part of the University’s Graduate TA/IA Training Program and will help to ensure your success as a TA at USC.

GTA/IA Orientation

All graduate teaching and instructional assistants who have any kind of instructional or teaching assistance responsibilities must participate in Graduate TA/IA Orientation, including GAs or GRAs who assist in any teaching role (grading, office hours, proctoring, etc.)  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. 

GTA/IA Orientations consist of four parts:

  • Part A is in-person and requires advance registration.
  • Part B is synchronous online (attend online virtually in Blackboard) and requires advance registration. 
  • Parts C & D include asynchronous online modules and can be done on your own at any time prior to the start of classes.  
Students can register and participate in the Part A & B components in any order, but must complete all four parts for successful completion of GTA/IA Orientation.


A GTA/IA Orientation Information Sheet will be provided to registrants with more detailed instructions regarding all 4 parts upon registration.

NOTE:  Deadline for Spring 2024 GTA/IA Orientation registration is Friday, December 29, 2023.  Advance registration is required for parts A & B.

Students must make every effort to attend Parts A and B on the date listed below. GTA/IAs cannot assume their teaching responsibilities without having completed the Orientation. Any student who misses GTA/IA Orientation must contact Michelle Hardee, GTA/IA Training Program Manager at hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-1975.

 Spring 2024 GTA/IA Orientations

 

Modality

Registration

Topics

Part A

In Person

Required

Being a GTA/IA at USC

Part B

Online Synchronous

Required

Concurrent Sessions – Experienced GTA/IA Panels

Part C

Asynchronous Online Modules

No

Policies and Campus Resources

Part D

Asynchronous Online Videos

No

GTA/IA Role Responsibilities

Spring 2024 Orientation Dates and Times

Date Thursday, January 4
Location

TBD

Part A
In Person
Advance Registration Required

9  - 12 noon
In Person

Part B
Online
Advance Registration Required

1 - 4 pm
Blackboard Collaborate
(link to be provided)

Workshop Components Descriptions

Part A

Being a GTA/IA at USC
In Person - Location TBD
REGISTRATION REQUIRED

  • USC policies (grading, attendance, etc.)
  • Pre-semester Checklist for new GTA/IAs, Responsibilities/Expectations of new GTA/IAs
  • Professionalism
  • Interacting with Students, Dealing with Disruptive Behavior
  • Networking / Meet & Greet

Part B

Concurrent Sessions:  Q&A with Veteran GTA Panels from Schools/Colleges
Synchronous Online
REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Online synchronous Q&A panel sessions in which experienced graduate TAs, IAs, and GAs provide guidance, recommendations, tips, etc. for new GTA/IAs and answer any questions they may have. Sessions are divided into general disciplinary groupings:  Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM.

Part C

Policies and Campus Resources
Asynchronous Online Modules 

  • Each topic includes a 10-20 minute video with quiz and resources – completion of all modules required
  • Content links hosted through the TA Orientation Blackboard Organization - access will be available after January 2, 2024.
  1. Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  2. Discrimination & Harassment
  3. Disability Services
  4. Student Health Services
  5. Academic Integrity
  6. Student Care and Outreach
  7. Law Enforcement and Safety
  8. The Graduate School Resources
  9. Center for Teaching Excellence Opportunities for Professional Development
Part D

GTA/IA Roles and Responsibilities
Asynchronous Online Videos

  • Requirements for Part D include watching two videos along with completion of the included reflection prompt. Each video (topics listed below) is approximately 15-20 minutes. 
  • Content links hosted through the TA Orientation Blackboard Organization - access will be available after January 2, 2024.
  • Graduate Directors, Department Chairs, and Professors of Record are recommended to advise their GTA/IAs as to which videos to watch.
Video Topics
  1. Basics of Lesson Planning for Any Kind of Class
  2. Blackboard Grading Workflow: How to Grade Efficiently in Blackboard
  3. Building Community in the First Week of Class
  4. For Experienced Instructors: Teaching Resources, Course Development and Planning Help
  5. Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate
  6. Getting Started with Blackboard Grade Center
  7. Grading Strategies and Recommendations
  8. How to Lead a Good Laboratory Section
  9. How to Lead a Good Discussion Session
  10. Ideas for Student Engagement and Active Learning
  11. TA'ing for Large Classes  F2F and Online
  12. Time Management, Stress Management, and Self-Care
  13. Using Blogs, Discussion Boards, and Wikis to Improve Student Engagement in Blackboard.

PLEASE NOTE  Regarding your registration, confirmation of registration will be by email within a week of registration receipt. If you have any questions or problems, please contact Michelle Hardee, GTA/IA Training Program Manager at hardeem@mailbox.sc.edu.

Register for Spring 2024 TA Orientation


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