This Week for Graduate Students: Lead Teaching Fellow Applications Due Today!

by | Apr 3, 2023

Campus Conversations: Teaching with AI Tools

The national and international discussions about generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT, have been developing at a rapid pace in recent months. While many conversations about these tools raise concerns about assignment design and academic integrity, there is also a strong consensus that AI presents higher education with an exciting opportunity to explore creative ways to leverage it as a tool in teaching and learning!

To help facilitate productive, generative conversations about the potential for AI tools in teaching and learning, the Center for Teaching and Learning is hosting a series of campus conversations. Please join us for any or all of these online discussions as your schedule allows!

Are humans still relevant!? Big questions for higher education and AI tools
Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Enhancing student learning with AI and ChatGPT
Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Assessment and assignment design with AI Tools
Date: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Sessions count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program

Last Day to Apply for 2023-24 Lead Teaching Fellows 

The Lead Teaching Fellowship is a paid professional development opportunity for doctoral and MFA students who are committed to advancing pedagogical practices and conversations among their peers. LTFs participate in a series of meetings at the CTL, organize teaching-related workshops in their home departments, and act as liaisons between their peers and the CTL.

This fellowship is available to doctoral students in all schools at Columbia University in years 2–7 in their program as of Fall 2023, as well as to MFA students in years 2–3 of their program in the School of the Arts. CTL will accept applications for 2023-24 LTFs through April 3.

Journal Club

Are you interested in learning about educational research? Join us for the last two sessions of CTLgrads Journal Club. We’ll be discussing more chapters from the recently published book Teaching Gradually: Practical Pedagogy for Graduate Students. CTLgrads Journal Club sessions are open to Columbia graduate students and postdocs, who are welcome to join us for individual sessions or for the whole series. Participants can join in-person in Butler 204 or online.

Journal Club sessions count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program

  • April 4, 2023, 2:40 PM – 3:55 PM | Register
  • April 18, 2023, 2:40 PM – 3:55 PM | Register

Advanced Topics in Teaching

Teaching Through Discussion

Preparing to teach a discussion-heavy course this fall? Discussion can take many forms, whether it’s asking students to synthesize conceptual knowledge, providing them with an opportunity to practice making arguments, or probing them for where they are in their learning, discussions serve a variety of pedagogical needs.

This CTL workshop will explore how to teach through discussion and use students’ contributions to gauge their understanding, curiosities, and challenges in the classroom and will focus on the following questions: How can we prioritize goals for a discussion? How can we make our expectations transparent to students and prepare them for discussion? And how can we assess whether or not our goals for discussion were met?

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Time: 10:10–11:40 AM
Location: Butler Library, Room 212

Upcoming Lead Teaching Fellow Events

The 45 2022-23 Lead Teaching Fellows are running workshops and discussions in departments all around Columbia. These are generally advertised locally. Below are upcoming events that are open to participants beyond the LTFs home departments.

LTF events count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program.

Grading for Growth in STEM

Have you ever received a grade that you felt didn’t reflect your performance in the course, how much you learned, or how much you’d grown in the class?  As an instructor, have you ever felt frustrated while grading with a rubric or grade breakdown that doesn’t objectively account for the improvements you see in your own students? Valuing growth not only helps us as instructors to acknowledge that our students come from different backgrounds and to reward improvement, but also encourages mastery of the material in our students. In Grading for Growth in STEM, we will discuss established ways for evaluating growth in our students, and workshop some of these strategies into our own syllabi and rubrics.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Jennifer Mead (Astronomy). It is open to all graduate students. 

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 5, 1:00–2:00 PM
Location: Pupin 1402
Registration: here

Oral History in the Humanities Classroom

Did you know that Columbia hosts one of the biggest Oral History Centers in the world? Hosted in collaboration with Professor and Curator Kimberly Springer, this event will introduce graduate instructors to the Oral History Archives at Columbia. We will learn the basics of oral history as a discipline and how to access Columbia’s collection, which includes an especially rich archive of arts and activism in NYC and the institutional history of Columbia University. We’ll learn how oral history can deepen student engagement and allow them to think more critically about their own research practices. Attendees will leave with concrete strategies for incorporating oral histories in a range of assessments and pedagogical contexts. Note: pizza will be served!

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Sophia Pedatella (English & Comparative Literature). It is open to all humanities graduate students. 

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 5, 1:00–2:00 PM
Location: 212 Butler
Registration: here 

Practice Teaching

As an educator, have you ever craved feedback? Are you curious about aspects of your pedagogical approach that could be improved or altered, but lack a means of objectively analyzing your own teaching style? If you answered yes to these questions, Practice Teaching might be the perfect resource for you.

Practice Teaching is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring teachers to, well, PRACTICE their craft in front of an audience of their peers. Developed directly from the CTL’s Microteaching format, PT differs slightly in application, but follows the same basic principles: It will take place in a safe and respectful space where four to five volunteers are given an opportunity to teach a topic of their choice for five minutes each, and then are evaluated by their peers.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Selden Cummings (School of the Arts). It is open to all graduate students. 

Date & Time: Thursday, March 30, 7:00 PM
Location: Dodge 413
Registration: email

Provost’s Conversation on Online Learning (PCoOL) Event

A Conversation with Joel Podolny: From Improving Content to Improving Engagement—20 Years of Lessons Learned

A central question during Joel’s tenure as Dean of the Yale School of Management and then Dean of Apple University was what makes one piece of learning content better than another—better at clarifying a particular point, prompting deeper reflection, or driving a desired change in someone’s behavior. Why is one fact, image, or story better than others that could have been chosen?

When COVID hit, these questions took on added importance and urgency as it became clear that the teacher was becoming decentered in the learning experience, as reflected, of course, in the term remote teaching. And a new question arose: how does one best create collective engagement around learning content when the teacher is not as front and center to drive it? Taken together, these questions ultimately helped shape the vision for the digital platform of the company that he leads today, Honor Education. In this conversation, Dr. Podolny will share the lessons he has learned over the past 20 years addressing these questions.

Date: Thursday, April 6
Time: 4:00–5:30 PM 
Location: Butler Library, Room 203

Consultations & Office Hours

The CTL provides graduate students and postdocs with consultations at all points in their teaching career. These include consultations on teaching statements, professional development, preparing for the job market, teaching online, and general teaching-related support. Request a consultation.

Office Hours
Live office hours for graduate students are being held each Friday from 2:00 PM–4:00 PM ET. Current Columbia graduate students seeking guidance on teaching approaches and tactics, preparing materials for teaching portfolios, or completing tracks in the Teaching Development Program are invited to drop in, no appointment necessary – in-person in 212 Butler or online via Zoom. Please contact for the Zoom link.