This Week for Graduate Students: CTL Support for First Week of Class

by | Aug 31, 2020

Prepare for Fall 2020: Orientation to Teaching, New Course for Online TAs


Fall 2020 Teaching Orientation for Graduate Students

CTL offers graduate student instructors orientations to learn about practical, evidence-based strategies that they can implement on the first day of class. These orientations help supplement department-based orientations and trainings. CTL orientations are open to all new teaching assistants, teaching fellows, and graduate students in an instructor role.

Due to the unique circumstances of the Fall 2020 semester, CTL has moved its orientation online. Orientation consists of a series of five self-paced modules.

In addition to these on-demand modules, we are also offering 90-minute debrief sessions with CTL staff in late August and early September. These live sessions will offer opportunities to discuss module highlights, get individual feedback on policy sheets or first day of class plans, and engage in Q&A.

New Online Course: Supporting Hybrid & Online Learning and Teaching

The CTL has launched Supporting Hybrid & Online Learning & Teaching (SHOLT), a self-paced CourseWorks course designed to help Columbia graduate student TAs and other instructors in support roles develop effective teaching practices in online and hybrid courses for Fall 2020 and beyond. SHOLT is an asynchronous resource, with four modules that can be taken at any time. Each module takes approximately one hour.

This course offers strategies and recommendations for supporting student learning in online courses. It provides familiarity with concepts for effective teaching in this context, and gives access to a wide range of tools and approaches that can be applied to particular TA assignments, such as leading an online discussion section, supporting a large lecture class, or running online office hours.

Additional Support for Graduate Students

For further guidance, there are several ways for graduate students to reach out: visit Office Hours via Zoom, request a one-on-one consultation, request a teaching observation, or email us at