This Week for Graduate Students: Get Feedback on Your Teaching: CTL Services

by | Feb 14, 2024

If you’re a current instructor or TA, the CTL offers free services that can give you valuable insight on your teaching strengths and paths for improvement.

Completion of a CTL service satisfies the Application and Practice requirement of the Teaching Development Program.

Practice Teaching (Microteaching)
Practice Teaching (formerly known as Microteaching) sessions are gatherings of 3-4 participants and a facilitator. Participants take turns delivering short samples of instruction to each other, and offering each other structured feedback. This feedback focuses on organization, clarity, engagement of learners, and any other specific aspect of teaching that the instructor would like feedback on. These sessions are a good way to rehearse teaching practices and get direct feedback and support, whether or not you are currently teaching.

Upcoming sessions:
Tuesday, March 26, 1:00-3:00pm (online)
Friday, April 19, 12:00-2:00pm (in-person)

Mid-Course Review
In an MCR, a Teaching Consultant gathers feedback from your students about what they find to be helpful and challenging when learning in your section or course. The Consultant then meets with you to unpack what your students have said. Doing an MCR now can help you make adjustments and improve your students’ experience for the rest of the semester.

To arrange for an MCR, submit a request at least two weeks prior to the date when you would like a Teaching Consultant to visit your class. All MCRs must be completed by Friday, March 8. Requests for MCRs will close on Friday, February 23, 2024

Teaching Observation
In a Teaching Observation, a Teaching Consultant meets with you ahead of time to understand your goals for a class session, attends the session to observe your instruction and student activities, and debriefs with you afterwards. You will receive a confidential report considering how the goals you have set for the class have been met, suggesting future adjustments, and highlighting pertinent resources available to you.

To arrange for a teaching observation, submit a request at least two weeks prior to the date when you would like a Teaching Consultant to visit your class.

CTLgrads Learning Community: Teaching Across Disciplines

CTLgrads Learning Communities are interdisciplinary conversations about teaching and learning topics, designed and co-facilitated by CTL Senior Lead Teaching Fellows and other select graduate students. By participating in these discussions of the teaching literature with other graduate student instructors, you will develop new frameworks to innovate your teaching and connect to a network of interdisciplinary colleagues focused on pedagogy at Columbia. Since they are planned as sequential conversations, we encourage you to register for all sessions of a given Learning Community. Join us for an upcoming Learning Community:

Teaching Across Disciplines: What Can the Grammarian, the Artist, the Historian, and the Scientist Learn from Each Other?

In-Person Learning Community designed and run by Senior Lead Teaching Fellows Jilian Pizzi (Italian) and McKenzie Sup (Biomedical Engineering)

  • Part 1: Tuesday, February 20, 2024 4:10–5:25pm, 212 Butler Library | Register
  • Part 2: Tuesday, February 27, 2024 4:10–5:25pm, 212 Butler Library | Register

CTLgrads Learning Communities count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) for graduate students.

Showcase Your Teaching Development – TDP Advanced Track

The Teaching Development Program (TDP), offers doctoral and MFA students a means to document and articulate their teaching development at Columbia. Completion of a track in the TDP is certified by the CTL and noted on transcripts in Arts and Sciences, SEAS, the School of the Arts, Mailman School of Public Health, School of Social Work, and the School of Nursing. 

Students currently on the Advanced Track of the TDP or who are looking to switch to the Advanced Track this semester are invited to join us for this event. In particular, we welcome to this info session: 

  • Participants who recently switched to the TDP’s Advanced Track who are interested in discussing tips for making progress
  • Participants who are looking to learn about or work toward the e-portfolio capstone assignment
  • Participants on the Advanced Track who want to work with the CTL and peers to map out strategies for track completion

Date: Friday, February 16
Time: 1:00–2:00pm
Location: 212 Butler Library 

Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar: Applications Open Next Week!

Learning spaces and the bodies that inhabit them exert powerful influences on learning. How can instructors make intentional interventions to their pedagogical practices, classrooms, and syllabi to better address the physical context of learning? This novel seminar from CTL will help participants explore embodied cognition, sensory learning, and relationships between physical health, pedagogical context, and learning outcomes.

The Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar will meet in-person in 212 Butler Library from 10:10am–12:00pm on the following Mondays: March 25, April 1, April 8, April 15, and April 22. Due to space constraints, participation in this seminar is by application only. Applications for the Spring 2024 run will be accepted February 19–March 4. Contact with any questions.

This seminar counts towards completion of the Advanced Track of CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) for graduate students.

Office Hours

Live office hours for graduate students are running during the Spring 2024 semester on Fridays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET. Drop by 212 Butler or join our Zoom room to consult with us about teaching practices, CTL fellowships and other offerings, job market preparation, or making progress in the Teaching Development Program. To join office hours via Zoom, email for the link.