This Week for Graduate Students: Request a Mid-Course Review by Friday!

by | Feb 20, 2024

Get Feedback on Your Teaching: CTL Services

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

Please note that the window for requesting a Mid-Course Review closes this week!

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

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 this 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.

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)

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.

Leveraging Learning Spaces Seminar:
Applications Now Open! 

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 are being 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.

Info Session: Introduction to CTL Fellowships for Grad Students

Are you looking for ways to extend your pedagogical development? Would you like to be more involved with the Center for Teaching and Learning? Join the CTL’s Graduate Student Programs and Services team to learn more about paid fellowship opportunities at the CTL that provide Columbia doctoral students (and in some cases, MFA students at SOA) with sustained professional development experience.

This information session is one of two that will be offered in Spring 2024 and will focus on the following opportunities:

In this session, CTL staff will review all fellowship opportunities available to graduate students. They will then be joined by current and past fellows in each of the above programs to share the expectations, development opportunities, and timelines for applying to each fellowship. At the end of the session, participants will be invited to ask questions in an interactive Q&A.

Date: Friday, March 1, 2024
Time: 1:00–2:00pm
Location: 212 Butler Library

CTLgrads Journal Club

Are you interested in creating an inclusive educational climate for all STEM learners? Join us for the CTLgrads Journal Club. This informal discussion community is an opportunity to discuss resources and research on teaching and learning with fellow grad students and postdocs. Each session will help you consider how you can use findings in education research—in your field and beyond—to inform your own teaching practices.

This semester, the CTLgrads Journal Club is open to graduate students and postdocs across the CIRTL Network. While we encourage participants to attend multiple Journal Club sessions in order to build community with others interested in findings and implications of education research, we welcome visitors to individual sessions. Sessions are being facilitated by CIRTL Fellows and will run online via Zoom

  • Friday, March 1, 10:00–11:00am ET | Register
  • Friday, March 22, 10:00–11:00am ET | Register
  • Friday, April 12, 10:00–11:00am ET | Register

Office Hours

Live office hours for graduate students are running during the Spring 2024 semester on Fridays from 2:00–4:00pm 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.