This Week for Graduate Students: How well are you teaching? We can help you find out!

by | Feb 7, 2023

Get Feedback on Your Teaching: CTL Services

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. Trained graduate student Teaching Consultants visit your class, debrief with you, and provide you with a confidential report.

Completion of a CTL Teaching Observation or Mid-Course Review satisfies the Application and Practice requirement in the Teaching Development Program.

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.

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 March 24, 2023. Requests for MCRs will close on March 3, 2023.

Mid-course reviews and teaching observations count towards completion of CTL’s Teaching Development Program for graduate students.

Teaching and ChatGPT Forum: Next Week!

If you’ve heard the recent buzz about ChatGPT, a free, open-access tool that has received widespread media coverage, you’re likely thinking about how this tool fits into your classes and conversations with students. Or, you may be wondering how your Columbia colleagues are considering this tool in their classrooms. You’re not alone!

Please join us for a “Teaching and ChatGPT Forum,” where the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and campus partners will share resources and facilitate an informal conversation about AI tools and their implications in the classroom.

Date: Monday, February 13, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: Online

Essentials of Teaching and Learning Workshop Series 

The Essentials of Teaching and Learning workshop series offers new or developing graduate student instructors approaches to better facilitate student learning and improve teaching practices. Join us at these foundational workshops to deepen insights that you have started to develop at teaching orientations or in early teaching experiences. Sessions are listed below. Each live session is accompanied by a 20-minute module in Canvas to be completed in advance. Workshops are conducted in-person in Butler Library. 

Essentials workshops are a core requirement of the Foundational Track of CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) for graduate students.

  • Active Learning: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 10:10-11:40 am | Register
  • Assessment & Feedback: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 10:10-11:40 am | Register

CTLgrads Learning Communities

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 with 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. See upcoming sessions below.

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

Making Sense of the Classroom: Strategies of Sensory Teaching and Learning

In-Person Learning Community designed and run by Senior Lead Teaching Fellows Tomi Haxhi and Elaine Wilson (Slavic Languages)

  • Part 1: Thursday, February 9, 2023, 1:10 – 2:25 PM, 212 Butler Library | Register
  • Part 2: Thursday, February 16, 2023, 1:10 – 2:25 PM, 212 Butler Library  | Register

Upcoming Lead Teaching Fellow Event

The 45 2022-23 Lead Teaching Fellows are running workshops and discussions in departments all around Columbia. These are generally advertised locally. Below is an upcoming event that is open to participants beyond the LTF’s home department.

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

TA for all: Inclusive Teaching in STEM

The SEAS student body is one of the most diverse within Columbia. How can we make course materials, office hours, lectures, assignments and other learning tools more accessible and relevant to students? The goal for this workshop is to discuss how principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can be used to create more inclusive teaching practices. We will practice applying UDL principles to various tasks and scenarios that arise in our roles as TAs. Join us and come hungry because lunch is provided.

This event is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Tamara Gedankien (Biomedical Engineering). It is open to STEM students.

Date & Time: Thursday, Feb. 9th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: BME conference room (ET353)
Registration: RSVP here.

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 – 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 (