This Week for Graduate Students: Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium; LTF Workshops

by | Mar 8, 2021

Upcoming Events 

Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium

The Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching and Learning invite you to the annual Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium from March 15–17, 2021. The Symposium will showcase imaginative and effective teaching initiatives at Columbia during this unprecedented year, providing an opportunity for the Columbia teaching and learning community to learn from and inspire one another.

LTF Workshops

Events and discussions produced by CTL Lead Teaching Fellows run in dozens of departments across the university each semester. These following upcoming sessions are open to all graduate students.

The Art of Asking Questions

Questions are at the core of recitation sections, leading which is the primary teaching duty of graduate teaching assistant. Most conversations on the practice of discussion focus on the art of answering questions, rather than on that of asking them. This session, in contrast, will consider questions such as:

  1. What is a question, in the context of a seminar discussion? Does a remark that invites a discussion count as a question?
  2. What makes a question good?
  3. When should we ask a question? Are there moments in a discussion in which questions are preferable and if so, why?
  4. How are questions related to the goal of a certain discussion/conversation? Should they be the origin or the end of a discussion?

This event is open to participants from all departments and fields and is led by Martina Botti, Lead Teaching Fellow in the Philosophy Department.

Date: Monday, March 8
Time: 3:00 PM–4:00 PM
Registration: Email Martina Botti at


Never Grade Again: Rethinking Assessment and Grading Systems

Have you ever struggled to determine why you gave a certain grade to a student? This workshop will consider the the value of grades and the pitfalls of quantifying learning with a traditional grading system. In addition to problematizing letter grades, we will discuss alternate ways to assess student performance and more effective forms of feedback. We will also consider how different types of assessment can lead to a more equitable classroom which considers the progress of each individual student. Attendees can expect to leave the workshop with some new ideas about how to evaluate their students efforts and some helpful resources to work within the university’s grading policies.

This event is open to participants from all departments and fields and is led by Andy Wyatt, Lead Teaching Fellow in the Italian Department.

Date: Tuesday, March 9
Time: 11:00 AM–12:15 PM
Registration: Email Andy Wyatt at

Next week

Visual Design for Instructors

Although visual aids and handouts have always been a part of an instructor’s toolbox, with online learning we are relying on slideshows and other supplementary visual material more than ever. From typography to color theory, decisions about how to organize text and images within a set space can have a dramatic impact on student engagement and understanding. This workshop is open to instructors of any subject interested in learning more about principles of design and typography to improve visual aids used in the classroom. Participants are invited to bring in samples of their own materials for the group to workshop, and all participants will leave the workshop with tools they can immediately apply to their own materials.

This event is open to participants from all departments and fields and is led by Skye Savage, Lead Teaching Fellow in the Department of Germanic Languages. Contact Skye with any questions or comments at

Date: Friday, March 19
Time: 1:00 PM–2:15 PM
RegistrationSign up here