This Week for Graduate Students: Mid-Course Reviews and Journal Club

by | Oct 11, 2023

Mid-Course Reviews: Request by Friday!

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 October 27, 2023. Requests for MCRs will close on October 13, 2023. 

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. Journal Club sessions are facilitated by CIRTL Fellows.

The CTLgrads Journal Club is open to current Columbia graduate students and postdocs. While we encourage participants to attend multiple Journal Club in order to build community with others interested in findings and implications of education research, we welcome visitors to individual sessions. In Fall 2023 Journal Clubs will run online via Zoom. Readings will be distributed to registrants one week prior to the session. 

  • Journal Club – Monday, October 16, 11:40am–12:55pm | Register
  • Journal Club – Tuesday, November 14, 11:40am–12:55pm | Register
  • Journal Club – Thursday, December 7, 11:40am–12:55pm | 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 to a network of interdisciplinary colleagues focused on pedagogy at Columbia. 

Learning Communities count for the Pedagogy Workshop requirement in the Teaching Development Program.  

Upcoming Learning Community:

Structuring Support: Leveraging Scaffolded Assessments to Promote Student Learning

In-Person Learning Community designed and run by Senior Lead Teaching Fellows Ana DiGiovanni (Psychology) and Anya Wilkening (Music)

  • Part 1: Thursday, October 12, 2:40–3:55pm, 212 Butler Library | Register
  • Part 2: Thursday, October 19, 2:40–3:55pm, 212 Butler Library | Register

Fall 2023 Teachers’ Lounges: Teaching with AI

Teachers’ Lounges are a series of informal discussions about teaching practices and the culture of learning at Columbia. In 2023-24 Teachers’ Lounge is hosting informal conversations about leveraging AI in teaching. We hope these conversations will complement initial considerations of this technology with a spirit of collective exploration and play. We’ll be trying out specific tools, brainstorming about their possible use in assignments, and hearing from instructors who are experimenting with the use of AI in Columbia classrooms. A light lunch will be available to registered participants.

Teaching with AI: Exploring Tools
October 12, 12:10–1:25 pm, 212 Butler Library | Register

Teaching with AI: Notes from the Frontline
November 9, 12:10–1:25 pm, 212 Butler Library | Register

Upcoming Lead Teaching Fellow Events

The 41 2023-24 Lead Teaching Fellows are running workshops and discussions in departments all around Columbia. These are generally advertised locally. Below are upcoming events that are open to participants beyond the LTFs home departments. 

Read more about the LTF program here, connect to an LTF in your department via the LTF directory, and discover more upcoming LTFs events on the LTF calendar.

LTF events count towards track completion in the Teaching Development Program

The Fun Factor: Turning Teaching into a Joyful Journey

Please join us for a workshop for graduate teaching assistants focusing on making teaching fun and enjoying your time as a TA. If teaching is part of your job and it can be fun, shouldn’t you enjoy it? Plus, making sections fun for students is going to support their learning. We will discuss how to develop a personal theory of joyful teaching that feels authentic to the teacher. We will go over some tips for how to make sections fun and revitalize our relationships with teaching. We will then practice applying these strategies and plan how to incorporate some of them into our own work.

This workshop is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Bonnie Siegler (Sociology), and is open to all graduate students.

Date: Friday, October 13
Time: 1:30-3:30pm
Location: 208 Butler Library (Hybrid format – contact Bonnie for Zoom info)
Register: Contact Bonnie Siegler at

Teaching with a Supervisor: Best Practices for Humanities TAs and Graduate Instructors

This is a discussion-based event about graduate students’ experiences working with professors as TAs and with language coordinators as instructors of records, primarily in language and humanities departments. Its purpose is to trade experiences of how much freedom the graduate students were given in the classroom, what the grading and teaching expectations were, the kinds of feedback graduate students have received, and other aspects of this dynamic. The aim of this event is develop a list of best practices for these working relationships and begin a more formal dialogue among graduate students around these relationships, a dialogue that can be continued with faculty members.

This workshop is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Venya Gushchin (Slavic Languages & Literatures), and is primarily geared towards graduate instructors in language departments and other humanities.

Date: Tuesday, October 17
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Hamilton 713
Register: here

Self-Reflection and Your Theory of Practice

“For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Self-reflection offers educators inquiry into their practice of teaching. Teachers who critically observe their own teaching and learning build a discipline towards effective praxis. In this workshop, we will explore who we are as teachers and build our theory of teaching. Together, we will examine classroom scenarios and problem-solve together the most ethical and caring response to challenging situations. When we consider our full self—our experiences, identities, and passions—it holds space for a genuine and sustainable teaching practice. Teaching can oftentimes feel like a performance of expectations. Yet, it is an opportunity for transformative moments for both educator and student to engage in knowledge and learning as a community.

This workshop is led by Lead Teaching Fellow Eunsun Wang (Poetry, School of Arts), and is open to all graduate students.

Date: Wednesday, October 18
Time: 2:00-3:00pm
Location: 212 Butler Library 
Register: here