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

by | Oct 2, 2023

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 service satisfies the Application and Practice requirement in 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 October 27, 2023. Requests for MCRs will close on October 13, 2023. 

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.

Microteaching Practice
Want to practice a new in-class activity or just get some more practice before teaching in your classroom? Join peers in a Microteaching Practice session where you will divide into groups of 3-4 with a facilitator and take turns delivering short samples of instruction to each other. After each teaching sample, your facilitator and your peers will offer structured feedback to support your teaching. Whether or not you are currently teaching at Columbia or not, you are welcome to attend Microteaching Practice sessions. 

Upcoming sessions:
Tuesday, October 10, 10:10am-12:10pm
Friday, November 10, 1:10pm-3:00pm

Showcase Your Teaching Development: TDP Advanced Track Info Session

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, Columbia School of Social Work, the School of Nursing, and the Journalism School. 

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 on Friday, October 6, 12:00-1:00pm. In particular, we welcome to this 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 as part of the TDPods & TDParty co-working and peer feedback programs

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

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

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)
Register: Contact Bonnie Siegler at