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Support for GSAS Teaching Scholars

The GSAS Teaching Scholars program is an important opportunity for doctoral students at advanced stages of their programs in Arts and Sciences departments to design and teach an undergraduate course in the area of their expertise. This opportunity is limited and competitive, but even going through the application process is a valuable professional development opportunity, affording you a chance to create materials and prepare to represent your teaching interests on the academic job market.

CTL offers a number of programs and resources to help Teaching Scholars applicants design compelling courses to propose. We also offer custom programs and services for appointed Teaching Scholars, designed to help them get the most out of this teaching opportunity.

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Support for Teaching Scholars applicants

As you prepare your Teaching Scholars application, CTL offers a range of live and on-demand support for you.

Live programming

Syllabus from Scratch | An original syllabus is a key component of the Teaching Scholars application. Whether you are creating one for the first time or working to improve a draft you’ve already started, CTL’s Syllabus from Scratch workshops can help you create a syllabus centered on defined course learning goals and clear assessments of student learning in your course. These workshops run periodically during the year and are offered ahead of Teaching Scholar application periods. Check for upcoming sessions

Innovative Course Design Seminar | The Innovative Course Design Seminar allows participants to explore evidence-based, inclusive, and online instructional design practices and apply these concepts to create a compelling, learner-centered syllabus. Learn more and check for upcoming runs of this seminar.

In-person help

Consultations | The CTL graduate student support team offers one-on-one consultations that can help you develop your teaching and, more specifically, work through questions or thoughts you may have about the Teaching Scholars course you’re designing, ranging from syllabus to lesson planning. Request a consultation

On-demand resources

Orientation to Teaching | CTL teaching orientation modules are online and accessible anytime. While some materials pertain to being a TA, Teaching Scholars applicants will find useful guidance here for establishing an inclusive tone with students, drafting policies, creating plans for initial class sessions, and connecting to student support offices and other campus resources. Access Orientation modules 

Learning Objectives Generator | Are you wrestling with coming up with clear learning objectives for your potential students? Our Learning Objectives Generator is a self-paced 20 minute module that takes you through the steps of creating compelling and measurable learning objectives — on a course, unit, or individual assignment level. Access the Learning Objectives Generator

Essentials of Teaching and Learning Modules | Each semester CTL runs its four-session Essentials of Teaching and Learning workshop series covering the following foundational topics:  Inclusive Teaching, Defining Learning Objectives, Active Learning, and Assessment and Grading. A module with guidance and examples accompanies each session. As you design your Teaching Scholars course, we encourage you to browse these modules. Access Essentials modules

CTL Teaching Resources | CTL has published a number of guides for Columbia faculty and instructors of record.  These guides are available to you anytime and cover topics that include Accessibility in Teaching and Learning, Anti-Racist Pedagogy, Blended Learning, The Case Method, Inclusive Teaching, Metacognition, and DIY Video Creation. Access these and other CTL Teaching Resources

Support for Teaching Scholars

In addition to the above resources, CTL offers custom support to appointed Teaching Scholars, in order to help you make the most of the experience. Our programs connect you with peers and modes of reflection that can help you understand your growth as a teacher – and articulate this growth to future employers.

Observation programs

Teaching Scholars Peer Observation Program | Each semester CTL runs a special Peer Observation Program (POP) for currently teaching Teaching Scholars. POP participants pair up with another Teaching Scholar to visit one another’s classes and informally debrief. This program helps you build a supportive partnership in the Teaching Scholars program, extending your teaching experience into collegiality and mutual discovery. Invitations to participate in POP are extended to every appointed Teaching Scholar. If you have questions about the Peer Observation Program, email CTLgrads@columbia.edu.

CTL Teaching Observations | You are especially encouraged to request a free classroom observation from CTL while you’re a Teaching Scholar, in order to help you better understand your teaching strengths and identify areas for improvement. CTL observations are confidential and performed by trained graduate student Teaching Consultants – who check in with you ahead of time to understand the context of the class they’ll be observing, sit in your class unobtrusively, debrief with you afterwards, and deliver to you a confidential report. Request a CTL Teaching Observation

CTL Mid-Course Reviews | We also train graduate student Teaching Consultants to run Mid-Course Reviews. When you request an MCR, the Teaching Consultant interviews your students for 20 minutes and then delivers to you anonymized feedback from them about what is helping them to learn in your class, and what is getting in the way. An MCR is especially good to do on the early side of a course, while there is plenty of time to make adjustments that will be welcome to your students. Request a Mid-Course Review

Building a portfolio

Teaching Development Program | The Teaching Scholars program is a unique opportunity to cultivate the reflection and evidence of student learning that make for compelling teaching statements and portfolios. If you are not already registered for CTL’s Teaching Development Program, we encourage you to join the TDP now and start capturing your insights as you develop pedagogical practices and priorities. Completion of TDP tracks (Foundational or Advanced) earns certification from CTL and is noted on transcripts. Participants on the Advanced Track of the TDP also create compelling digital teaching portfolios that can be shared selectively or widely. Learn more about the Teaching Development Program

The CTL is here for graduate students.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.