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Supporting Hybrid & Online Learning and Teaching

Supporting Hybrid & Online Learning & Teaching (SHOLT) is a self-paced course designed to help Columbia graduate student instructors in support roles develop effective teaching practices in online and hybrid courses.


Who is SHOLT open to?

SHOLT is open to all graduate students who have Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow appointments for online or hybrid courses, are otherwise supporting such courses, or are preparing for future online TA assignments.

New TAs and graduate students new to teaching should complete the on-demand modules in CTL’s Orientation to Teaching for Graduate Students before enrolling in SHOLT.

Core preceptors and other graduate student instructors of record are invited to enroll in CTL’s Hybrid & Online Teaching Institute instead of SHOLT, since SHOLT focuses on TA roles and responsibilities.


How long does it take?

SHOLT is an asynchronous resource, with four modules that can be taken at any time. Each module takes approximately one hour.


Program Description

This short online course will help graduate students prepare for online Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow assignments. By engaging in the modules and activities of SHOLT, participants will learn about proven strategies for supporting student learning in online courses, and consider application of these strategies to teaching contexts specific to TAs, such as leading a discussion section, supporting a large lecture course, or running virtual online office hours.

Participants completing the course will be able to:

  • Identify the elements of effective online teaching and learning
  • Explain a TA’s role on a teaching team to their students
  • Implement strategies to create an online presence and co-construct a positive, inclusive learning community with students
  • Identify tools and strategies they can use to implement active, collaborative learning online
  • Implement effective strategies to assess student learning online


Module 1: Teaching Online on a Team 
An introduction to effective teaching online, with consideration of how a TA coordinates with a team (course instructor, any other TAs supporting the course, etc.) in order to clarify roles and provide a supportive learning environment to students.

Module 2: Welcoming Students to Online Learning and Creating Community
Ways that TAs can incorporate learner-centered and inclusive practices into online teaching contexts. Includes tactics for welcoming students to the online environment, establishing teaching presence, building community, and planning for student-student interaction. 

Module 3: Engaging Students in Active and Collaborative Learning Online 
Approaches for supporting active learning online as a TA, helping learners to engage with information and reflect on what they learn individually and collaboratively. Covers strategies that can be implemented in lecture-based, discussion-based, and lab/studio-based contexts.

Module 4: Assessing Student Learning Online
An introduction to effective strategies for assessing student learning in online or hybrid contexts. Considers ways that assessments, academic integrity, and a TA’s role in providing feedback may differ from face-to-face instruction.

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.