Workshops - Graduate Students

2018 Winter Graduate Student Workshops

The Teaching Assistant Consultants (TACs) offer certificate-bearing workshop series in the Fall, Winter, and Summer sessions. In addition, the TACs offer stand-alone workshops in the Spring and at the TA Orientation in September. Workshop topics include teaching with technology, student-centered learning, promoting inclusive learning environments, and many more.

Winter Series: The safe, sensible, shared classroom: Negotiating the labor of learning

Mitigating power dynamics in the classroom has been shown to effectively promote student learning (Freire 2000; hooks 1994; Weimer 2002). However, managing power dynamics - between students and instructors, Teaching Assistants and instructors, or amongst students - is a difficult task. This participatory workshop series presents an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars of all levels and disciplines to develop research-based techniques for negotiating the labor of learning among students, TAs and instructors. Participants will leave this series with strategies to promote a caring and safe learning environment, build collaborative relationships among teachers and learners, foster an ethical ambition to promote student learning in and out of the classroom, engage with a passionate and interdisciplinary learning community, and more.

The series consists of six (6) 2-hour workshops on Tuesdays from 4:10pm to 6pm beginning on January 16th and continuing through March 6th. Participants that attend 5 out of 6 workshops and complete an assignment will earn a certificate of participation.

Negotiating Power in the Classroom: Cultivating Student Voice and Choice

This workshop seeks to stimulate a conversation about power and learning in the vein of critical pedagogy trailblazers like Paulo Freire and bell hooks. We will discuss a wide spectrum of democratic and inclusive teaching practices, including establishing community working norms and student voting on course content and structure. Workshop participants are invited to share their own perspectives on and challenges of teaching and learning in classrooms where students have power.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, January 16th from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1

Contemplative Practice: How to Actively Reflect on your Teaching

Very often, teaching contexts require that instructors experiment with, and implement change. Importantly, reflection is necessary to understand why and how to implement change. In order to establish on-going, effective and productive reflection, this workshop will provide participants with an understanding of why reflection is important, how it can benefit teaching practices and how to engage with reflection consistently, and effectively. We will develop personalized plans for reflective practice which can be useful for course preparation, course teaching as well as for post-course reflection.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, January 23rd from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1

Empowering Students to Contribute: Technology in the Classroom

Speaking up in the classroom, regardless of the size, can be intimidating for many students. However, instructors can help promote and facilitate student participation by incorporating technology in the classroom. In this workshop, participants will explore some of the barriers to student participation and learn strategies to help mitigate their discomfort. Participants will also explore how technology can allow students to engage with course material from a new perspective, thereby empowering students to contribute to class discussion. Lastly, participants will be able to consider students’ comparative advantages in learning and how our choices as instructors can prevent or cultivate student participation.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, January 30th from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1

I get by with a little help from my friends: Empowering Self-Directed and peer-to-peer learning

The classic student-instructor relationship has its limitations. In particular, students may learn better if given the space and freedom to engage with course content on their own terms. It may also benefit student learning if students do this collaboratively. In this workshop, we explore ways in which students have choices over both what they’d like to learn and the ways in which they learn it. Along the way, we will highlight both theory and practical applications of how to promote self-guided and peer-to-peer learning that exploit students’ various talents and styles in learning.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, February 6th from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1

Conflict Resolution for Graduate Peer-to-Peer Collaboration

It is important for graduate students to develop strategies for successful collaboration, not just with advisors and PIs, but especially with graduate student peers. This workshop explores potential situations of conflict that may arise as graduate students engage in collaborative projects both related to teaching and research/service. We will explore conflict scenarios and apply conflict resolution strategies to enhance collaborative success among graduate students.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, February 27th from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1

The Diversity Statement: Communicating Experiences of Social Justice and Diversity in Higher Education

Employers are increasingly seeking evidence of an applicant’s capacity to understand the benefit of diverse working environments and ability to productively contribute to such an environment. Yet, it is oftentimes difficult to effectively communicate our experiences as diverse individuals in higher education, as well as our roles as instructors in advancing social justice in and out of the classroom. This workshop will help participants develop their job packet by learning to write an effective diversity statement. By doing so, participants will have an opportunity to explore their experiences in managing diversity in and out of the classroom, as well as consider the role they might play in advancing social justice in their career. By the end of the workshop, participants will have an outline of a diversity statement.

Date/Time/Location:
Tuesday, March 6th from 4:10 - 6:00pm
ARC Pavillon, Meeting Room #1