TA Orientation

2018 TA Orientation

2021 TAO Annoucement

Department assignments and agenda details will be made available mid-April. Please check back for additional information. 

TA Orientation

The next TA Orientation will take place in the fall quarter of 2021.

All TAs who have not yet attended the UC Davis TA Orientation are required to do so by the University of California Office of the President and UC Davis Graduate Studies, even if they have taught previously. This orientation is different and in addition to your department orientation. The goal of this requirement is to help graduate students develop as instructors and effectively teach our undergraduates. 

TA Orientation is designed to help graduate students succeed in their role as TAs at UC Davis by introducing them to the principles and practices of effective teaching. In-person sessions emphasize practical teaching skills and strategies, and include topics such as establishing a positive classroom atmosphere on the first day, leading effective discussions, presenting information clearly, and grading efficiently. Pre-registration is required. Registration is currently closed. 

 

The TA's Guide to Effective Teaching at UC Davis - download PDF

Image: TA Guide cover

Contact

If you have additional questions, please scroll to our FAQ's below. Still can't find an answer to your question? Email us at TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu.

TAO FAQ

Registration and Attendance

  • Why is TA Orientation required?
  • All TAs who have not yet attended the UC Davis TA Orientation (TAO) are required to do so by the University of California Office of the President and UC Davis Graduate Studies. This includes those with previous teaching experience. TA Orientation is designed to help graduate students succeed in their role as TAs at UC Davis by introducing them to the principles and practices of effective teaching, as well as providing UC Davis specific context. If you attended UC Davis for a prior graduate degree and attended TAO in the past, check with your department to determine whether they want you to attend again. 
  • How will my attendance be recorded?
  • We expect you to actively participate in all sessions, including by having your video on throughout and audio on when prompted. We will validate attendance using participation activities that you “submit” virtually at specifically designated times during each session.
  • Do I receive a certificate of completion?
  • The Center for Educational Effectiveness does not issue certificates for completing TA Orientation. All certified attendance records are sent to Graduate Coordinators and department heads. Please check with your department representative for verification; records are typically available in October.
  • I'm observing Yom Kippur. What are my options?
  • We are aware that Monday, September 28 is Yom Kippur. If your department is scheduled to attend TAO on Monday, September 28 and you cannot attend, please email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu for an accommodation. We will honor your religious observances by moving you to a Tuesday, September 29 session or to the makeup session to be held in October.
  • What if something came up and I can't attend the session I am registered for?
  • If something has come up and you are unable to attend the session that you are registered for, email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu as soon as possible. We may be able to move you to an alternative session.
  • What is the contact information for UAW 2865 (Union)?
  • If you have not completed one 30-minute union orientation with UAW, please sign up for a make-up session using this form. Please direct all questions regarding the form or UAW orientations to davis@uaw2865.org

    UAW 2865 Davis--Union Leadership

    davis@uaw2865.org

    UAW 2865 Davis Unit Chair--Deb Young

    deb@uaw2865.org

Accessibility

  • What if I have accessibility needs?
  • If you have accessibility needs that you did not indicate upon registration, please email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu so that we can work to accommodate you.
  • Will closed-captions be available?
  • We are exploring multiple technologies for closed-captions and plan to provide live closed-captions for all sessions.

Child Care

  • What if I have to provide child care during my assigned session?
  • We recognize that most K-12 schools are starting the year with a remote-only model. This may present additional challenges for parents.

    Ultimately, your attendance will be validated based on completing all required attendance activities at the designated times. We will not penalize you for having a child in the background. 

    If it would be more convenient for you to reschedule to a different session, please email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu as soon as possible. TAO sessions are offered Monday 9/28 or Tuesday 9/29 from 8:15 am - 2:35 PDT or 10:15 am - 4:35 PDT. We also have a very limited number of seats available in a Monday 9/28 late night session from 6:00 pm - 11:50 pm PDT.

Wellbeing

  • What if I need to take a break during a session?
  • We have built breaks into your TA Orientation day, including 10 minutes between each session and an extended lunch break. We encourage you to use these scheduled breaks to step away from the computer, get fresh air, move your body, eat, and take care of personal needs. 

    If you find you need to take a short break during a session, please send a private message via Zoom chat informing the facilitator. We do expect you to complete all required attendance activities at the designated times.

Tech Questions

  • What do I do if Zoom won't let me log in to a session?
  • Only “authenticated” users will be able to access sessions. This means you must be logged into Zoom using your UC Davis affiliated account. Therefore, the first step is to make sure you are logged into Zoom using your UC Davis email. The second step is to make sure that you have the correct link for the correct time. If you still have issues, please email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu as soon as possible.

  • What if I lose my Zoom link?
  • If you can’t find a Zoom link for a session, please first search your email inbox. If you still can’t find it, email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu with the subject line “Need Zoom Link.” Please include your name, student ID number, TAO session (i.e. Monday early, Monday late, Tuesday early, Tuesday late), and track (i.e. A group, B group).

  • What if my internet stops working (briefly) or my computer runs out of battery (temporarily) during TA Orientation?
  • If your internet cuts out (briefly) or your computer dies (temporarily), please log back on to your assigned session as soon as possible. Send a private chat message via Zoom chat to one of the facilitators and make sure that you did not miss an attendance activity.

  • What if my internet stops working (for an extended period of time) or my computer crashes (and won't restart) during TA Orientation?
  • If your internet stops working (for an extended period of time) or your computer crashes (and won’t restart), please email TAOrientation@ucdavis.edu as soon as possible. We may be able to move you to a later session. If we are not able to move you to a later session, you will need to register for and attend the makeup session in October.

  • What if my internet connection is slow or unstable?
  • To improve internet bandwidth, we encourage you to disconnect unnecessary devices from your wifi. You may also want to “plug in,” rather than use wifi. If your internet connection is still unstable, try turning off your video during large group sessions. This saves bandwidth and often eliminates freezing issues. It is polite to send a short private message to the facilitators informing them you are turning off your video for this reason.

  • What if I have issues with the on-campus wifi or VPN?
  • For campus wifi or VPN issues, we recommend contacting IT Express. For quickest response, utilize the phone or chat options: https://iet.ucdavis.edu/support

  • What if I am using a Google Chrome browser and am unable to submit my validation activities?
  • Students have been able to resolve issues with Canvas by switch from Google Chrome to a different browser.

  • What do I do if I see someone “Zoom-bombing” or sharing inappropriate content during a Zoom session?
  • The facilitators will be monitoring the session to ensure participants engage professionally and courteously. If someone “Zoom-bombs” or displays inappropriate content, they will be removed from the session. If you notice inappropriate content, please send a private “chat” message to one of the facilitators so they can remove the individual.