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TA Workshops & Professional Development Programs


for UCSB Graduate Students, Fall 2021

Our TA Development Program workshops are desinged to be interactive, fun, and model research-based teaching practices.

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Pillars of Teaching Assistantship workshop series

Specialty workshops (for Experienced and novice TAs)


Pillars of Teaching Assistantship Workshop Series

(Registration link below)

Instructional Development’s “Pillars of Teaching Assistantship” workshop series and certificate is designed to provide TAs with a comprehensive, research-based foundation for teaching in the role of TA. TAs will earn a Pillars certificate after completing all six workshops and their brief pre- and post- workshop activities.


Pillar 1: Creating Supportive Learning Environments

Fostering Belonging and Community in the Classroom 


Fri, Oct. 1, 2-3:15pm, Zoom 

Tues, Nov. 9, 2-3:15 pm,  Kerr Hall 1128

Come learn about the diversity of UCSB’s undergraduate students and how to support them from a perspective of inclusivity. In this workshop, you will explore communication and classroom strategies that promote community, and reflect on how your life experiences affect your interactions with undergraduates. 


Pillar 2: Engaging Students in their Learning  


2A.  Active learning: What, why and how?


Tue, Oct 12, 2-3:15pm, Zoom

Fri, Nov 5, 10-11:15am, Arts 1332


Students learn better when they are actively participating in the learning process rather than passively listening. In this workshop, you will differentiate between active learning and passive listening, identify elements that foster active learning, and apply a variety of instructional methods.  


2B.  Creating Engaging Lessons


Tue Oct 19, 2-3:15pm, Zoom

Fri, Nov 12, 10am-11:15am, Arts 1332


Creating lessons is essential, but how can we ensure those lessons are engaging for our students? In this workshop, you will use learning objective taxonomies and a lesson planning framework to design active, student-centered classes.


Pillar 3: Assessing Student Learning


3A. Effective Questioning and Classroom Assessment Techniques


Wed, Oct 20, 2-3pm, Kerr Hall 1128

Fri, Nov 12, 2-3:30pm, Zoom


Much of a TA’s role during section is to formulate generative questions, structure activities that check student understanding, and give effective feedback. In this workshop, you will explore several classroom-based assessment and questioning techniques that are based on the principles of giving effective feedback.



3B.  Designing and Grading Assessments


Wed, Oct 27, 2-3:30pm, Kerr Hall 1128  

Fri, Nov 19, 2-3:30pm, Zoom


TAs are responsible for creating, implementing, and evaluating assessments. But what makes a good assessment? How can we use assessment to support learning? And what are some reasonable ways to grade student work? In this workshop, you will use principles from evidence-centered design to make assessments more focused and impactful, and help you with practical grading strategies. 


Pillar 4: TA Professional Growth and Development

Improving Teaching through Feedback and Reflection 


Mon, Nov 1, 9-10:15 am Arts 1332

Tues, Nov 23, 10-11:15 am Zoom


How well are your teaching strategies working?  How can you get useful, real-time feedback on your teaching?  How will you respond when students have widely different perceptions of your teaching?  In this workshop, you will evaluate different ways of reflecting on your teaching that help you grow as a TA. 

<Register for Pillars Workshops Here>


Specialty Workshops


(Registration links below)

Using Nectir to Create an Engaging and Dynamic Classroom Environment

Facilitator: Kavitta from the Nectir Team

Tues, Sept 28, 12-1pm RSVP on the Nectir Workshops site

Nectir is UCSB's officially licensed backchannel chat tool. Join us for a virtual workshop where we'll showcase the best methods that instructors and TA's have used to engage their students using Nectir. From taking attendance to creating a deeper bond with your students, you'll leave knowing exactly how to personalize your Nectir channel to achieve the learning outcomes you want. We will also cover any new features within Nectir and how to use them. If you need any technical help, stick around for the Q&A at the end.


Teaching Quantitative Concepts

Mon, Oct 4, 11am-12pm, Arts 1332

 Students often find quantitative concepts difficult to understand and may respond by disengaging in the course. In this workshop, we will explore barriers to quantitative thinking and learn strategies that can be used to help students overcome those challenges.


Grading student writing 

Wed, Oct 13, 10-11:15 am, Zoom

Is it possible to grade and respond to writing and still have a life? This workshop will explore current theory and practice for responding to and grading writing effectively so that students develop as writers and you retain your sanity. This workshop is designed for those who will be working with student writing this year—preferably fall quarter.


Preparing Your CCUT Portfolio

Wed, Oct 13, 3-4pm, Zoom


The session will provide tips on writing the CCUT teaching portfolio, including ways of presenting teaching materials, documenting student ratings, meeting the technology requirement, tone of the portfolio narration, and more. Participants need to have completed at least two of the CCUT requirements. Please note that if you are completing your doctorate degree in Winter Quarter, the final date that you may submit your CCUT portfolio is Friday Dec 10th


Crafting your Teaching Philosophy Statement

Mon, Oct. 25, 2-3pm, Zoom 


Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement can be a challenge, and is required for most teaching positions.  At the same time, examining and articulating your teaching philosophy can help you to become a more effective instructor.  As a participant in this workshop, you will work through a series of exercises to help you reflect on your teaching, and by workshop end you will have a draft outline of your teaching philosophy statement.


Cool Tools for Communication and Collaboration

Mon, Nov 8, 3-4:15pm, Zoom

Educational technology tools change quickly, and UCSB licenses new tools for teaching and learning every year. This workshop demos a variety of apps and add-ons that streamline communication and collaboration in and out of the classroom.


Instructional Design for Effective Learning

Wed Nov 17, 4-5:15pm, Kerr Hall 1128 

Part of your responsibility as a TA is to provide material to your students in a way that can benefit their learning. However, this can be more difficult than it seems. This workshop will provide you with the fundamental principles that guide learning and demonstrate how we can use those principles to create effective learning material.


International TAs: Communicating and Interacting with Your Students

Mon, Nov. 29, 12-1pm (Location TBD)


In this workshop international graduate student TAs will discuss their responsibilities and role in undergraduate courses at UCSB. We will compare schooling in their home country and UCSB as a backdrop for determining appropriate ways to facilitate section and grade student work. We will also practice teaching strategies that support appropriate communication and interaction with UCSB students during class.


Strategies for a successful first day of Winter quarter

Wed, Dec. 1, 10-11:15 am, Zoom

This workshop will help you arrive at your first class prepared to set the tone and expectations for the quarter. We will discuss ideas for the first day of class and strategies for structuring your section to make it an engaging, student-centered learning environment. 
<Register for Specialty Workshops Here>





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consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
TBD ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall


Laurel Shaddixoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
faxfax: 805-893-5915