2020 TA Institute

The TA Institute takes place from January 13 – 16 on the UBC Vancouver campus and is open to any graduate student who is interested in teaching or TAing. This year, the TA Institute will focus on five different themes. Register for sessions below:
Schedule of Events (PDF)

Even in the sciences?: Bringing an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to multiple learning environments as a UBC teaching assistant

Monday, Jan. 13 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEME: INCLUSIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING

Questions of equity, diversity and inclusion often come up in the work of Teaching Assistants regardless of discipline, but there are few opportunities to discuss these questions in depth with instructors and other TAs. This session focuses on the opportunities that all TAs (yes, even in the Sciences!) have to help create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for diverse students, as well as constraints that they might encounter and how to address them.

Facilitators:

Kaylee Byers, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC
Natasha Fox, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography, UBC
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Power, Consent, and Safety: Preventing and Responding to Sexualized Violence

Monday, Jan. 13 | 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: INCLUSIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING; TEACHING CAREER PREPARATIONS

January is Sexual Assault Awareness Month at UBC! Presented by UBC’S Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO), this workshop will provide information about UBC’s systems for preventing and responding to sexualized violence, explore risk factors and vulnerabilities experienced by TAs, and provide training on responding to disclosures and navigating power dynamics to reduce risk. Participants will explore the implications of the power dynamics TAs experience and practice a spectrum of prevention and response techniques.

Facilitators:

Sasha Wiley-Shaw, Faculty and Staff Educator, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO), UBC
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Leading discussions with students… When should I? How should I?

Monday, Jan. 13 | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS; INTERDISCIPLINARY AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

As TAs, we want to contribute to, and enhance, active and engaged learning for students. One of the strategies we might consider is the use of discussions in the classroom. However, sometimes introducing and leading discussions in the classroom can be daunting and fraught with uncertainty. Other times, we may question the value of discussions for student learning. This workshop will provide strategies to run discussions successfully in the classroom.

Facilitators:

Andrea Johnson, PhD Candidate, School of Social Work, UBC
Cassandra Elphinstone, PhD Candidate, Department of Botany, UBC
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TA’ing a Community Engaged Learning course: exploring the roles, tension points and opportunities for professional development

Tuesday, Jan. 14 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TRANSFORMATIVE GROWTH IN LEARNING; INTERDISCIPLINARY AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

In this session we will introduce community engaged learning (CEL) as a growing teaching strategy here at UBC. We discuss what community engaged learning is, its principles, and the role of TAs in relation to instructor(s), student(s) and community partners/stakeholders. We will explore the complexities, richness and challenges of these roles, and through discussion, activities and roleplay, we will enhance participants’ understanding of and skills that TAs can apply in community engaged courses.

Facilitators:

Kyle Nelson, Community Engaged Learning Officer, Centre for Community Engaged Learning, UBC
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Designing High-Impact Learning Experiences

Tuesday, Jan. 14 | 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: INCLUSIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING; INTERDISCIPLINARY AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

The experiential learning cycle (Kolb 1984) describes the process through which we learn from our experiences. In our roles as TAs and graduate instructors, an understanding of this process can help us to design and teach using high-impact strategies that promote deep learning in our students. In this session, we will explore how the learning cycle describes the construction and transfer of knowledge, and how we can make use of this process when teaching others (or trying to learn something ourselves) to help deepen and reinforce learning.

Facilitators:

Shaya Golparian (PhD), Educational Developer, Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, UBC
Joseph Topornycky (PhD), Graduate Student Programs Manager, Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, UBC
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Student Engagement in Large Classrooms

Tuesday, Jan. 14 | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: INCLUSIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING; TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS

This session examines the difference between lecturing and actively engaging students in a large classroom setting. We will discuss the challenges of teaching large classrooms and explore a variety of techniques to engage with students.

Facilitators:

Austin Taylor, PhD student, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and, UBC
Lesley Liu, PhD student, Faculty of Education, UBC
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Supporting Student Awareness of Learning: Using Metacognition as a Tool in Teaching

Wednesday, Jan. 15 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TEACHING CAREER PREPARATION; TRANSFORMATIVE GROWTH IN LEARNING

Are your students constantly asking you why they got this mark? In this session we will help you create tools to allow students to become aware of their own progress in learning through metacognition. Together we will explore underlying theory and teaching techniques that can help you guide your students on deeper reflection of their learning.

Facilitators:

Katie Faulkner, PhD student, Mathematical Biology, UBC
Natalie Westwood, PhD student, Zoology, UBC
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Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Wednesday, Jan. 15 | 11:30 am – 1:30 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TEACHING CAREER PREPARATIONS; INTERDISCIPLINARY AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Have you ever left a classroom wondering if the new teaching approach you tried worked? How you could your students overcome a typical challenge to learning? Wondered how students approach certain problems? In this session, we will explore the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, also known as Teaching as Research and how it can help you answer these and more questions. We will start by considering what it means to be a reflective practitioner and then build an introductory understanding of how to design a small project. In preparation for this session, please reflect on your teaching practice (or your experience as a learner) and identify one or two challenges to student learning that you would like to address.

Facilitators:

Jens Vent-Schmidt, PhD candidate, Experimental Medicine, UBC
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Creating spaces of belonging in academia

Wednesday, Jan. 15 | 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm | IKBLC, Dodson Room (Room 302)

Theme: Teaching Skills; Experiential Learning

Do you belong here? We all need to find a sense of belonging in our places of learning and teaching. For people with disabilities, this can be particularly challenging in environments that are inaccessible and unwelcoming. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to learn about how a sense of belonging develops in higher education contexts and how you can create spaces of greater belonging.

Facilitators:

Laura Yvonne Bulk, PhD student, Rehabilitation Sciences, UBC
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Supporting Community Engaged Learning Course Assessment

Thursday, Jan. 16 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS; TRANSFORMATIVE GROWTH IN LEARNING

In this workshop, we will show TAs how to support evaluation work in a Community Engaged Learning course. We will walk them through a set of guidelines to conceptualize, implement and evaluate students’ community engaged learning (CEL) in courses. With the use of different interactive activities, we will help TAs to get a better understanding of how to play with course goals, learning objectives, and assessment criteria in order to design/find the most appropriate assessment tools. We will also introduce a range of CEL assessment tools developed by the Centre for Community Engaged Learning.

Facilitators:

Shadi Mehrabi (PhD), Community Engaged Learning Officer, Centre for Community Engaged Learning, UBC
Emily Truong-Cheung, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, UBC
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Engaging Learners with Technology: Educating in the Digital Era

Thursday, Jan. 16 | 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEMES: TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS; TRANSFORMATIVE GROWTH IN LEARNING

The classroom is increasingly moving into the digital realm. The use of technology, as both an adjunct to and substitute for the traditional classroom setting, has introduced countless opportunities for educators to engage and facilitate student learning. However, the introduction of new technologies also brings new challenges. In this lesson you will work to identify these challenges and how they can be overcome with the application of fundamental teaching techniques.

Facilitators:

Kyle Gooderham, PhD student, Department of Psychology, UBC
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Developing Your Teaching Portfolio and Philosophy

Thursday, Jan. 16 | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm | IKBLC, Seminar Room (Room 2.22)

THEME: TEACHING CAREER PREPARATIONS

Do you want to pursue a career in teaching? If so, then this workshop is a must! Together, we will break down the components of a teaching portfolio and how to make your own. You will also participate in a guided reflection to help you think about your TA and other teaching/learning experiences to identify your strengths and values as a teacher so that you can prepare your own teaching philosophy.

This workshop will benefit both experienced and new TAs! Feel free to bring a draft of your teaching philosophy if you have one as you will have a chance to expand on and assess it (but it is not required for participation).

Facilitators:

Lindsay Fraughton, MA student, Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, UBC
Jennifer Brown, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC
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