2020 TA Institute Themes

The TA Institute runs Jan. 13–16 at UBC’s Vancouver campus and is open to any graduate student who is interested in teaching or TAing. The institute is also open to undergraduate TAs. This year, workshops in the TA institute are organized into 5 themes, and if you complete 3 workshops in a theme, and do the related pre- & post-session online modules, you are eligible for a letter of completion that you can include in your Teaching Portfolio and CV. These letters will include a brief description of any themes that you completed, and how the work you did in those themes supports your development as a teacher.

  1. INCLUSIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING
  • Even in the sciences?: Bringing an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to multiple learning environments as a UBC teaching assistant
  • Power, Consent, and Safety: Preventing and Responding to Sexualized Violence
  • Designing High-Impact Learning Experiences
  • Student Engagement in Large Classrooms
  • Creating spaces of belonging in academia

It might be difficult to remember that each and every classroom is packed full of diverse learners with diverse needs. All too often, instructors plan their lessons thinking about their own needs in mind. Rather than approaching teaching with a teacher-centric view, we encourage participants of these sessions to approach teaching with a student-centric view. In your unique position as a TA, bridging the gap between students and instructors, you have a real opportunity to influence how students can learn best. These sessions will emphasize how both instructors and TAs can move towards a more inclusive and student-centered teaching practice that considers the needs of all learners so that all students can learn most effectively.

2020 TA Institute: Inclusive, Student Centered Learning

Pre-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Identify what you as an instructor do either consciously or subconsciously to enhance student motivation
    • Reflect on the role and responsibility of an educator in motivating learners
  • Respond:

2020 TA Institute: Inclusive, Student Centered Learning

Post-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your new knowledge about creating an inclusive and student-centered approach to learning and evaluate its importance
    • Describe new methods and techniques that you can use in your teaching to contribute to an inclusive and student-centered classroom
  • Respond:

 

  1. TEACHING CAREER PREPARATIONS
  • Power, Consent, and Safety: Preventing and Responding to Sexualized Violence
  • Supporting Student Awareness of Learning: Using Metacognition as a Tool in Teaching
  • Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
  • Developing Your Teaching Portfolio and Philosophy

During your TAship and other teaching experiences, you have gained valuable and transferable skills that will prepare you for a career in teaching. The best educators are continually questioning not only how they can improve their teaching, but also how they can improve their students’ learning experiences. More importantly though, your TA positions and teaching experiences have influenced what you value in teaching. Do you know what is important to you in teaching? How can you pursue these questions and inquiries? These sessions will guide you through this reflection process and help you to identify how your experiences will impact your future teaching practices and values.

2020 TA Institute: Teaching Career Preparations

Pre-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your previous teaching experiences to identify your goals and values as an educator
    • Question what you would like to learn about the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Respond:

2020 TA Institute: Teaching Career Preparations

Post-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Describe new strategies that you can use and new experiences that you can pursue to continually improve your teaching practice
    • Reflect on your previous teaching experiences and use your new knowledge to identify your goals and values as an educator
  • Respond:

 

  1. TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS
  • Leading discussions with students… When should I? How should I?
  • Student Engagement in Large Classrooms
  • Supporting Community Engaged Learning Course Assessment
  • Engaging Learners with Technology: Educating in the Digital Era

When we think about teaching, it is of course important to consider what we teach. However, it is arguably just as important to consider how we teach. There is a shift in higher education to implement more participatory learning strategies in teaching, but how do we do this in a class of 300 students, for example? How do we plan our lessons and learning activities in such a way that student learning is most effective? In these sessions, you will learn a wide variety of new teaching tools and techniques, how the inclusion of these approaches may impact your students’ learning, and how to plan and implement these strategies in your teaching and/or TA roles. These sessions are not only useful to new TAs and those new to teaching, but also to returning TAs and those with teaching experience.

2020 TA Institute: Teaching Fundamentals

Pre-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your known teaching strategies that you use to ensure effective teaching
    • Describe your reasoning for your teaching decisions
  • Respond:

2020 TA Institute: Teaching Fundamentals

Post-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your known teaching strategies that you use to ensure effective teaching and consider new strategies to improve your teaching
    • Describe the impact of active learning on student learning
  • Respond:

 

  1. TRANSFORMATIVE GROWTH IN LEARNING
  • TA’ing a Community Engaged Learning course: exploring the roles, tension points and opportunities for professional development
  • Supporting Student Awareness of Learning: Using Metacognition as a Tool in Teaching
  • Supporting Community Engaged Learning Course Assessment
  • Engaging Learners with Technology: Educating in the Digital Era

How do you think higher education has changed over the years? How do you think it will continue to change in the future? More and more, educators are developing creative and innovative approaches to teaching that you may encounter in your TA positions or may wish to pursue in your own teaching practice. This includes technology-based learning, outreach and engagement-based learning, experiential learning, and many other practices. These sessions will encourage you to think about your current approaches to teaching and learning and may introduce new paths that you’ve not yet considered. Additionally, these sessions will encourage you to encourage your students to think about teaching and learning.

2020 TA Institute: Transformative Growth in Learning

Pre-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your own teaching and learning experiences and identify your impressions of the current educational paradigm
    • Describe your teaching techniques to encourage your learners to think about their own learning
  • Respond:

2020 TA Institute: Transformative Growth in Learning

Post-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Reflect on your knowledge and describe your values and goals for the future of higher education, highlighting any ways that it has changed recently
    • Describe the steps you will take to implement your new view of teaching
  • Respond:

 

  1. INTERDISCIPLINARY AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
  • Leading discussions with students… When should I? How should I?
  • TA’ing a Community Engaged Learning course: exploring the roles, tension points and opportunities for professional development
  • Designing High-Impact Learning Experiences
  • Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

When we encounter challenges, we may reach out to our friends and peers for a fresh perspective and support. To address the challenge, we may run through options and scenarios together as we find a solution. Why is it that sharing perspectives and experiences is so useful to us? The fact is, we learn best through experience and reflecting on those experiences, in turn. Additionally, approaching learning from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines impacts learning in a way that promotes deeper learning. These sessions will explore why and how you can adopt interdisciplinary and experiential learning practices in your own teaching and TA duties to promote a higher level of learning for your students.

2020 TA Institute: Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning

Pre-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Brainstorm how interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to teaching and learning might benefit students in your discipline
  • Respond:

2020 TA Institute: Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning

Post-session Work

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please provide an email address to receive a copy of your responses.
  • Learning Objectives:

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:
    • Using your new knowledge, re-evaluate how interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to teaching and learning might benefit students
    • Describe the steps you will take as an instructor to engage yourself and your students in interdisciplinary and experiential learning
  • Respond: