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Center for Teaching Excellence

Mungo Teaching Award Panel

GTA/IA Workshops and Events

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to planning and implementing professional development programming for graduate teaching assistants. Graduate student workshops and events are designed to address teaching challenges unique to being a graduate student.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.

August 2018

Courses with a large number of students are intended to be an efficient (and cost effective) means of delivering material.  Typically delivered in a lecture format, these large courses share many features with courses of lower enrollment.  However, the larger class size often seems impersonal and students may not connect with the material or the instructor.  We will discuss methods by which you can enhance your delivery of material and also increase the likelihood your students will meet you half-way resulting in a better experience for everyone. Register

Clearly articulating classroom expectations helps to set the foundation for a mutually beneficial course. Research shows that persistence and retention is connected to student's sense of belonging. Furthermore, students who engage in quality interactions with faculty are retained at a higher rate (Astin 1977, 1993). As a faculty member, it is important to assist in developing this sense of belonging and aid in students persistence and retention. This session will cover pedagogical strategies and ways to negotiate positive norms within your classroom to assist you in developing a meaningful academic environment.  Register

September 2018

In order to teach students to “learn to learn,” the focus of education has shifted towards maximizing the quality of student-instructor contact time and emphasizing application of knowledge and skills in the classroom. Want to learn how to incorporate active learning from the ground up – the do’s, don’ts and best practices? This interactive workshop will provide perspectives on successful integration of active learning strategies in the classroom along with a brief discussion of perceived obstacles, solutions, and examples of active learning methods. Participants will have the opportunity to create a plan for incorporating specific strategies, techniques or tools into their teaching.  Register

The last thing we want to hear from students is that the content we’ve taught them wasn’t relevant or meaningful. Moreover, we’d like for them to retain course content beyond tests and assessments, but helping students see valuable connections between classroom learning and their “everyday,” “real world” lives can seem daunting. However, as the authors of "How Learning Works" suggest, helping students make more connections between current course content and previous courses and their lives outside of class helps both concretize learning and understand its relevance to the world around them.

In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to use concrete reflection strategies to help students make connections between course content and the world around them and discuss how to leverage and modify reflection strategies to suit course material and assignments.  Register

All instructors must assess (i.e. grade) student work. Yet how to grade objectively involves fundamentally important considerations and strategies, many of which instructors have not examined thoroughly. What is your “grading philosophy” for the course - do you grade on a curve (and why)? How will you ensure consistency, fairness, and objectivity, while at the same time remaining efficient? How can you ensure grades provide constructive feedback?

Determining these aspects of grading is vital in ensuring fair, objective assessment of student work. Participants will learn about these and other considerations, determine their own grading philosophy and effective strategies through comparison and discussion with other participants and course examples.  Register

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative tools to address classroom roadblocks.  Register

Are you a graduate teaching assistant looking to have a greater impact on your students’ learning? Do you wish you knew strategies to do your job more efficiently and effectively? Whether you are a new or returning TA, this interactive workshop will provide you with tips to enhance your teaching. Participants will discuss best practices for TAs, including how to provide timely feedback to students and balance TA work with other responsibilities.  Register

In 1956, Benjamin S. Bloom and his associates published a framework for reasons that included the establishment of congruence between learning expectations and assessment of learning. This contribution became highly visible in the education community as a hierarchy displayed in a triangular diagram. Many years later, scholars whom Bloom mentored developed a more robust framework, known as the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, to capture the complexities of teaching and learning. Participants will consider an overview of this matrix to reflect on their planning, teaching, and assessment activities. There will be opportunity to apply use of the matrix to at least one course objective and assessment. So, participants are encouraged to bring a course syllabus.  Register

Anna Rogers shares her top tricks for transitioning from being a TA to teaching your own course. These are 10 things she wishes she would have known before she taught my own course. This workshop will be interactive and will allow the audience to ask questions throughout the presentation.  Register

Do you ever wonder if you could do more to help students master the content in your courses? Do you wish you knew how to increase student engagement and understanding in your classes? In this interactive and high-energy workshop, participants will experience first-hand the impact simple instructional strategies have on student engagement. Participants will analyze two model lessons to uncover best practices in strategically constructing student understanding. The session will conclude with participants applying the strategies modeled throughout the workshop and an informal question-and-answer session.  Register

October 2018

Assessments and exams test student comprehension of the material but can serve many valuable functions. While assessments tend to be what motivates students to study, they provide information to the instructor regarding what additional learning needs to occur and should be crafted to guide the student through meaningful, deep learning. Effective assessments should engage student learning in “real time” while ensuring that they are measurable and directly linked to specific learning outcomes.

Considerations in developing assessments include:

  • What level of knowledge are you assessing, and how do you assess that level effectively?
  • Does it provide equal opportunity for students of different learning abilities to show their learning and skill development?
  • Do the questions actually address what you are trying to evaluate?

Such considerations will be discussed in this workshop, highlighting strategies that effectively and objectively measure learning, along with pros and cons of different types of questions and practice in doing so.  Register

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.  Register

All USC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to participate in the ninth annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching on Friday, October 12, 2018. Join colleagues from across USC campuses for this free one-day symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

The Oktoberbest schedule has a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from active learning and online course development to critical thinking and integrative learning. The event will include:

  • Breakfast with our keynote speaker, Pamela E. Barnett
  • Panel discussion on the 'Implications of the Horizon Report' facilitated by Debbie Yoho, a doctoral candidate in Library and Information Sciences
  • Choice of Concurrent Sessions presented by your colleagues at USC
  • Closing reception featuring door prizes and traditional Oktoberfest fare

Oktoberbest is free to all who teach or support teaching at USC, but is not open to the general public.  Register

Existing scholarship on co-teaching lauds its virtues within university contexts. While it manifests itself through multiple formats, participating faculty members and graduate teaching assistants must consider resources and contexts to which it might be applied. In this interactive workshop, the presenters will engage participants in a “lived experience” and present 3- 4 models of co- teaching. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation.  Register

Tired of looking out at a classroom full of glazed-over stares? Do "snores happen"? You CAN push students out of their comfort zone and pull them right into the learning process. Join us for this fun and fast-paced session in which you will learn how to set the stage for student engagement, integrate active learning techniques into your courses, and get your students involved in the learning process.  Register

November 2018

Are you interested in exploring ways that you can implement more integrative learning concepts and reflective writing into your courses? Are you interested in learning more about the principles of integrative learning? The increasing emphasis on integrative and experiential learning in higher education illuminates the opportunities for academic disciplines to support students’ synthesis of course concepts and their application into real-world settings.

In this interactive, hands-on workshop, the presenters will provide proven examples for guiding reflection in their classes. Participants will then consider their own curricula/courses and how they can introduce concepts of integrative learning through reflection-based assignments to help students articulate the significance of their within and beyond the classroom experiences throughout their college career.  Register

Are you stressed? Who isn’t? Do you realize that “stressed” spelled backward is “desserts”? We sometimes turn to unhealthy behaviors to put a Band-Aid on stress. But there’s a better way.

In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore the body’s stress response and how to handle it. We’ll also discuss and practice long-term stress management strategies. You’ll learn how to debunk some stress myths and create practices that will help you sail through turbulent times.  Register

Open Educational Resources (OER), teaching tools that can be customized by faculty and freely-accessed by students, have proven to positively impact student success. This interactive workshop will provide an overview of OER and other affordable course materials. Participants will practice locating OER, evaluating free resources, and interpreting copyright permissions. In addition, attendees will discover resources and techniques for modifying and creating open course content. This workshop will conclude with an overview of affordable learning services offered through the library and will include time for participant discussion.  Register

Are USC undergraduate student attitudes, priorities and behaviors different from what you are accustomed? International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) must learn to interpret and handle American students' actions appropriately, but seldom have the opportunity for this learning before stepping into the classroom. This workshop and discussion is designed to provide graduate students with the chance to discuss some of the difficulties they might have encountered in American academic culture. This is not a lecture – workshop participants will identify peculiar aspects of American academic life that s/he has encountered, discuss similarities and differences in ideas, beliefs, or expectations with other participants, and develop a deeper understanding of the role culture plays in academic behavior. This workshop is open to all nationalities, not just International graduate students.  Register

The Carolina Intercultural Training focuses on understanding cross-cultural communication styles and exploring strategies for increasing intercultural competence. The workshop includes information, activities, and discussion to help navigate common miscommunications between cultures both in the office and classroom setting. Participants will leave the workshop better equipped to provide and promote an inclusive environment on campus for all international Gamecocks. Those who complete this workshop will receive an “International Friendly Zone” card.

Why should you attend?

  • To increase intercultural competency for the office and classroom
  • To explore and compare cultural models
  • To gain tools to navigate common cultural misunderstandings
  • To prepare for your future career

With any questions about the program, feel free to contact Julie Medlin at  Register

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption. Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada's research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.  Register