Workshops on Planning and Design

The Teaching Commons offers a series of workshops for graduate students to help them in planning and designing their tutorials and courses.

 

Designing your Tutorial


While seemingly overwhelming, the work of planning and mapping out what you will do with your students over the term is achievable, although you will find yourself negotiating many roles – often simultaneously. This session will provide you with a general sense of what you should be doing as you get ready for your first day of teaching and beyond. We will provide one particular model, called the BOPPPS model that you may follow or adapt when preparing your tutorials and planning your lessons.  Participants will have a chance to explore and discuss various models and how they may use them in planning their own lessons or tutorials.

Monday September 11, 2017, 10am – 12pm in DB 1014
Register for Designing your Tutorial

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Participatory Learning: How to engage your students, Making Meaningful Connections with your Students, Using Active Learning Strategies in Your Teaching, Teaching Students with Disabilities: Tips for Teaching Assistants

Teaching in a Lab


This informative workshop will address the issues of lab specific challenges for science TAs. The objectives of the workshop are to improve pre-lab talks, demonstration skills and augment the interest of undergraduate students in the lab. Also, this workshop will provide practical tips, strategies and resources to effectively engage students during the lab, organize time in the lab and effective marking of lab reports. This workshop will provide an opportunity to meet and discuss your positive and negative experiences with other TAs in the same discipline.

Monday September 11, 2017, 1pm – 3pm in DB 1014
Register for Teaching in a Lab

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Participatory Learning: How to engage your students, Making Meaningful Connections with your Students, Using Active Learning Strategies in Your Teaching, Teaching Students with Disabilities: Tips for Teaching Assistants

Marking and Grading Workshop for Graduate Students


This workshop is designed for those who have received a Marker/Grader position as well as any Graduate Student (new or experienced) interested in developing sound assessment and grading practices.  This full-day session will address types of formative and summative grading practices, explore validity and reliability issues, as well as offer participants practical strategies for grading with rubrics and supporting the ESL undergraduate student.  Table discussions and group sharing activities will allow participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge gained from this workshop by grading sample assignments with their peers.

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Academic Integrity in the Classroom

MORE WORKSHOPS COMING SOON!

Marking and Grading Practices


This workshop is designed for those who have received a Marker/Grader position as well as any Graduate Student (new or experienced) interested in developing sound assessment and grading practices.  This half-day session will give a brief overview of marking and grading principles, such as types of formative and summative grading practices, validity and reliability issues, as well as offer participants practical strategies for grading with rubrics.   Most of the workshop will be dedicated to marking and grading practices as participants will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge by grading sample assignments with their peers.   The focus will be on the process of grading, not  on content, as you may be asked to grade a piece of work common in your discipline (e.g. short answer questions, essays, lab reports) but not necessarily from your discipline.  This is a condensed version of the Marking and Grading Workshop for Graduate Students.
Monday January 8, 2018, 1pm – 4pm in DB 1014

Register for Marking and Grading Practices

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Academic Integrity in the Classroom

Teaching Students with Disabilities: Tips for Teaching Assistants


Students with disabilities add to the diversity of the university community. As a TA at York you may encounter students with physical, learning, medical or mental health disabilities; often these students have academic accommodations. After a brief review of the university’s policies concerning academic accommodations, we will discuss strategies for maintaining a “disability-friendly” classroom and other things you will need to know to teach students with disabilities.

Tuesday September 19, 2017, 12pm – 1pm in DB 1009
Register for Teaching Students with Disabilities: Tips for Teaching Assistants

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Participatory Learning: How to engage your students, Making Meaningful Connections with your Students, Using Active Learning Strategies in Your Teaching

Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention


One of York’s priorities is ensuring that all students have a successful first year experience. that continues through their upper years. The process of transition to university is a life-changing event for a student, which extends beyond academic adjustments.   Knowing our first year students and the particular challenges they face, such as being the first in their family to go to university, additional responsibilities outside of school (part-time jobs, family responsibilities etc.), long commutes etc., will help you to support your first year students in transition.

As TAs, you are often the first point of contact for students, so you will have a huge impact on their university experience and you can make their first year at university a supportive and enjoyable one.

This workshop will look at potential needs of first year students, focusing purposefully on five areas of need or ‘senses of success’ (Lizzio, 2006): (i) sense of capability; (ii) sense of connectedness; (iii) sense of purpose; (iv) sense of resourcefulness; and, (v) sense of academic culture.  Participants will engage with one another to discuss and brainstorm best practices for supporting students in the classroom.  Participants will also be provided with resources, including programs in place at York U in supporting and retaining first year students.

Thursday September 28, 2017, 12-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Let’s talk about social inequalities: Addressing critical and often emotionally charged issues in tutorial, Classroom Strategies for when they haven’t done the Readings, Dealing with Classroom and Student Conflict, Reading Week is Over – Strategies to Maintain and Inspire Student Motivation

Teaching Critical Reading Skills Workshop for TAs


Having trouble getting your students to do the readings? Academic reading is central to academic success at university, so why is it so difficult to convince students to keep up with course readings? Effective academic reading is time-consuming, requires deep attention, critical reflection, the ability to connect readings to one another and to course objectives, and often requires approaching difficult readings more than once. Though experienced scholars understand this, students may not. This session focuses on “unpacking the skill set” required for effective academic reading and provides ideas about how to foster these skills in your students.
Facilitated by Cathy Boyd-Withers from Learning Skills Services

Wednesday October 4, 2017, 10:30am – 12:00pm in DB 1014
Register for the Teaching Critical Reading Skills Workshop for TAs

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Teaching Critical Writing Skills Workshop for TAs, Classroom Strategies for when they haven’t done the Readings, Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention

Teaching Critical Writing & Research Skills Workshop for TAs


This workshop, co-facilitated by a writing skills professor and a librarian, will highlight strategies, assignments and resources that can be used by TAs to strengthen undergraduate students’ skills in writing quality research papers and assignments.
Writing good research papers involves mastery of a complex set of process-focused skills, which may often be taken-for-granted. Examples include creating a working thesis, developing effective research strategies, gathering and noting ideas, planning an effective essay structure, and other strategic approaches to writing and editing. This workshop will teach participants how to unpack these commonly taken-for-granted skills; that is, techniques will be shared for making the implicit aspects of writing and research explicit. In addition, drawing on SPARK, an online modular tool designed to teach academic literacies, workshop participants will learn about:

  • principles of effective assignment design for enhancing students’ abilities to write good research papers by addressing and integrating the component skills of writing and research
  • how SPARK modules may be effectively integrated within courses to teach students the skills needed to write better research papers
  • how such SPARK resources as tip sheets, worksheets, and exercises may be used or adapted to teach relevant skills

Facilitated by Ron Sheese and Sophie Bury

Thursday October 5, 2017, 1:30pm – 3:30pm in DB 1014
Register for the Teaching Critical Writing & Research Skills Workshop for TAs

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Teaching Critical Reading Skills Workshop for TAs, Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention

Participatory Learning: How to Engage your Students


Are you ever faced with blank stares from your students or concerned that your students really aren’t getting what you are trying to teach them?  Perhaps they are preoccupied with other things or just don’t want to participate.  In this workshop, we will explore the factors that affect student engagement and participation.  This will lead us to discover some simple techniques that you can use, as TAs, to help engage your students.  This session promises to be engaging by modelling these techniques and providing opportunities for you to participate.

Monday October 23, 2017, 12-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Participatory Learning: How to Engage your Students

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Making Meaningful Connections with your Students, Using Active Learning Strategies in your Teaching, Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention, Classroom Strategies for when they haven’t done the Readings

Making Meaningful Connections with your Students


Establishing a meaningful relationship with our students early in tutorials or lab sessions is crucial for us as teaching assistants since we are often the first point of contact in courses and we can share our passion for course material in ways lecturers can’t. In this workshop, we will first explore basic but essential techniques to establish a welcoming learning environment. Once we familiarize ourselves with these techniques, we will brainstorm together several methods that we can easily implement in order to establish a positive learning environment and to foster our students’ learning.

Wednesday October 11, 2017, 12-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Making Meaningful Connections with your Students

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Using Active Learning Strategies in your Teaching, Supporting First Year Students in Transition and Maintaining Student Retention, Let’s talk about social inequalities: Addressing critical and often emotionally charged issues in tutorial, Dealing with Classroom and Student Conflict

Using Active Learning Strategies in Your Teaching


Creating an active learning environment means utilizing appropriate strategies to engage students in how to think critically, creatively, work with a partner or in a group setting. Active learning helps a student to develop and apply their ideas and skills. This workshop will examine active learning strategies in higher education.  Participants will engage in some example activities to see how active learning can be applied in their own classroom.

Tuesday November 7, 2017, 12-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Using Active Learning Strategies in your Teaching

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Classroom Strategies for when they haven’t done the Readings, Reading Week is Over – Strategies to Maintain and Inspire Student Motivation

Teaching with Technology and in an Online Environment


When teaching in an on-line environment, TAs may face a number of challenges including the development of a student learning community, providing sufficient instructions, marking and grading online etc. This workshop will highlight and provide practical strategies for teaching online. We will further engage in discussions and activities about online learning environments, including social media and other technology and how it can be used in teaching at York. Throughout the activities participants will engage with some online learning tools and look at some of the specific strategies that can help us utilize the available e-learning tools to the advantage of both students and educators. Please note this is not a workshop for learning how to use Moodle. For workshops on using Moodle please visit: http://moodle.info.yorku.ca/workshops/

Friday November 3, 2017, 12-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Teaching with Technology and in an Online Environment

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Learn How to use ‘Prezi’ for your Tutorials, Participatory Learning: How to engage your students

Learn How to use ‘Prezi’ for your Tutorials


Think your tutorial could use a little more life? Bring your own laptop and learn what Prezi, the zooming presentation editor, is all about. This personal development session will teach you the basics of Prezi, from creating your own educational account to applying the online software to delivering engaging and memorable tutorials. Requirement: Bring your laptop! 

Wednesday January 25, 2018, 11:30am-1pm in DB 1014
Register for Learn How to Use Prezi for your Tutorials

Participants that have attended this workshop also attended:
Teaching with Technology and in an Online Environment

Introduction to Course Design Workshop for Graduate Students


This 3-hour workshop is designed for Experienced Teaching Assistants who are interested in course design, preparing for their first Course Directorship or are looking to refine and develop their experience as a Course Director. Participants will be introduced to the stages, principles and good practices of systematic course design and will engage in reflection and discussions on teaching practices as well as hands-on activities. The focus will be on facilitating an evidence-based and learner-centered learning environment that promotes deep learning.  This workshop is scheduled to take place throughout the year in November, May and July

Monday November 20, 2017, 9:30am – 12:30pm in DB 1014
Register for Introduction to Course Design Workshop for Graduate Students

Thursday May 10, 2018, 9:30am – 12:30pm in DB 1014
Register for Introduction to Course Design Workshop for Graduate Students

Applications of Course Design Principles Workshop for Graduate Students


This 3-hour workshop is intended for Experienced Teaching Assistants who are actively designing and preparing a course.  Participants are asked to bring a first draft of their course syllabus and we will work together to further develop this syllabus and the design of your course.  We will review and apply the design principles learned in the Introduction to Course Design Workshop for Graduate Students, specifically the integrated course design approach (Fink, 2003) through individual and collaborative activities and worksheets.  This workshop is scheduled to take place throughout the year in May and July following the Introduction to Course Design Workshop for Graduate Students.  If you need support designing your course throughout the fall and winter terms, please contact Natasha May maynat@yorku.ca

Thursday May 24, 2018, 9:30am – 12:30pm in DB 1014
Register for Applications of Course Design Principles Workshop for Graduate Students