KOLT organizes a training program integrated in KOLT500 course for new Teaching Assistants (TAs) every semester. The training consists of four main workshops regarding to effective teaching tips, learning principles, teaching in English and Blackboard & Zoom. In addition, microteaching sessions are organized for TAs to practice their teaching and  get feedback for their performances. KOLT also offers customized training programs for new or senior TAs in collaboration with specific departments that wish to address some concerns about the performances of TAs raised by faculty or students via mid-semester course evaluations. Moreover, graduate students can attend elective workshops such as classroom management and grading in order to improve their teaching skills

The whole program intends to enable new TAs to:

  • understand the importance of their role in undergraduate courses;
  • behave according to KU rules and regulations;
  • develop an understanding related to the ethical code of conduct that applies to relationships with faculty and students;
  • learn some of the basics of effective teaching in Problem Solving Sessions (PS), Laboratory Sessions (LAB) and Discussion Sessions (DS).
  • create a learning environment that fosters problem solving and critical thinking skills of students and increases students’ motivation and engagement;
  • know how to assess and improve their teaching.
  • know how to apply assessment practices.

The scope of the program is presented more specifically in the following:

Effective Teaching Tips and Best Practices Workshop

Workshop covers the following major headings:

  • TA responsibilities at KU (KU rules and regulations)
  • Preparing for the first day
  • Leading effective PS / LAB / DS
  • Online teaching tools and practices
  • Motivating and engaging students
  • Assessing and grading fairly
  • Promoting positive learning environment (how to establish rapport with students and how to set rules)
  • Academic expectations of undergraduate students
  • Giving quizzes and exams
  • Conducting office hours
  • One-to-one teaching
  • Advising
  • Assessing teaching
  • Working with faculty
  • Getting ready for microteaching

Microteaching

Microteaching sessions are organized as a group activity. Each microteaching session is attended by five to seven participants. Each participant gives a seven-minute presentation on a topic of an introductory science, engineering, social science, humanities, health, economics, marketing, etc. Participants are expected to choose their presentation topics based on their discipline.

Microteaching sessions are delivered in classes that are equipped with screen, boards and other necessary basic equipment. If the TA’s weekly responsibility is to solve problems on the board using a marker, then he/she is expected to do so in microteaching too. In some courses such as computer programming, TAs can integrate technology into their presentations. For those who plan to deliver “high-tech” presentations, it is highly advised to get into contact with KOLT staff to arrange the necessary set-ups. In case of remote teaching, microteaching sessions can be delievered on Zoom platform. KOLT suggests effective ways of teaching in online learning environments,too.

After each 7 min teaching performance, presenter is asked for making self-evaluation. Then, group participants and KOLT staff give immediate feedback on each presentation. KOLT staff evaluates each performance based on some pre-determined criteria. The structure of microteaching practicum process is demonsrated in the following visual. 

TAs with low performance are invited for a redo microteaching session(s) in order to give opportunity for improving their teaching skills.

Presentations are recorded so that TAs are able to watch their performance later on and make self-evaluations for their own performances.

 

Learning Principles Workshop

This workshop outlines important aspects of learning with reference to following purposes:

  • Understanding connection between learning and teaching
  • Creating effective learning environments in consideration of prior learning, organization and application of knowledge
  • Enhancing motivation, engagement and metacognition
  • Assessment of learning vs assessment for learning
  • Role of feedback

Teaching in English Workshop

This workshop provides necessary information for effective use of language skills for teaching. Major headings are as follows:

  • English Medium Instruction (EMI) Best Practices and Challenges
  • Signposting language and language hinges
  • Classroom discourse and student-centered lesson structures