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Teaching assistant and graduate student development

The CTL fosters the professional development of teaching assistants and future teachers through a seminar on university teaching, collaboration on TA orientations and workshops.

Graduate seminar on university teaching


This seminar series on university teaching will prepare graduate students for an academic teaching career. The estimated time commitment is 35 hours of instruction plus 15–20 hours for readings and assignments. The blended and online sections with fewer in-person or synchronous contact hours also include asynchronous activities on Moodle.

Some sections of the seminar use Faculty-specific course content. Other sections are open to students from any faculty.

Participants will receive a 35-hour certificate upon completion of seminar requirements. These requirements include class attendance and completion of other instructional activities and assignments.

Learning objectives

Having completed this seminar, you will be able to:

  • apply the theory and practice of university teaching;
  • develop a course syllabus;
  • design and deliver lessons with greater confidence; and
  • articulate your teaching philosophy in a written statement for future job applications in teaching.


There are four significant assignments as part of this seminar which participants must complete to earn the certificate:

  • write a Teaching Philosophy Statement;
  • develop a Concept Map for a course you would like to teach;
  • teach a 10-15 minute mini-lesson; and
  • develop an original Course syllabus for a course you would like to teach.

Feedback will be provided for assignments, and students will receive a pass/fail mark.


Currently, the seminar has three formats: face-to-face, blended and online.


The face-to-face format is typically scheduled over five (5) consecutive days from 9:30–16:30. The additional work (15-20 hours) related to readings and assignments is completed outside the classroom.


In the blended format, students attend in-person lectures in the mornings once a week. They must also complete online instructional activities on Moodle, equivalent to three (3) hours per week, and weekly readings and homework (15-20 hours).


In the online format, synchronous classes are held on Zoom, usually for 90 minutes twice weekly for five weeks. They must also complete online instructional activities on Moodle at their convenience, equivalent to four (4) hours per week. In addition, students have to complete weekly readings and homework (15-20 hours).


Registration for the seminar is offered through GradProSkills.

TA Orientation


This orientation offers insights into building a positive work experience for yourself and a good learning experience for your students. The CTL collaborates with GradProSkills on these orientations to assist in the orientation of good teaching practices.

Learning objectives

Having completed this seminar, you will be able to:

  • contribute to a positive relationship with your supervising faculty member
  • recognize forms of discrimination commonly experienced by students and strategies to combat them
  • identify key strategies for providing good feedback or for building a positive tutorial environment
  • respond appropriately if something goes wrong
  • find resources for your students and your professional development


Registration for the orientation is offered through GradProSkills before the start of each fall and winter term.

Other workshops and events


The CTL occasionally offers additional professional development opportunities to TAs and graduate students. These workshops include grading and giving feedback, classroom management and navigating difficult moments in the classroom.


Registration for TA and graduate student workshops on teaching and grading are offered through GradProSkills where you can filter the skill domain by teaching.

CTL workshops

If you are a TA for a course, you may also be able to attend some of the CTL’s regular programming. If you want to register for an upcoming CTL event but are not sure if the session is open to TAs, please contact us.

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