Departmental TA Orientation

To: Departmental Executive Officers
From: Christine Getz, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Outreach and Engagement
RE: Departmental TA Orientation

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All schools and departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to provide a TA orientation/training during the three-day period preceding the beginning of Fall 2021 classes that does not conflict with the Graduate College orientation. I encourage you to schedule your departmental orientation on the afternoon of Thursday, August 19, 2021 or on Friday, August 20, 2021 rather than on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 or the morning of Thursday, August 19, 2021, as those days and times are reserved for the Graduate College Orientation and Center for Teaching New TA Orientation respectively. This orientation should include preparatory instructional training in the discipline. Some larger units may wish to divide the teaching assistants into smaller groups according to specialization, while smaller departments may wish to work with other departments in offering TA training. All TA supervisors must observe the teaching of new TAs by the 8th week of the semester and provide feedback to the TAs on their overall performance in a written form apart from the ACE evaluation. CLAS schools and departments are further urged to observe and provide written feedback to all TAs at least once per semester.

An effective TA orientation should include discussion of the following:

• Information about FERPA and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

• Required content of the course syllabus

• Creating a coherent lesson plan for each class period–-mini

• Using the ICON site

• Instructor guidelines for meeting classes, holding office hours, and covering absences (including departmental policies for securing substitutes)

• Meeting deadlines for class lists, student attendance, and submission of grades

• Policies regarding student absences, student workload, student accommodations, final examinations, and textbooks and teaching materials

• Cultivating a welcoming and professional classroom atmosphere

• The timely and effective grading of student work

• Handling academic misconduct. CLAS requires that reports about academic misconduct be submitted using the form found on the link below.

• Required ACE course evaluations

• Resources and Support available through the Center for Teaching