This orientation will introduce graduate teaching assistants to basic principles of teaching and related responsibilities, share information about campus support resources, and provide networking opportunities. Both new and continuing graduate assistants will benefit from the day’s sessions, which are presented by NIU faculty, staff, and administrators who are knowledgeable and experienced in the topics. Below is the tentative agenda:
|8:00 am||Check-In and Refreshments|
|8:30 am||Welcome and Program Details|
|8:45 am||Knowing Your Teaching and Teaching-Related Responsibilities|
|10:00 am||Managing Your Classroom Effectively|
|10:45 am||Assisting Students with Emotional/Behavioral Concerns|
|Using Library Resources for Teaching|
|Retaining Students with Disabilities Through Universal Design and Barrier Reduction|
|11:45 am||Lunch in the Blackhawk Cafeteria|
|1:00 pm||Introduction to Blackboard Next Generation|
|Promoting Academic Integrity in the Classroom|
|BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Select one session while registering)*|
Preparing to Teach, Room 305
Christopher Jones, Department of Political Science
Teaching can be a daunting challenge, particularly if you have never taught before. Sometimes, it's tough to know where to begin. In this session, Christopher Jones, Chair of the Department of Political Science and recipient of NIU's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, will share some tips that should make the process easier. He will discuss what to do during your first class and how to overcome your jitters, as well as techniques for delivering instruction. He will also describe the wide variety of roles you may need to adopt throughout the semester.
Providing Teaching-Related Support, Room 405
David Ballantine, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
There are graduate assistants who may not deliver instruction but provide a variety of teaching-related support in and outside the classroom. This may include conducting lab sessions, grading, tutoring, leading recitations, conducting office hours, and assisting their faculty supervisors and students in many other ways on teaching and learning-related issues. In this session, David Ballantine, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will offer tips and techniques for fulfilling the diverse tasks required of non-teaching GAs, but any TAs or GAs interested in the session can attend.
| Presenting/Communicating Effectively, Room 406
Kerith Woodyard, Department of Communication
Communication behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal, generally support the declared learning objectives and facilitate student comprehension. However, often without being aware of it, instructors use communication behaviors that can undermine the learning objectives. In this session, Kerith Woodyard, Assistant Professor of Communication will share strategies for communicating effectively in the classroom and help TAs to become aware of the communication strategies they use.
Teaching Strategies for Engaging Students, Room 505
Jenny Parker, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning. Yet creating an environment to encourage student engagement can often seem challenging for both new and experienced teachers. In this session, Dr. Jenny Parker, Program Director in Physical Education Teacher Education and recipient of NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, will share a variety of strategies to promote student engagement in your classes.
Planning a Course, Room 506
Carolinda Douglass, Office of Assessment Services
One of the most time-consuming yet rewarding tasks that instructors face is planning a new course. You start with so little: an idea, a list of objectives, or an old syllabus, and create a course that your students may remember for years. You face a great number of challenges in between, from writing objective and selecting a textbook to designing lessons and creating assessments. In this session, Carolinda Douglass, Director of Assessment Services and Professor of Nursing and Health Studies, will provide you with suggestions and techniques that will simplify the process of creating and delivering a new course.
|3:15 pm||Evaluation and Closing at Individual Breakout Sessions|
This orientation is open to all graduate teaching assistants, research assistants, and staff assistants at NIU. The orientation is designed for new graduate assistants, but continuing graduate assistants are welcome to attend. The sessions cover general teaching and teaching-related responsibilities which are applicable to all disciplines. The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center does not require graduate assistants to attend the TA Orientation, but individual departments may require their graduate assistants to attend. Please check with your department about participation requirements.
Registration Deadline: Friday, August 12, 2011
Registered participants will receive orientation materials, refreshments, lunch, and a certificate of participation. Due to the expensive nature of the program, limited seats available, and advance notice required for arrangements, please register by the deadline and attend the entire orientation. A certificate of participation will only be awarded for attending the entire program.
The registration response will be sent to your NIU email account. After submitting the registration form, if you do not receive a response within 2 working days, please contact the Center at email@example.com. After registering, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by Monday, August 15, 2011 by completing the TAO Cancellation Form.
Questions? View our FAQ or click on a question below.
Last Updated: 12/04/2014