Similar to the scaffolding used in construction to support workers as they work on a specific task, instructional scaffolds are temporary support structures faculty put in place to assist students accomplish new tasks and concepts they could not typically achieve on their own. Students are free to ask questions, provide feedback and support their peers in learning new material.
Many faculty consider live, personal interaction to be the most valuable element of quality teaching and learning experiences. Wimba Classroom is a new online collaboration tool that integrates with Blackboard and allows educators and students to engage in meaningful and memorable interactions by combining interactive technologies with instructional best practices.
A new Quick Tip for Effective Instruction developed by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center provides NIU Teaching Assistants with an overview of teaching and related responsibilities. The focus of this 15 minute presentation is on the six main elements of effective instruction: knowing your responsibilities; preparing to teach; delivering instruction; managing the classroom; assessing student learning, and finally, knowing the services available for your students and yourself.
NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center has recently begun offering online development workshops to supplement the face-to-face sessions that are already offered. These online sessions provide NIU faculty/staff and teaching assistants with the opportunity to participate remotely from their office or home computer or even by phone.
Looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news and upcoming workshops for graduate teaching assistants at NIU? One way to do so is to follow the TA development news feed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tadev Notices from Twitter, also referred to as tweets, can be viewed either online or can be delivered automatically by instant message (IM) or text message (SMS).
TA Connections is a newsletter for graduate teaching assistants published every fall and spring semester by Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Adams Hall 319, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115. Phone: (815) 753-0595, Email: email@example.com, Fax: (815) 753-2595, Web site: http://www.niu.edu/facdev. For more information about featured articles or upcoming graduate teaching assistant development programs, please contact the Center at (815) 753-0595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 10/28/2008