Fall 2022 Teaching Assistant Institute

August 15-19, 2022
Online

Overview

The Teaching Assistant Institute will be a week-long event featuring a mix of live online discussions and pre-recorded videos as well as asynchronous activities to promote connection and community. While most of the institute will be the same for everyone, you will also be able to choose from a selection of elective activities based on your experience and role.

Register Now!

Click the "Register Now!" button above to log in and register online


Live Sessions

Live sessions offer the opportunity for you to connect with one another and discuss topics that will be important regardless of your role as a TA. All live sessions occur from 9-10:30 am.

Monday, August 15

  • Welcome, Dean of the Graduate School
  • Supporting Student Success

Tuesday, August 16

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching

Thursday, August 18

  • Preparing to Work with Students
  • Q&A with a panel of experienced TAs

Recorded Modules

The recorded modules offer an overview of key resources available at NIU or techniques to use when you work with your students. There are two types of modules - Core and Elective. Together, these should require about two hours to complete.

Sample module topics include: Reducing Barriers for Students with Disabilities, Assisting Students with Mental Health Concerns, Imposter Syndrome, Communicating Effectively, Engaging with Students via Web Conferencing, Supporting Success in Gateway Courses, Supporting First Generation Students, and more.

Birds of a Feather Networking Session

We are excited to introduce an optional in-person component after two years of a completely virtual program. This year, the Institute will include an optional birds of a feather session in-person and on campus. The session will include light refreshments and the opportunity to meet other new and experienced teaching assistants. 

We hope you will join us. Attendance at this session is not required to complete the Institute and receive the certificate.

Date/Time

Thursday, August 18 from 2-3:30 PM

Location

Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center


Certificate of Completion

You will receive a certificate of completion if you attend all three of the live online sessions (or watch the recordings of the sessions) and watch the required and elective modules. While completion of the TA Institute is encouraged, it is not required by the university. It may, however, be required by your department. Check with your supervisor to determine whether you are required to receive a certificate of completion for the TA Institute.

Registration Information

This institute is open to all graduate teaching assistants, research assistants, and staff assistants at NIU. The institute 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; individual departments may provide more detailed discipline-specific training.

Register Now!

The registration confirmation will be sent to your NIU email account, either your employee A-ID or student Z-ID email (whichever you use to register). If you do not know your ID or password, review this help page on IDs and passwords for more information. If you do not have an ID and password, and you have tried to look it up, email citl@niu.edu to register. After submitting your registration, if you do not receive a response within 2 working days, please contact the Center at citl@niu.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? View answers to commonly asked questions below.

Attendance FAQs

Who is the Teaching Assistant Institute designed for?
The Teaching Assistant Institute is designed for new graduate assistants at NIU who need a basic overview of teaching and teaching-related responsibilities, policies, and campus support resources. Returning graduate assistants are also welcome to attend to refresh their knowledge about teaching and related issues.
Is attendance at the Teaching Assistant Institute required?
The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning does not require graduate assistants to attend the Teaching Assistant Institute. However, participating in the institute may be required by some departments on campus. Check with your department about participation requirements.
Should returning graduate assistants attend the Teaching Assistant Institute?Updated

While we strive to ensure that the Teaching Assistant Institute is relevant and up-to-date, the majority of the content remains the same each year. The Keynote session is changed periodically and new topics are added to the recorded modules, however, so returning graduate teaching assistants should find something new and relevant to them.

I have another meeting or orientation the same day as one of the live sessions of the Teaching Assistant Institute. May I attend only part of the institute?
We understand that the week before classes is busy for many graduate assistants. We encourage you to attend as many of the live sessions as possible, but there will be recordings available, if you are not able to attend live. You must attend live or watch the recording for your participation to be recorded. Please note that certificates of completion are only awarded if you have participated in or watched the recording for each of the live sessions and watched the core and elective modules. Participation and completion will be reported to your department.
Is attendance at the Teaching Assistant Institute necessary to earn the Graduate Teaching Certificate?
Yes, attendance at the Teaching Assistant Institute is mandatory to receive the Graduate Teaching Certificate offered by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. You will also have to attend 5 additional workshops offered by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Attending one day-long workshop can be substituted for two of the required five workshops. Learn more about the Graduate Teaching Certificate.
What will I need to be able to participate in the live sessions?Updated

You will need a computer with speakers or headphones for the live sessions, or a smartphone (Android or iOS). You will need a webcam or microphone to share your audio or video with other participants, but this is not required. There is a text chat for discussion if you do not have a microphone built in to your computer or headphones. You will also need a reliable Internet connection.

You may be able to come to campus to connect to the Institute if you do not have a reliable Internet connection at home. Check with your supervisor to find out if that is an option for you and follow the latest health and safety guidelines.

Will I be given a parking pass to attend the Teaching Assistant Institute?Updated

No, parking permits are not issued for attending the TA Institute. You may attend most of the sessions from anywhere, so you do not have to come to campus to attend the TA Institute. 

If you plan to attend the Birds of a Feather networking session or you need to be on campus to have a reliable Internet connection (check with your supervisor to be sure that it is all right for you to come to campus and follow the latest health and safety guidelines), you can park in the visitor pay lot located on Carroll Avenue for a fee for the day. Alternatively, you can purchase the appropriate parking permit for the following academic year or semester from Campus Parking Services and use it to park in the parking deck located on Normal Road or any of the approved lots. For more information, visit the Campus Parking Services website. 


Where can I park to attend the Teaching Assistant Institute?Updated
You may attend most of the TA Institute sessions from anywhere, so you do not have to come to campus to attend the TA Institute. If you plan to attend the Birds of a Feather Networking session or you need to be on campus to have a reliable Internet connection, you can park in the visitor pay lot located on Carroll Avenue for a fee for the day. Alternatively, you can purchase the appropriate parking permit for the following academic year or semester from Campus Parking Services and use it to park in the parking deck located on Normal Road or any of the approved lots. For more information, visit the Campus Parking Services website. 
Will the Teaching Assistant Institute be recorded so that I can view it later?Updated

The live sessions of the TA Institute will be recorded for you to review in the Blackboard Course for the TA Institute. You will have access to this course for at least a year. There may be a 24-48 hour delay before the recording is made available. 

The Birds of a Feather networking session will neither be streamed nor recorded. Attendance at this session is optional.

Registration FAQs

I won't know whether or not I have a GA appointment until after classes start. Why isn't the Teaching Assistant Institute scheduled after classes start?
In the past, the Teaching Assistant Institute was scheduled to occur after classes started. However, overwhelming feedback received from graduate assistants indicated that it would be more convenient before the semester began. TAs found it difficult to attend the institute after classes started because of schedule conflicts. TAs also stated that they would like to have the information presented at the Teaching Assistant Institute before they started teaching or providing teaching-related support. This is why the institute is scheduled during the week before classes start and between other programs scheduled for faculty.

Agenda FAQs

What does the Teaching Assistant Institute cover?
The Teaching Assistant Institute introduces graduate teaching assistants to basic principles of teaching and related responsibilities that are applicable to all disciplines. Session presenters will also share information about campus support resources.
Who presents the Teaching Assistant Institute sessions?
The Teaching Assistant Institute sessions are presented by faculty, administrators, and staff who have considerable experience and expertise on the various topics covered by the sessions. They volunteer their time and effort to present the sessions and prepare graduate assistants for their responsibilities.
Why aren't there separate Teaching Assistant Institute sessions for different departments?
The requirements of being a graduate assistant certainly differ by department, but the majority of the basic information graduate assistants need to be successful is the same, regardless of department or type of assistantship. The Teaching Assistant Institute is designed to give all graduate assistants an overview of the requirements of being a GA; it is up to individual departments to communicate and train their graduate assistants on their own discipline-specific expectations. Please check with your department for discipline-specific training for graduate assistants.
Why aren't there more hands-on technology sessions at the Teaching Assistant Institute?
Hands-on technology workshops require more time than can be accommodated as part of the full agenda of programming, and the technologies that TAs need to learn vary widely be department and teaching modality. Instead of including hands-on technology workshops during the TA Institute, we encourage you to attend any of the upcoming programs that are available for graduate teaching assistants. These programs also count toward the Graduate Teaching Certificate.

Certificate FAQs

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595
Email: citl@niu.edu

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