Centre for Pedagogical Innovation

Teaching assistants (seminar leaders, lab demonstrators and markers) are one of Brock University’s most valuable resources. TAs are the frontline representatives for the University and it is their patience, dedication and hard work that makes such a difference for so many undergraduate students.

As with any job, professional development is a fine balance between experience and continued learning.  At Brock and as part of the GradPlus initiative, there are many resources available to TAs. Of particular importance, however, is the workshop programming offered, through the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation, to Brock TAs as a means of developing instructional expertise.

Being a good teacher is not a matter of tips and tricks (although these can help) but rather an ongoing exercise that combines discussion, reflection, effective strategies and hands-on experience. Participating in the CPI’s workshop series (on topics such as evaluation, marking papers, leading effective seminars or labs, promoting diversity, etc) can provide TAs with a forum to come together, discuss common challenges and triumphs, and learn from each other’s experiences. TAs can also earn a Basic or Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a Practicum Certificate or an ISW certificate.

Examples of workshops/resources/services

The CPI offers three certificate programs for graduate student TAs in addition to a wide range of support options:

  • annual full day TA Orientation.
  • TA workshops on a variety of issues, offered on Saturdays from September to April (Basic/Advanced certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education are awarded for participation).
  • A series of ITA workshops specifically tailored to international TAs.

The three-day Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW) focusing on presentation and feedback skills is available to TAs three times a year. Certificate conferred.

GTA Practicum (certificate program) combines the ISW and Saturday workshops with faculty observations and facilitates the documentation of developing skills in teaching through the creation of a teaching dossier.

TAs are also welcome to consult with the CPI at any time on any instructional issue.

Contact:

Jill Grose, Director
Centre for Pedagogical Innovation
jgrose@brocku.ca
905-688-5550 x3933
Thistle, TH135

Lianne Fisher, Educational Developer
Centre for Pedagogical Innovation
lfisher@brocku.ca
905-688-5550 x5329
Thistle, TH137B