Graduate Student Development

alt="A graduate student instructs two of her peers in the college of education."

Graduate Student Development

Our team offers programs and services to help graduate students develop skills for their teaching responsibilities at UT, as well as their future careers, both academic and nonacademic.

The GSD Program is an initiative of the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC).  In collaboration with UT’s academic departments and graduate student support organizations, GSD provides opportunities to advance graduate students’ pedagogical, academic, and professional progress, including support for drafting a teaching statement and creating a teaching portfolio.

Graduate Student Development Programs and Services

GRS 097: Fundamentals for TAs

In collaboration with the Graduate School, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, and Moody College of Communication, GSD offers a semester-long, zero-credit hour, professional development seminar aimed to support first-time Teaching Assistants (TAs) in their instructional duties. In this seminar, TAs will learn strategies for leading effective discussions/labs and receive personalized support to become more confident and effective instructors. Graduate students become part of a community of TAs interested in brainstorming and troubleshooting with each other.

Teaching Preparation Series

In collaboration with the Sanger Learning Center, GSD facilitates a series of active learning sessions each semester that are open to all graduate students, but designed specifically to help non-classroom TAs (TAs who act as graders and hold office hours but do not lead lab/discussion sections) develop skills specific to their teaching roles. These sessions address issues such as efficient grading and communication with students, and they provide opportunities to practice teaching and develop a teaching statement for the job market

Teaching Fundamentals for International Graduate Students Series

Each spring semester, GSD offers a series of three interactive, engaging workshops tailored specifically to international graduate students who are interested in developing their teaching skills. The sessions cover a range of topics, including strategies for connecting with students, facilitating effective classroom discussions, asking good questions in the classroom, and motivating students.

Connect Program for International Graduate Students

This selective program pairs senior undergraduate teaching ambassadors (UTAs) with international graduate students (ITAs) in small groups in order for ITAs to gain insight into the experience of being an undergraduate student at UT. ITAs meet with UTAs periodically throughout the spring semester to gain first-hand exposure to facets of undergraduate life such as undergraduate advising, residence hall life, and extracurricular activities. In addition, ITAs practice teaching and receive feedback from UTAs and pedagogy experts.

Working Groups and Teaching Practice

GSD staff are available to facilitate learning sessions and practice opportunities for groups of graduate students who want to learn more about teaching topics such as learning theory, inclusive teaching, drafting teaching statements, and leading effective discussions.

Contact us: gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu

Individual Consultations

GSD staff are available to support and coach you on all aspects of teaching such as syllabus and instructional activity design, drafting a teaching statement, effective classroom management, and motivating your students to learn. Our staff can also assist you with obtaining and interpreting feedback from your students, including designing mid-semester feedback surveys, planning formative and summative assessments, creating rubrics, analyzing exam questions, and interpreting mid-semester feedback and course instructor survey (CIS) results.

Contact us: gsiprogram@austin.utexas.edu

Program Highlights

An image of a neuron and a synapse

Disciplinary Approaches and Intellectual Dexterity in Educational Development

The GSD team recently collaborated with two UT graduate students and educational developers from Indiana University, Yale University, Brown University, and a variety of other institutions to craft an article about how disciplinary habits of mind shape our work as educational developers:

Kearns, K., Hatcher, M., Bollard, M., DiPietro, M., Donohue-Bergeler, D., Drane, L., Luoma, E., Phuong, A. E., Thain, L., Wright, M. C. (2018). “Once a scientist...:” Disciplinary approaches and intellectual dexterity in educational development. To Improve the Academy 37 (1), pp. 128-141.

GSD Teaching Needs

Graduate Student Teaching Needs

In Spring 2016, the Graduate Student Development (GSD) team administered a survey to all graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. This report describes their experiences and perceptions of preparation for teaching.

Graduate Student sharing about her teaching experience.

Graduate Student Teaching Showcase

Check out our spring 2016 Graduate Teaching Showcase, where we partnered with UT Libraries to highlight the work of four graduate students from a variety of disciplines who each told us a story about their teaching.

A guy writing in a journal

TA Instructional Development in Engineering

We collaborated with University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching to compare the effectiveness of a variety of graduate-student development programs for engineering students:

Fong, C. J., Gilmore, J. A., Pinder-Grover, T., & Hatcher, M. (2017). Teaching assistant instructional development in engineering: A test of four programs. Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Group of Graduate students engaged in learning about teaching.

COLA's GRS 097 Teaching Fundamentals Course

The College of Liberal Arts featured GSD’s Teaching Fundamentals course for graduate teaching assistants, GRS 097, in its magazine Life and Letters.