Introducing: The Commons
Find practical online/blended course planning strategies. More content will be added throughout the summer!
Commons Front Door

Graduate Student Development

alt="Graduate Student Development Picture"

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.

The GSD Program is an initiative of the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC).  We support graduate students in preparing for intellectual leadership in future careers, in designing engaging learning experiences for their students, and in advancing an energetic culture of teaching and learning at UT. GSD provides opportunities to advance graduate students’ pedagogical, academic, and professional progress, including support for crafting a teaching statement; drafting a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement; and creating a teaching portfolio.

Graduate Student Development Programs and Services

Teaching Statement & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement Consultations

Meet with a teaching and learning consultant to review your teaching statement and/or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement. We will review your statement(s) and discuss how to communicate your student-centered goals, values, and experiences in these documents. In order to maximize our time together, we require you to upload a draft of your teaching and/or DEI statement at least 48 hours before your appointment.

For more information about teaching statements, please review our resources on drafting teaching statements: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/teaching-statement and creating a teaching portfolio: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/teaching-portfolio.

For more information about DEI statements, please review our resource on drafting DEI statements: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/drafting-diversity-equity-and-inclusi....

General Teaching & Learning Consultations

GSD staff are available to support and coach you on all aspects of teaching such as syllabus and instructional activity design, 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

Teaching Preparation Series

In collaboration with campus partners, which include the Counseling and Mental Health Center, Office of the Ombuds, Title IX Office, Sanger Learning Center, and Services for Students with Disabilities, the Faculty Innovation Center facilitate a series of active learning sessions each semester that are open to all graduate students to develop skills specific to their teaching roles. Graduate students have the opportunity to learn about, observe, practice, receive feedback on, and reflect upon teaching techniques.

Complete three sessions for a "Teaching Preparation Certificate," or seven sessions and submit a qualifying teaching statement for an "Advanced Teaching Preparation Certificate."

Check back soon for a link to register for the fall 2020 series!

GRS 097: Fundamentals for TAs

Each fall, in collaboration with the Graduate School, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, and Undergraduate Studies, 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.

Graduate Teaching Showcase

Each spring semester, graduate students compete for the chance to present quick, compelling talks about teaching at the Graduate Teaching Showcase. This event brings together graduate students, faculty, and staff to hear about exciting approaches about teaching and learn about issues graduate students are grappling with in their own teaching contexts. See all of the presentations here: https://vimeo.com/showcase/5940234

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

Program Highlights

headshot

Graduate Student Blog Spotlight

In spring semester, graduate students, along with all instructors at UT, were tasked with quickly adapting their in-person classes to be offered fully online. In our Graduate Student Blog Spotlight, Kaitlyn Farrell Rodriguez, English PhD Candidate and FIC Graduate Teaching Consultant, shares her reflections and lessons learned in her post, "Online Classes: Students Make all the Difference."

GSD Teaching Needs

Graduate Student Teaching Needs

The Graduate Student Development (GSD) team administered a survey to all graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin in spring 2016. 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 2020 Graduate Teaching Showcase, where we partnered with UT Libraries to highlight the work of seven 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.