College of Engineering Offers Teaching Assistant Professional Development Workshop

The 2023 cohort of the BIG TA Training Workshop
Sarah Hernandez

The 2023 cohort of the BIG TA Training Workshop

The College of Engineering is offering a two-day Teaching Assistant (TA) Professional Development Workshop open to all engineering graduate students who are preparing to be TAs or are interested in teaching development. The free workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 14-15, in Bell Engineering. Refer to our workshop flyer online.

TAs are critical touch points for our undergraduate students and have a strong influence on the learning outcomes of our courses. Many of our TAs engage in in-class teaching and are responsible for grading, office hour problem solving and general interactions in person, via email and our course management systems (Blackboard).

Of equal importance, many of our graduate students aspire to faculty positions but never receive formal teaching training. This year the COE will offer a two-day TA Professional Development Workshop for TAs. While there are teaching development programs offered for faculty by the U of A TFTC, the COE TA Professional Development Workshop is a unique opportunity specific to student TAs.

The TA Professional Development Workshop has the dual goal of pedagogical training for TAs and professional development for graduate students. The workshop will include a full two-day agenda covering topics such as:

  1. Roles and responsibilities
  2. Integrating student diversity and inclusion
  3. Identifying campus resources for learning and health
  4. Hosting effective office hours
  5. Practicing use of technological tools (Blackboard, Zoom, interactive polls, etc.)
  6. Developing engineering specific and active learning strategies
  7. Creating and applying grading rubrics, syllabus development and course content
  8. Practicing teaching through demonstrations and peer feedback

TAs across all engineering disciplines, in any year of study and in any degree program (undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D.) are encouraged to attend. Breakfast, lunch and snacks with coffee will be provided for the two-day program. Students must sign up in advance by Aug. 1.  Registration can be completed online.

Questions can be directed to Sarah Hernandez ( and Cameron Murray (, associate professors in civil engineering. This workshop is funded by the Biggadike Innovation Grant (BIG) program.


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