Penn Graduate Student Center

Navigating the Classroom

About Navigating the Classroom

Navigating the Classroom seeks to help graduate teaching assistants be successful in the classroom through workshops and resources. This program is cosponsored by Penn Graduate Student Center and GAPSA.

The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library offer extensive programming to assist graduate student teachers in the classroom.


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Active Learning in STEM Courses

When implemented effectively, active learning techniques have been shown to improve learning outcomes. This four week mini-course is designed to help participants explore active learning and consider how to effectively implement these techniques in various classroom settings. This course is intended for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in utilizing these techniques in recitations or their own courses, now or in the future.

Please register to receive more information!

Teaching Workshops

Center for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate Student Center co-sponsor a series of workshops for graduate students, especially TAs, who are interested in learning and improving their teaching skills.

CTL Workshop: Teaching Students at Different Levels

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Room 305 (3rd Floor)

Many classes, ranging from introductory lectures to advanced seminars, are comprised of students with a wide variety of backgrounds. There may be freshmen sitting next to seniors, and non-majors next to majors. Some students may have taken similar courses that familiarized them with the content already, whereas others might be learning the subject for the first time. The class may be split between students who struggle to grasp basic concepts, and others who breeze through the material easily. How can you, as an instructor, make the content accessible and engaging to everyone in your class? In this workshop we will discuss the challenges to doing so in a heterogeneous classroom and strategies for managing those challenges.

Led by Lili Dworkin.

CTL Workshop: Effective Lecturing

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Floor)

What makes a lecture clear, engaging, and effective? What styles, techniques, and tools can be used to enhance a lecture? What are some useful tips for planning and organizing a lecture? When should technology be employed in a lecture? In this workshop, we’ll discuss these questions and more, all with the aim of developing strategies for successfully planning and giving lectures that inspire, engage, and teach. 

Led by Phillip Webster.

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Course in College Teaching - CTL

The Course in College Teaching is a nine-session seminar intended to prepare postdoctoral fellows and graduate students to teach college courses and to help them develop as instructors. The course will provide a structured series of workshops and discussions to help PhD students or postdoctoral fellows with little or no teaching experience. (Note: except in fields like design where a masters is a terminal degree, the Course in College Teaching is not appropriate for masters students.) Each session will use practical, hands-on activities to help students reflect on their own teaching goals and style. Students who complete the course will consider concrete ways of organizing, preparing for and teaching a course. Students will also create a portfolio of teaching materials – from sample assignments to in-class activities to syllabi – that they can use on the job market and to prepare them for their future as teachers.

For more information, please register here.

CTL Workshop: Guiding Not Giving: Helping Students Figure Things Out Themselves

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Floor)

Often students come to TAs asking questions like: Is this the correct answer? How do you do this problem? Will I need to know this for the test? This session with help TAs better direct such inquiries toward helping students better grasp course content and think independently. Participants will discuss practical ways to answer these questions so as to prompt student thinking. After the session they will be better able to distinguish between showing students the pathway to solutions from giving them the solutions. They will leave thinking about how their teaching methods can guide students to figure things out for themselves.

Led by Emmabeth Parrish.

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221