Graduate students who are new to TAing at Penn participate in a three-day TA Training program, Wed. Aug. 24 through Fri. Aug. 26. All participants attend a plenary, deliver a teaching demonstration, engage in a session on inclusive and equitable teaching, and participate in small-group workshops on being in class or lab (Group A), on grading (Group B), and a discussion of common teaching scenarios organized by field (Group C). To participate, complete this form.
Leading Discussions in the Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences
Participants will experience a hands-on introduction to leading discussions in humanities and qualitative social science fields, including useful methods and formats for engaging students and some common challenges to leading a productive discussion. This workshop is most appropriate for TAs in fields such as Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, EALC, NELC, and Africana Studies. It is also appropriate for most TAs in Anthropology, Annenberg, and Management.
Leading Discussions in the Sciences and Quantitative Social Sciences
This workshop is most appropriate for TAs who will be using discussion to review lecture material or to give students experience reading journal articles and interpreting scientific data. This workshop is often most useful for students in Neuroscience, Psychology and Nursing and for some students in Earth and Environmental Science.
Leading Problem Solving Sessions in the Sciences, Quantitative Social Sciences and Engineering
This workshop will discuss recitations and other types of sessions (including exam review and office hours) that focus on homework and problem sets. The discussion will focus on strategies for getting students to think about and solve problems on their own as well as ways to incorporate course content into these sessions. This session is most appropriate for TAs in Engineering, Economics and Linguistics and also for some TAs in Physics and Chemistry.
Being An Effective Lab TA
This workshop will prepare TAs to guide and interact with undergraduates in labs. Participants will discuss how to help students learn from lab and how to use labs to engage with course material. This workshop is for students who are teaching labs in Physics, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, and some Engineering departments.
Grading in the Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences
This workshop offers a variety of strategies for constructing fair, efficient criteria for grading undergraduate papers and essay exams. In particular it will focus on creating a set of standards for evaluating undergraduate work. If you will be grading essays or long response questions, this is the right workshop for you.
Grading in the Sciences, Quantitative Social Sciences and Engineering
This workshop will allow participants to develop ways to grade work efficiently and fairly, particularly focusing on strategies for assigning partial credit for problem sets, short answer essays and projects.
Humanities and Qualitative Social Sciences
These scenarios focus on concerns that TAs face in humanities and some social science courses where students are expected to do a good bit of reading and writing and much of the work in recitation is discussion-based.
Quantitative Social Sciences
These scenarios focus on concerns that TAs face in social science courses where students are expected to use numbers to think through social issues (especially in fields like Economics) and where the work in recitation is focused on problem solving.
These scenarios focus on concerns that TAs face in science courses where students are expected to understand scientific concepts as well as develop problem solving skills. Recitations and labs for these courses combine problems, one-on-one work with students and discussion.
These scenarios focus on concerns that TAs face in engineering classes where students are expected to use quantitative skills to work on problems and independent design projects.