Teaching Assistant Professional Development Days

August 24-28, 2020

Join us for our virtual teaching assistant development event.  Learn about teaching online including tips on synchronous teaching online, giving effective feedback, wellness strategies and more!

Individuals choose from a variety of concurrent sessions designed to address the essential skills required by undergraduate and graduate students alike to effectively facilitate classes and to enhance their teaching skills.

Schedule of Synchronous (“live”) Events

Monday, August 24 | 11 a.m. (ADT)

Tips for Synchronous Teaching Online

Dr. Jill McSweeney-Flaherty, Centre for Learning and Teaching
Robyn Moore, Centre for Learning and Teaching

While asynchronous teaching is recommended for remote learning, there will still be instances when you may be asked to hold a synchronous teaching session. These sessions may include tutorials, review sessions, discussion groups, or even guest lectures. In this webinar, we will discuss tips for synchronous teaching including technology considerations, accessibility, active learning and more!

Tuesday, August 25 | 11 a.m. (ADT)

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in TAing

Join our panelists for a discussion on how TAs can promote equitable and inclusive classrooms.


Landon Getz, Microbiology and Immunology
Quenta Adams, Student Academic Success
Tereigh Ewert, Centre for Learning and Teaching


Les T. Johnson, Centre for Learning and Teaching

Wednesday, August 26 | 11 a.m. (ADT)

What Do I Write on Their Papers: Giving Helpful Feedback without Taking All Your Time

Dr. Margie Clow-Bohan, Writing Centre
Janice MacDonald Eddington, Writing Centre

We have always learned to write by reading, practicing our writing, and getting feedback. The academy is no different. Students need feedback to adapt to disciplinary conventions and grow in understanding of effective writing strategies. What kind of feedback helps the most? This session will offer a crash course in understanding what works best for improving student writing. It will also give you a few tips on writing feedback that saves you time. Whether you are teaching in a science, arts, humanities, social sciences, commerce, or health sciences, your students will benefit from your awareness of writing development through feedback.

Wednesday, August 26 | 2 p.m. (ADT)

Strategies for Helping Students with Problem-Based Assessments

Dr. Joseph Tassone (Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University)

Critical thinking is an essential skill in many professional environments. To develop this skill, students are often required to apply their knowledge to solve problems on assessments. How can we best guide students through this process? To answer this question, this session will present strategies on how to assist students with problem-based assessments and foster their critical thinking skills. Emphasis will be placed on using these approaches with students during the completion of these assessments. Providing effective feedback on completed problem-based assessments will also be discussed briefly.

Thursday, August 27 | 2 p.m. (ADT)

Building an Online Community of Learning using Brightspace 

Ayesha Mushtaq, College of Continuing Education

Online classes must be designed to create a safe space for students from diverse backgrounds to share their knowledge, support each other and collaborate on class work. These communities are not built automatically and are neither simplistic in implementation. A deliberate effort is needed in creating online communities of learning to ensure that students feel connected to their peers and have space to interact with them especially as we prepare for online learning. In this presentation, TAs will have an opportunity to engage in a discussion on the importance of social presence and how they can create online communities using interactive tools from Brightspace and beyond.

Friday, August 28 | 2 p.m. (ADT)

Wellness Panel

Stephen Seviour, MA Student, School of Health and Human Performance
Hazel Ling, Social Worker, Student Health and Wellness Centre
Karen Tang, Clinical Psychology PhD Student, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Raghav V. Sampangi, Faculty of Computer Science

Many TAs are also graduate students or working at the university or in the community. How can you maintain your mental health during stressful and busy times? Join us for a panel discussion on wellness strategies for TAs. Our panelists will discuss topics ranging from self-compassion to promoting mental wellness in academia. Come prepared with questions to contribute to the conversation!


Unable to attend or missed the event?

Contact our Educational Developer (Students), Robyn Moore.  Robyn's work focuses on supporting teaching assistants, lab demonstrators, and markers, as well as the teaching development of graduate students. She is currently the co-administer of the Certificate of University Teaching and Learning

Robyn Moore

Robyn Moore, MA
Educational Developer (Students)
Email: robyn.moore@dal.ca