Professional Development Day for Teaching Assistants
This day-long conference is a unique opportunity for all TAs to meet and learn about new and interesting developments in teaching and learning. A featured guest keynote speaker, in addition to members of the Queen's community, will focus on key aspects of the roles and responsibilities of TAs in undergraduate teaching. This opportunity to get together in a focused environment can be an important step in encouraging effective teaching practices, encouraging further professional development, and enhancing the role TAs play in undergraduate education.
English Communication Assessment
All new international graduate students whose first language is not English are required to be assessed for oral proficiency in English before they can be assigned a Teaching Assistantship other than marking. This assessment is required for all international graduate students whose first language is not English, regardless whether at the time of application to graduate school they submitted a TOEFL, Michigan or other approved written English language test.
In order to work as a Teaching Assistant while at Queens University, these students are required to take and pass the English Communication Assessment (ECA). The ECA is administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queens University at the beginning of the Fall. For this reason, those students that require the ECA should not be assigned Teaching Assistant duties, other than marking, for your first term and/or until they have taken and successfully passed the ECA. Performance on the ECA will not affect admission, registration or funding as a graduate student at Queens.
Students who do not obtain satisfactory results on the ECA must enrol in and pass SGS 802 Communication Skills for Teaching Purposes. This is a term length course which is offered in both the fall and winter semesters.
SGS 802: English Language Communication Skills for Teaching Purposes
This is a twelve week non-credit course designed for International Graduate Students/Teaching Fellows who are non-native speakers of English. SGS 802 focuses on two themes: providing students with opportunities to improve their language and communication skills within the context of their duties as Teaching Assistants and opening the door to understanding the culture, attitudes and assumptions that prevail in the Canadian university classroom. Insight into these assumptions and values will help International Teaching Assistants/Teaching Fellows be more effective in their interactions with students at Queen's.
SGS 901: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
This course is intended for graduate students across the disciplines who want to become skilled, thoughtful, and confident teachers in higher education. The goal of the course is to foster understanding and reflection about learning approaches and effective teaching in a university setting. The course is intended primarily for Ph.D. students, particularly those who have completed their comprehensive examinations. Others, including master's level students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members, may attend, depending on enrolment. It is highly desirable that participants have some prior teaching experience (for example as a TA) and/or be acting as a TA at the time the course is offered.
Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning for Teaching Assistants (PUTL)
The Queen's University Program in University Teaching and Learning offers formal recognition to Teaching Assistants who participate in training and development activities to enhance their teaching skills.
The Program in University Teaching and Learning is self-directed. TAs design their own timeline for a training and development program within the guidelines of the certificates. They may complete as many of the three certificates as they wish in any order that they choose.
Teaching Assistants are invited to contact the CTL for one-to-one support, advice, and/or feedback on their teaching. Consultations can be carried out in person or by email. The Centre will help TAs collect feedback on their teaching by doing in-class observations, arranging a videotaping of their tutorial or lab session, and/or offering advice and resources with respect to mid-term and end-of-term student questionnaires. Microteaching sessions for TAs are also available during the fall and winter terms. To make an appointment with an educational developer, please contact that CTL at email@example.com.
The CTL maintains a resource library consisting of over 4000 books, articles, journals and videos on teaching and learning in higher education. Many are specific for TAs. The library database is searchable online.