Requirements for ECE TAs:

ECE TAs are encouraged to contact their TATD Fellow Mentor throughout the semester with any questions or TA concerns. New TAs are required to meet with mentors at a mid-semester check-in. TAs are required to attend two workshops per semester.

Upcoming Workshops

Spring 2020

March 12: "Keeping Students Engaged With Socratic Questioning"
1:00 pm; 2460 AV Williams Building
Facilitated by Andrew Goffin

It's difficult to keep students engaged in a discussion or lab, and often if they get stuck they will stop putting in the necessary effort to succeed. One specific method of keeping students engaged if they are stuck is the to use "Socratic Questioning" -- simply put, a way to give hints to students while still requiring them to think. Using Socratic Questioning, albeit time consuming, is an excellent way to require the students to arrive at an answer as opposed to just providing the solution yourself.

March 25: "Find the Right Teaching Pace for Your Class"
1:00 pm; 2460 AV Williams
Facilitated by Sajani Pallegoda Vithana and Yuqi Zhao

It might happen to you when some top students who already have a good command of knowledge cannot gain much from your sections while some others below average are struggling and complaining about your teaching pace. To get rid of this, all you need is a proper teaching pace that fits your class well. In this workshop, we will discuss strategies of how to identify and adjust your teaching pace according to students' widespread levels and different areas of lectures.

Week of April 6: "Analyzing Your Mid-Semester Evals"
Time/Place TBD
Facilitated by Lei Pan

TAs are often in the position that they find the evaluations received from students are not what they expected to see, but how do we move forward from there? I would like to share some of my experience for helping you to both create a more effective measure of evaluation, and analyze the results to make the evaluation more meaningful.

Week of April 13: "Effective Presentation Skills to Facilitate Active Learning"
Time/Place TBD
Facilitated by Xin Tian and Xiaomin Lin

I'd like to share with TAs what I learn from the Future Faculty Program seminar in the coming spring semester about effective presentation and discuss how to better engage students into class/discussion session/lab with those presentation skills.

Week of April 20: "Breaking the Shackles"
Time/Place TBD
Facilitated by Saketh Rambhatla

Experience a completely reformed, interactive TATD session filled with fun and interesting games. In this session, we break away from the regular format (usually consisting of talks by a TATD fellow). The session consists of multiple games inspired by popular game shows on various topics including but not limited to "Time Management", "Grading" and "Improving class participation". All new/returning TAs are welcome to attend, share their experience and hopefully learn some new things in the session.


Past Workshops

March 4: "Practicing Mindfulness Inside and Outside of the Classroom"
12:30 pm; 1146 AV Williams Building
Facilitated by Charles Turner

Practicing mindfulness has become a popular topic for managing emotions and stress, as well as enhancing clarity and focus on one's tasks each day. We can also use these principles to promote a calm, relaxed, yet enlivened classroom environment. This workshop will discuss these principles and provide some practical exercises for TA's to apply in the classroom and their own personal life.

February 27: "Satisfactory Performance as a TA"
1:00 pm; 2460 AV Williams Building
Facilitated by Jinjing Han

Based on the TA evaluation form, there are three questions for students to evaluate a TA. In this workshop, I am planning to discuss how to treat students with respect, how to be well-prepared for class, and how to be an effective teacher. In addition, I will also discuss the comments I received in the past 2 years and discuss what are students really looking for, and how to satisfy students.

February 21: "Expect the Unexpected: Learning to be an Adaptable TA"
1:30 pm; 2168 AV Williams Building
Facilitated by Semih Kara

We will be discussing how to adapt to assisting classes that the TA has forgotten or the instructor does differently than what the TA is used to. I see instances of the first one in classes such as introductory digital logic (or other introductory classes) and I believe the second issue happens often in graduate classes.   I am aiming to talk on different ways to coop with these situations, such as attending classes, going through the syllabus with the instructor beforehand and following every step of the course, using student’s homeworks to help preparing rubrics, etc. as well as how this might effect time management.

February 4: "What's All This About 'Research'?"
2:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Presented by Professor Bruce Jacob

Professor Jacob will take some time to talk to TAs about why you should do research, how to do research, and how to go about finding/picking a research advisor.

November 14: "Balancing Your Time as a TA, Student, and Researcher"
2:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Semih Kara

As the end of the semester approaches many of us are overwhelmed under the multifaceted nature of the PhD process, since we are expected to successfully function as students, TAs and researchers. This workshop aims to understand the difficulties that you might be having in this regard and introducing tips to overcome these concerns, as well as providing an environment for the fellow TAs to share their experiences and suggestions on how you can enhance your multitasking abilities. Some of the topics to be discussed include time and load management, tips for gaining efficiency in TA and student chores and overcoming the burnout syndrome. Seeing that we have many specific tasks (e.g. grading, doing homework, carrying out experiments and proving results) of several natures, we will discuss on the micro-perspective of how to become more efficient in these tasks. We will also talk about the macro-perspective of how to place these tasks into our daily life. Finally we will talk about the burnout syndrome and share what motivated us to take this path. As a result of this workshop we hope that you will feel more control over your tasks and be motivated to embrace the difficulties of the PhD process.

October 28: "How to Ensure That Your Students Get the Maximum Benefit of a Discussion Session"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Sajani Pallegoda Vithana

A discussion session is where the students train themselves to apply the subject matter they learn in class, while clearing out their doubts on the material. TA's should make sure that they create an interactive environment during the discussion session in order to let the students get a better understanding on the concepts and to improve their critical thinking skills. Moreover, TA's could use simple techniques such as briefing the material before moving on to questions and conducting a short Q&A session, to ensure that the students get the maximum benefit of the discussion session.

October 21: Community  Event "Coffee With Your TATD Mentor"
3:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Marissa Stewart  from TLTC

This Community Event will consist of a brief workshop regarding the benefits of feedback. This topic can be particularly helpful as mid-semester evaluations are being held and TAs are in the process of requesting feedback from their students and even mentors or professors. The second half of the event, TAs and their mentors will have time to talk over coffee and pastries.

October 17: "Motivating Your Students to Be More Independent and Prepared"
10:00 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Yuqi Zhao and Xiaomin Lin

Learning is mainly done by a student himself/herself. The recitation would be more effective and efficient if the students come prepared. Thus, motivating the students to be more independent and prepared before coming to the discussion (lab) session is an important task for all TAs. In this workshop, we aim to focus on tips we learned from our past TA experience.

October 10: "Discussion Sessions: Understanding a Student's Perspective"
11:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Sai Saketh Rambhatla

Most TAs do a good job in making the discussion session as smooth and coherent as possible but what does the student think? We as TAs work hard to prepare well for the session but do we keep the student in mind during our preparation. This workshop starts by highlighting how differently the student perceives the discussion session and ends it with some ways to address such issues.

October 1: "Making the Most of Your Office Hour"
2:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Xin Tian

Office hour lasts usually about one hour every week. How to make full use of this one hour to help as many students as possible is an important lesson for TAs to learn. In this workshop, I aim to focus on tips I learned from my past TA experience.  1) Collect questions before office hours to have an expectation of what questions may be asked. (Or we can have a sense from students’ emails). 2) Summarize and make a list of questions that most students don’t fully understand. Solve those common questions together to save time and avoid repeating. 3) Avoid spending too much time on one question.  4) Be prepared and know the lectures. 5) Try to use illustrations like logical drawing, block diagram, etc. to facilitate explanation.

September 26: "Grading to Teach"
1:00pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Andrew Goffin

Instead of focusing on how to grade efficiently (that's likely covered by others), this talk will talk about how to develop a rubric and grade assignments to best educate students. For example: distribute points so the most important concepts are worth the most, write comments to lead students to the correct conclusion when they are wrong.

September 16: "Three Steps to an Engaging Lab Session"
12:30 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Lei Pan and Jinjing Han

Students spend more time with a lab TA than the professor. Also unlike a discussion session TA, the lab TA plays a more important role in the class since students learn directly from him/her. Thus it is important for us, as lab TAs to convey course material to students in the valuable three hours. We would like to share our experience with you on how to design an engaging lab session in three steps: before the lab session, during the lab session, and after the lab session.

April 26: "Leveraging your TA Experience for your Career"
12:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Meenatchi Jagasivamani

All TAs have to fill multiple roles as part of their graduate school life -- as a mentor, instructor, coordinator, collaborator.  In this workshop, we will work together to identify some of the technical and interpersonal skills that come into play as a Teaching Assistant.  We will then talk about the overlap of these skillset with different roles in the real world.

April 17: "Being an Efficient First Time International TA: Know-How"
12:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Sai Saketh Rambhatla

Being a first time TA is very daunting for international students who TA'd before in their home country. Imagine being a TA for the first time in your life. Intimidating, isn't it? In this session, a general overview would be given about what to expect as TAs in discussion/lab sessions and how to make your transition as smooth as possible. A fun-filled interactive session, with some of the senior TAs sharing their experiences and giving tips to enjoy the TAship can be expected. Returning/New TAs can discuss and learn new strategies and tools which can make their journey as a TA efficient.

April 5: "Time Management"
2:30pm; AV William 1146
Facilitated by Jun Wang and Xin Tian

Balancing among course work, TA work and research work can be a really challenging task. Time management skills are in great need especially when you have to handle all the three things aforementioned. In this workshop, I'd like to share with you my tips about how I survive and thrive a semester with three tasks together and some suggestions I learned from other successful people.

March 29: "Managing Expectations: Professors, Students and Your Own"
3:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Soumya Indela

The work of a TA involves preparing for the discussion/lab sessions, handling students in class, grading, preparing solutions for the exams, and above all, our own graduate work. Managing all these is a major challenge and I would like to provide some suggestions as to how to manage all these tasks.

March 13: "Accommodating Students with Disabilities"
2:00 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Charles Turner

Students with disabilities are found eligible for classroom accommodations by meeting with a counselor to share their disability documentation and to discuss their specific classroom accommodation needs. As a TA, you will most likely implement the approved accommodations. This workshop will cover the student's rights and what you may and may not be required to implement.

March 8: "Respect is the Foundation of Teaching"
10:00 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Michael D'Antonio and Andrew Risinger

One of the qualities of effective TAs is the development of a mutual respect with your students. In this workshop, we hope to show some simple ways to develop respect between you and your students, professor, and other TAs, to improve your success as a TA.

February 21: "Talk Showing" the Discussion sessions
1:00 PM; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Zeyu Zhang and Anuththara Rupasinghe

For TAs who lead discussion sessions, holding students' attention throughout the session may become one of the toughest challenges. As an interesting comparison, television talk shows share some common features to TA discussions. A good host also intends to convey his or her ideas to the audience in an attractive form and the audience never feels bored or tired. Well, of course university lectures are much harder for the students to understand than entertainment news, but we could look into ways how talk shows make news alive and attract people. We could even come up with better ideas to improve the TA discussion sessions to include more interaction with students using our creativity during this workshop.

February 14: "Keys to an Effective Discussion Session"
2:00 PM; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Debdipta Goswami

Discussion sessions constitute a major part of the ECE core courses, and usually the TA is responsible for holding it. The students usually have a great deal of expectations from the TA in these sessions. And hence, it is very important to deliver an effective discussion session. This workshop will try to cover the following topics: the expectations of the students in a discussion session, clarifying the concepts vs problem solving, keeping the students engaged, complementing the lecture by presenting suitable examples.

December 3: "Do you Really Know How Your Students Learn?"
12:00 PM; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Zeyu Zhang

As teaching assistants, we are used to standing on a higher level of understanding and trying to teach students the same way when we began to learn the course materials. What we sometimes neglect is the real learning process of different students. In a survey I did to some of my former students, it turned out their ways to accept new knowledge are actually very different than what I expected. It is due to the different education systems in my country and in the United States, which could be a common issue for most TAs. The replies from the survey drove me to hold this workshop to look from a US undergrad student perspective to understand their learning styles and expectations. Hopefully, it could help you know better of your students and conduct effective teaching in the future.

November 14: "Grading: Friend or Foe?"
3:00 pm; AV Williams 2168
Facilitated by Michael D'Antonio and Andrew Risinger

Grading got you down? Tired of seeing stacks of papers pile up? Have we got the seminar for you! In this seminar, veteran TAs Drew & Mikey will lay out their best tips and practices for grading quickly and fairly. Topics will include: how to grade quickly; keeping your grading consistent; finding your best grading style; what happens when students cheat; grading strategies for working with your fellow TAs, and more! After this seminar, you might actually be excited about grading (or at least dread it a little less...).

November 5: "Time Management Strategies for TAs"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Meenatchi Jagasivamani and Soumya Indela

Time management is one of the most critical skills to master for Graduate Students as we juggle teaching, research, studying, writing, and other priorities. This workshop takes a step back to look at the long-range goals that can guide you into choosing to day-to-day tasks and suggests practical strategies that you can employ to prioritize and manage the amount of time you allot for tasks.

October 19: "Inspiring Critical Thinking: A Guide to Attacking Unknown Problems"
12:00 pm; AV Williams 2168
Facilitated by Debdipta Goswami

Most students want a straightforward solution to the presented problems. But that doesn't help in enhancing the problem solving aptitude. An effective TA must kindle the critical thinking among the students so that they learn how to solve unknown problems with the tools they already have in their repertoire. That involves seeking answers from the students and guide them in a step-by-step manner to the solution. The workshop will mention the ways and approaches a TA can use to encourage critical thinking and in turn enhance the students' problem solving capability.

October 9: "Adapting Instruction Style for Students of Different Backgrounds"
3:30 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Charles Turner

Instructing a course as a TA requires more knowledge than just the subject matter; it also requires an understanding of the type of students one is instructing. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to adapt his or her instruction style to best fit the needs of the students taking the course.

September 27: "Being a First-Time International TA: Tips and Tricks"
11:00 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Xin Tian

As international TAs, many of the problems are the same as those faced by local TAs, like time management, grading methods and leading a lab/discussion session. However, the international TA is new not only to UMD and to teaching, but also to this country. Two main concerns may affect you: language barriers and “culture shock”. To address the two issues, here are some tips. 1. Give your students a chance to get accustomed to your accented English 2.Make it clear to the class that they should let you know when they don’t understand what you say 3.Let students know that you care about them and their success in this course. 4.Not to be overly authoritarian 5.Keep in mind that you will make mistakes.

September 21: "Preparing for an Effective and Smooth Discussion Session"
10:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Anuththara Rupasinghe and Sai Saketh Rambhatla

Having to prepare weekly for a 50-minute discussion session can be quite overwhelming at times, while doing your own courses and research work. Sometimes, you don't feel very confident however much you prepare, especially if you are not very comfortable with the material. In this workshop we will share our past experiences regarding the most efficient way to prepare for a discussion. We would like to focus on different aspects required to be considered, including trying to understand the students' perspective, fore-thinking about questions that can be brought up and in overall, seeing a Teaching Assistantship as a benefit than a burden.

September 12: "Tips to Prepare for an Efficient Laboratory Session"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Jun Wang

Conducting a laboratory session is rather different from giving a recitation. Lab sessions are generally predefined by lecture instructors, but it is TAs’ responsibility to ensure that students get the most out of the labs. In this workshop we will discuss how TAs can prepare for lab sessions, how to conduct the labs, and how to help students learn the most out of their time. We will also take a look at common issues we may run into during lab sessions, and come up with ways to tackle them.

April 16: "Making Discussion Sessions Attractive and Innovative"
12:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Zeyu Zhang
Discussion sessions are probably the most important time for students to reinforce their understanding of the course materials. Traditional ways of teaching are relatively good and widely expected by students, but the truth is some students will eventually be distracted and lose interest after several classes. The time has come for us TAs to think about how to add a "cherry on top" to our discussion sessions to decorate them to be attractive and grasp students' interest throughout the semester, without the loss of acedemic depth. In this TATD session, I will introduce ways based on my research and also my own experience to help make your discussion sessions more interesting, and hopefully help you become a more popular TA among the students.
April 4: "Discussion Sections: Approaching with a Plan"
10:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Michael D'Antonio and Qiang Zhu
This TATD workshop will discuss structuring your 50 minute discussion section, and the importance of catering your discussion section delivery to the learning styles and needs of the students. We will talk about the topics that should be addressed during the discussion section, effective preparation, the importance of the opening, effectively delivering example problems, and how to communicate with your students to ensure that your teaching style is effective to their needs.
March 29: "What Makes a Good Lecture?"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Candace Walden

A brainstorming workshop on what things make a lecture beneficial to students. Issues like how to best present different types of information, if additional materials should be supplied, the different aims of a lab lecture and discussion lecture, and class involvement will be discussed.

March 12: "Labs: Saving Students from Stuffy Classrooms"

1:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Andrew Risinger
Labs are a chance for students to interact with engineering in a way not possible in the classroom. We will discuss how to make labs more interesting, how to take advantage of the atypical learning environment, and how to effectively engage students. Come prepared for hands-on education!
March 7: "TAing a Course Without Sufficient Background"
11:30 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Deepayan Bhadra
There are instances when students are assigned as TAs for a course which they haven't studied formally before. Needless to say, this can turn nightmarish if not tackled properly. In this workshop, we explore tips from students who have been there, done that. With sufficient planning and effort, such courses can be brought to fruition.
February 26: "How To Be a Productive TA"
1:30 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Meena Jagasivamani and Nadee Seneviratne
As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, we play many roles -- student, teacher, researcher.  When deadlines approach these demanding roles can make you feel overwhelmed.  This workshop will cover some proven strategies that help you strike the right balance between your various responsibilites.  We will learn how to properly Plan, Prioritize, and Execute to have a highly productive graduate career.
February 13: "Different Student Types and How to Tackle Them"
3:30 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Soumya Indela
From my TA experience, I have seen students of various kinds like ambitious - who would love to do anything different from the regular curriculum, enthusiastic - who want to learn and gain something from the course, question banks - who ask questions even if they are unnecessary, lazy - who would not want to do anything at all, few other students who would do anything for marks, and many more. I would provide some tackling strategies from my experiences to satisfy all the kinds of students.
February 7: "Efficient and Effective Grading"
11:00 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Yangyi Yao and Austen San Nicolas
Fast and smart grading is paramount to student achievement and success; however, for TAs, it often consumes a great amount of time in order to be effective. While you grade, you may discover that your grading scheme is imperfect, often taking off too many points here, or being too lenient elsewhere. This workshop aims to provide veteran TAs a good opportunity to reflect on their own grading habits, and provide new TAs some real grading examples and tips to help harness their own grading skills. TAs attending have the option of bringing in assignments/quizzes that they have already graded, with student names excluded, for more interactive feedback.

November 27: "Respect is the Foundation of Teaching"
2:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Andrew Risinger

I believe that the central reason why I am an effective TA is because I respect my students. In this workshop, I hope to show some simple ways to respect students and improve connections.

November 14: "Some Tips About How to Prepare the Discussion"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Qiang Zhu

I want to narrow down the discussion range mainly on how to prepare the discussion session. I will touch on the follow topics: 1. Try to be familiar with the syllabus of your course. Make sure to discuss with instructor about the logic or the flow of the course. And be sure to get familiar with everything before the first discussion session. 2. Multimedia instills more fun to the discussion. But try to explain well how the content you show is connected or interacted with the stuff in the course.  3. Evaluate the levels of your audience. Try to adaptive tuning the difficulties of your content. 4. Feedback matters. 5. What kind of materials can stimulate your audience to ask questions. 6. Show some of my work during my TA time.

November 1: "How to Effectively Help the Students During a Lab Session"
11:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Yangyi Yao

Lab session usually requires the TA frequently interact with the students, and as the size of the labs differs, the workload differs. During the workshop, I'll share my experience of how to  lead and guide the students effectively during the lab section considering the case of small group lab and big group lab, I will also provide some useful tips to the rookie TAs who will conduct a lab session as their first TA job. We will also discuss the issues that may happened during the labs, such as the malfunction of the apparatus, conflicts between students, and how to troubleshoot these potential problems in an effective way.

October 26: "Being a Proactive Teaching Assistant/To Be or Not to Be (a TA)?"
12:00 pm; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Meenatchi Jagasivamani and Deepayan Bhadra

Friday, October 20: "Different Student Types and How to Tackle Them"
1:00 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Soumya Indela

From my TA experience, I have seen students of various kinds like ambitious - who would love to do anything different from the regular curriculum, enthusiastic - who want to learn and gain something from the course, question banks - who ask questions even if they are unnecessary, lazy - who would not want to do anything at all, few other students who would do anything for marks, and many more. I would provide some tackling strategies from my experiences to satisfy all the kinds of students.

October 2: "Developing/Molding an Appropriate Teaching Style"
11:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Austen San Nicolas

TAs may find their teaching styles to be effective in many circumstances; however, courses often fluctuate between professors, so being able to adapt is crucial to better aid students. In this workshop, a variety of tips and tricks will be presented to help TA's understand their own teaching styles, and how to form it into one that meets the current demand from students. A short discussion will then take place to address any questions/concerns.

September 28: "Effective Interaction Between TAs and Different Student Personalities"
10:00 am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Nadee Seneviratne and Zeyu Zhang

Discussion session is a precious time for students to review contents of the week and practice sample problems. It is very likely that students will mostly depend on their TA to clarify their doubts regarding the subject matters. At the same time, their expectations during the discussion sessions will vary from student to student. It is important to strike a balance while catering to their expectations so that a majority of the class will be benefited. Besides, by keeping a good interaction with students will let them release the pressure and get truly involved in learning. During the workshop, we will discuss different types of students and situations we might have to deal with as TAs. Furthermore, several good forms of interaction will also be discussed, not only in discussion sessions but also during offline periods, such as office hour, before or after discussions, emails, etc.

September 22: "Maximizing the Limiting Resource in the Lab: You"
3:00 pm; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Paul Watrobski

Often times, TAs are the most requested resource in the lab.  You may be the only one, or one of a few people to assist students.  Therefore, it’s important to maximize your ability to help as many students through their different problems.  It is also important to make sure that your students get the most out of the lab, becoming self-sufficient in figuring out their own bugs.  In this workshop, we will discuss ways to engage students in a way that helps lead them down the path of determining and resolving solutions to their own problems, with minimal direction on your part, and maximum learning on theirs.

September 14: "Discussion Sections - Approaching with a Plan"
11:00 am; AV Williams 1146
Facilitated by Michael D'Antonio

This TATD workshop will talk about structuring your 50 minute discussion section, and the importance of catering your discussion section delivery to the needs and learning styles of the students. I will talk about the topics that should be addressed during the discussion section, the importance of the opening, effectively delivering example problems, and how to communicate with your students to ensure that your teaching style is effective to their needs.

April 27: "Effective Grading"
11:00am; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Abdulrahman Baknina

Grading is an essential part of being a TA. We have a lot of things to grade: homework, quizzes, lab reports, exams, etc. In this workshop, we will discuss what is the best way to grade them, and how to grade effectively and efficiently—to encourage students to learn but not to cost ourselves too much time.

May 3: "Community Event #2"
Q&A with Professor Bruce Jacob; AV Williams 2460
Facilitated by Daniel Gerzhoy

April 14: "TA Table Topics"
Facilitated by Candace Walden

This workshop is focused around getting knowledge from your fellow TAs and having time to discuss different aspects of being a TA. There will be a set of predefined topics to generate discussion: such as difficult or inspiring students, things you felt you innovated. There will also be a call at the beginning of the workshop for the participants to write their own topic they're interested in.

April 6: "Solution Manual: Working Effectively with Instructors of Different Styles"
Facilitated by Wei Bai

Instructors have a variety of styles, even if they teach the same course. Each instructor has his/her own teaching style, requirements for recitations/labs, grading criterion, office hour specification, etc. In this workshop, I would like to provide a “solution manual” for TAs, for how to work effectively with instructors of different styles. I hope that current and future TAs could benefit from this presentation by getting familiar with and then getting prepared for possible instructor styles.

March 14: "Community Event #1"
Facilitated by Ahmed Arafa

March 8 "Importance of Effective Communication in TA-ships"
Facilitated by Vidya Raju

One possible reservation TAs face is the possibility that the workload takes away from their time for research and coursework (dealt with in the last TATD workshop). I would like to address the role of communication - whether with professors, students or peers - in performing one's TA duties. I would also like to highlight how teaching might influence one's own perspective on research and career goals. I hope to leave the audience with some ideas on how to have the teaching experience be motivational and the role of effective communication that can leave the TA with a significantly positive experience.

March 3: "Playing the Most Efficient Role: Holding the Discussion"
Facilitated by Qiang Zhu

To achieve our objective of discussion session, we need to better tune our teaching system in a clever way. With the emphasis on teaching efficiency, I will talk about how to make the best of 50mins discussion to save the student’s time and effort learning the course from my personal experiences and invite you to share your experiences also. I hope more clever ideas and strategies will emerge with the lead of my discussion.

February 22: "Utilizing Technology in the Lab and Lecture"
Facilitated by Justine Stine and Zeyu Zhang

The teaching assistantship is an old and traditional position. The contents and responsibilities have changed very little over the years, and so have the techniques used to teach. However, these methods may not be sufficient for a newer generation of students. With the development of modern technology, can we adapt our current approaches and allow them to collide and sparkle with tradition? The answer is yes and the options are vast. The objective of this workshop is to provide participants valuable insights into the various ways of communication, teaching, grading, and use of simulation tools that adopt the merit of “cool” technology. We believe that these potential tricks will not only help students learn better but also let you, the TA, be more efficient.

February 16: "How to Enjoy Being a TA"
Facilitated by Peiwen He

Being a TA is an exciting experience. It is a great opportunity for us to communicate with students and be a bridge between them and the faculty. However, working as a TA sometimes is boring, especially when you teach the same course again and again. In this workshop, we will discuss how to enjoy being a TA while working as a TA. It will also be a good opportunity to share your stories and experiences to help improve our teaching skills and make us better TAs.

February 7: "Effectively Conducting a Lab Session"
Facilitated by Yumeng Cui

Serving as a lab teaching assistant, playing the role between the professor and students can be very challenging.  How to effectively organize the 3-hour section, and hence have the class learn as much as possible during the time truly depends on the TA's input.  In this workshop we will simulate common problems encountered in a lab, discuss best problem solving strategies, and simulate small lab scenarios.

November 8: "Effective Time Management as a TA"
Facilitated by Vidya Raju and Zeyu Zhang

Being a teaching assistant is an exciting and fruitful experience for graduate students. However, giving discussions, grading homeworks, and attending lectures is without doubt a time consuming task. Effectively scheduling your TA duties can not only help you efficiently complete all the TA responsibilities, but also focus more on your research and course work. In this workshop, we will share strategies from our experiences about two aspects of time management: as a TA and as a graduate student.

November 3: "Using Past Experiences to Their Fullest"
Facilitated by Dan Gerzhoy and Peiwen He

TAs come from many different backgrounds, including different countries, different academic environments, and industry. These backgrounds provide differing levels of knowledge in material taught, and teaching style. This workshop will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the different backgrounds, and explore ways the TA can efficiently and effectively fill gaps in their knowledge and help their students to learn.

October 21: "How to Get Students to Talk in Class"
Facilitated by Ahmed Arafa

Getting students to talk during discussion/lab sessions is of great importance. It lets them express their concerns so that the TA would cover more points in his/her illustration. However, it is generally not easy to make students talk or speak up their minds during class (most will come with questions after class). In this workshop we discuss some ideas into how to alleviate this problem and encourage students to engage more actively in class.

October 27: "Fine Tuning to Become a Better TA"
Facilitated by Manasij Venkatesh

A TA plays an important role in aiding a student's understanding. Apart from being the first contact point to clarify doubts, a TA can be influential in motivating a student. It is essential to realize this responsibility and constantly try to be a better TA. Often, small details go a long way in improving your abilities. In the workshop, I'll discuss what I think are qualities that some of my great teachers and TAs had.

October 6: "Independent and Cooperative Learning"
Facilitated by Qiang Zhu

While working as a TA, questions like, "Should I make decisions without letting my professor know?" "Is it okay if I keep my own style of teaching?" and "Is my job just to make the professor and students happy?" will arise.  I'll talk about such concerns from my personal experience addressing the topic 'independent or cooperative teaching.

September 28 "Delivering an Effective Lecture"
Facilitated by Abdulrahman Baknina

Recitation plays an important role in the education process, specially for undergraduate courses.
The goal of a recitation includes reviewing the lectures, solving problems and reviewing the material before exams. Different students have different expectations for the recitation session. Also, each student has his/her own speed/method of perceiving the presented material. As a result, delivering an effective one hour recitation can be quite challenging. In this workshop, we will discuss several approaches to deliver an effective recitation.

September 22: "Community Event #1"
3:30pm; AV Williams 2460

September 8: "Expect the Unexpected: Adjusting Myself as a First-Time TA"
Facilitated by Wei Bei

Being a teaching assistant (TA) is very exciting and important for TAs, especially the first-time TAs. However, most of these new TAs don't have teaching experience. Many new TAs are new graduate students as well. They have to balance their coursework, teaching and research. This is even more challenging for foreign TAs, especially for whom English is not their mother tongue. In this workshop, we would like to give some suggestions to the new TAs helping them to adjust to this new environment, and be more comfortable as a TA.

September 14: "Challenges in Lab / Effectively Managing a Lab Session"
Facilitated by Yumeng Cui and Candace Walden

In this workshop we will mainly focus on developing effective in-lab management skills. Is making a lecture in the lab helpful? How to present your idea to the students? Shall we spend the entire 3-hour session working with students? Through group discussions and ideas from the speakers, we will be challenged by real scenarios that are commonly seen in a lab session. Different ways to help with debugging will be reviewed. Inputs from the audience are welcomed.