Teaching Assistants and Graduate Students

Teaching Assistants and Graduate Students play a vital role in creating rich learning environments at UBC Okanagan. The Centre for Teaching and Learning partners with TA’s to create a learning community that provides support and professional growth opportunities.

If you have any questions about TA Training please contact Cindy Bourne.

Coming Soon: TA Community of Practice

Most of our TA training modules are self-directed, and must be completed within the listed available time frame. The estimated duration to complete a module is included in the following descriptions.

Module 1 (required): Who are our learners? (approx. 90 min)

This module introduces participants to some of the challenges that UBC Okanagan learners typically face as they progress through their undergraduate degree, as well as some of the unique challenges they face in the transition to a blended/online environment.  As TAs will often be a student's first point of contact when they are struggling – this module can help promote student success.

Module 2: Introduction to Canvas (approx. 60 min)

This module provides an overview of working with Canvas (UBC’s Learning Management system). TAs may be responsible for diverse tasks that can range from posting content or assignments, facilitating discussions, to marking assignments and quizzes. This module introduces a number of these tasks and provides an opportunity for TAs to practice in a Canvas “sandbox”.

Module 3: Introduction to Collaborate Ultra or Zoom (approx. 60 min)

The transition to a blended/online delivery means traditional labs, seminars, and tutorials also move online. This module provides TAs with an opportunity to learn more about more about the UBC-supported platforms and to develop their facilitation skills. After a short video, participants will have an opportunity to put their facilitation skills in action by managing breakout rooms, chat windows and similar functions.

Module 4: Equity, Diversity & and Inclusion (EDI) (approx. 2 hr)

This module, guided by Rachael E. Sullivan, PhD, (Equity Facilitator, UBC Equity & Inclusion Office) will enable UBC’s teaching assistants to enhance their skills and better support diverse learners. Participants will learn how to incorporate EDI into the classroom as a way to enhance:

  • students’ sense of belonging
  • their engagement with content and assessment
  • the skills needed to work across differences

Participants will benefit from a variety of interactive discussions, activities, and accompanying resources.

Module 5: Teaching Basics (approx. 90 min)

This module is directed toward TAs who have been assigned a role in which they will be facilitating or teaching undergraduates. Covered in this module are some common, basic teaching strategies that can help TAs reach their students effectively and encourage the established learning outcomes of the course.  The module will also introduce principles of good teaching, both in a face-to-face environment and an online classroom, as well as tips from experienced faculty and TAs.

Module 6: Academic Integrity (approx. 60 min)

In this module participants develop a deeper understanding of the role they play in encouraging academic integrity in their students, and how to deal with situations where they suspect academic dishonesty such as cheating or plagiarism may have occurred. TAs will need to approach questions of academic integrity within a clear, institutional framework while also recognizing that sometimes what appears to be cheating may be simply a misunderstanding on the part of the student.

Module 7: Assessment and Marking (approx. 60 min)

Most TAs, at some point in their role, will be required to assess and/or give feedback on students’ work. In this module participants will develop an understanding around the importance of constructive assessment and feedback. TAs will be introduced to some basic principles of marking, how to provide constructive feedback to their students, and also how to receive constructive feedback from their faculty supervisor.

Module 8: Lesson Planning (approx. 60 min)

Some TAs will be required to plan seminars and tutorials. This module provides an understanding of the basic elements of lesson planning. While not every TA will need to plan lessons in their current role, this module can also increase their understanding of the course objectives and desired learning outcomes.

September TA training is now closed.