Graduate Teaching Orientation

August 13-15, 2019
The Ohio Union at Ohio State

The Graduate Teaching Orientation is an annual event designed specifically for new Ohio State Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs) to reduce anxieties, provide techniques and strategies for effective teaching and suggest resources for further assistance.

By the end of orientation, participants should feel more confident about teaching their upcoming courses, be connected with a community of fellow teachers, know how to incorporate techniques and strategies for effective teaching and identify resources for further assistance, and be able to articulate how diversity impacts teaching and learning in their classrooms.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Teaching Orientation for?

The orientation is intended for all graduate students who are new to teaching at Ohio State or to their particular assignments. This includes first-year GTAs (graduate teaching associates), GTAs who are not new to Ohio State but are teaching here for the first time, or GTAs who have taught at Ohio State in a different context and are starting a new type of assignment (e.g., a former grader will now be teaching an independent course). Even if your teaching appointment does not start immediately, you are welcome to attend. You may also attend more than once.

Please note: While new faculty members are welcome to attend, the Office of Academic Affairs sponsors an orientation specifically for new faculty members. We encourage new faculty members to attend the faculty orientation, but you may supplement that orientation with sessions from ours if you so choose.

Who will my fellow participants be?

There are generally around 500-600 participants in the Teaching Orientation across 50-60 departments, coming from a diverse array of backgrounds. In 2018, roughly 50% of the participants had taught before, either in a college setting or elsewhere, while the other participants had no former teaching experience. About 30% of participants were international students. The GTAs who come through the Teaching Orientation teach in a broad variety of teaching contexts and programs across the university.

One of the most unique and perhaps rewarding aspects of the orientation is that you will spend the majority of the two-day Introduction to Teaching and Learning sequence with the same small group of people (about 15-30 people). These small groups will be made up of people who are in the same teaching context as you, and they will generally be from departments similar to your own.

Will there be food?

We do not serve meals at the Teaching Orientation. However, feel free to bring in snacks or drinks, and there will be ample time for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday. For dining options, see the University Dining Services online map. We will serve refreshments at the Teaching Resource Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

What else should I know about attending the Orientation?

Please feel free to dress casually and comfortably. We recommend wearing layers because the temperature of the buildings can vary. You should bring a copy of your schedule and pen. You may also want to bring an umbrella and funds to purchase lunch.


Do I need to register if my department already submitted my name?

Yes. You still need to fill out the registration form. You will not be registered if you do not fill out this form.

How do I know which sessions are appropriate for me?

If you received an email from us with schedule requirements/recommendations, those sessions were hand-selected by your department as the ones that would most closely meet your needs. If you did not receive an email, we suggest contacting your teaching department to ask for their recommendations. Alternatively, our consultants would be happy to meet with you to determine the best schedule for you. Contact us if you would like to set up an appointment.

What do “Required,” “Recommended,” “Optional” and “Do Not Register” mean?

Each of these terms reflect your department’s requirements or recommendations for your orientation schedule.

Required: Your department is requiring you to register for any sessions marked “Required.” When you get to the registration form, consult your email and be sure to register for any sessions marked “Required.”

Recommended: These are sessions your department suggests you attend. They are probably most closely related to your teaching assignment. However, they are not required.

Optional: Your department wanted you to know these sessions were available to you and recognizes their importance. However, your department does not indicate a preference for whether or not you attend.

Do Not Register: Your department has asked that you do not register for this session. Usually, this means your department has something else for you to do during that time. You should contact your department to determine your departmental orientation or training schedule.

What is a “teaching context”? Why do I have to choose one?

There are many different ways that instructors might interact with students. You may teach in an independent course, or you may be one of several teachers working in a team. You may teach in the studio, lab, or clinical setting, or work one-on-one with students in independent study courses.

It is important that you determine the context in which you will be teaching before you register because it will help us put you in the appropriate Introduction to Teaching and Learning session. These sessions are designed to address the kinds of teaching concerns that are most likely to arise for particular kinds of teaching. By signing up for a particular teaching context, you make sure that you will learn the skills most applicable to your own teaching experience.

What does “Open Choice” mean?

“Open choice” means that your department would like to register for something of your personal choosing during that time slot.

I registered but need to cancel. What should I do?

Just contact us and let us know you cannot attend. If your department has required you to attend orientation, you should contact your department to let them know you can’t be there. Your department may make alternate arrangements for you to receive the training you need.

I missed registration. May I still attend orientation?

Yes, you may. We have walk-in registration available in room 214 of Enarson Classroom Building between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13 at which you may register for any sessions in which there are still open seats. Please find out your departmental requirements and review our session descriptions ahead of time so you know for which sessions you would like to register when you arrive.

I don’t have my Ohio State email address yet. May I still register?

Yes, you may use an alternate email address. However, it makes the registration process much simpler for us if you use your OSU email address, so please find it out ahead of time, if possible. You might try searching for your name in our university directory.


What if I see “No Session Scheduled” in a particular time block on my schedule?

This means that you are not scheduled for anything during that time block, usually because you did not register for it or because the session was full by the time you submitted your registration form. In some cases, participants accidentally register for sessions marked “Do Not Register” on their email invitations. In those situations, we catch this error and purposely leave them out of those sessions because their departments requested they not attend. If you would like to attend a session for which you are not registered, and you have no departmental conflicts, you may follow the walk-in registration procedure.

I am going to be a Grader. Why don’t I have anything scheduled for Tuesday?

Teaching as a Grader” is only a one-day workshop. Graders are invited to attend the Welcome Session, but they are not required to be there.

How will I get my schedule?

We will email out schedules by August 5, so please check your email! Your schedule will list the times and locations of each session for which you are registered. You must bring your schedule with you to the orientation. We will not have printouts of your schedule there.