TA eLearning Series
The Asynchronous TA Training Modules were designed by the CTL specifically to equip participants with strategies for being effective teaching assistants in blended and online classrooms. All registered participants will gain access to 7 asynchronous modules, which cover a range of topics from grading to building community. Each module will take one hour to complete. Registrants will have one month to access and complete the modules that interest them.
Registering for these Asynchronous TA Training Modules gives participants access to the following modules:
- Humanizing Your Virtual Classroom: Learning about how to use technology to engage your students is valuable and vital in the online environment. But as a TA, how do you reveal the human behind the screen? Take this learning module to discover how you can build community online through the way you design formal and informal opportunities for your students to interact with you and with each other. Design strategies to help your students recognize you and each other as human learners, each with unique perspectives and personalities, and all responsible for contributing to a positive online learning environment.
- Introduction to Grading Using OWL: Grading online has the same challenges and principles as grading in a traditional learning environment; we want to be fair and time efficient. In this asynchronous module you will learn some tips that are more specific to grading in the online learning environment, with special focus on OWL, Western's Learning Management System.
- Facilitating Discussions Online: Facilitating discussions is a common task for a TA, and one that requires some extra planning and consideration in the online format. Covering topics such as participation rubrics, community agreements, teaching presence, and learning tools to assist with discussion activities, this learning module uses instructional videos, reflective questions, and case study scenarios to help you identify best practices and potential strategies for facilitating productive participation in both synchronous and asynchronous online environments.
- Explaining Difficult Concepts in Science: This online learning module will empower you as a new or returning TA in the Sciences to embrace your integral role helping your students learn and understand difficult concepts in Science. Build your confidence by learning how to run Science labs and tutorials from start to finish...including what to do when something goes wrong! You will explore strategies for incorporating experiential learning in Science courses, examining ten teaching techniques to help you explain difficult concepts in Science. Whether your TA position this year is in person or online, by the end this learning module you will never have felt more ready to enter into your role as a Science TA!
- Fostering Respectful and Inclusive Online Environments: In this module, you will learn how to effectively manage security and privacy concerns in the online environment. Case studies will cover how to mitigate and respond to Zoom-bombing incidents and how to ensure the protection of student privacy when recording online class sessions.
- Digital Classroom Management Strategies (Newest): Between bored students, overwhelmed students, and the added unpredictability that comes with teaching in a new environment, disruptions can seem inevitable. This module, however, will guide you through practices for minimizing the likelihood of disruptive behaviour in your virtual classroom and provide you with some strategies for responding in the moment, if and when disruption occurs.
- Preparing Students for Online Learning (Newest): What does it mean to be prepared for class when you’re learning asynchronously? Why do some students excel at learning remotely while others fall behind? This module provides an overview of some of the skills successful online learners possess and guides teaching assistants in planning how to foster those skills in their students. Whether they are teaching asynchronously or synchronously, holding office hours or running tutorial, this module provides strategies you can use to help your students succeed online.
No upcoming sessions are scheduled at present.
Please note: If you have registered for the TA eLearning Series in the past, but have not completed all the modules or have completed them and want a refresher you are welcome to reregister to complete them (including our 2 newest modules)!
Current graduate students and postdoctoral scholars
- Login to Western Connect using your Western username and password.
- Go to the Centre for Teaching and Learning section. Select Event Calendar and select the event you wish to register in. Details and a description of the program will appear.
- Select the Register for this Event button.
- You will receive an automated confirmation email to your Western email account.
- Once you have been addded to the OWL site, you will have two weeks to access and complete the modules that interest you.
Asychronously online, typically once a month from September to April
Applies to following certificate
What to expect
These 7 asynchronous modules are each designed to take about 1 hour to complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. Each module has been designed by the CTL specifically to equip participants with strategies for being an effective teaching assistant in blended and online classrooms. Once you are registered, you will have one month to access and complete the modules that interest you.
Graduate students and post-doctoral scholars may earn up to a total of three (3) Future Prof credits towards the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning. 1 Future Prof credit will be given for the completion of 2 online modules. Please ensure you complete all module components, including the final assignment for at least 2 unique modules to earn 1 credit. Your earned Future Prof credit will be updated in Western Connect 2-3 weeks after your access has been removed from the OWL site and will be updated to ‘attended’ meaning you have earned the credit towards completing the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.