The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Your Consultancy Team

The School of Undergraduate Studies, in collaboration with the Sanger Learning Center and UT Library Instruction Services, has created a support program to help Signature Course TAs develop and document their teaching effectiveness as discussion leaders. The unique challenge of serving as a TA for a Signature Course includes helping first-year students develop college level skills in writing, speaking and discussion.

Leading Discussion

The Sanger Center specializes in student learning needs. They are available to consult with you about teaching with awareness of those needs and on how to deal with the challenges of leading discussion sections. Support includes information about the following:

  • How to set clear learning objectives and classroom expectations
  • How to motivate participation and ask effective questions
  • How to create tangible outcomes to your discussion
  • How to assess student learning in the classroom

Information Literacy

Library Instruction Services can help teaching assistants and faculty (together and separately) teach first-year students how to do college-level research in the following ways:

  • Design in-class or take-home assignments that develop students research skills and support the goals of your course
  • Teach tailored library instruction sessions to your students in support of a research assignment
  • Support TAs to teach research skills in discussion sections

Email us or browse the Signature Course Faculty Toolkit for
resources and examples.

Writing

More information coming soon

Oral Communication

The Sanger Center can help teaching assistants with the oral communication component of the course. In particular:

  • How to develop student skills in oral communication throughout the semester with short activities and exercises
  • How to develop and use a rubric that aligns with your goals for the assignment
  • How to encourage active participation and create a valuable experience for students when they are in the audience
  • How to design and implement the oral communication assignment

More information is available in the Oral Communication booklet.