Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTF)
Final Report Excerpts and Summary

Human & Community Resource Development (HCRD)

Based on the full report by Peter Karim-Sesay and Anuradha Ghosh

Program Elements

  1. The first activity as part of our Graduate Teaching Fellowship was a two-part seminar organized in conjunction with the HCRD Grad Student Association on “How to Develop a Teaching Portfolio.” The seminar focused on issues related to the construction of a teaching portfolio, discussions and group exercises and culminated in each participant getting started on his/her own portfolio. The HCRD Grad Student Association provided each participant with a laptop for a hands-on experience in developing the portfolios. This was particularly useful as it helped students begin to create their own portfolios during the seminars.
  2. The second activity as part of our Graduate Teaching Fellowship was a one-day seminar organized again in conjunction with the HCRD Grad Student Association on “Classroom Management Techniques,” specifically addressing the issue of disturbing behavior exhibited by some students in or out of the classroom.
  3. A resource library (shelf) was started. It is stacked with handouts on possible resources on teaching enhancement and their locations. It also contains books on teaching methods, styles, classroom management. Also, most of the materials used in the seminars and workshops are available in the resource lab.
  4. Currently, there is an ongoing GTF project to develop a web site and link it to the HCRD departmental homepage. This will certainly make it easier for students to have direct access to some of the materials on enhancing the quality of teaching. We are still working with a web developer to realize this project by the end of summer.

Budget

$81.79 went toward food for the participants for the “teaching portfolio” workshop. $150 went toward food for the participants for the classroom management workshop.

Description of GTF Position

The position was said to be a one-year position, to be held by the GTF in addition to his/her GTA/GRA responsibilities.The funding provided by FTAD in the amount of $400 was matched by the department. Each GTF, received $1000 as a once only stipend to attend the summer seminar before the GTF position started. There was no other monetary additional funding for the GTFs or reduction in teaching load. This position was outside of the GTA position we held.

GTF/ Faculty Mentor Interaction

The faculty mentor, Dr. Donnermeyer, was highly supportive in introducing the GTF and the proposed program to the department. His endorsement helped garner faculty support. He attended all the workshops and was there to help us plan the workshops. He also helped us secure a shelf for the resource library from the department and will continue to be of major help to the development of such programs in our department.

Event Feedback

The attendance of the portfolio workshop was very good with 20 HCRD graduate students attending. The evaluation passed out at the end of the seminar had a 100% agreement rate on the usefulness of the seminars. Suggestions were made to conduct future seminars and workshops in the department relating to various aspects of teaching. In general, the seminar on teaching portfolios was well received by all those that attended.

Ten HCRD graduate students attended the second workshop on classroom management. The workshop was well received by all.

Examples of Students’ feedback:
1. “Well-organized, very helpful. Thought provoking. Need more workshops.”
2. “The workshop was very important for TA’s. It was well-organized and useful.”
3. “This is a very good workshop. I don’t know if it is open to all departments or schools. But, it will be nice if it can allow TAs from different departments. It helps because it reflects what happens on a daily basis in classrooms. Thank you for organizing it.”
4. “The workshop was very helpful. Learnt a lot of concepts that I was not aware of. “

General GTF/GTA Support Feedback

The workshops and GTF function has enthused the graduate student body to create a position that will continue to do the work the GTFs started in the department.The resource library is being used by TAs and there is a wish to further expand it by adding more books on pedagogy, teaching methods, classroom management etc. Finally, the department chair and professors lent their support to the GTF workshops by encouraging their advisees to go for them.

Future of GTF/GTA Support

The HCRD Graduate Student Association has created the position of “Professional Development,” the purpose of which will be to continue and extend the GTF/GTA support program within the department.

Reflections

When we first heard of the fellows program, we were excited but indeed not knowing what was expected of us. As the initial seminars began, the scope of our responsibilities became clear. With the strong support of FTAD and Stephanie Rohdieck in particular, it became evident that the task ahead was doable.

In retrospect, it is important for the success of this program that members of the department are in total support of the efforts of GTF, so FTAD must find a way of incorporating faculty mentors at every stage of the process. We benefited a lot by having a very active mentor, Dr Joe Donnermeyer. Mentors should be encouraged to participate more in the activities throughout the year to help promote the work of the GTF at the departmental level.