Teaching Assistants’ Training Program

2021-2022 Annual Report

Through its certificate programs comprised of workshops, active learning cohorts, and hands-on experiential offerings, tri-campus job training sessions, and wide-ranging resource offerings, The Teaching Assistant’s Training Program (TATP) supports Teaching Assistants and Course Instructors in their job training and professional development. The TATP is committed to continuous growth and development as the needs of TAs and CIs evolve alongside the rapidly changing higher education landscape. Learn more about the team’s work in Intersections

ACT: Academic and Collaborative Technology
ACUE: Association of College and University Educators
ALC: Active Learning Classroom
AODA: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
CE: Course Evaluations team
DLI: Digital Learning Innovation
E&A: Evaluation and Assessment team
FAS: Faculty of Arts & Science
FASE: Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
IRDG: Institutional Research & Data Governance Office
ITS: Information Technology Services
KPE: Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
OISE: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
OVPIUE: Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
P&C: Programming and Communication team
SGS: School of Graduate Studies
SoTL: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
TATP: Teaching Assistants’ Training Program
TFM: Temerty Faculty of Medicine
TLT: Teaching, Learning and Technology team
TRC: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
UTM: University of Toronto Mississauga
UTSC: University of Toronto Scarborough

Atifa F. Karim
Atifa F. KarimCareer Exploration & Education
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CTSI’s vision to enhance the teaching and learning landscape at U of T through collaboration, innovation and excellence is bold and unwavering.

As a convener and sophisticated steward of partnerships, the TD-VLS project team demonstrated an inclusion and learner-centred approach to online learning and project management. Through dialogue and thoughtfully designed processes for collaboration, they enhanced the pedagogical expertise of all project member participants, and led this multi-stakeholder group create robust digital resources to support and expand student/teaching assistant access to meaningful self-directed resources.

Thank you for your efforts to collaboratively transform the learning experience at U of T!

Teaching Assistants' Training Program Highlights

VLS project on teaching dossier: The TATP led a cross-institutional project (with Toronto Metropolitan University, Windsor, Western, and Waterloo) as part of the Virtual Learning Strategies (VLS) initiative through eCampusOntario. Working with institutional partners, the TATP coordinated the development of new open access online modules to help graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and sessional instructors develop teaching dossiers, with a focus on reflective practice and transferable skills. These modules launched in September 2022.

TATP program redesign: The TATP is rebuilding their program from the ground up, including a transformation of their certificate program to a micro credential-based approach and a rethinking of how TAs and CIs engage with teaching-focused training and professional development.

New resources: New data-driven and research-informed resources to support TAs and CIs in key areas of engagement, including a “Truth and Reconciliation Education Toolkit” and “Identifying and Articulating the Value of Your Transferable Skills”.

Paul Pritchard
Paul PritchardEDI Coordinator, TATP
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I have a vested interest in decolonizing and anti-racist approaches to teaching and learning and the opportunity to contribute to educational initiatives in this domain was a main reason I joined the TATP team as the EDIA Coordinator. In this role I had the opportunity to work collaboratively on several projects that I found meaningful—for example helping develop the TATP’s EDIA framework of values and commitments. I felt supported by a team that was committed to improving student wellbeing and learning experiences, and that my personal and professional development was a priority. Working with the TATP team has opened my eyes to educational development as a potential career path!
Joanne Lieu
Joanne LieuCareer Exploration & Education
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The CTSI are innovators within the University of Toronto community and espouse collaboration, ingenuity, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access values. 

Through the TD-VLS project, I learned how CTSI intertwines care, purpose, and process to lead a successful cross-institutional digital project. The TATP workshop development transformed my approach to partnership development and strategies to create digital access for learners. Thoughtfully facilitated meetings, equity-minded assessment, and the passion for reaching all learning communities are just a few ways CTSI creates impact within and beyond U of T! 

Thank you for a phenomenal experience and for demonstrating the power of collaborative leadership!
Ken DerryAssociate Professor, Teaching Stream, Historical Studies - History of Religions, UTM
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I was a panelist for a TATP roundtable on Teaching Stream at U of T.

The panelists were there to talk with graduate students about our career journeys and our experiences in the Teaching Stream, positive and negative. In this respect the main thing I learned was that those of us in these positions took various paths to get here, and that we value some of the same things about the Teaching Stream but also have our individual interests. It was also very nice to simply meet other Teaching Stream faculty at U of T.

The main thing I’d like to say though is that I found it very heartening that the CTSI/TATP wanted to hold this roundtable at all. One of the panelists’ common negative experiences as Teaching Stream instructors is being on the lower end of the faculty hierarchy that puts Tenure Stream clearly at the top, as research clearly continues to be more valued at UofT than teaching. The roundtable was also very well organized, and we were sent wonderfully thoughtful questions to reflect on in advance. These questions definitely added depth to our discussions during the session.

Finally, I very much appreciate that the discussions were honest and open. Participants were able to ask pretty much anything relevant to the topic, and panelists were encouraged to be candid in our responses. I’ve been to too many pedagogy sessions that try to put a positive spin on every aspect of whatever pedagogical topic is at hand, and I think in the end that’s not a helpful approach. Being able to talk about possible downsides is crucial to real learning I think.
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