Graduate Student Instructor Training Workshop
COMM 993 -- Winter 2020
Online via Zoom due to COVID-19; Mondays 11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
Prof. Sandvig, University of Michigan
- Welcome! Future announcements will appear here.
Prof. Christian Sandvig
5385 North Quad OR 4244 ISR Thompson
I am working from home due to COVID-19. The best way to reach me is via e-mail.
My most frequently-checked physical mailbox is in the Communication Studies 5th floor mailbox room (5334 North Quad)
There may be no office mail pickup due to COVID-19. The best way to reach me is via e-mail
Office Hours: Drop-In (no appointment) from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Mondays and also by appointment;
Office hours are held online via Zoom due to COVID-19. Click that link to join -- note you must have a UM login with Zoom for this link to work.
Teaching is key to your development as a scholar, and your contribution as a teacher is central to the development of the next generation of thinkers.
This workshop provides guidance, advice, and instruction to support Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) teaching in Communication and Media for the first time at the University of Michigan. The goal is to aid GSIs in becoming effective teachers by attending to practical questions and the broader theoretical issues (pedagogy) pertaining to undergraduate instruction. Toward this end, this seminar will introduce some of the strategies and techniques of expert undergraduate student teaching and assessment.
This course should not be understood as simply offering "teaching tips." As Robert Terrill wrote, teaching never draws upon a context-free formula. It is an embodied activity where there are often many "correct" approaches to any particular teaching task. A pedagogical move that works for you in a particular situation may not work for someone else -- even with the same material. Indeed, when you try the same tactic again in a different situation or with a different group of students, it might not even work again for you. That is why we will together think of this class as a workshop and not as a seminar.
- identify/recognize more than one approach to undergraduate teaching
- understand the methods and resources available for developing your own pedagogy
- select and/or compose a compelling rationale for your pedagogy
- deploy the written conventions of academic hiring to accurately convey your expertise as a teacher
- This is a required course for beginning GSIs in Communication and Media.
You are expected to attend all online class meetings. You must come prepared to be an enthusiastic, active, and respectful participant in class discussions. You must have completed any assigned readings and activities in advance.
Students will be responsible for developing their teaching philosophy by the end of this term. This includes sharing short draft writing about teaching and participating in discussion about the evolution of your teaching philosophy throughout the term. At the conclusion of the semester, students will submit a written statement of their teaching philosophy of at least 1 page (single-spaced). The statement will be turned in electronically, as explained in class. No late work! No incompletes!
These readings will be used as resources for you to develop your statement of teaching philosophy.
- Cathy Davidson (2017). The New Education. Basic Books: New York.
- John Dewey (1916/1997). Democracy and Education. Free Press: Glencoe, IL.
- Paulo Freire (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.
- bell hooks (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Routledge: London.
- Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner (1971). Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Delta: New York.
- On-Campus Offices:
- Professional E-Mail Lists:
- UM Web Forms/Links:
- Others? (suggestions welcome!)
"How should I teach this?" is a question where there is no single answer that will apply to everyone and every situation. The foundational readings above and the readings on the schedule below sometimes advocate a particular position or relate a personal experience. Some are polemical, sarcastic, and intentionally provocative. As is true in many seminars, the list is offered in the hope of producing a useful discussion, not because I necessarily agree with the particular claims.
(By Week #)
- Before the first class:
- Please read the syllabus -- that's this page.
- Download and install Zoom software.
- Be sure you have a working UM Zoom login (see Pandemic Policies below).
- Be sure you have access to the class Canvas site.
- Just before the first class meeting, join the Zoom by clicking on the appropriate day under the "Zoom" tab of the Canvas site. You will join all class meetings this way.
- (Aug 31:) What are We Doing Here? (Undergraduate Teaching)
- There are no assigned readings for this week, except the syllabus as stated above. The following are optional.
- MEME: When a Former Student Tells You How Much Your Class Meant To Her
- MEME: Classes During the Pandemic
- OPTIONAL: Mindset List for Incoming Freshmen 2020
- (Sep 7:) NO CLASS -- Labor Day Holiday
- (Sep 14:) Facilitating Discussion
- MEME: When You Look Around For a Student To Call On
- READING: Designing Effective Discussion Section Activities (On canvas.)
- READING: Getting Students to Talk (On canvas.)
- OPTIONAL: What Is Active Learning? (On canvas.)
- OPTIONAL: ERIC Active Learning Summary (On canvas.)
- OPTIONAL: Approaches to Improving Discussions (On canvas.)
- (Sep 21:) Pandemic Teaching; Students in Distress
- (Sep 28:) Inclusive Teaching
- MEME: You Keep Saying "Accessibility."
- READING: How To Make Your Classroom More Inclusive
- OPTIONAL: Facilitating Equitable Class Discussions Within the Multicultural Classroom (On canvas.)
- OPTIONAL: Who's Classier? (Ms. Mentor)
- (Oct 5:) Providing Effective Feedback
- MEME: When You First Begin Grading
- MEME: When You Ask Your Students If They Understand
- READING: Example Grading Rubric (On canvas.)
- READING: Example Writing Requirements and Expectations (On canvas.)
- READING: Responding to Student Writing -- Principles and Practices
- OPTIONAL: Writing -- Example Comments
- (Oct 12:) Professional Teaching Norms
- MEME: When an 18-Year-Old Asks You...
- READING: Sexual, Romantic, Amorous, and/or Dating Relationships Between Teachers and Learners.
- DUE: Schedule Your CRLT Mid-Semester Consultation By This Date
- (Oct 19:) Motivating Student Learning
- (Oct 26:) Assessment & Evaluation
- (Nov 2:) Pedagogical Philosophies Week I
- (Nov 9:) Pedagogical Philosophies Week II
- MEME: The Student/Professor View
- READINGS: Select readings from the foundational list (on canvas) as discussed in class.
- OPTIONAL READING: Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for the Academic Job Search
- DUE: Identify Specific Sources and Ideas from the foundational list (and optionally from elsewhere) and e-mail them to the entire class.
- (Nov 16:) Teaching in Communication
- MEME: You're a Communication Major?
- DUE: Draft Statement of Teaching Philosophy
- (Nov 23:) NO CLASS -- Thanksgiving Holiday
- (Nov 30:) Demonstrating "Teaching Effectiveness"
- MEME: Teaching Evaluations, Explained
- DUE: Peer Comments on Draft Statements of Teaching Philosophy
- (Dec 7:) NO CLASS -- Work Day (as Arranged in Class)
- (Dec 16: -- Wednesday:) FINAL STATEMENT OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY DUE
- IMPORTANT: The statement of teaching philosophy is due at 1:30 p.m. on this date. This is the final examination period for this class scheduled by the registrar. Submission of the statement constitutes the final exam for this course -- there is no other exam. Submit your paper by sending it as an e-mail attachment to the instructor before the deadline.