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Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Drawing on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SofTL) model, the module exposes participants to the educational discourses on teaching and learning at university level. Participants develop an individual teaching philosophy and use theory and reflection to explore the praxis of their teaching. This takes place within a supportive peer group who share practice, insight, and pedagogical concerns to develop a scholarly approach to teaching, assessment and evaluation, using evidence and critical reflection. 

Who is the Module for?

Registration is now open for the following module: Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. This fully-online 5-ECTS module offered by Academic Practice is targeted towards PhD students with roles in teaching or supporting learning, e.g. those working as teaching assistants or demonstrators, and is particularly appropriate for students aiming towards a career as a lecturer. Module participants join a supportive peer group who share practice, insights, and pedagogical concerns and are supported to reflect critically on and take a scholarly approach to their own educational practice.

This module seeks to enable Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) to:

  • Develop a conceptual understanding of the norms and expectations of being a TA;
  • Examine your assumptions, values, beliefs, and practices;
  • Employ effective teaching strategies to enhance student learning;
  • Develop a student-centred approach to teaching;
  • Promote inquiry and student engagement;
  • Evaluate your teaching and its impact on student learning.

Module for Credit - Michaelmas Term 2021- Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (5 ECTS) - Registration now closed.

This module carries (5ECTS) and can form part of the structured PhD. 

Module learning outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Reflect on the tasks and responsibilities associated with your role;
  2. Practice some appropriate communication and coping strategies;
  3. Select and apply some relevant theories of learning to your teaching;
  4. Design a teaching session plan;
  5. Use technology to enhance your students’ learning;
  6. Support assessment of, for and as learning;
  7. Reflect on your own learning as a teaching assistant.

Module Blocks
The module is divided into the following 7 learning blocks:

  • Role of the Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Communications and Coping Strategies
  • How Students Learn
  • Session Planning
  • Designing an Online Activity
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Reflecting on and Evaluating your Teaching

The module will run from Monday 27th September 20201 for ten weeks (break for study week) and there is no charge (see timetable below).  You will participate in weekly online discussion threads, contribute to journal entries and must be able to participate in the following 3 x 50 minute online tutorials on the following dates;

  • Wednesday 3rd November 2021 (1:05pm) – Designing a Session Plan
  • Wednesday 24th November 2021 (1:05pm) – Digital Teaching and Learning
  • Wednesday 8th December 2021 (1:05 pm) – Preparation of a Draft Teaching Philosophy Statement 

Please note this module is open to PhD students only at this time. Please see below for information on the non-credit version of this module which is open to all.

Please see timetable and assessment details below.


Module for Credit - Michaelmas Timetable 2021

Block Title Weeks Date

Role of the Graduate Teaching Assistant 

Week 1

Monday 27th September 2021

How Students Learn

Week 2

Monday 4th October 2021

Communications and Coping Strategies   

Week 3

Monday 11th October 2021

Session Planning

Week 4

Monday 18th October 2021


Study Week of 25th October 2021


Tutorial 1 – Designing a Session Plan

Week 5

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Assessment and Feedback 

Week 6

Monday 8th November 2021

Designing an Online Activity      

Week 7

Monday 15th November 2021

Tutorial 2 – Digital Teaching and Learning(1:05pm)

Week 8

Wednesday 24th November 2021

Reflecting on and Evaluating your Teaching

Week 9

Monday 29th November 2021

Tutorial 3 – Preparation of a Draft Teaching Philosophy  Statement (1:05pm)

Week 10

Wednesday 8th December 2021


Module for Credit - Assessment Process

Students are required to submit 3 items for assessment. Each assessment is linked to one online tutorial, led by one of the Academic Practice team. Further details will be given at the start of the module but please find a brief overview below.

Assessment due date for all 3 items will be 5pm on Tuesday 1st February 2022.

  • Submission of a draft teaching philosophy statement (700 words)
  • Submission of a draft session plan (one A4 page)
  • Submission on the topic of Digital Teaching and Learning
  • Contribution to a minimum of 8 Discussion Forum Threads
  • Contribution to all the journal entries (35 across the 7 blocks in the module). We do not wish to be prescriptive in level of contribution to each thread, but expect meaningful engagement with the blocks. 

Self Directed Module (No Credits) - Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Academic Practice & eLearning (CAPSL) have developed an online module titled ‘Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.’   The new online module is research led and is based on the original 5ECTS module for Graduate Teaching Assistants.

The online module is available in Blackboard and contains seven blocks: -

•Role of the Graduate Teaching Assistant
•Communications and Coping Strategies
•How Students Learn
•Session Planning
•Technology-Enhanced Learning
•Assessment and Feedback
•Reflecting on and Evaluating your Teaching

All postgraduates in Trinity may self-enrol on the fully online version of the module from within Blackboard.

To self-enrol, go to Blackboard at https://mymodule.tcd.ie (This module is NOT for credit).

Log in using your College network username and password
In the Module Search box, enter –Teaching and Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant
Click on the module -VP1017_PD_1819
Click on + Enrol at the bottom of the module menu on the left of the screen
In the ACCESS CODE box enter –TACOURSE1819
Click OK. You may need to log out and back in to Blackboard if you cannot see all the content in the module after self-enrolling.

New to Teaching Toolkit

The HEA has online New to Teaching Toolkits for those starting out on, or returning to, a higher education teaching career. A list of these toolkits are below.

The New to Teaching Toolkit contains guidance, literature and exercises in the areas of assessment, feedback, large and small group teaching, as well as developing and working with open educational resources (OER).

It draws on the experiences of new and experienced academic staff from across the disciplines and their reflections on the challenges and opportunities of teaching in higher education in the UK.

In a series of videos, colleagues consider what has worked for them in the classroom and what may work for others. The toolkit also contains information that you can work through at your own pace.

It will be updated with new resources as they become available.

Useful Links to support postgraduate teaching and research