Graduate Teaching Assistant Program

Michigan State University is committed to partnering with graduate programs, faculty and the Graduate Employees Union to provide a wide variety of professional development experiences in support of all MSU graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). This effort is particularly crucial because it is the graduate teaching assistants at Michigan State that often provide undergraduate students with their first exposure to core courses in a wide variety of disciplines. As such, graduate teaching assistants play a crucial role in Michigan State University’s efforts to ensure academic success among the institution’s undergraduate population.

GTA Email Communication

Once you are a GTA or International GTA you will automatically be added to the GTA email list and periodically receive updates about ongoing professional development opportunities.

Professional Development Opportunities for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Professional development opportunities for Graduate Teaching Assistants have been organized with your GTA experience in mind. Opportunities include August orientation programs (New GTA Institute and International GTA Orientation) as well as some additional events. You can find the previous year's information about the two August orientation programs within both "First-Time GTA" sections and information about additional events in all three sections as relevant. Whether you are a first time GTA (domestic or international) or a returning GTA, we have events you will want to attend!

Please contact Dr. Stefanie Baier at with any questions regarding the Graduate Teaching Assistant Program.

Teaching Professional Development Workshops/Sessions Offered by Different Units in November 2021


MSU IT Educational Technology

Classroom Strategies from a UDL Perspective (Tuesday Nov 9th, 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ET)

Facilitators: Leslie Johnson, Ashley Maloff, Vinny Webster, and Nick Noel (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development Team)
Remote work & teaching has highlighted the need for flexibility and understanding in our course design practices. As we move to more face-to-face classes, and even in our online and hybrid classes, we can take still implement strategies that will provide an effective and flexible learning environment for our students. Using a Universal Design for Learning principle, Leslie Johnson, Ashley Maloff, and Vi’Nessa Webster will lead an exploration of ways we can create courses that serve the needs of our diverse student population.  Register for Classroom Strategies from a UDL Perspective

Choosing your Course Platform & Instructional Technologies (Thursday Nov 11th, 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ET)

Facilitators: Dr. Natalie Vandepol & Dr. Cierra Presberry (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development Team)
In this workshop, we will discuss the intersections of teaching modalities, course platforms, and other instructional technologies to help you build the course most appropriate for your instructional goals. We will summarize the strengths and weaknesses of each of the four most commonly used course platforms (D2L Brightspace, LON CAPA, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom), discuss best use cases and tool integrations, and show where to go for more information. Register for Choosing your Course Platform & Instructional Technologies

Show & Tell #2 (Friday Nov 12th, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET)

Facilitators: Nick Noel (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development Team), Megan Patrick (Online Food Safety Program), & Jason Smith (College of Engineering)

How to Humanize your Online Course

See how Megan Patrick, Academic Specialist from the Online Food Safety Program, has  implemented some of the online humanizing elements discussed by Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock (here) into VM 810: Introduction to Food Safety. In addition, I have qualitative data I can share from our students on these elements.

Using Mediaspace Analytics to Craft Engaging Videos

Learn from Jason Smith, Teaching Specialist in the College of Engineering, how he uncovered issues with how his students engaged with his video content and the ways he addressed those issues in his course. Jason will discuss Mediaspace Analytics, Camtasia as well as several other technologies. 
Register for Show & Tell #2

Defining & Exemplifying the Modalities  (Tuesday Nov 16th, 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. ET)

Facilitators: Dr. Cui Cheng & KJ Downer-Shojgreen (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development Team)
What do Hybrid, Hyflex, Flipped, etc. mean? What do they look and feel like in action for you and for your students? Some of these intersect, like a flipped hybrid class, what does that look like? In this workshop, we will define and discuss these terms and faculty will showcase how they implemented these modalities in their courses. 
Register for Defining & Exemplifying the Modalities

Strategies and Tools for Reviewing Creative Projects (Thursday Nov 18th, 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ET)

Facilitators: Dr. Cierra Presberry & Dr. Jennifer Wagner (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development Team)
In this workshop, we will discuss strategies and technologies for formative feedback throughout the creative process, including D2L Assignments & Rubrics and Eli Review. We will have faculty speakers share their experiences and philosophies regarding when & why they assign creative projects and what they have found valuable about them, then engage in peer discussion within smaller groups. Register for Strategies and Tools for Creative Projects

D2L Course Setup & Showcase (Tuesday Nov 30th, 10 a.m. - 11:15a.m. ET)

Facilitators: Dr. Jennifer Wagner & Dr. Natalie Vandepol (MSU IT – Instructional Technology & Development team)
Do you wonder what a well-designed D2L course looks like? Are you interested in learning more about the available resources that are available to help you get your D2L course setup? To answer these questions, this workshop will cover the following topics:  General approach for how to setup your D2L course, Overview of resources available for getting a course setup in D2L, Course templates, How-to resource library, Important considerations for D2L course design, and Examples of well-designed D2L courses being taught at MSU. Register for D2L Course Setup & Showcase 


AGEP Student Success Conference (November 5 & 6, 2021)

The AGEP Student Success conference is a cross-disciplinary experience, full of scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers and scholars of the arts. Register here.

Culturally Responsive Mentoring Workshop (Friday, November 5, 2021 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm)

The MSU AGEP Program will be hosting a virtual Culturally Responsive Mentoring Workshop on Friday November 5, 2021 at 12:15 pm with Dr. Etta Ward (IUPUI Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development) and Dr. Randall Roper (Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the IUPUI Graduate Mentoring Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis). To sign up, click here,

Science and Society Public Forum (Friday, November 5, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm)

MSU AGEP Learning Community will feature Dr. Carmel Martin-Fairey (NCCU, MSU AGEP alum). Her presentation, “The Biology of Memory: Impacts on Teaching and Studying” will focus on skills on how to students and instructors modify study and teaching techniques based on current neuroscience research.  Dr. Martin-Fairey will bring her years of experience as Assistant Professor of Biology in the Life Sciences Department at Harris Stowe State University. Dr. Martin-Fairey has been recognized as an inductee of the Society for Neuroscience recipient as a Neuroscholar and the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in the field of Behavioral Neuroscience at MSU. This event will be valuable for any undergraduate, graduate student, post-doc, faculty member or community leader interested in developing new approaches to teaching and learning. To sign up, for this presentation on Friday November 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM-5:00 PM click here,

#iteachmsu Ask Me Anything (AMA)

November 1, 2021 - Julie Taylor, Incorporating technologies at the MSU Libraries from book design to 3D printers