AGSEM Teaching Assistant Training

Open to all students, this half-day session offers 6 teaching workshops to choose from to develop communication and teaching skills. As a McGill graduate student, and Teaching Assistant (TA), you will have many challenges and responsibilities. SKILLSETS provides opportunities to develop teaching skills, learn about McGill's Learning Management System (myCourses), and engage in discussions with other TAs. Take advantage of this opportunity and learn skills to enhance your graduate experience.

Event Description

The last AGSEM Teaching Assistant Training day was held January 18, 2019.

Location: Chancellor Day Hall, room 312 (Open Discussion: 12:00 pm - 1:00pm) & rooms 312, 200, and 201 (Workshops: 1:00pm - 5:00pm)

New TAs are eligible for a maximum of 3 hours of paid training. 

Discussion Topics

Here are examples of possible discussions during AGSEM's Teaching Assistant Training Day:

  • Interacting with students / interacting with course supervisor
  • Planning/leading effective discussions/conferences
  • Preparing Lectures
  • Grading in your discipline
  • How to handle student conflicts and plagiarism
  • How to address students' emotions when engaging in difficult conversations around gender and sexuality 
  • How to help students' with their mental well-being
  • What TA resources are available at McGill

Workshop Descriptions

Teaching in science labs

In this session participants will learn to recognize how students learn to maximize teaching. They will understand how to set up a safe, clean, and interactive environment that is conducive to student learning and they will identify how to effectively prepare to teach and facilitate undergraduate science labs.

Planning/leading effective conferences/discussions

With this session participants will improve their facilitation of groups discussions, leadership, presentations and communication skills. Successfully learning to lead and guide student discussions requires a range of fairly sophisticated communication skills; many people employ strategies using trial and error as they have never been trained to facilitate discussions. Facilitation allows everyone to express themselves, keeps discussions moving and maintains a safe, respectful group environment. It also gives a practical insight into the hidden curriculum of class or group dynamics.

Interacting with students / interacting with course supervisor

Participants will learn different strategies to interact with a group of students, provide one-on-one feedback, and engage with the course instructor. The session will introduce various strategies to prepare participants to effectively navigate these dynamics.

Grading in the humanities and social sciences

In this session participants will learn to examine the dual role of assessment in courses, how to establish criteria and standards and how to deal with plagiarism.

Grading in the sciences

In this session, participants will learn about the history and importance of assessment in higher education. Discussions will focus on how assessment can be designed to enhance deep learning. The participants will participate in several collaborative exercises to dissect and analyze rubrics and provide constructive feedback to students.

Designing and delivering effective lectures

Participants will be able to apply learning-centered principles when designing and delivering a lecture or tutorial. Additionally, they will learn a range of teaching strategies to use in lectures and tutorials and they will plan how to use some of these strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

AGSEM Collective Agreement Stipulations on TA Training

Payment Information: TA Training was identified as a necessity by TAs during negotiations for the new Collective Agreement. New TAs are eligible for a maximum of 3 hours of paid training. Returning TAs are not eligible for paid training but are still welcome to attend. We hope all TAs will consider registering for these sessions. For accurate and detailed information on Orientation and Training, please see (Section 13.06.02) of the TA Collective Agreement (2011-2014) here.


Open discussion

Designing and Delivering Effective Lectures

Grading in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Grading in the Sciences

Interacting with Students and Course Supervisors

Planning and Leading Effective Conference Discussions

Strategies on Supporting Student Mental Health

Teaching and Learning in Science Labs

Additional Resources

Building your teaching portfolio

    Educational Technologies : MyCourses & Beyond

    Engaging Students Using Active Learning Strategies

    Giving Effective Face-to-Face Feedback

    Improvisation & Fun: From Old School Teaching to Co-Creating Knowledge

    Teaching in One’s Second or Other Language

    Universal Design for Learning

    Did you know that as a McGill student, your participation in many activities, such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)? Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, or explore career options. Learn how to access and leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!


    McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.