Graduate teaching assistants

The Office for Teaching and Learning (OTL) works with instructors at every career stage to enhance and document their teaching development efforts.  For Wayne State University Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) we offer:


The OTL offers a range of practical workshops on the best practices in teaching and learning specifically for GTAs. For information on upcoming OTL programs for GTAs, visit our Workshops and Events page


The OTL offers GTAs a variety of one-on-one confidential, voluntary consultations on topics such as assessment, diversity, evidence-based learning methods, and instructional technologies. To schedule a one-on-one consultation, simply fill out this consultation request form

Teaching Documentation Program

The OTL facilitates the Teaching Documentation Program (TDP), a self-paced program helps prepare graduate students to teach better now and in the future.  It also offers formalized documentation of an individual's teaching development efforts and provides WSU graduates a competitive advantage in future career goals. Included are requirements in theory, assessment, discipline-specific related teaching materials, and diversity. 

Teaching Portfolios

The OTL offers workshops on teaching portfolios (print and digital).  Portfolios are particularly useful for the academic job market and often include a philosophy of teaching statement and selected examples of discipline-related teaching materials. Teaching portfolios can help graduate students articulate their teaching development goals and accomplishments, prepare for job interviews, and formal and informal networking.

Programming for GTAs

Mid Semester Assessment Program

The Mid-semester Assessment Program (MAP) is an opportunity for Wayne State University instructors to get timely student feedback regarding their perceptions of what is going well and what could be changed or improved while the course is in progress. This assessment strategy is useful for traditional, hybrid, and online environments and is available for all WSU courses with enrollment of at least 6 students (to preserve student anonymity). The MAP is voluntary, confidential, and feedback is provided only to the instructor. Deidentified aggregate data may be included in research studies of teaching and assessment across the university.

Classroom observation

The OTL offers classroom observations using a behavioral based protocol to illustrate how students and instructors spend their time in the classroom. OTL consultants are trained on how to watch for different faculty and student behaviors utilizing the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS), a short-hand coding methods to record student/instructor actions.  Although the name suggests STEM, it can be applied across the disciplines. 

Pedagogy Journal Club

Pedagogy Journal Club (PJC) is a place to learn about evidence-based teaching methods with fellow Graduate Teaching Assistants and Postdocs. We engage in discussions about research-based articles related to pedagogy at the university level; explore pedagogical applications, strategies and techniques; and consider how we as instructors in higher education can implement such strategies in our courses. 

Graduate Student Writing Retreat

The Graduate Student Writing Retreat is an online place where graduate students can foster professional friendships while maintaining personal accountability for research goals. Any graduate student is welcome to self-enroll.

Graduate students can visit the Graduate Writing channel in the OTL-Graduate Corner MS Teams between 10am-3pm to join our live working meeting. Share your research goals in our channel and work either on or off camera as you are comfortable. There is no obligation to stay the entire day and people are welcome to come and go as needed!

Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) Grant Program

Additionally, the OTL collaborates with the Graduate School on the implementation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded BEST Grant program.

GTA Orientation

The WSU Graduate School sponsors the annual GTA Orientation.  The OTL supports participants and observers in gaining the fullest experience from the microteaching module exercises.