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Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning


Graduate Assistant Teaching Institute (GATI)

The Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning administers the Graduate Teaching Assistant Institute (GATI), which provides graduate students with the opportunity to receive professional development and training on the basics of teaching, pedagogy, and student learning so that they may serve more effectively as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) or Graduate Assistant Instructors (GAIs) in their academic units. GATI is designed to provide the basic frameworks and to introduce the core elements of teaching within a classroom or laboratory environment, and thus, should be used to complement and augment additional professional development activities offered within each graduate student’s academic unit and college.

Graduate student professional development within GATI is divided into the following two modules: 

Module 1: Basics of Teaching Effectiveness

Module 1 is designed to provide Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) with training and professional development so they may more effectively serve as teaching assistants for faculty, lab instructors, and discussion/recitation section leaders. The Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning offers this module using a face-to-face professional learning community (PLC) format. Each PLC will focus on a variety of topics, including classroom management, presentation and interaction skills, importance of learning objectives, use of micro-activities, using questions to stimulate discussion, assessment, some background in learning theory and cognitive science, and a micro-teaching exercise with self-reflection/assessment. Graduate students may select to complete Module 1 by participating in a PLC offered in the fall semester, spring semester, or over the summer months. Finally, graduate students must participate in one PLC from beginning to end (about 6 meetings over the course of a semester) to complete Module 1.

An overview of GATI Module 1 is available here.

Module 2: Course Design

Module 2 is designed to provide future Graduate Assistant Instructors (GAIs) with training and professional development so they may effectively teach their own course as instructors of record at WKU. Graduate students may serve as instructors of record under the Graduate Assistant Instructor (GAI) designation if hired to do so by their academic unit and after fulfilling the requirements of Academic Policy 1.1130. As indicated in this policy, graduate students must complete a mentoring and training program offered by the Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning (CITL), or an equivalent departmentally approved program approved by CITL, before they can be hired as a GAI at WKU.

The Graduate Assistant Teaching Institute is the mechanism by which graduate students complete the required specified in Academic Policy 1.1130. This requires future GAIs to complete Module 1 AND Module 2 before serving in this capacity.

Module 2 focuses the mechanics of instructional alignment and will require graduate student participants to submit a small portfolio containing a course syllabus, content for one lesson/module of a course (e.g. learning objectives, class notes/PowerPoint slides, handouts, assignments, rubrics, etc) and a self-evaluation following a micro-teaching exercise. The CITL evaluates each portfolio submission and provides feedback that can be used by each student when he/she teaches a course for the first time. Module 2 is offered almost entirely online with some synchronous interaction with representatives from the CITL. Graduate students may complete Module 1 and Module 2 simultaneously.

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 Last Modified 7/5/17