Orientations to Teaching at Brown

The Center offers orientations to teaching at Brown for all new instructors. 

Launch New Faculty Orientation to Teaching at Brown

Launch New Faculty Orientation is a three-day orientation to teaching at Brown for faculty and postdoctoral scholars, which is offered in August. Participants in Launch will:

  • Apply evidence-based practices in course design to their syllabus
  • Meaningfully implement technology into course activities
  • Build community with new instructors at Brown
  • Incorporate peer feedback to develop their syllabus over time
  • Engage with teaching and learning resources that enhance their confidence in course design (or teaching at Brown)
  • Develop an awareness of the Brown culture and environment
  • Critically reflect on their teaching practice

For more information about Launch, please visit this page.

Faculty and postdoctoral scholars who are unable to attend the orientation also have the opportunity to attend a workshop on Teaching for the First Time at Brown, offered in September and January. In this 60-minute workshop, new instructors have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversation in an informal setting. Please see Today@Brown for more information.

Teaching Essentials for Graduate TAs

In this fully online, asynchronous, self-paced program, Graduate Teaching Assistants aim to improve their students' learning and their own experiences as teachers through a reflective exploration of their own practices and beliefs about teaching. While the program is designed for graduate TAs who are new to their roles, experienced graduate student TAs and graduate instructors may also find it useful as a continuing professional development opportunity. 

Participants in the Teaching Essentials program will:

  • Reflect on their teaching and learning-related values
  • Learn about inclusive teaching strategies 
  • Set goals for their teaching and learn how to assess their progress
  • Prepare to teach and plan for the first days of class
  • Prepare to TA in different learning contexts, including online environments
  • Learn how to provide equitable feedback and grades to students
  • Identify available resources to support their teaching and their students' learning

If completing the program in full, participants can expect to spend 4-6 hours on the course. As the program is self-directed and asynchronous, participants may choose to complete this online Canvas course over multiple days or weeks at any point during the year. There are no in-person or synchronous Zoom components. The program opens in mid-August. Enrollment is on a rolling basis. 

Register Here! 

The Sheridan Center also offers certificate programs for graduate students and additional workshops on other teaching topics. See our events page for upcoming dates.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Orientation

Not sure what to do to create an inviting learning environment? Are you interested in learning more about how to work with students? Need ideas for working online? 

The UTA Orientation will be facilitated through Canvas and will be made available for students beginning one week before each term. It will consist of four modules that address the following:

  • reflecting on your teaching values
  • preparing to teach
  • teaching in different contexts
  • and available resources.

The core modules should take ~2-3 hours to work through. According to College Curriculum Guidelines, UTAs should be compensated by departments for time to complete required training. Registration is required to be enrolled in the Canvas site, which will be updated weekly. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Christina Smith at [email protected]

Register here! 

UTAs interested in an academic course about many of these same topics, with a community of other UTAs, may be interested in the Problem-Solving Fellows Program, which involves enrollment in UNIV 1110: The Theory and Teaching of Problem Solving this Fall. For questions about the UTA Orientation or the Problem-Solving Fellows Program, please contact Dr. Christina Smith ([email protected]).

English Language Program

The English Language Program is a two-week summer program that aims to equip incoming international graduate students for whom English is not a primary language with the language skills to feel confident and successful in navigating their academic contexts. For more information and to register, please see the ELP page.