Welcome to the GSAS Teaching Center


A new home


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The GSAS Teaching Center is now part of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University. Launched by Provost John Coatsworth in Fall 2015, the CTL supports the teaching development of all current and future instructors at Columbia University, including faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral instructors. This transition is helping us to provide new opportunities for graduate student instructors across the University.

Information about fellowships, resources, and upcoming programs of particular interest to graduate students is available in the Graduate Student Instructor section of the CTL site.


Program Highlights


Lead Teaching Fellows

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This new program kicked off a pilot year with 27 GSAS doctoral students designated as Lead Teaching Fellows. LTFs consult with the Teaching Center and with each other as they design teaching activities and discussions to run within their home departments. LTFs also act as 'ambassadors' to the Teaching Center, referring peers to workshops and resources. This program is expanding: after a competitive application process, 34 doctoral students will be in the 2015-16 LTF cohort, representing 25 departments. In addition, five Senior Lead Teaching Fellows will work with the Teaching Center to support and mentor the LTFs. Read more.

Peer Teaching Observation track

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A series of meetings during which Teagle Teaching Fellows learn about peer teaching observation practices, plan observations of one another's teaching based on defined learning objectives, implement observations, and report back to the cohort on discoveries and lessons learned. In 2015-16 participants in this program are called Peer Teaching Consultants. Read more

STEM Connections

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In Spring 2015 we debuted STEM Connections: conversations with leading scientists about the combined pursuits of excellence in STEM research and teaching. Our first three sessions were with Dr. Roald Hoffman and Dr. Carl Wieman, both Nobel laureates devoted to active learning, and Dr. Jo Handelsman, science policy advisor in the Obama White House. STEM connections sessions are limited to 15 current doctoral students and Postdocs, ensuring interactive discussion. Read more

The Art of Communication

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A new series of workshops and activities centering on communication skills in today's teaching, lecturing, and research environments. Past events have focused on oral presentation skills derived from improv, delivering scientific concepts via narrative, and tactics for running discussions. Presentations Skills for Educators ran on six Saturdays during the 2014-15 academic year; this popular program will return in 2015-16. Read more

Collaborative Learning workshop track

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A certificate-track sequence of workshops exploring the affordances, varieties, and perils of group learning assignments. Workshops introduce participants to collaborative learning theory, digital tools that support group assignments, and approaches to assessing collective work. Read more

Teachers' Lounges

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Informal conversation about teaching over pizza. In a series of Teachers' Lounge meetings in Spring 2015 we took a hard look at various educational buzzwords. In Fall 2015, Teachers' Lounges will be organized around discussions of identity, inclusion, and diversity in the classroom. Read more


Individual consultations


The GSAS Teaching Center provides individual consultations on curriculum planning, learning activities and teaching techniques, scholarly tools and resources at Columbia and elsewhere, teaching statements and portfolios, crosscurrents between research and teaching, and other matters pertaining to effective teaching and communication in today's environment. Make an appointment.


Congratulations to 2015 Innovative Teaching Summer Institute participants!


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The Innovative Teaching Summer Institute at Columbia University is an intensive, multi-day series of workshops, discussions, and posted reflections – all centered on the use of emerging tools to support effective teaching. It is an opportunity for graduate students to work with peers from a variety of disciplines, discuss pedagogy, connect with resources and support, and develop themselves as innovative teachers. By the end of the Institute, each participant has defined, revised, and presented an innovative assignment that exemplifies his or her instructional priorities.

Select Summer Institute participants were awarded 2015-16 Peer Teaching Consultant fellowships. More information about the Summer Institute