Teaching Training

The Program

With the support of UCSB Instructional Development, a new TA training program was developed within the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in 1990-91. The 2013-2014 academic year represents the twenty-third year of the program, which has been used as a model for the development of TA training programs across campus.

The People

The TA training program is conducted by the Faculty Coordinator and a four-member Teaching Assistant Advisory Panel (TAAP). Drs. Shelly Gable and Michael Miller serve as the Faculty Coordinators for the program. TAAP consists of graduate students representing various departmental areas and class levels.

TAAP 2015-2016

Position Representative Area
Lead TA (4th Year) Adar Eisenbruch DEVO
3rd Year N/A
2nd Year Katie Bainbridge CPCN
5th Year N/A

The Training Series

The 2015-2016 TA training program will include a full-day pre-Fall TA Orientation and nine sessions distributed over the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. The full TA Training Program is required of all 1st year graduate students. The sessions include a mix of active participation, presentations, and discussions on a variety of topics relevant to both teaching in general as well as serving as a TA at UCSB. By the end of the series, 1st year grads will have:

  • Developed a draft of a Teaching Philosophy Statement
  • Given a video-recorded mini-lecture for both peer feedback and private consultation with a member of the panel
  • Cultivated a community of peers dealing with similar challenges related to teaching, research, and surviving and thriving in graduate school
  • And much more!


At the end of each training session, participants complete written evaluations of the quality of the session and suggest possible improvements. A cumulative evaluation is also conducted at the end of the year. As indicated through the evaluations, the training program is a valued resource for graduate students, and we continue to use the feedback we receive to improve the program.

The topic areas covered in the TA training program have been adapted over the years to continue to best serve the needs of the participants. We continue to cover topics that relate to basic instruction skills, such as leading discussion, writing exams, grading, effective lecturing, as well as addressing TA issues and challenges. We have also expanded our program to include more advanced topics, such as education and technology, philosophy of teaching, designing a course, and developing course-related web sites.

Useful Links