Outdoor Tent Classroom Reservation Information

To reserve either of the two outdoor tent classrooms, please e-mail otrroom@auburn.edu with the days or dates and times you would like to reserve.

The tent classrooms are equipped with a TV display and WiFi connectivity. There is no temperature control or lighting. Each tent classroom is 40-ft x 60-ft and can seat 40 students physically distanced.

Once your class reservation is confirmed, you will be able to check out a key from the RBD Library main circulation desk on the 2nd floor. This key will give you access to the technology in the outdoor classroom. Please review our PDF document which provides instructions for opening the storage unit that contains the display technology. The display provides HDMI connectivity, AirPlay, and wireless connectivity via the LG system. See instructions below. We highly recommend testing the technology prior to your initial use.

  1. Connect up directly to the HDMI cable (which should be plugged into HDMI 1) and make sure HDMI 1 is selected as the input.
  2. Wirelessly from a Windows PC: The LG TV supports connecting via Miracast from a Windows laptop. See link below for instructions from LG with step by step details.
  3. Wirelessly from a Mac: The LG TV supports connecting via AirPlay 2 from the MacBook. See same link below for instructions from LG with step by step details.

Step by step details from LG for screen share / screen mirroring – device to TV

Plexiglass at Podiums in Requested Rooms

Biggio Center has worked closely with Facilities to have plexiglass installed at requested instructor podiums in classrooms. Please see below for the latest status of this project as of January 7, 2021.

BKENG 2117 – complete
Mell 2510 – complete
Mell 2550 – complete
Mell 4510 – complete
Spidle 144 – complete
Spidle 220 – complete
Spidle 386B – complete
Haley 1212 – complete
Haley 1221 – complete
Haley 2346 – complete
Haley 3166 – complete
Haley 3187 – complete
Haley 2423 – complete
Haley 2467 – complete
Haley 2468 – complete
Haley 1218 – complete
Haley 2011 – complete
Haley 3220 – complete
Haley 2206 – complete
Haley 015A – complete
Haley 015B – complete
Haley 2462 – complete
LBSC 4050 – in process
Tichenor 111 – complete
Tichenor 122 – complete

Tech Enhancements to Classrooms

As part of the continued response to the COVID pandemic, the Biggio Center has collaborated with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to upgrade the technology in about 180 classrooms. Below is a table of classrooms that are either being worked on currently or have already been updated.

A few notes about the table:

  • Items in bold have been completed.
  • The abbreviation “PTZ” is a type of camera that stands for Pan-tilt-zoom. These types of PTZ cameras can be controlled remotely using a computer or on a smartphone using an app.
  • Shure is a brand of microphones.
  • The abbreviation “DSP” stands for Digital Signal Processing.
Building/RoomTechnology
Mell Classroomsmodifications to audio DSP for all classrooms, add quick camera preset buttons for instructor camera.
Mel EASLPanasonic PTZ, ceiling microphones, Biamp and dante audio 8 rooms
Langdon8 suspended Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Haley 23707 Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Haley 3195add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Haley 1403add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Haley 3203add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Haley 2352PTZ with 6 microphones
Haley 2218PTZ with 6 microphones
Haley 3166PTZ with 6 microphones
Haley 3220PTZ with 6 microphones
Haley 3034PTZ with 6 microphones
Haley 3174PTZ with 6 microphones
Biggen 005add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Broun 238add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Broun 239add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
Cary 1393 Shure MX 910 microphones and PTZ
Chem 1345 Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Chem 1515 Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Corley 307PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 155PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 255PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 254PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 354PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 355PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 358PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 157PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 156PTZ with 6 microphones
Davis 256PTZ with 6 microphones
Dudley B65 Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Foy 2588 Shure MX 910 with DSP audio only
FORWI 2217PTZ with 8 microphones
FORWI 1221PTZ with 6 microphones
FORWI 1223PTZ with 6 microphones
FUNCH 246upgrade audio DSP room had capture capability
FUNCH 362PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
FUNCH 243PTZ with 4 hanging mics
GOODW 229PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
GOODW 227PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Lowder 113A9 Shure MX 910 and DSP audio only
Lowder 125A7 Shure MX 910 and DSP
Lowder 0055 Shure MX 910 and DSP
Lowder 0195 Shure MX 910 and DSP
Lowder 1105 Shure MX 910 and DSP
Lowder 1295 Shure MX 910 and DSP
Miller 230PTZ with 8 ceiling mics
Miller 207PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Miller 223PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Miller 201PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Miller 226PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Overton Aud6 Shure MX 910 with DSP audio only
Overton 101Audio, camera and switching upgrade
Overton 140Audio, camera and switching upgrade
Overton 255Audio, camera and switching upgrade
Rouse 112add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
SCA 1018 Shure MX 910 with DSP audio only
SCC 115add 8 ceiling microphones and DSP
SCC 118PTZ with 8 ceiling mics
SPIDL 220PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
STACT 231PTZ with 8 ceiling mics
STACT 241PTZ with 8 ceiing mics
Upchurch 203PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Tiger 111PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Talon 119PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Aubie 137PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Broun 306PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Broun 125PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Broun 102PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Broun 107PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Broun 113PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Broun 235PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Comer 303PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Comer 311PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Comer 307PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Dudley 401PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Dudley 402PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Forwi 1224PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Forwi 1207PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Forwi 1219PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Forwi 1216PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Foy 246audio and switching upgrades
Foy 213PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Funch 243PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 0015aPTZ with 8 hanging mics
Haley 1212PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 1218PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 1414PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 1435PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 1454PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2011PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2116PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2123PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2124PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2196PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2204PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2206PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2212PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2213PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2222PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2224PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2226PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2228PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2306PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2312PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2324PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2326PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2328PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2332PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2334PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2346PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2406PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2414PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2435PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2438PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2442PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2454PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2456PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2461PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2462PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2467PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 2468PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3104PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3124PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3150PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3182PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3187PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3196PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3204PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3212PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3218PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3224PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3226PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3228PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3238PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3242PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3304PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3307PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3309PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3318PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3324PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3326PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3328PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3330PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3332PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3334PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Haley 3353PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Kinesi 126PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Kinesi 136PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Kinesi 145PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Lowder 009PTZ and switching upgrades
Lowder 124PTZ and switching upgrades
Nichols 2PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Nichols 101Classroom upgrade with PTZ and ceiling microphones
Ramsay 314PTZ with 4 hanging mics
SADC 317PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
SADC 319PTZ with 6 ceiling mics
Shelby 4 ClassPTZ with 8 ceiling mics
Spidle 226PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Spidle 318PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Spidle 386BPTZ with 4 hanging mics
STACT 247PTZ with 4 hanging mics
STACT 249PTZ with 4 hanging mics
STACT 253PTZ with 4 hanging mics
STACT 257PTZ with 8 ceiling mics
THACH 202PTZ with 4 hanging mics
Wallace 114PTZ with 4 hanging mics
ParkerPTZ with 4 hanging mics
Comer 207Complete room upgrade with PTZ and Shure Ceiling microphones
Brown Kopelcontrol room added for enhance Classroom capture
Shelby 3210Classroom upgrade with Capture (Facilities remodel)
Shelby 3129Classroom upgrade with Capture
Spidle KitchenCart for capture with Mon, comp. and PTZ camera
AirportBoardroom upgrades with Zoom
Concrete TestingConference Room with PTZ and room audio
Lowder 2nd Floor3 Conference Rooms with PTZ and Shure Array Microphone
WalkerCAPP Lab with Capture
Feed MillClassroom upgrade, PTZ and ceiling microphones

Zoom Offers More than Videoconferencing: How to Engage Students this Term

Zoom has afforded us all with the opportunity to see and speak with students, other faculty, friends, and family when we are otherwise unable to meet in person. The videoconferencing that Zoom allows is only a portion of the possibilities for engaging hyflex and synchronous teaching and learning. Ready to know more? The following strategies for using Zoom, enhancing student interaction, and increasing engagement can enhance your online presence this term.

Getting Started with Zoom

If you have never used Zoom before, you will need to set up an account and customize preferred settings. Step-by-step information is available from Zoom on how to set up your Zoom account.

Upon opening Zoom, you will begin at the home screen. The home screen includes icons for starting a new meeting as a host, joining a meeting that someone else will host, as well as settings that can be adjusted according to need.

Screenshot, Zoom login home

Video Conferencing Considerations

  • Lighting – lighting is best when it is consistent without too much brightness directly in front of you (it will cast shadows) or directly behind you (it will overshadow your appearance). “Creating and Delivering Online Presentations” includes suggestions for lighting and overall appearance as well as visual examples of effective versus ineffective or inappropriate practices.
  • Camera position – If you are going to use a particular space in the room, it is helpful to make that space the focus of the camera view. Think about whether you will use other areas of the room that are not in the immediate view of this position and consider how you could change the setup so that all useable areas are in sight at all times for students attending via Zoom.
  • Sound – quiet spaces are optimal as background noises make it difficult to hear the speaker. Additionally, participants should keep their microphones on “mute” until needing to speak to reduce background noises from their locations. Also consider that in a hybrid classroom environment, the actions of the in-person students, such as shifting through papers or eating, can be heard by and add distractors to those in the remote environment.
  • Background – Selecting “New Meeting” will open your camera view to show you what others can see of you and your space. It is recommended that you do this before starting a new session in order to check your lighting or unintentional items that could be in your background. You can also position your camera to optimize the viewing area of things such as a whiteboard or other screen that you may want remote participants to see. Additionally, from the home screen, you can select “settings” and choose a saved image or downloaded image to function as the background. Zoom has an official guide on how to change your background.

Engaging all Students, Flex and Synchronous Learning

Once your Zoom account is customized to your preferences and your environment is set there are several options beyond a video lecture to help keep everyone engaged; whether virtual, in-person, or both.

Setting Clear Expectations

Deciding how and when you would like for participants to interact in a virtual or hybrid course is just as important as when teaching solely in-person. Setting clear expectations from the start supports effective practices and will help to create a more interactive stress-free experience for all. Consider setting requirements for students to have their cameras on to facilitate better face-to-face interaction. Policies for students staying muted until it is their turn to speak and how they will signal that they need to speak, or if they should type their comments and questions first in the chat section. A dedicated section to Zoom and online expectations in your syllabus informs students when viewing materials in Canvas and reminds you to discuss these expectations in your first class meeting.

Assigning a Cohost

Teacher’s Assistants can be great assets to a blended learning environment too. TA’s can support management of lessons in many ways, including responding to chat and adding additional course resources as needs arrive throughout the session. Once signed into your Zoom account, select the “settings” icon. From “settings” under the “meetings” tab there is “co-host” option. If the status toggle present is gray, you should be able to click it to turn it blue and activate the co-host account setting. Having trouble choosing this option? There is a prerequisite for this function that your Zoom account must be an administrator account. If you are still having difficulty enabling this feature consider the Zoom help link or contact Biggio Tech for support.

Managing Participants

Screenshot, More dropdown

Managing participants allows use to set the expectation for video interaction as well as to facilitate a way for students to communicate feedback without interrupting your lesson or the speaker. For example, on the bottom toolbar of the meeting main screen, choose “participants”. There, you can communicate with any of the participants using the icons at the bottom of the window; yes, no, go slower, go faster, or an emoji when selecting “more”.

Also, under the “participants” icon, select “more” to manage interactions. This menu enables you to lock the meeting after you have started teaching, require that participants’ display names are their account names, or remove the option for participants to unmute themselves if needed for a presentation or space without disruption. Participants would still be able to communicate with the “chat” feature if enabled.

Chat

Screenshot, More dropdown

Chat can be enabled for participants to communicate with everyone in the meeting, or only select options such as the host, or no one at all if administering a quick check-in or quiz. The chat feature also allows ready sharing of files in the moment. The chat function is a great feature for questioning dialogue during lessons, such as real time questions from students in the classroom setting or virtual environment. Enabling a “Co-host” provides for an extra person to monitor conversations and questions without disrupting the lecture. The cohost can then interject when they feel appropriate to the lesson and responses can be both discussed as well as typed into the chat section thanks to their help.

Chats can also be saved, allowing for all participants to review the information at their convenience. Zoom provides guidance on saving chat dialogue.

Share Screen

Screen sharing is a great way to show participants your view or specific items that may need their attention. From the toolbar, the icon “share screen” will project onto participant computers anything that you want them to view. For example, you may choose to share your entire desktop allowing participants to see everything that you see and do on your computer, an interactive whiteboard similar to a classroom whiteboard only virtual, or specific files. The “basic”, “advanced” and “files” tabs at the top of the menu help you to choose what you would like to share.

The small carrot next to the words “share screen” will pull up an advanced menu allowing you to customize who may share their screen and how many participants may share at a time. This is a wonderful feature for collaborative presentations or allowing students to explain their thinking when sharing.

Screenshot, Share Screen dialog box

 

Polling

Polling can be set up ahead of time (recommended) and used for multiple course sessions. Selecting “polling” from the toolbar will open a small popup with any polls created under your Zoom account. Selecting “add a question” or “edit” will open a new tab in your internet browser allowing you to create polling questions. If you already know of some questions you would like to ask participants, you can set up polls unique to each anticipated class session. Or, create a quick poll during class—participants wouldn’t see you doing so unless you were sharing your screen.
Once the poll is created, close the tab, and go back to your Zoom session main menu. Select “polling” and choose whichever poll needed for the current session, then “launch poll”. You will be able to see how many participants chose each answer choice.

Screenshot, Zoom Polling

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms are the virtual version of in-person small groups. A breakout room moves participants to another Zoom space to interact with one another and then will bring them back to your main meeting session after a designated amount of time.
Screenshot, Breakout Rooms settings

Suggestions for breakout room policies and facilitation:

  • Before assigning groups to a breakout room, provide a clear task for completion and post this task in the chat
  • Avoid assigning more than one expectation for group completion per breakout session. Shorter more frequent discussions are better than a long list of work and an unspecified amount of time
  • Choose roles for students before the breakout session so that once in the group it is clear who should be completing what task. Some common roles include: a timekeeper who keeps collaboration on-task by being mindful of limits; a recordkeeper who records thinking by members of the group and helps to refer back to previous thoughts; a spokesperson who will synthesize and share out the outcome(s) of the task to whole group upon return to the main session

Accessibility

Be sure to select closed captioning, transcription, and record Zoom sessions so that all students can view the materials at their own pace and need level.

Automatic Zoom to Panopto

Recording Zoom sessions has many advantages for faculty and students. Students attending classes remotely in other countries, for example, can view a full class session at a later time and date as though they had attended live. Unforeseen circumstances preventing class participation do not then also prohibit students from obtaining the lesson materials and faculty unable to host a live session can post a pre-recorded lesson instead. Fully recorded class sessions are also great tools for meeting the unique ability needs of every student and for additionally study resources. For more information about how to automatically transfer Zoom recordings to Panopto, we provide a help guide.

Additional Considerations

  • Set a warm and welcoming tone –avoid language that is harsh or negative: ex: use “we” statements instead of “you” statements. State your expectations clearly but avoid threats. For example, “Late work will not be tolerated under any circumstances” might be better stated as, “Each assignment builds on the next so late work will not be accepted.”
  • Be present and engaging –always include “Feel free to contact me with any questions” along with a link to your preferred method of communication (i.e. email, phone number, or Zoom scheduler) in every announcement and email you send.
  • Establish consistency. Students drop online courses because of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Keep this potential frustration and anxiety in mind every step of the way as you build and facilitate your course.
  • Start with an ice breaker or student introduction forum. Encourage students to upload a picture or avatar. You do the same–set the example and model what you want them to do. Ask students list their concerns and any helpful hints they have about success in previous online courses. Provide personal responses to each student’s post.
  • Redundancy is GOOD –provide important information in more than one place.

Want to Know More?

While blended and online instruction can be challenging there are many great resources available to make the experience smooth and successful for all participants. Select the following links for more tips on building greater engagement in your courses this semester.

Tips & Tricks: Teachers Educating on Zoom

Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption

How to Overcome Classroom Zoom Fatigue

25 Ways to Make Your Zoom Meetings Awesome!

Ten easy tips for better Zoom meetings

This site is here to help you most effectively use Zoom as we all navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Tips and Tricks for a Great Zoom Class or Meeting

Video Conferencing with Zoom: Online Course Tips & Ideas

New Class List App Announcement

As of January 30, 2020, Auburn University has implemented a new Class List App which displays course rosters with photos and email capability.

To access the Class List App, please navigate to AUAccess and then click on the Class List icon. This icon is located along the top row in the Faculty/Administrator tab and near the bottom of the page on the Employee tab.

Additional details can be found here in ServiceNow.

Honorlock New Features and Enhancements

Honorlock is extremely excited to announce the release of some exciting new features! With the goal of further enhancing your overall Honorlock experience, Honorlock has added new functionality that will free up your time to focus on teaching rather than enabling your exams.

In addition to a fresh new look, these new features make preparing for the start of your semester that much easier.

  • Course Copy – This tool will now allow you to carry over your Honorlock enabled exams from semester to semester, while still retaining your desired Honorlock settings for each assessment.
  • Profile Management – With this tool, you can now create and save profile templates in order to apply those desired exam settings to all of your Honorlock enabled exams.

Here are some helpful resources to get you started with these new Honorlock features:

Course Copy Instructor Guide
Course Copy Instructor Recording
Profile Management Instructor Guide
Profile Management Instructor Recording

4 Policies All GTAs Must Know

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), you are no longer a student, but a faculty member. You will, perhaps for the first time, be in a position of power in the classroom. And of course, with that power comes responsibility. How much responsibility you have will depend on the role you play in the classroom: are you an instructor of record? A lab or recitation leader? A course facilitator, assistant, or grader?

Make sure to discuss your role in the classroom with your advisor or department administrator. After you have a more complete understanding of your role, you will need to familiarize yourself with four essential policies.

 

1. Academic Honesty

Auburn University’s academic honesty policy was designed by students. It’s fair and effective. It’s very important that you report instances of academic dishonesty for two reasons: students make mistakes and getting caught gives them a chance to learn to be better and not reporting cheating devalues the degree you yourself are working so hard to earn.

 

2. FERPA

The key thing to know about the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is that student records (aka student grades) are confidential. You cannot share any information about a student’s grades with their parents, other students, or other peers (i.e. posting on social media, talking about how a football player or other notable student is doing in your course, etc.). Doing so can result in serious legal consequences.

 

3. ADA Accommodations Policy

Auburn is a big place and we have a lot of different students with different abilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy ensures that students receive equitable access to instruction and evaluation. Every syllabus for every class is required to contain an ADA Policy statement so that students who need accommodations learn how to request them. As a new instructor, you should become familiar with the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). As you take on the responsibility for designing your own courses, it is a best practice to adhere to UDL practices to ensure your course is engaging, equitable, and accessible for all learners.

 

4. Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

As a GTA you are in a position of power over the students in your course; thus, you cannot have romantic relationships with them because of the risk of coercion. Ignoring Auburn’s Title IX policy is one of the fastest ways to lose your Assistantship. Likewise, your own advisor and professors are forbidden from engaging in romantic relationships with you while you are their student or advisee. If you are the victim of sexual or gender-based misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator, Kelly Taylor, is your ally. Reach out to her. You will not be penalized or discriminated against for standing up for your rights.

 

The Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning supports all Auburn University instructional staff, including GTAs. The Biggio Center offers numerous professional development opportunities and resources for graduate teachers including: workshops on teaching; an online Preparing Future Faculty course and workshop series to help graduate students prepare for careers in the academy; and feedback on teaching through course observations, online surveys, or student focus groups.

5 Steps to Professionalism as a GTA

As you contemplate your transition from student to Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), you may have several questions. One such question may revolve around how to earn your students’ trust and respect. The short answer is: professionalism. Professionalism is a catch-all term to describe the behaviors and attributes expected of you as a faculty member at Auburn University. Here we break down “professionalism” into five actionable categories.

 

Preparedness

Before you meet your class on the first day, visit the classroom so you know what to expect and what tools you will need (dry erase markers/chalk, erasers, laptop, dongles, etc.). Be sure to erase all boards before you leave each class day. Have a lesson plan prepared each day you meet your class and, if using technology, try it out before the class meets and have a back-up plan in case there are issues during class.

 

Communication

Remain calm and professional in both your emails to students and your in-person communication. Use formal salutations (Dear student,) and signatures (Best, Your first and last name). When a student approaches or contacts you in an excited state, take a breath and respond calmly even if the answer is “I don’t know.” Never be afraid to buy yourself time to respond to an emotional student: “I will have to look into that…”, “Give me a day to figure out a solution…” etc. This is especially important if you are frustrated, angry, or anxious. It is also important that you be timely in your communication but set boundaries: “I will respond to email on weekdays within 24 hours” for example. Finally, you need to communicate high expectations for student behavior and quality of work. Do this frequently.

 

Demeanor

Be confident! You are the expert. You have earned this position, not lucked into it. You deserve to be here and you belong. It is okay not to know all the answers. Your students won’t think you are a fraud if you don’t know the answer to a question. They will doubt you if you pretend to know the answers or devalue their questions by ignoring or disregarding them. Simply say, “That’s a good question. I’ll have to look into it. Better yet, why don’t you see if you can figure it out and share it with all of us.”

 

Fairness

Grade all students equally. Don’t grant exceptions or special favors without consulting your department lead. Avoid informal interactions with your students. Don’t follow them or engage on social media until the course is over and grades have rolled. Do not post about your students on social media and do not socialize with your students outside of class.

 

Attire

Know what is appropriate for your department. Look around at what your professors and experienced GTAs are wearing. When in doubt, dress more formally. Dress in your most professional outfit on the first day you meet with your students to set the tone. This is especially important to make yourself feel empowered as a new GTA. Pro tip from an experienced GTA: If you find you are having behavior issues in a class or lab, wear a more professional looking outfit the next time you meet the class. This helps to reset the expectations and discourage disrespect or behavior issues.

Need a little more guidance on professional attire OR want to try some looks for free?

Campus Career Closet

The University Career Center launched the Campus Career Closet in 2017 as a way to provide students access to FREE professional attire appropriate for career fairs, interviews, networking events, and the workplace. Inventory includes suits, blazers, skirts, button-down shirts, and more.

 

The Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning supports all Auburn University instructional staff, including GTAs. The Biggio Center offers numerous professional development opportunities and resources for graduate teachers including: workshops on teaching; an online Preparing Future Faculty course and workshop series to help graduate students prepare for careers in the academy; and feedback on teaching through course observations, online surveys, or student focus groups.