Many of our graduate students and postdocs serve the UMass community in the classroom and in the laboratory, as teaching assistants and solo instructors. In addition to supporting those teaching right now, OPD also helps prepare graduate students and postdocs for careers as teachers.

Our inaugural Teaching Academy launched in August! You can still check out nine pedagogical videos, view our resource page, and join our online Teaching Academy Community!

Manuela Borzone, PhD student in Comparative Literature

Whether geared toward classroom management, interpersonal communication with students, or streamlining class preparation and grading, the teaching workshops helped me further develop my teaching skills as a graduate instructor and discussion leader. As a result, I feel more confident in my ability to deliver quality instruction to our undergraduates.

Manuela Borzone (PhD student, Comparative Literature)

Upcoming Events


Teaching Distracted Minds

Mar 4, 2021 | 1:00pm - 2:15pm | Online with OPD!

Our concerns about distracted students have intensified as we have shifted online. Indeed, this session with Dr. James Lang (author of Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It) draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to argue that distractions are endemic to the human condition, and can’t be walled out of the physical classroom or online course. The solution? We should focus on creating educational experiences that cultivate and sustain attention. Faculty, postdocs, and graduate student participants will learn about a variety of ways to develop such experiences for their students. Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching & Learning, the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development, and the Provost’s Office.


Grading Writing (Or, How I Learned to Stop Copyediting My Students’ Papers)

Mar 23, 2021 | 2:45pm - 4:00pm | Online with OPD!

This workshop will provide an overview of grading strategies as well as specific methods for giving timely, relevant, and productive feedback on short or long writing assignments. We’ll talk about how technology can influence your feedback and what students actually need to succeed.


Teaching Statements

Apr 13, 2021 | 2:45pm - 4:00pm | Online with OPD!

A teaching statement is a critical document for graduate students and postdocs who anticipate a career in teaching, whether at the college level or elsewhere. This workshop will cover the basics, as well as what makes an excellent statement stand out! In addition, we will review examples of teaching statements. 


Teaching Portfolios

Apr 27, 2021 | 11:30am - 12:00pm | Online with OPD!

This workshop will explain how to develop a teaching portfolio that demonstrates your effectiveness as an instructor. Topics will include the purpose, content, and format of the teaching portfolio. 


Additional Resources

  • For a complete list of resources at UMass and beyond, visit our Teaching Academy Resources page
  • As part of the Teaching Academy, we created a series of short videos to support graduate students and postdocs dedicated to improving their teaching skills. Designed to support instructors at all levels, there is something for everyone!
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) organizes a variety of events and often partners with OPD on programming to jointly serve faculty, postdoc, and graduate student instructors. Their website also offers additional teaching resources.
  • The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) helps STEM graduate students and postdocs across the country strategically position themselves for careers in college and university teaching through a series of comprehensive on-line workshops and optional evidence-based teaching projects. The UMass CIRTL chapter also leads in-person workshops for the UMass campus.
  • The Instructional Innovation office offers year-round workshops to help faculty, postdoc, and graduate student instructors better use technology, such as Moodle and Echo360, in the classroom.
  • There are many online pedagogical resources that will inspire instructors with best-practices for learning. For example, Faculty Focus regular publishes short articles on effective teaching strategies for the college classroom and The Chronicle of Higher Education has an advice section that also often publishes on pedagogy and teaching as a career.


Contact us for more information on OPD’s Teaching workshops and assistance.

OPD Workshop participants