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.

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 Inclusively: Universal Design for Learning

Feb 7, 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm | 538 Goodell

How do you teach a class that has students with different levels of preparation, backgrounds, and expectations? The theory of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers a teaching philosophy that helps create inclusive, accessible learning spaces. Join this discussion of how UDL concepts can be applied to your class. Bonus: for those considering a career in academia, this workshop will give you new ideas and language to describe your teaching philosophy in a faculty job interview! Pizza lunch will be served.


A for Effort?

Feb 20, 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | 528 Goodell

Should students be graded on mastery alone? If we reward effort, how do we measure it? Join this informal discussion for some great conversation about grading strategies and learn more about studies done about student effort. Snacks will be provided; please feel free to bring your lunch. 


10 Time Saving Ideas to Streamline Your Teaching

Mar 11, 2020 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm | 528 Goodell

Whether balancing our own coursework, research and writing, or multiple course sections, we can’t afford to let our teaching responsibilities overrun our lives - but we still want to do a good job and help our students. Learn tips to streamline your teaching preparation and communication with students and discuss what works for you with your fellow grad students and postdocs! 


High Expectations and Helicopter Teachers

Mar 25, 2020 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 528 Goodell

We often feel the tension between wanting to have high standards for our students and wanting to help them. How can we be supportive, but still treat our students as the adults that they are, rather than hovering above them as helicopter parents hover over their young children? Join this workshop to learn strategies for balancing standards and support. 


Additional Resources

  • 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 Vitae also often publishes about pedagogy and teaching as a career.


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

OPD Workshop participants