Course Description

One-term, 10-week course that introduces graduate students with no prior teaching experience, to basic theories and skills for classroom teaching. This course prepares graduate students for their first teaching assignments.

This course is designed for graduate students interested in learning some teaching skills and concepts for succeeding in your first teaching role. Our hope is that you will leave the course more confident and prepared for teaching your first class, tutorial, or lab. 

Throughout the course, the instructors will model a variety of teaching strategies and approaches: in this way, you will begin to identify strategies that you may experiment with and implement in your own practice. We will be transparent about the theory that grounds the practical skills taught in the course, illuminating the notion that teaching is scholarship. In addition, we encourage you to embrace a reflective teaching practice as a basis for future teaching growth.

Graduate students with some teaching experience should consider taking the two-term course, GSR 989: Philosophy and Practice of University Teaching, that delves more deeply into teaching theory and philosophy, in addition to teaching practices.

While this course will not earn you credit, it will appear on your transcript.  It is imperative that you maintain attendance, and complete all course activities, readings, and assignments to pass the course.

Course Requirements

To take GSR 979, you must be registered as a graduate student. Since enrolment is limited, we ask that only those register who are committed to attending each class, and to completing all activities, readings, and assignments. Post-doctoral fellows may also enrol in the course with permission of the instructor.

To successfully complete the course, students will need to:

  • Participate in class
  • Develop and deliver micro-teaching lesson plans
  • Compete pre-class assignments

There is no required textbook.


Registration is completed via PAWS. To find the course search "Graduate Studies and Research 979". The course is regularly offered in the fall term (T1) and condensed in the spring session (May). Space in the course is determined on a first come, first served basis.

Next Condensed Spring/Summer offering: May 2017 Example Course Syllabus for May 2016 Spring Session 


Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning

GMCTL has a variety of programming, workshops, non-credit courses and resources for graduate students or post-doctorals who are new to teaching and who already have some experience but want to learn more.