The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research supports teaching and learning through a variety of areas: pedagogy and faculty development, assessment programs, instructional technologies, classroom technologies, and faculty and staff information technologies.
Originally founded as the "Teaching Excellence Center" in 1992, the office was primarily responsible for the Student Instructional Rating Survey. The center's responsibilities expanded to include instructional technologies, staff training, and enhanced classroom support and in 2004 our name changed to the "Center for the Advancement of Teaching" (CAT) to reflect the broader responsibilties. In 2007, with the addition of university assessment programs, we changed the name to the "Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research."
The Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research and the TA Project offer a series of workshops designed to develop technological skills and enhance teaching. Certificates are awarded by the TA Project.
Attend at least four workshops and earn a certificate:
- Basic Web Design: The fundamentals of creating web pages, either for RCI web sites or for use in Sakai or other course web sites. Using the free "BlueGriffon" software, this workshop addresses how to create a simple site with multiple pages, links and images, and covers some basics of best web design practices.
- Copyright Issues for Academic Research and Publication: The workshop will cover the basics of copyright including fair use, contract law as it applies to digital resources, use of copyrighted works in research and scholarly publications, copyright issues for dissertations and theses, copyright in one's own works, current copyright policies and practices at Rutgers, the current legal landscape in higher education, and open access scholarly communication. Topics include ownership of scholarly works, use of third party works, publication agreements, deposit agreements for digital repositories, and the Rutgers open access policy. This workshop will benefit graduate and undergraduate students writing theses and dissertations, faculty, and other researchers with questions on copyright relating to publication.
- Copyright Issues for Teaching: The presentation will cover the basics of copyright law including fair use, contract law as it applies to digital resources, use of copyrighted works in classroom teaching and in online and hybrid courses, current copyright policies and practices at Rutgers, the copyright landscape in higher education, and open access teaching content. Topics include educational use of copyrighted works in all formats; distributing works through course management systems; posting works to faculty websites or online; use of works in e-reserve systems; copyright for student projects; other student uses of copyrighted material; showing films and streaming in the classroom and on campus; and videotaping in the classroom. The target audience for this workshop includes graduate teaching assistants and teaching faculty.
- Creating eBooks for the Classroom: This workshop will look at several resources for creating ebooks from original materials or collections of course materials, and distributing the ebook "course packs" to students. We will discuss the formats needed to support Kindles, iPads, and other devices. Software covered will include Sigil, Calibre, and iBooks Author, with the primary focus on iBooks Author.
- Creating Excel Spreadsheets for Grading: This workshop explores different methods of using Excel to calculate student grades. In addition to calculating weighted averages, we discuss methods of dropping the lowest grade, and assigning letter grades based on numeric average grades via a lookup table. Finally, we cover various dynamic means of assessing the performance of entire class by using charts and summation functions.
- Creating PowerPoint Presentations forTeaching: This workshop provides a quick hands-on overview of PowerPoint; its structure, utilities, slide management features, animation, and design templates (with a number of tips and tricks).
- Getting Started with RefWorks & Flow: RefWorks (free to members of the Rutgers community) is a web-based bibliography and database manager that allows users to create and administer their own personal bibliographic database. This hands-on workshop introduces RefWorks, and demonstrates how personal bibliographies can be created and managed. Two additional RefWorks tools, Write-N-Cite and RefGrab-It will also be demonstrated. Additional help will be available for persons logging into RefWorks for the first time.
- Intro to MS Photo Story 3: This free and easy - Windows only - application enables users to create compelling digital stories using still photos. This hands on workshop will teach you how to choose the perfect image, add text, music and narration, and customize transitions by panning and zooming around images (the Ken Burns Effect).
- Intro to Prezi: Prezi is a cloud-based presentation application (for both Mac and PC) that lets you organize and share ideas and information in a very dynamic way. You can lead your students (and audience) on a visual journey, collaborate in real time across time zones, and run your presentation from the cloud, desktop, iPad, or iPhone. In Intro to Prezi, you learn how to set up a free account, navigate the canvas, create frames, utilize templates, apply text, images and video, and use the Tool/Prezi Editor.
- Intermediate Prezi: Expand on your basic Prezi skills. Learn how to import slides & content from PowerPoint, use fade tools for animation, add symbols and shapes, insert sound and web links, collaborate and share your Prezi, and incorporate slides and content from other Prezis.
- Managing a Course Web Site (Sakai): Sakai is a web site for organizing class materials, discussions, assignments, grade reporting, and group work. This introduction covers the basic use of Sakai for the most common course tasks.
- Online Grade Reporting and Communication: Discussion of acceptable practices for distributing student grades both online and in class, with a focus on how to use the FAS Gradebook for posting grades online. Also provides a look at the Sakai gradebook and the online roster web site, and some other resources for managing mailing lists and student communication.
- Podcasting: How to create and do some simple editing of audio content using the free "Audacity" software, and how to distribute the files to students as a "podcast" using RSS ("Really Simple Syndication") or iTunes.
- Using Media with PowerPoint Presentations: This workshop will explore the incorporation of audio and video into PowerPoint presentations for the PC. We will cover the different audio and video formats that are compatable with PowerPoint and available web resources for downloading free content.
- Windows Movie Maker: This workshop provides a quick overview of the Windows Movie Maker application with an eye to ultimately integrating a movie into a PowerPoint presentation. Copyright-free video resources will be discussed, as well as simple filming tools, and audio and video formats supported by PowerPoint. Using Windows Movie Maker, we will import and edit various media types (audio, video, still images), clip films, apply and manipulate soundtracks, titles and credits, transitions and special effects.
Founded in 1988, the Teaching Assistant Project (TAP) is a multi-tiered initiative designed to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education at Rutgers, New Brunswick, through the professional development of the graduate student teaching staff. TAP is, by necessity, a flexible endeavor, working to meet the changing needs of teaching assistants. The fundamental components upon which this project is built include the annual orientation, certificate programs and special issues seminars, web-based publications, and discipline-specific training.
This professional development series will introduce graduate students to a wide variety of teaching methodologies. Several different workshops will be offered during the academic year, and students who attend at least four sessions will be eligible to receive a certificate indicating their commitment to teaching.
- Dealing with Difficult Students: This panel discussion will focus on dealing with difficult students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Experienced TAs will present strategies for addressing problems both in the classroom and one-on-one, dealing with students in crisis, and how to navigate and manage issues of academic integrity.
- College and University Careers: Finding the Right Fit for You: This session will identify the multiple professional opportunities available in academe for doctoral students.
- Interviewing for Positions in Academe: Issues to Consider This workshop will discuss the obvious and not-so-obvious issues that graduate students interested in an academic career should consider.
- Using Media in the Classroom to Motivate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences: This workshop will discuss the most productive ways of using media in humanities and social sciences classes.
- Diversity in the Classroom: If not managed properly, diversity can lead to challenges that may impede the learning process. This panel will discuss theoretical perspectives on diversity in education, as well as ways to cultivate an open and inclusive learning environment where differences are acknowledged, celebrated and leveraged.