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Programs and Services

Graduate Student Teaching Certificate Program

SPRING 2013 Program | view SUMMER 2013 Program page

Registration for the Spring 2013 Program is now CLOSED - All Sections are full



The Graduate Student Teaching Certificate Program meets every other week in a semester-long program during the Spring term. (See meeting dates below). An intensive three-week program format is offered as a Summer Session.

In 2013, the spring program begins on Friday, February 8th. MIT graduate students and post-docs who wish to develop their teaching skills are invited to participate. The program is designed for students with a variety of interests and career goals: from those who wish to develop better skills to support their teaching at MIT, to those who are planning careers in academe.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate and letter from the Dean for Graduate Education outlining the program and confirming completion of all program requirements. This letter can be submitted with applications for teaching positions as evidence of a commitment to the teaching enterprise.



Students interested in a fall class focussing on teaching skill development can register for the credit-bearing graduate class, “Teaching College Level Science and Engineering” (5.95J). This class is taught by Dr. Janet Rankin, Associate Director in the Teaching and Learning Laboratory, and is offered every fall. The material in the class and in the Certificate Program are very similar so we recommend taking either/or, rather than both.



Participants are required to attend all seven workshops listed in the schedule below. In addition to attendance, students will complete pre-session reading assignments and post-session writing assignments for each workshop. Participants will also be videorecorded in a teaching session, where other program participants and an instructor will provide feedback on the presentation. The workshop on Creating a Blended Learning Environment will not have a physical class meeting, but rather, there will be readings and activity assignments incorporated throughout other workshops to cover the material.

All program requirements must be completed by the end of the Spring program.



When registration opens on the morning of December 3rd, click REGISTER HERE to submit an online registration form. You will be asked to select your preferred SECTION meeting time. Shortly after submitting the form, you will receive an email confirming your registration.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Leann Dobranski ( by email or by phone at x3-3371.


SPRING 2013 Program Meeting Dates:

Spring Section Meeting Times:

(1) 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. (for NON-sci/engg majors only)
(2) 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
(3) 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
(4) 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.

Students as Learners , You as Teacher

Research into how college students learn has grown enormously over the last twenty-five years, and the field continues to expand. We know, for example, that students are not passive recipients of information, but, instead, actively construct their own knowledge and understanding. We also know that instructors who have a good sense of themselves as teachers—their instructional preferences, their beliefs about teaching—are particularly effective in the classroom. This session will provide an introduction to how people learn, and an opportunity to explore your own philosophy about teaching and learning. (return to top)

Designing a Course and Constructing a Syllabus

Thoughtful course design begins with the articulation of goals and learning outcomes. When preparing to teach a course, you should ask: "What do I want the students to know and what skills do I want them to have when they finish my course?"  Once those questions are answered, the next step is to identify the specific ways in which students will achieve those goals. What "big ideas" should students understand? What topics will be covered? What pedagogies will you employ? Finally, you need to think about assignments and exams that will further student learning and help you determine if the desired learning has been achieved. With these decisions made, it becomes relatively straightforward to write a syllabus that clearly describes your expectations and the requirements of the course. (return to top)

Interactive Teaching and Active Learning

Asking students questions based on key concepts engages students’ interest and intelligence. Instructors also learn what concepts students find most confusing. This session discusses the reasons for interactive teaching and provides examples of questions and techniques that can be used or adapted for teaching a variety of courses and topics. (return to top)

Planning and Presenting a Lecture

This session will explore how to organize a lecture or recitation. It will help you understand how to craft the messages you are delivering and understand how they affect your audience. By the end of the workshop, you will have a better sense of how to use more of your expressive capacity to keep a group engaged.(return to top)

Constructing Effective Assignments, Problem Sets & Exam Questions

This session highlights ways in which exams, problem sets and homework assignments can be designed to best support student learning and understanding. Participants identify positive and negative attributes of sample homework problems and work collaboratively to redesign these problems in order to more effectively reinforce desired learning objectives. (return to top)

Special Considerations for Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom

MIT’s cultural diversity is an exciting resource. In this seminar, participants will discuss strategies to increase understanding in, and effective management of multicultural classrooms. (return to top)

Enhancing Learning with Educational Technologies

Many courses are now using a variety of online tools to augment face-to-face instruction in what is called a blended learning environment. This session will help you identify appropriate opportunities for blended learning in your course and choose appropriate technologies to meet your intended learning outcomes. In addition to describing categories of educational technology, we will also discuss best practices and potential pitfalls related to each.  (return to top)

Articulating Your Teaching Philosophy

The teaching philosophy statement is a required component of most academic job applications, and is often required as part of the faculty tenure and promotion process.  For many, the act of articulating a teaching philosophy can be daunting.  This session seeks to demystify this process by providing a variety of strategies and approaches that participants can utilize in the creation of their own teaching philosophy statements.  . (return to top)

Videorecorded Microteaching Session

Participants give a short presentation in their own field to other workshop members who role play as students. Audience members, including an instructor, provide feedback to the microteacher. (return to top)


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