Graduate Teaching Orientation

AU21 Graduate Teaching Orientation will be held online the week of Aug. 16, 2021. Details will be posted on this page as they become available.

Graduate Teaching Orientation (GTO) is designed as a foundational experience for graduate students in formal teaching roles at Ohio State. Orientation spans several days of immersion into teaching roles and evidence-based practices that support student learning.

Participants explore what it means to be a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA), how to prepare for the first days of classes, and resources available to GTAs through the Drake Institute and university partners. Workshops are led by experienced and award-winning GTAs and are designed to equip new GTAs with useful tools and suggestions that can be applied in the classroom. 

Topics covered include: cultivating your teaching identity, knowing your students, understanding your teaching context and role, setting student expectations, the relationship between teaching and learning, and obtaining and using feedback on teaching. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Graduate Teaching Orientation for?

GTO is intended for all graduate students who are new to teaching at Ohio State or to their particular assignments. This includes first-year GTAs (graduate teaching associates), GTAs who are not new to Ohio State but are teaching for the first time, or GTAs who have taught at Ohio State in a different context and are starting a new type of assignment (e.g., a former grader now teaching an independent course). Even if your teaching appointment does not start immediately, you are welcome to attend. You may also attend more than once.

Please note: While new faculty members are welcome to attend, the Office of Academic Affairs sponsors an orientation specifically for new faculty members. We encourage new faculty members to attend new faculty orientation, but you may supplement that orientation with sessions from ours if you so choose.

Who are my fellow participants?

There are generally around 500-600 participants each year across 50-60 departments, coming from a diverse array of backgrounds. GTAs teach in a broad variety of teaching contexts and programs across Ohio State.

One of the most unique and perhaps rewarding aspects of the orientation is that you will spend the majority of the two-day Introduction to Teaching and Learning sequence with the same small group of people (about 15-30 people). These small groups will include participants who are in the same teaching context as you, and they will generally be from departments similar to your own. Although we will be presenting the material remotely this year, synchronous sessions will offer an opportunity to interract with your colleagues and share thoughts, ideas and questions. 

Do I need to register for GTO if my department already submitted my name?

Yes, you still need to fill out the registration form. You will not be registered if you do not fill out this form.

What is a "teaching context" and why do I have to choose one?

There are many different ways that instructors might interact with students. You may teach in an independent course, or you may be one of several teachers working in a team. You may teach in the studio, lab, or clinical setting, or work one-on-one with students in independent study courses.

It is important that you determine the context in which you will be teaching before you register because it will help us place you in an appropriate Introduction to Teaching and Learning session. These sessions are designed to address the kinds of teaching concerns that are most likely to arise for particular kinds of teaching. By signing up for a particular teaching context, you make sure that you will learn the skills most applicable to your own teaching experience.

I registered for GTO but need to cancel. What should I do?

Please contact us and let us know if you cannot attend. If your department has required you to attend orientation, you should contact your department to let them know you can’t be there. Your department may make alternate arrangements for you to receive the training you need.

I missed registration. Can I still attend GTO?

Yes, you may. Please contact us for more information. 

I don't have an Ohio State email address yet. Can I still register?

Yes, you may use an alternate email address. However, it makes the registration process much simpler for us if you use your OSU email address, so please find it out ahead of time, if possible. You might try searching for your name in our university directory.

How will I get my schedule?

You will receive a schedule and all other information via email at the address you provided on your registration form. Updates about programming will be sent via email and will be posted on our website.


Graduate Teaching Orientation Facilitators

Application for AU21 is now open

To help train new GTAs, the Drake Institute hires senior GTA facilitators to deliver the many sessions offered during GTO. If you would like to get involved, please contact us. This is a great opportunity to interact with other experienced GTAs and incoming instructors from around across the world. Facilitators are usually recruited during spring semester. 



We are looking for GTAs who will have completed at least two terms of teaching at Ohio State by the end of the spring semester, and who are interested in helping new GTAs. Additionally, facilitators must anticipate being enrolled as a graduate student at Ohio State in autumn 2021.

The ideal applicant is someone who:

  • enjoys the challenges of teaching.
  • is reflective about his/her/their teaching.
  • has the ability to think about teaching beyond his/her/their own experience.
  • possesses effective oral communication skills.



  1. Submit this application form by 9 a.m., May 3, 2021.
  2. Drake Institute staff will review applications and invite qualified applicants to participate in interviews in mid-May.
  3. Drake Institute staff will hire qualified candidates and assign them to one or multiple Graduate Teaching Orientation sessions based on their skills, experience and interests. You will be notified by May 28 whether or not you have been hired.