Summary of Teaching Responsibilities

The description of teaching responsibilities is a relatively simple document to write first. Teaching duties listed on a curriculum vitae can serve as the outline. The summary of teaching provides an audience with the context for the rest of the items in the portfolio.

In a formative portfolio, this section can include as much information as desired. In a summative portfolio, the focus is on describing teaching experiences for others to decide on hiring or promotion. It is important to use detailed descriptors. Keep in mind that “Teaching Assistant” and “Instructor” have different meanings in different departments or universities. TA’s can be true assistants, such as graders or recitation/laboratory instructors, or they may be independent instructors who have complete responsibility for a course. This section provides the opportunity for clarification and explanation.


Writing Tips

Describe teaching responsibilities with a sentence or two. Using this information, craft a narrative describing students, learning context, and instructional approach. Consider the following questions:

  • What is the description of the course?
  • What were the goals of the course?
  • Was it a general education requirement, or a majors-only course? Was it a two-quarter sequence?
  • How many students did you teach at a time? Were they undergraduate, graduate, or non-traditional students? Were they all majors in the discipline or did they have different majors? You might want to include their average GPA, attrition rates, etc.
  • What was your responsibility for that class? Did you lead a recitation section or a laboratory section, or did you have full responsibility for the class? Were you a grader?
  • What types of teaching methods and evidence-based strategies did you use?
  • Did you design the curriculum? If so, was it the entire curriculum or a part of it?
  • Did you create quizzes or exams, assignments, in-class activities, assessment tools?
  • Did you select audio or visual materials to be used in class? Did you design in-class demonstrations? Did you look for supplemental readings?
  • Did you hold office hours or review sessions? Did you tutor students one-on-one?
  • Did you advise students on term papers, projects, and group activities for class?
  • In addition to the above, consider adding a reflection. Consider the following questions:
  • How did this experience affect your development as a teacher? Did it provide you the opportunity to learn new skills? Why or why not?
  • What kinds of instructional techniques would you like to try in future courses, and why?

Instructors with extensive teaching experience may want to consider either only including courses from the previous five years or organizing this section around categories of similar courses (for example, if responsibilities, teaching methods, and the student populations for five courses were the same, write a brief course description for each and only one narrative about responsibilities). Note, however, that this section is intended to provide context — not only regarding students, but also teaching strategies. If courses were truly different, take the time to provide a description for each.



The following were written by winners of the Graduate Associate Teaching Award at Ohio State, and are examples of various formats you may choose to use.

Joshua Eckroth – Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Summary of Teaching Responsibilities
Joshua Eckroth
Graduate Teaching Associate
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Winner of the 2012 Graduate Associate Teaching Award


CSE 201: Elementary computer programming

I taught CSE 201 during Autumn 2008 and Winter 2011 quarters.

Course description

CSE 201 is typically a first programming course. Most of the students are not Computer Science & Engineering majors; rather, they often come from Mathematics Education, Business (Marketing, Information Systems, Accounting), Actuarial Science, Chemistry, Art, Music, etc. Additionally, most students do not expect to take another class focused on computer programming.

The goal of this course is to learn modern, though elementary, computer programming techniques. We teach with a popular, modern programming language and the same software tools that computer science professionals use daily. Unlike some introductory programming courses, this course does not use a “toy language” that is designed to enhance learning. Rather, students acquire practical knowledge and skills that may be called upon in their careers.

This is a dual lab and lecture course; one-third of the class time each week is spent in a computer lab. Students are generally expected to work independently, both during lab periods and outside of class. Each class typically contains 40 students.

My responsibilities

This course is taught by a group of GTAs. Weekly meetings among the GTAs and the course coordinator(s) help the GTAs learn how to effectively teach a course. Like the other teaching assistants, I was asked to present the same lecture notes (PowerPoint slides), required the students to complete the same homework assignments, and administered the same tests as the other sections of the course. Thus, I did not possess much freedom to alter these materials. However, I did write additional lecture notes and modified the PowerPoint slides in ways that I thought would benefit the students. Additionally, I used my judgment about how to present the material in lectures, and even included extra lectures about computer security and other topics.

I was responsible for grading homeworks and providing office hours; the group of GTAs shared grading responsibilities for exams. The group collaborated during our weekly meetings and learned from their experiences.


CSE 202: Introduction to programming and algorithms for engineers and scientists

I taught CSE 202 during Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn 2010 quarters.

Course description

Like CSE 201, CSE 202 is typically a first programming course. Also like CSE 201, most of the students are not Computer Science & Engineering majors. However, the vast majority are Engineering majors of some variety: Electrical, Civil, Chemical, and Materials.

This course is essentially the “engineering” dual of CSE 201. The prerequisite is a first course in Calculus. The programming language that is taught is more geared towards engineers, but like CSE 201, the programming language is very popular and practical. I always held an expectation that students would be required to use their skills learned in CSE 202 at some point in their careers.

This is a dual lab and lecture course; one-third of the class time each week is spent in a computer lab. Students are generally expected to work independently, both during lab periods and outside of class. Each class typically contains 40 students.

My responsibilities

This course was the first that I entirely developed. I exercised the freedom given to me to rewrite the course lecture notes, create new assignments, and design the midterm and final exams.

My responsibilities also included lecturing, office hours, and grading. In short, I interacted with the students at every level, from the lecture notes (essentially replacing the textbook for most students) to the lectures and grading. I also worked with a fellow GTA who was teaching the same course during some of the same quarters. We attended UCAT meetings together, collaborated on course design, shared experiences, and even taught each other’s classes on two occasions.


CSE 230: Introduction to C++ programming

I taught CSE 230 during Spring, Summer, and Autumn 2011, and Winter 2012 quarters.

Course description

This course is oriented towards students who wish to learn more about programming than what was provided in CSE 201 or 202. This course is an elective for non-computer science engineering majors. Most students are Electrical Engineering majors.

As such, this course contains significantly more advanced topics than 201 or 202. Again, the course focuses on a practical, industry-standard programming language and programming methodologies. After completion of this course, students are presumed to be able to create meaningful applications that assist their work as engineers.

This course is not lab-based. Students are generally expected to work independently, outside of class. Each class typically contains 40 students.

My responsibilities

Like CSE 202, this is a course I developed. Using the prior GTA’s material as an initial guideline, I wrote entirely new and complete lecture notes, assignments, weekly quizzes, a final exam, and a host of online “mini-quizzes.” Additionally, each weekly quiz was accompanied by a sample that we reviewed in a class period before the day of the quiz. Each quarter this material evolved as the result of new ideas and feedback from students.

Also like CSE 202, I interacted with the students at every level. I wrote the material, lectured, provided office hours, and performed the grading.

Bora Bosna – Department of Mathematics

Summary of Teaching Responsibilities
Bora Bosna
Graduate Teaching Associate
Department of Mathematics
Winner of the 2012 Graduate Associate Teaching Award


I have taught at OSU for 19 quarters (counting current quarter): 16 quarters as a TA in a lecture-recitation format, 2 days a week, 2 classes each of 30,3 quarters as the instructor of record, 5 days a week, one class of 30.


My responsibilities as a TA are:

(here MSLC is Mathematics and Statistics Learning Center)

  • grading weekly homeworks and quizzes, grading (parts of) midterms and final exams,
  • preparing weekly quizzes,
  • weekly classroom meetings of 48 minutes with each class of 30 (4 hours total a week),
  • 3 office hours a week plus 1 by appointment, and 2 hours of tutoring service at MSLC,
  • corresponding with the lecturers, providing them feedback on how students are doing, where they are strong or lacking, discussing what would be appropriate to include on the exams, keeping track of grades.


My responsibilities as the instructor of record are:

  • meeting students 5 days a week for 48 minutes each (5 hours total a week),
  • preparing the syllabus, course calendar, grading scheme,
  • preparing midterms, final exams, weekly quizzes, homework assignments,
  • setting up the online homework system, synchronizing deadlines with the rest of the course,
  • grading quizzes, homeworks, exams, office hours a week plus 1 by appointment,
  • no MSLC tutoring duty, although I volunteer during summer for shortage of staff by holding some of my office hours there.


Courses I taught as a TA are:

  • 131 – Business Calculus I (Limits, Derivatives and Applications) in Spring 2007,
  • 132 – Business Calculus II (Riemann Sums, Integration, Applications, Linear Algebra) in Autumn 2007 and Spring 2008,
  • 151 – Single Variable Calculus for Engineers 1 (Limits, Derivatives and Applications) in Autumn 2006,
  • 152 – Single Variable Calculus for Engineers 2 (Riemann Sums, Integration, Areas and Volume, Applications, Differential Equations) in Winter 2007Winter 2008Autumn 2008 and Winter 2009,
  • 153 – Single Variable Calculus for Engineers 3 (Sequences and Infinite Series, Parametrized Curves, Lines and Planes) in Winter 2010and Winter 2012,
  • 161 – Accelerated Calculus for Engineers (151 and 152 taught together in one quarter) in Autumn 2009,
  • 254 – Multivariable Calculus  (Limits and Partial Derivatives of Multivariable Functions, Applications, Line and Surface Integrals, Green’s Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem, Divergence Theorem) in Spring 2009 and Spring 2010,
  • 255 – Ordinary Differential Equations (1st and 2nd Order Linear ODEs, Higher Order Linear ODEs, Power Series Solutions) in Autumn 2010,
  • 415 – Partial Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems (1st and 2nd Order Linear ODEs, Boundary Value Problems, Fourier Series, Heat and Wave PDEs, Linear Systems of ODEs) in Winter 2011Spring 2011Autumn 2011.


Courses I taught as the instructor of record are:

  • 131 – Business Calculus I (Limits, Derivatives and Applications) in Summer 2009 and Summer 2011,
  • 151 – Single Variable Calculus for Engineers 1 (Limits, Derivatives and Applications) in Summer 2008.


My total responsibility as a TA is 20 hours a week. Usually it goes over this with the office hours I have by appointment one-on-one with some students because there are too many separate appointments, and with time I spend preparing extra practice material for the students.

The MSLC offers free tutoring service to OSU students who are taking math or stats courses. They have rooms separated according to courses, and they use TutorTrac (same as SASSO) to keep track of the demand for each course, so they can assign an appropriate number of TAs for that room. Students can come, choose to do homework by themselves, or ask questions to tutors. My duty is to be there and answer students’ questions. On a busy day, it’s equivalent to or more than teaching recitation.

Monali Chowdhury – Department of Psychology

Summary of Teaching Responsibilities
Monali Chowdhury
Graduate Teaching Associate
Department of Psychology
Winner of the 2011 Graduate Associate Teaching Award


Graduate Teaching Associate

As a graduate teaching associate (GTA), I have taught ten sections of Psychology 100 spanning over Fall 2005 – Spring 2006, and again from Fall 2009 – present.

Course description: General Psychology 100 is a 5-credit hour introductory level course providing exposure to the broad field of psychology and several sub-areas in this field. Psychology 100 (Psych 100) is one of the most popular classes at OSU typically with 1500-2300 students enrolled per quarter, across 30 or more sections. Psych 100 is taught solely by GTAs (with an occasional doctorate lecturer) under the supervision of Faculty Director, Dr. Melissa Beers. For consistency, the textbook, assigned readings, midterm and final exams, grading, and course policies are standardized across all sections.

Class composition: Psych 100 fulfills, in part, the requirements of the Social Diversity and Social Science components of the University’s General Education Curriculum (GEC), and is a  rerequisite for advanced coursework in psychology. This attracts a vast majority of freshmen to enroll who are mostly non-psychology majors and whose academic backgrounds run the gamut from pre-med/pre-nursing and engineering to fashion and retail studies. Classes also comprise upperclassmen, several international and some non-traditional students. Section sizes are typically large with as many as 80-120 students, but average around 55-60 students per section.

Course goals: Psychology 100 aims to help students gain knowledge on several psychological concepts, become familiar with the theories and methods of scientific inquiry as applied to the study of human behavior, thought, and emotion, acquire critical thinking approaches to information, and develop awareness and appreciation of the social diversity found in the pluralistic nature of our culture.

Summary of my teaching responsibilities and role as a Psych 100 GTA

  • Syllabus preparation: Create a personal syllabus outlining my learning objectives for students, quiz dates and format, extra credit assignments, and other personal class policies
  • Lesson plans: Create organized guided notes and PowerPoint lectures on 16 chapters; I caught a serious factual error in our current Psych 100 textbook while preparing my lectures. This prompted me to write a letter to the authors pointing out the error and providing evidence for my argument. Henceforth, the authors have corrected this error and the publishers have courteously included me in the Acknowledgements section of the new edition.
  • Learning environment: Create a stimulating learning environment by using visual aids, class activities, and discussion
  • Student rapport: Create a safe and personable class atmosphere, by building student rapport, where students feel involved and comfortable to participate
  • Quiz construction and grading: Create new application-based quiz questions for three quizzes
  • Review session: Create a new set of practice questions for exam review sessions; hold three exam review sessions every quarter
  • Exams: Administer and proctor exams in my own and an additional section; grade exams
  • Carmen course website: Maintain and update Carmen with grades, guided notes, relevant course information, and reminders of upcoming events such as quizzes, extra credit assignment deadline etc.
  • Regular contact with students: Being available to help students during regular office hours, by appointment, and via e-mail
  • Mentoring: Mentor undergraduate course assistants, who are matched with GTAs, by providing feedback on short presentations they make in my classes or practice questions that they write
  • Substitute TA: Be available to cover for other TAs in event of sickness/unavailability; I enjoy interacting with students from other sections and have taught as a substitute TA on multiple occasions.
  • Textbook review: Carefully review and provide constructive feedback on textbooks being considered by the Psych 100 program for adoption in Fall 2011
  • Program meetings: I have been actively involved in exam strategic planning meetings to enhance the standardized exam construction process.
  • Psychology 852 (Practicum on the Teaching of Psychology): I have been invited to visit the psychology teaching practicum classes on several occasions where I engaged in peer mentoring on topics such as first day teaching experiences, classroom management, class activities etc. I also provide mentoring when new TAs from Psych 852 sit in on my classes to pick up “tricks of the trade.”
  • Summer 2010 pilot of E-Book: I collaborated with Dr. Beers in a pilot study conducted by the Psych 100 program exploring the use of electronic textbooks. My section was chosen to receive quarterlong free access to the e-textbook. I gathered, via multiple in-class surveys, feedback on student attitudes towards the use of e-text. We conducted quantitative analysis on the survey data, assessed the impact of this section-wide free availability of e-text on student learning, and presented the findings at a recent teaching conference, where journal editors expressed interest in publishing this pilot study.


Leadership Roles

Exam Committee Chair

Every quarter, groups of four to six TAs form Exam Committees that work as a team to prepare the standardized midterms and final exam. I have frequently served as the Chair of Exam Committees with the following roles in this capacity:

  • Take the lead on preparing a balanced, GEC-relevant exam by choosing appropriate questions from an existing question bank, and being accountable for exam quality and security
  • Delegate responsibilities to other exam committee members that include writing new exam questions, preparing exam key, copying over 800 exams etc.
  • Lead the Exam Committee meeting to select the final mix of questions to appear on the exam
  • Identify the topics missed by most students course-wide based on item analysis results

On other occasions, as an Exam Committee member, I have contributed to the exam construction process by creating new applied questions and participating in other exam tasks.

Assessment Committee Chair

As mentioned before, Psych 100 fulfills the University’s GEC requirements. Every year, the Psych 100 Assessment Committee (typically six to eight TAs) evaluates student understanding of GEC objectives by assessing performance on (1) GEC-relevant items in exams (embedded testing), and/or (2) reflection papers that students write on GEC-relevant topics covered throughout the quarter.

I have been assigned the important position of Chair of the Assessment Committee and have the following responsibilities in this capacity:

  • Allocate GEC reflection paper prompts to over 30 TAs teaching Psych 100
  • Oversee course-wide collection of reflection papers from students
  • Grade and delegate grading of reflection papers to other members of the Assessment Committee
  • Summarize and analyze quantitative data (from reflection paper grades) that reflect how well students are grasping the GEC learning objectives that Psych 100 aims to meet
  • This past Fall, I took the lead on fine-tuning the rubric used to grade GEC reflection papers, and modifying the reflection paper prompts to better portray the GEC objectives of the University.


Extracurricular Teaching Activities

In addition to my teaching responsibilities as a GTA, I have sought out other opportunities for professional growth. These include:

  • Facilitator at UCAT Teaching Orientation: In Fall 2010, I was chosen as one of the facilitators at the UCAT university-wide teaching orientation where I co-facilitated a session on “Introduction to Teaching and Learning” for Independent Courses, and also served as a panelist in two sessions of “International Teachers: Experienced International TAs Share Their Experience.”
  • Experienced International TA speaker: I shared my perspectives as an international TA with students in two sections of the Spoken English Program’s Ed T&L 505 class in Fall 2010.
  • Workshop participation: I continuously try to keep myself informed of teaching approaches of prominent authors in Psychology and current pedagogical advancements by active involvement in workshops. Noted among these are talks by textbook authors Douglas Bernstein and Steven Lynn, David Myers’s virtual seminar on Practical Strategies for Effective Teaching of Psychology,” and the Ohio Digital Bookshelf Conference on  digitization of psychology textbooks to make course materials more affordable for students.


Other Possible Items to Address in this Section

Teaching is not confined to the classroom. There are many other roles and responsibilities that could be described and appropriately included in this section. Reflect on the following types of non-classroom instruction and decide whether to address them here or whether they would be better articulated as professional service. (If it is the latter, these may be relocated to a separate section of your portfolio.)

  • Mentoring and advising students: Interactions with students outside the classroom, for example, non-credit activities with students, such as academic clubs or mentoring programs.
  • Developing graduate teaching assistants: Involvement in unit-based or university-wide teaching orientations or courses.
  • Mentoring other teachers: Peer mentoring, classroom observation, peer review for colleagues.
  • Managing instructional resources: Work in or oversight of lab, field sites, libraries, resources centers, learning centers, or tutoring centers?