Developing University Teaching Skills



Ph.D. students who establish strong teaching credentials to complement their research portfolio will be more competitive for a wider range of academic positions.  Effective teaching requires a philosophy and vision, preparation, fundamental skills, and ideally practice. The objective of this course is to expose early Ph.D. students to a range of current pedagogical philosophies and approaches to effectively engage students in large and small courses, the elements of teaching credentials, and the importance of teaching credentials in hiring, promotion and tenure. This course will provide a setting where students can think about and develop a personal teaching philosophy, instructional materials including a course syllabus, lectures, and exercises and examination materials. This course also provides venues to practice teaching, and students will leave the course with the initial components of a Teaching Portfolio, which can be a vital component of a competitive job application.


This course is offered for Ph.D. students from all disciplines planning careers in academia.  This course also (1) serves early graduate students seeking instructional training prior to service as a TA, (2) can fulfill the doctoral teaching practicum requirement for students in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and (3) can fulfill a course requirement for any graduate student enrolled in the University of Georgia’s Graduate School Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching program.  The content draws frequently from perspectives and applications to biological and natural sciences, but will be adjusted to include materials from other fields based on students enrolled in the course.  Students wishing to discuss course content are encouraged to contact the course instructor.



Participants in this course will…

  • become acquainted with different pedagogical philosophies and approaches.

  • evaluate different instructional approaches for different learning styles and environments including small and large lecture, laboratory, and study abroad courses.

  • review approaches to student and course assessment.

  • develop and articulate their personal teaching philosophy and style.

  • begin constructing a teaching portfolio including designing a course syllabus and materials.

  • become familiar with strategies for dealing with student crises, special needs, and academic honesty violations.

  • deliver and evaluate lectures or exercises presented to different student audiences.

  • understand the many facets of teaching in academic settings and the contributions of teaching to promotion and tenure.