Center for Teaching and Learning

TA/RA Conference

2016 Conference Dates – September 16, 19 and 20

  • Friday, Sept. 16 (1:15-4:00) — International TA Program workshops
  • Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19 and 20 (9:00-4:00) — Workshops for all TAs and RAs

About the TA/RA Conference

The annual TA/RA Conference on Teaching, Learning and Research is designed to help graduate students prepare for their roles and responsibilities as Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) at the UW. Over the course of their graduate career, graduate students may serve in both roles at different times.

The Conference provides attendees with information and resources on teaching and learning at the University and opportunities to explore and develop a variety of teaching strategies. Participants are able to ask questions of experienced TAs and RAs in similar disciplines. There are also opportunities for participants to meet graduate students and faculty from other disciplines. The event supplements activities conducted in individual departments and many departments recommend specific workshops for their TAs and RAs to attend.

For information about:

The Conference is held every September and is offered at no cost to UW graduate students. It is organized by the Center for Teaching and Learning in partnership with UW Libraries, Undergraduate Academic Affairs and UW-IT Learning Technologies. The Conference is funded by the Graduate School.

Conference goals

The TA/RA Conference aims to help prepare graduate students for their TA and RA roles at UW by focusing on four goals:

  • To welcome new TAs and RAs to UW teaching, learning and mentoring communities
  • To provide new TAs and RAs with specific strategies and practices that will support their work
  • To connect new TAs and RAs to campus resources that support their work
  • To assist new TAs and RAs in developing questions about norms, practices and resources within their departments

Plenary session

The large plenary session offers graduate students the opportunity to learn more about their professional roles as TAs and RAs, UW resources and policies and to hear from experienced TAs and RAs.


The smaller workshop sessions are led by experienced graduate students, faculty and staff from departments throughout the university. Workshops are designed to provide a forum for discussing effective teaching and/or working in a research setting.  They also allow participants to raise questions and concerns they might have and to interact with workshop facilitators and fellow graduate students. Workshop topics include:

      • Balancing Graduate School Demands
      • Canvas Learning Management System (Parts 1 and 2)
      • Dealing with Challenging Classroom Situations
      • Research Smarter, Not Harder: Research and Information Management Tips and Tools
      • Teaching Math, Science and Engineering Quiz Sections: First Day and Beyond

For descriptions of all workshops at this year’s conference, visit Workshop Descriptions.


Many participants are graduate students who are new to their roles as TAs or RAs. Others are experienced graduate students who are taking on new teaching and research roles. Graduate students are welcome to attend the conference as many times as they wish over the course of their graduate careers.