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About UCF’s Graduate Teaching
Most programs offer assistantships in which students serve as a research or teaching associate or assistant. Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) may be appointed as classroom teachers (instructors of record), co-teachers or classroom assistants, graders, lab assistants, or other roles directly related to classroom instruction.
Appointment as a GTA is seen as an integral part of students’ graduate educational experience and essential to their professional development and preparation for employment in academia, industry, or government after graduation.
GTAs may be assigned as instructors of record for undergraduate courses, as assistants to the faculty in their teaching responsibilities or in other roles directly related to credit-earning formal course instruction, or as tutors for students on specific course-related material or general skills. GTAs assisting members of the faculty may have responsibilities that include assisting in laboratory courses, grading, preparation of course materials, or performing clerical tasks associated with course instruction. GTAs assigned as the instructor of record for an undergraduate course must be hired as a Graduate Teaching Associate (9183) and have the required GTA training and teaching qualifications. GTAs cannot be assigned as the instructor of record for a graduate level course.
Descriptions of GTA Positions
Graduate teaching associates, assistants, and graders (GTAs) support the teaching mission of the university and can be hired under three job codes:
- Graduate Teaching Associate (9183, Instructor of Record)
- Graduate Teaching Assistant (9184)
- Graduate Teaching Assistant – Grader (9187)
GTA Training Requirements
In order to be appointed as a GTA (graduate teaching associate, assistant, or grader), students must have completed the UCF GTA Training requirement by the semester deadline. There are no exceptions to the GTA Training requirement. Please note that the 2019-2020 online GTA Training Webcourse closed on June 1. Any training modules started in the 2019-2020 Webcourse but not completed by May 31 will have to be redone in the 2020-2021 GTA Training Webcourse. Registration details for the 2020-2021 course are below.
In addition to completing the required trainings, all student employees must complete UCF’s Kognito training for faculty and staff that addresses mental health and suicide prevention. Registration information for Kognito is available at https://caps.sdes.ucf.edu/kognito/ .
Completion of the Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty program satisfies the requirement for GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Trainings. The Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty course will only meet the GTA Training requirement if completed in a prior semester. It is not sufficient to attend the Certificate course concurrently with your first teaching experience if you have not taken the GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Trainings.
- Summer 2020 – Friday, May 8
- Fall 2020 – Friday, August 21
- Spring 2021 – Friday, January 8
|Required GTA Training||SPEAK Test**|
|Grader (online)||Assistant (online)||Associate (online)||Associate (face-to-face)||Minimum Score|
|GTA Grader (9187)||YES||NO||NO||NO||Not Required|
|GTA Assistant (9184)||YES||YES||NO||NO||58 on the Versant Test (Prior to Spring 2018 – 50 on the SPEAK Test)|
|GTA Associate (9183)*||YES||YES||YES||YES||69 on the Versant Test (Prior to Spring 2018 – 55 on the SPEAK Test)|
*GTA Associates must complete online Grader, Assistant, and Part I Associate Training and also attend an Associate face-to-face workshop (see below).
**Applies to students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution. See “English Speaking Test” below for more information.
There is no exception to the GTA Training requirement. Students who complete this requirement by the stated deadline may be hired as GTAs. Students who do not complete the GTA Training requirement as described above may not be hired as GTAs for the current semester. In particular, the late hiring of GTAs, international considerations, and the existence of departmental training programs do not obviate or mitigate the GTA Training requirement.
GTA Associate Training
The GTA Associate Training is mandatory before any graduate student will be permitted to teach independently and have full responsibility for all pedagogical aspects of the assigned course(s). To qualify as a GTA Associate, students must complete the GTA Grader and Assistant online modules, as well as the GTA Associate online module in UCF Webcourses and attend a face-to-face workshop presented by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) typically hosts one face-to-face workshop prior to the start of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. However, because UCF has temporarily moved all instruction online, the Spring 2021 face-to-face GTA Associate Face-to-Face session will be administered over Zoom. Registration information is below.
To serve as a GTA Associate, students must have completed a master’s degree in the teaching discipline or have completed 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline prior to the start of the term of the assistantship.
Please register for the GTA Training to complete any required training for your assistantship prior to the start of the term. To register for the GTA Training (Grader, Assistant, and Associate Part I online modules), visit https://webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/HWKG6E. New GTA Associates must also complete the GTA Associate online Zoom meeting (face-to-face GTA training). Registration for this portion of the GTA Associate training is available at:http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGXPgblhWYmcA3H. More details are below.
GTA Zoom Meeting – GTA Associates
If you are going to be a Graduate Teaching Associate (i.e. Instructor of Record), you must complete the one-day face-to-face training. Due to the ongoing response to the pandemic, this face-to-face training will be substituted by a virtual teleconference using Zoom. Please use the following link to register for the Zoom meeting: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGXPgblhWYmcA3H
By completing this online form, you are registering for the GTA Associate Training on Friday, January 8 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm.
You need to attend only one of the meetings, not all three.
The only reasons you would NOT need to take the training are if you:
- will NOT be a GTA Associate / Instructor of Record for the Fall 2020 semester;
- have already successfully completed the face-to-face training during a previous semester; or
- have already fulfilled the course requirements for the Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty program in a previous semester.
There are no exceptions to this training requirement.
Prerequisites for completing the Face-to-Face GTA training teleconference on Zoom – Students should complete the Grader, Assistant, and Part 1 & 2 Associate Training modules in the GTA Training Webcourse before participating in the GTA Zoom meeting for GTA Associates.
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning website is also updated with information on GTA training.
If you will be teaching online or remotely, be sure to consult your department about any additional training you may need through the Center for Distributed Learning.
GTA Associate Training
All fall 2020 GTA trainings were offered in UCF Webcourses or through Zoom.
|GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Parts 1 & 2: https://webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/HWKG6E
GTA Associate Zoom Face-to-Face Session: https://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Nd7YIhzP6mkqpL
All training must be completed by August 21.
All spring 2021 GTA trainings are in UCF Webcourses or through Zoom. Be sure to complete the required trainings for your GTA classification. If you have questions, speak with your hiring department or email email@example.com.
GTA Grader, Assistant, and Associate Parts 1 & 2:
GTA Associate Zoom Face-to-Face Session (January 8, 1pm-3:30pm): http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGXPgblhWYmcA3H
All training must be completed by January 8.
GTA Associate Training Agenda
Note – this agenda outlines a typical face-to-face full day session. For Spring 2021, agenda items will be incorporated into the webcourse and the Zoom teleconference.
Overview: Topics include course design, effective lecturing, a timeline of the semester, and more.
Attendance: In each session, be sure to sign the attendance sheet. Please do your best to expedite this process with a minimum of distractions. Your attendance at the conference will be recorded to prove your fulfillment of this requirement.
Courtesy and Punctuality: During the workshops, please extend your courtesy to the faculty and staff who are presenting. Please do not arrive late or leave early. We have scheduled plenty of time between workshops and lunch for your transitions, and all of the workshops are held in the Classroom Building.
Workshop Evaluations: It is customary in academia and useful for all concerned to provide written feedback to presenters and sponsoring departments. At the end of each workshop, you will receive a blank evaluation form. Please take this activity seriously. Fill out the form completely and try to offer thoughtful, constructive comments.
Requests for Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities: The University of Central Florida is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. Students with disabilities who need accommodations in this training must contact the Faculty Center at least one week prior to the GTA Training to discuss needed accommodations. No accommodations will be provided until the student has met with the Faculty Center to request accommodations. Students who need accommodations must be registered with Student Disability Services, Student Resource Center Room 132, phone (407) 823-2371, TTY/TDD only phone (407) 823-2116, before requesting accommodations from the Faculty Center.
GTA Assistant Training
|GTA Assistant Training||Register||Registration Opens||2020-2021 Course Closes|
Topics include classroom management, learning styles, testing and grading, and more.
Note: The online GTA Grader training is a pre-requisite to the GTA Assistant training. We recommend completing the Grader and Assistant trainings within the same year.
GTA Grader Training
|GTA Grader Training||Register||Registration Opens||2020-2021 Course Closes|
|Topics include policies and procedures of the university and teaching.
Note: If you anticipate being a GTA Assistant in the future, we recommend you take the online Grader and Assistant trainings within the same year.
Unable to Register for GTA Training?
Contact the College of Graduate Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
English Speaking Test
Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the Versant English Speaking test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The Versant test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187).
Effective Spring 2018, UCF’s English Language Institute began offering the Versant English Test in place of the SPEAK Test. The Versant English Speaking test is administered by the English Language Institute and takes about 20 minutes. The College of Graduate Studies will cover the cost of your first Versant test if you take it at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester (Test I).
The Versant English Test requirement applies to all students from countries where English is not the native language; however, such students will be exempt if they have completed a previous degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, from a country where English is the only official language, or from a university at which English is the only official language of instruction, or they have received a score of 26 or higher on the Speak portion of the ibt TOEFL. Only exempted students and those who have attended the UCF GTA Training and satisfactorily passed the evaluation of their English-speaking skills may be assigned as GTAs.
Qualifying for Free English-Speaking Training
The university provides you with free English-Speaking training if you score between 58 and 68 on the initial Versant English Speaking Test. To qualify, you must take your initial Versant Test at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester on one of the “Test 1” date(s) listed in the Testing Schedule below. You must also attend 15 or more sessions of the Oral Communication for Internationals (OCI) training and complete the required Versant test (Test II in the Testing Schedule) in that same semester. Failure to attend the required OCI training sessions or complete the Versant Test at the end of the semester will result in you being charged for the OCI training and Versant Test.
See “English-Speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching Assistants” at Graduate Assistantships in the current Graduate Catalog regarding the details of the university’s payment for this training and your responsibilities in order to receive this funding.
Information about the changes to the English Speaking Test and OCI Training is also available on the Versant Test and OCI Training Updates Flyer.
|Test Dates and Location||Register||Registration Opens||Registration Closes|
|March 30, 2020 (Spring II)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200.
|See UCF Global||February 17||March 13|
|The Versant Test will be offered online in summer 2020 (Summer I)
|See UCF Global||See UCF Global
|See UCF Global
|The Versant Test will be offered online in summer 2020 (Summer II)
|See UCF Global||
See UCF Global
|See UCF Global|
|August 10, 2020 (Fall I)
August 17, 2020 (Fall I, second offering)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
|See UCF Global||July 6||August 7 (for August 10)
August 14 (for August 17)
|October 14, 2020 (Fall II)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
|See UCF Global||September 15||October 13
|December 16, 2020 (Spring I)
January 4, 2021 (Spring I, second offering)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
|See UCF Global||November 17||December 15 (for December 16)
January 1 (for January 4)
|March 3, 2021 (Spring II)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
|See UCF Global||February 2||March 2|
Students must register for the Versant Test online at global.ucf.edu/english-language-institute/speaktest. All inquiries regarding the Versant Test should be directed to the English Language Institute (UCF Global, GB Suite 200) or phone 407-823-5515.
For additional information regarding the Versant Test and OCI course schedules and registration, please go to the International Affairs and Global Strategies website at global.ucf.edu/english-language-institute/speaktest.
GTA Performance Assessments
UCF requires that the teaching-related performances of all Graduate Teaching Associates (Position Code 9183), Graduate Teaching Assistants (Position Code 9184), and Graduate Teaching Assistant-Graders (Position Code 9187) be assessed at the end of each term that the student serves as a GTA.
Departments and colleges may use any assessment tool available and gather information from any source that they determine to be relevant in order to conduct assessments of GTAs and to supplement the online UCF GTA Performance Assessment. For example, departments may rely upon classroom visits, other informational observations, student ratings of instruction, other input from students, interviews and discussions with the GTA and other evidence of performance that are available to the department.
The GTA assessment is documented through the submission of the online GTA Performance Assessment to the UCF College of Graduate Studies. This form constitutes a summary rating based on the areas of performance that were required in the GTA’s teaching-related assignment(s). The GTA’s assigned Faculty Supervisor (the person so listed on the student’s GTA assistantship agreement) submits the rating online after appropriate consultation with the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, or other relevant individuals. This summative assessment will be discussed with the student, and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the assessment.
Instructions for GTAs
Once your faculty supervisor has completed your GTA Performance Assessment Form, you will receive a notification to your UCF Knights email. You will also have a “To Do” item in your myUCF Student Center. To complete the GTA Performance Assessment Form, you will do the following:
- Login your myUCF (my.ucf.edu) account
- Click on Student Self Service to enter your Student Center
- From within your Student Center page, scroll down to the Graduate Students section
- Select GTA Performance Assessment from the choose Graduate Form drop-down box and click the Go arrow
- Review your GTA Performance Assessment and add comments if you wish to do so
- Approve the form. You should receive a notice to your Knights email that the form was submitted.
The completed GTA Performance Assessment is recorded electronically in the student’s academic file by the UCF College of Graduate Studies.
Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty
The Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning offers a Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty Program every semester. This is a voluntary program on teaching in higher education, primarily intended for graduate teaching assistants but open to all UCF graduate students. The format for this program is mixed-mode. Participants will be expected to complete a series of online modules and attend six, two-hour meetings, which will be held on the Orlando campus. Participation is limited, so please enroll early.
Students should visit Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty Program for more information and to register by the appropriate deadline.
Participants who fulfill the course requirements are exempt from the need to take the GTA Training in future semesters. Important note: The Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty Program will only meet the GTA Training requirements if completed in a prior semester. It is not sufficient to attend the Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty Program concurrently with your first teaching experience if you have not taken the GTA Training.
Graduate Teaching Awards
UCF sponsors awards for excellence in graduate student teaching. Additional information regarding the application/nomination process is available at Graduate Student Awards or from your Graduate Program Director.
- Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant– This award recognizes excellence by Graduate Teaching Assistants who are responsible for a laboratory or other similar teaching assignment under the direction of a faculty member who serves as the instructor of record. It focuses on the quality of the assistance provided by the GTA to the lead instructor and students in the class.
- Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching– This award recognizes excellence in teaching by Graduate Teaching Associates who have independent teaching responsibilities. It focuses on the quality of the student’s teaching activities and the academic contributions to those activities.