Graduate Teaching

Graduate Teaching

Graduate Teaching
Appointment as a GTA is Seen as an Integral Part of Students' Graduate Educational Experience
Graduate Teaching

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:


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 2017-2018 online GTA Training Webcourse will close on June 1. Any training modules started in the 2017-2018 Webcourse but not completed by May 31 will have to be redone in the 2018-2019 GTA Training Webcourse. The 2018-2019 training course is now available (registration details are below).

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.

Semester Deadlines

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.

Exception Policy

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 an all day, face-to-face workshop presented by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will be hosting one face-to-face workshop prior to the start of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Registration information is below. Students must register in advance for the all-day face-to-face workshop in UCF Webcourses.

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 2018-2019 GTA Training to complete any required training for your assistantship prior to the start of the term. To register for the 2018-2019 GTA Training, visit webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/NJJNRA.

Prerequisites for Attending GTA Associate Training – In the GTA Webcourses, the students must complete the Grader, Assistant, and also Part I Associate Training before attending the Associate Workshop. The GTA Associate Face-to-Face workshop will be offered on the following dates.

GTA Associate Training Register Registration Opens Registration Closes
Fall 2018 – August 17
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (one-hour lunch break)
Classroom Bldg 1, room 207
Delivery: Face-to-face workshop
webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/NJJNRA Now open August 15 at Noon

GTA Associate Training Agenda

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 Registration Closes
Topics include classroom management, learning styles, testing and grading, and more.

Delivery: Online

Visit webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/NJJNRA
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.
Open TBD

GTA Grader Training

GTA Grader Training Register Registration Opens Registration Closes
Topics include policies and procedures of the university and teaching.

Delivery: Online

Visit webcourses.ucf.edu/enroll/NJJNRA
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.
Open TBD

Unable to Register for GTA Training?

Contact the College of Graduate Studies at gradassistantship@ucf.edu with questions.


English Speaking Test

Beginning with Spring 2018, UCF’s English Language Institute will be offering the Versant English Test in place of the SPEAK Test.

Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the 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 SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187).

The English Speaking test is administered by the English Language Institute and takes about 20 minutes.

Qualifying for Free English-Speaking Training

The university provides you with free English-Speaking training if your 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 2 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.

Testing Schedule

Test Dates and Location Register Registration Opens Registration Closes
August 6, 2018
Versant Test (Fall I)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
See UCF Global  July 9 August 3
August 13, 2018
Versant Test (Fall I)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
See UCF Global  July 9 August 11
October 10, 2018
Versant Test (Fall II)
English Language Institute (ELI), Building GB, Suite 200
See UCF Global  September 9 October 3

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:

  1. Login your myUCF (my.ucf.edu) account
  2. Click on Student Self Service to enter your Student Center
  3. From within your Student Center page, scroll down to the Graduate Students section
  4. Select GTA Performance Assessment from the choose Graduate Form drop-down box and click the Go arrow
  5. Review your GTA Performance Assessment and add comments if you wish to do so
  6. 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.