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C Varenhorst

HHMI Teacher Training program in Biology and Chemistry

August 5, 2013


TA training program in Biology and Chemistry improves quality of graduate student teaching. 

One goal of the HHMI Drennan Education Laboratory at MIT, led by the Chemistry and Biology Professor Cathy Drennan, is to create a supportive teaching community among graduate students and improve course recitations by increasing TA confidence and enthusiasm. Toward that aim, the group has developed and implemented two versions of a TA-training “boot camp” for the Chemistry and Biology Departments.

This upcoming academic year marks their 6th year leading the Chemistry Department’s 20-hour training program for first-year Chemistry graduate students and their 3rd semester leading the Biology Department’s 8-hour training for second-year Biology graduate students. Data from the TA survey responses show that investing a few extra hours in TA training at the start of the semester can have a major impact on the quality of graduate student teaching, the cohesiveness of a TA team, and on the experience and development of TA boot camp graduates. This year, both TA boot camps will occur during the last week of August. For more infomation, please visit our website:

-- Anique J. Olivier-Mason, Ph.D. Molecular Cell Biology Drennan HHMI Education Laboratory, NE48-308

Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
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