The Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs provides the following suggestions to assist departments in assessing their efforts in appointing, training, and mentoring GSIs. These suggestions are based on the Graduate Council Policy on Appointment and Mentoring of GSI and are particularly helpful for the departmental review process.

Suggested questions to be addressed in the self-study document:

Selection and Appointment of GSIs

  1. What process is used to choose/appoint GSIs?
  2. What is the process for assignment of GSIs to specific courses?
  3. What notifications about duties, assignments, rights, training requirements, & Resources are sent to GSIs upon appointment?

Evaluation and Oversight of GSIs

  1. How are GSIs evaluated?
  2. What procedures are in place for the review of evaluations of GSIs? What guidance is provided to GSIs whose work is deemed to need improvement?
  3. Are GSIs observed in the classroom? What procedures are used?
  4. If GSIs have substantial roles in the design of course syllabi, what processes are in place for the review of those syllabi?
  5. How does your department give credit for or recognize the work of faculty in the evaluation and oversight of GSIs?

Departmental 300-Level Course on Teaching

  1. Does the department run a 300-level course designed for the training of first-time GSIs?
  2. To what extent does this course adhere to the Graduate Council’s criteria for such courses?
  3. Are GSIs observed in the classroom? What procedures are used?
  4. Does the course provide satisfactory training for new GSIs in your discipline? What special challenges face new GSIs in your department?

Faculty Mentorship of GSIs in Individual Courses

  1. What are departmental expectations for faculty who teach with GSIs?
  2. How are these expectations conveyed?
  3. To what extent are these expectations met?

Other Departmental Efforts

  1. Does your department offer additional workshops or fora to help GSIs develop their teaching skills?
  2. Does your department maintain resource materials for GSIs?
  3. What other steps does your department take that facilitate the professional development of graduate students as teachers?
  4. Does your department routinely provide graduate students information about the GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s programs, and encourage graduate students to take advantage of those programs?

Future Plans

  1. What aspects of your department’s system for the preparation, ongoing training, supervision, and evaluation of GSIs could benefit from changes?
  2. What steps should the department take over the next review period to improve in these areas?

Checklist: documentation departments may wish to include, if applicable:

  • Departmental procedures for selecting and appointing GSIs
  • Sample appointment letters for both new and continuing GSIs
  • Sample supplemental notification letter
  • End-of-semester evaluation form used by GSIs (only the form, not the results)
  • 300-level course syllabus
  • Guidelines or checklist given to faculty to guide the work of GSIs
  • List of departmental workshops or other departmental programs for GSIs
  • Sample departmental materials developed for GSIs (hard copies or URLs)

The GSI Teaching & Resource Center stands ready to assist departments in all aspects of the training of GSIs throughout their careers at Berkeley. Please contact the center for assistance ([email protected], 642-4456).