Online Ethics Course: Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to take the online course Professional Standards and Ethics for GSIs?
According to the Graduate Council’s Policy on Appointments and Mentoring of GSIs, all first-time GSIs at UC Berkeley are required to take the course.
Anyone who has a CalNet ID is welcome to take it, including faculty, staff, and students.
Every first-time GSI must successfully complete the course before they interact with students, whether in person or online, in their role as an instructor.
What topics does the course address?
The course consists of five modules:
- GSI Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
- Promoting Learning through Diversity: The Inclusive Classroom
- Teaching Students with Disabilities
- Creating an Educational Environment Free of Sexual Harassment
- Fostering Academic Integrity
More information about these topics is posted on the Course Overview and Objectives page.
How long will it take to complete the course?
Each of the five modules should take approximately 45 minutes to complete, and each ends with a short quiz. The modules can be taken in different sessions over time; there is no need to take them all at once.
What does “successful completion” mean?
Successful completion means that the GSI scores 80% or higher on each of the five quizzes (that is, a minimum of 8 out of 10 items correct on each quiz).
What if a GSI cannot pass a quiz?
For each module the quiz can be taken up to five times. If you use all of your attempts and still have not passed, please contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center (email@example.com) for assistance.
What if GSIs have questions after taking the course?
The Course Overview and Objectives page can serve as a refresher on the topics covered in the course or guide you back to the sections of the course that deal with a particular question; you are welcome to re-enter the course at any time.
The course includes an extensive Annotated Campus Resource List with contact information for units on campus that can address follow-up questions. A PDF version of the Annotated Campus Resource List can be downloaded from that web page.
In addition, content specialists from various campus offices listed in the Annotated Campus Resource List are available to give presentations in GSI pedagogy course meetings to supplement the information covered by the online course. Contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
How will the University know that a GSI has completed the course?
A report of all the GSIs who successfully completed the course is generated from the gradebook in bCourses. This report is subsequently uploaded to a Student Information Systems (SIS) database. Because course completions are not auto-recorded in SIS, please be aware that there may be a delay between the time you finish the course and the time the completion registers in SIS.
How will I, or my department, know that I completed the online course?
A checklist of first-time GSI requirements should appear on your dashboard in CalCentral. Once the report of your completion is uploaded to SIS (please see “How will the University know…?” above), the item for the GSI Ethics Course will be removed from your CalCentral checklist. Because course completions are not auto-recorded in SIS, please be aware that there may be a delay between the time you finish the course and the time the completion registers in SIS.
Once SIS has the data, departmental Graduate Student Service Advisors will have the ability to verify individuals’ completions through their staff CalCentral interface.
Will I receive a certificate of completion?
No, there is no final certificate. However, you can print or take a screen shot of your bCourses gradebook entry showing the five passing scores.
Am I paid for taking the course?
Yes. GSIs are normally paid beginning August 1 for the fall semester and beginning January 1 for the spring semester; this allows GSIs to complete the course after the start-date of their position but before their first day of interacting with students in their role as instructors.
Do GSIs still need to take the online sexual harassment prevention course offered by the UC Learning System?
Yes. The University has adopted a plan for all members of the UC Berkeley community to receive updated training about sexual harassment and sexual violence. The training strategy involves engaging every student and employee through multiple channels.
- All incoming graduate students are to take the online Campus Clarity module Think About It: Graduate Students. If you have not received an invitation to this training, please write to email@example.com with your SID..
- All incoming graduate students also receive face-to-face training in their first six weeks on campus. Options to complete this training are scheduled at the beginning of each term and at select department orientations. Further information is available on the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response: Support & Education page under the “Education & Training” tab.
- All employees of the University, including GSIs, are required to take the UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for employees. As GSIs’ hiring papers are processed, they will be sent emails giving them access to the course.
The module on sexual harassment prevention in this online ethics course is a long-standing preparation requirement for all first-time GSIs. It differs from the other trainings in that it focuses on sexual harassment issues as they may arise in the course of a GSI’s duties.
The GSI Professional Standards and Ethics Online Course was created by the Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching & Resource Center with input from a distinguished advisory group consisting of professionals on the campus with expertise in the areas covered by the course. The advisory group included:
Connie Chiba, Former Coordinator, Disabled Students’ Services, Disabled Students’ Program
Nancy Chu, Former Assistant Vice Provost, Campus Climate and Compliance, Title IX/VI Compliance Officer
Kathleen Dickson, Former Ombudsperson for Graduate and Undergraduate Students and Postdoctoral Appointees
Sarah Hawthorne, Former Assistant Provost, Disability Compliance and Academic Compliance; Associate Campus Counsel
Maria Lucero Padilla, Former Manager, Compliance Education, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
Neal Rajmaira, Former Director, Student Judicial Affairs
Susan Bell, Staff Psychologist, Counseling & Psychological Services
Wayne Creager, Former Case Administrator, Student Judicial Affairs
Information for the yearly updates to the course has been provided by:
Athletic Study Center
Derek van Rheenen, Director
Richard DeShong, Systems Analyst
Center for Student Conduct
Erin Slater, Conduct Coordinator
Maria S. Jaochico, Associate Director
Jason Wimbley, Conduct Coordinator
Rebecca Lopez, Student Conduct Specialist
Erin Niebylski, Assistant Director
Jeff Woods, Former Student Conduct Specialist
Counseling & Psychological Services
Aaron Cohen, Staff Psychologist
Linda Zaruba, Staff Psychologist
Disability Compliance Office
Derek Coates, Disability Compliance Officer
Disabled Students’ Program
Karen Nielson, Director
Carolyn Swalina, Lead Disabiity Specialist
Mary Lee Vance
Paul Hippolitus, Former Director
Ed Rogers, Former Director
Division of Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Akirah Bradley, Former Assistant Dean of Students
Christina Gonzales, Former Associate Dean of Students and Director, Center for Student Conduct
Susan Trageser, Former Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Center for Student Conduct
Division of Equity and Inclusion
Amy Scharf, Project/Planning Analyst
Sharon Paige-Medrich, Former Executive Assistant to the Dean
Andrew Smith, Assistant Dean for Research and Planning
Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
Denise Oldham, Director and Title IX Officer
Office of Emergency Management
Amina Assefa, Manager
Office of Planning and Analysis
Sereeta Alexander, Institutional Research Analyst
Office of the Registrar
James F. Collins, Veteran Services, Interim Associate Registrar
Walter Wong, Registrar
PATH to Care Center
Mari Knuth-Bouracee, Director
Khirin Carter, Graduate Prevention Program Manager
Virginia A. DuPlessis, Former Assistant Director
Student Parent Center
UC Police Department
Wade Macadam, Officer for Crime Prevention & Safety Programs
Kevin Vincent, Detective
If you have further questions regarding the course, please contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-642-4456.