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Online Instructional Resources

Teaching Methods: Teaching Graduate Students

Course Design
Graduate Education

The content of graduate education has come under criticism for not adequately preparing graduate students for professional work. This section starts with articles on new directions in designing and teaching graduate seminars and then provides links to resources on the broader issue of improving graduate education.

Course Design:

“From Seminars to Study Group,” Barbara Katz Rothman. The Chronicle of Higher Education: Chronicle Careers, September 2, 2004.
The author describes her experiences teaching small graduate seminars and raises issues of how to approach a graduate seminar, where to begin, what and when to teach, and what kind of teaching/learning environment to encourage.

“Re-envisioning Teaching Graduate Seminars,” Anton Rosenthal, Kentucky University, Center for Teaching Excellence.
Explains the author’s planning process for a graduate seminar in Sociology that would be more relevant for graduate students than the traditional seminar approach. Includes course goals, course description, examples of student work, and the author’s reflections on the new course design.

“Combining Professional Development with Academic Learning in Graduate Seminars,” Angela Garcia, University of Cincinnati. Radical Pedagogy, 2006.
This paper reports on a graduate seminar in Sociology in which the goal of the course was a collaboratively written paper reviewing the literature in the area under study. Includes a review of research in active learning, experiential learning, and professional development, plus a full description of the course.

Graduate Education:

Re-envisioning the Ph.D. (University of Washington Graduate School).
Although this project, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, ended in June 2003, the school continues to maintain this site. It provides a useful set of resources for improving doctoral education, including an extensive bibliography of print and online resources, promising practices, resources for doctoral students, and related links.

“The Disconnect between Graduate Education and the Realities of Faculty Work: A Review of Recent Research,” Jerry G. Gaff. Liberal Education, Summer 2002, Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Reviews recent studies of the graduate student experience, studies of new faculty, and studies of Ph.D. alumni. Concludes that these studies document the need for doctoral programs to better prepare students for professional work. Calls for the development of new models for graduate education.

“Training Focused on Postgraduate Teaching Assistants: the North American Model,” Karron G. Lewis, University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching Effectiveness.
Discusses the importance of training graduate students to teach effectively. Reviews research on the content of TA training programs and provides a list of training principles from the Preparing Future Faculty Program.

Resources for Graduate Education, Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching.
A comprehensive site designed to provide resources on graduate education for department chairs, directors of graduate studies, graduate faculty, and graduate deans. Contains annotated links to research on graduate education and recent initiatives aimed at improving graduate education.


See also Mentoring Graduate Students on this site.



MSU Resources

MSU TA Program:

The Graduate School:

Certification for College Teaching and Learning: