Graduate Assistant Training

Below you will find information to help you be more successful as a Graduate Teaching Assistant; the information may also be helpful if you are working at a graduate research assistant.  This materials is constantly changing, with current information added on a yearly basis. If you have attended a training before, please review the below for new and helpful information.

If you have any questions about the videos or links, contact [email protected].

Classroom Conduct, MSU CARES Program & More:

Please watch this short video from Dean Adams, in the Center for Faculty Excellence: Learn how the center is here to promote innovation in teaching, research and service at MSU.

The student conduct process at MSU is an educational and developmental process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the academic community. As a GTA, you should read and know the Code of Student Conduct. Also, take time to watch this short video on Handling Student Misconduct.

All students are required to uphold and abide by certain standards of conduct that form the basis of the Code of Student Conduct.  The link to the side will take you to the Code, and provide additional information that can help you as a GTA. 

Report Academic Misconduct 

MSU Alert

Active Shooter

If you are concerned about the welfare of someone affiliated with MSU and this is a non-emergency, we encourage you to complete a CARE ALERT. Sometimes people cannot or will not ask for support, so informing us of your concern may be a critical factor in getting them support, this is all part of the MSU CARES Program. Please review the link for more information.

Care Referrals

What does being a GTA mean?  This presentation covers everything from how to introduce yourself to how to be a successful in your teaching and grading practices.  

Dos and Don'ts of Being a GTA

What is the Collective Bargaining Agreement and what does it mean for you? All new GTAs and GRAs should review the Graduate Employee Organization materials

1. Union dues sign-up forms should be given back to your GEO union officers.

2. Completed evaluation forms for graduate students should be given to Donna Negaard [email protected]

Questions regarding administration of the GEO collective bargaining can be directed to Susan Alt, 994-3344, 211 Montana Hall, [email protected].

Graduate Employee Organization at MSU

Are you an out-of-state, U.S. citizen, graduate student? If so, the Graduate School encourages you to consider seeking residency reclassification.  Why? If you can be re-classified, it can save you from paying higher non-resident related fees and out-of-state tuition costs. Watch this quick video by Drew Waters from the Office of the Registrar.

Montana Universtiy System Residency Policy is established by the Board of Regents, read the full Montana Residency Requirement policy for more information.  For specific processes, deadlines, forms and guidance please review the on these Residency Pages.

MSU strives to provide access to all college programs, services, activities, and facilities for students with disabilities. The Office of Disability Services provides students with resources and support services to help student achieve their personal best. Learn more on how you play a vital role in promoting access for students with disabilities.

Office of Disability Services 

Working with Students with Disabilities presentation


The mission of Safe Zone at MSU is to promote an inviting and inclusive environment that is emotionally and physically safe for LGBTQIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, questioning) students, faculty, and staff. This is achieved through increasing awareness and education about LGBTQIQ identities, developing and expanding MSU’s network of LGBTQIQ allies as well as increasing visibility of designated ally Safe Zones on campus, and decreasing individual and institutional heterosexism. 

Safe Zone Website

Safe Zone Classroom Training

As an additional mitigation effort against the spread of COVID-19, the Montana Commissioner of Higher Education has adopted the recommendation of the MUS Healthy Fall Task Force requiring face coverings on all the campuses of the Montana University System. PLease review the guidance provided, for questions you may have during your teaching experiences.


Teaching Tips for Success

All courses that exist in Banner each semester are automatically created in this platform, so if you login you can find your course offering online and use it to teach your course. 

You may have used D2L/Brightspace as a student, but this training is intended to teach you how to use it as an instructor. You can present content, create discussions, conduct quizzes, submit grades, and more.

Link to Brightspace LE

Brief Overview and Recommendations

MyHome Page

Course Page



NOTE: Use Firefox or Chrome when in Brightspace LE (formally known as D2L)

Setting up Brightspace Email or Forwarding Emails

There are many different tools that can be used within a classroom to make teaching interesting and interactive for both you and your students. Review the PDF and learn about some of these strategies used in classrooms today. Please see the presentation with helpful tips from Dr. Chris Bahn, Chemistry/Biochemistry.

Using Technology in the Classroom

While at MSU, we want to be sure you stay safe no matter what you are doing, from research in a lab to walking across campus. SRM has detailed information about safety practices from being in a lab, to navigating the campus during the winter months.  Please be sure you know this information. 

There is not one way to teach a group or individual. Graduate students benefit from using various strategies of teaching, and this presentation will assist you in learning some of them.

Lesson Plan Worksheet

Application cards/Muddiest Point

Cat memory matrix

One minute paper/memory matrix

Becoming an effective teacher takes time; it is not something learned overnight. There are many different methods to teaching both online and face to face courses.

GTA Prezi

Top Ten Tips for Success

Effective Instruction

Online Classroom Critical Incident Questionnaire

Resources for Teaching online

Effective Teaching

Why do we test and grade students? How can we use best practice to learn what your students know before, during and after your time with them?

Alternative Assessment Approaches

CATS Descriptions

Rubric for a Rubric

Want to become a better educator? Consider adding the College Teaching Certificate onto your program of study!

Information on the College Teaching Certificate

A short video from Anna Zelaya on the College Teaching Certificate 


Other Helpful Tools

Understanding time management is critical as a student, faculty and in your career.  Dr. Richards presented information on this worthwhile topic.  See information to the right.

Time Management

Center of Faculty Excellence