Teaching Assistant Preparation Program

Teaching Assistant Preparation Program (TAPP)

Teaching in higher education can be a challenging endeavor that requires preparation and support. To assist with this transition for new scholars, the Teaching Preparation Program was designed to provide a laddering on which graduate students and post-doctoral scholars can develop their teaching capacity.

Throughout the three levels of the program, participants are encouraged to develop a teaching dossier, recording key aspects of their teaching capacity-building process, as well as evidence of teaching practice. Suggested items for inclusion in the portfolio include, but are not limited to, TAPP passport reflections, class observation reports, lesson plans, and other artifacts.

For more information, please contact:

Teaching and Learning Facilitator at tandl@ucalgary.ca


The Teaching Assistantship Preparation Program (TAPP) is designed to provide educational development for graduate students around the roles and responsibilities of a teaching assistant (TA). The program, a joint initiative of the Werklund School of Education and the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, aims to develop teaching capacity among those interested in becoming graduate teaching assistants.

Participants have a choice to attend learning opportunities from the list below and the options available from the Taylor Institute to create their unique learning experience. Participants will share their reflections on the sessions they attend through the  recorded in a program passport: a document where instructors confirm participation at each event, and TAs have a space to write a brief reflective statement about what was learned during that event. Graduate students interested in obtaining the certificate are required to attend the EDU TA Orientation, plus a minimum of eight (8) workshops (i.e. a minimum of 4 WSE and 4 EDU workshops) during Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.  TAPP participants are also warmly invited to join any of the Zoom and D2L coaching sessions that the Office of Teaching and Learning offers throughout the semester.

Date Event Time September 9, 2020 TAPP Orientation 12:00 to 1:30pm September 23, 2020 Academic Integrity 12:00 to 1:30pm October 7, 2020 Online Communication 12:00 to 1:30pm October 21, 2020 Student Accessibility and Accommodation 12:00 to 1:30pm November 4, 2020 Responding to Students in Distress 12:00 to 1:30pm December 2, 2020    Cross-Cultural Challenges for TA's 12:00 to 1:30pm January 6, 2021 Instructor Assessment to Inform Teaching Practice 12:00 to 1:30pm February 3, 2021 Reflective Practice and Developing a Teaching Dossier     12:00 to 1:30pm March 3, 2021 Grading and Debriefing 12:00 to 1:30pm April 7, 2021 TAPP Celebration 12:00 to 1:30pm

Note: These dates and topics are subject to change. Consult the Taylor Institute registration page for current list of learning opportunities. Additional learning opportunities that are added to the calendar at Werklund School of Education can also be eligible for credit toward completion of the TAPP 1 Certificate.

Also you are encouraged to complete the certificate requirements by April 1, 2021 to have you TAPP completion noted on your resume prior to the hiring of TAs for the next academic year.

All participants in the TAPP program will do two class observations, preferably one classroom session and one online session.  During these observations they are encouraged to take notes on the instructor's practice in the classroom and reflect on what they would integrate into their own practice and other observations about what occurred during the class.

Participants in the TAPP Program are required to attend four sessions hosted by the Education Development Unit (EDU) at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. A list of events is available at the Taylor Institute website.


TAPP 1 graduates, along with other graduate students who are now engaged in TA work will form a community of practice.  The purpose is to create a teaching and learning network to support the practice of being a teaching assistant in the WSE. Three meetings per semester during the graduate TA assignment will be facilitated by the Office of Teaching and Learning. Readings may accompany each meeting as a form of expanding the topic addressed.  Meetings will occur on the third Wednesday of each month.

We will begin meeting virtually in late September or early October 2020.


Former TAPP graduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars have an opportunity to continue developing their teaching capacity by participating in a peer mentoring on teaching or teaching triangles-squares initiative. The focus of this initiative is to provide graduate students and post-doctoral scholars with facilitated support for scaffolding their teaching.