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Scientific Teaching for TAs

Integrated Science: Scientific Teaching for TAs


Part of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching

Will you be a teaching assistant (TA) for a bioscience course in the upcoming semester, and is this only your first or second time?

This one-credit course designed especially for newer TAs will help you gain the skills you need to excel. Get just-in-time support as you work with students, share experiences and innovative ideas with colleagues, and enhance your knowledge about teaching and learning so you can be more effective in the classroom. 

Find answers to questions like these:

  • How does learning work?
  • Who are my students, and how can I better engage them?
  • How can I give students feedback that fosters learning but not drown myself in grading?
  • What are "essential learning outcomes" and "high-impact practices," and how can I incorporate them into my teaching?

Note: This course is designed for graduate students and is meant to be taken concurrently with a teaching assistantship in a bioscience course.

More about Chris Trimby

Chris Trimby

Director of Teaching Fellows Program and Exploring Biology Course
Contact Info

(608) 265-0850


Room 103A

445 Henry Mall

Madison, WI 53706

My work at WISCIENCE focuses on helping graduate students and post-docs in the sciences develop their teaching skills. I teach courses, lead workshops, and mentor Scientific Teaching Fellows during their first independent teaching experiences.

I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and did my undergrad work not too far from here, at Northern Illinois University, before going on to earn my Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Kentucky in 2011. I realized fairly quickly that I didn’t enjoy doing bench research, but I was fortunate enough to be in a department that supported graduate students to develop skills and interests in teaching.

Despite my training, however, my first full-time teaching position—as a lecturer at the New Jersey Institute of Technology—felt akin to being tossed in the deep end of the pool. Luckily, I had fantastic cohort of new lecturer peers in my department, and we were able to learn and grow together to become better educators.

Now I help arm future educators with the tools to be successful from day one of their teaching careers. Having experienced first-hand how vital it can be to have a peer group to work with, I strive to help  aspiring faculty develop that same sense of community support around their teaching.