TDP Sprint

Complete the Foundational Track in one week

About the TDP Sprint

The TDP Sprint is an intensive experience that offers all programs and time needed to complete the Foundational Track in one week. The 2024 TDP Sprint ran May 28 – 31, Thanks to all who participated! Here are some pictures of this year’s Sprint.

Jump down to each day’s scheduleMay 28 | May 29 | May 30 | May 31 | June 3 (optional)| The finish line

Day One: Tuesday May 28

Time Location Activity
9:30 – 10:00 203 Butler Settling in, Essentials 1 prep module
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and overview
10:10 – 11:40

Essentials 1 – Inclusive Teaching: Creating Engaging Learning Environments

Learn about the key terms, frameworks, and principles of inclusive teaching. This workshop focuses on strategies and tools for including all of your students in the learning process. We will ask how instructors can create inclusive classroom environments that set up all students for success, and how instructors can help students learn through the diversity of experiences and perspectives they bring to the classroom. 

11:40 – 12:10 Reflection overview and guidance
12:10 – 12:30 Essentials 1 reflection
12:30 – 1:30 208 Butler Lunch! Pick up your lunch in 208 and eat there, in 203, or outside
1:30 – 3:30 212 Butler

Learning to Observe: Effective Teaching Observations

Observing faculty or peers teaching can be a powerful way to expand your awareness of teaching techniques, train your attention on student learning, and generate reflection about your own instructional approaches. But how can you ensure that an observation leads to all these benefits? This workshop will provide participants with a model for conducting online or in-person observations of teaching that focus on learning objectives, student engagement, and insights about the observer’s own teaching development. Insights gained will be immediately useful during TDP Sprint Practice Teaching sessions.

203 Butler

Ways of Knowing

While students from historically marginalized communities aspire to careers in STEM at similar rates to their peers from dominant cultural groups, they are persistently underrepresented in STEM degree programs in the United States. How can graduate student instructors, teaching assistants, research mentors, and future faculty contribute to solving this inequity? In this interactive session, participants will engage with contemporary educational research that suggests that STEM education implicitly and explicitly devalues ways of knowing that differ from those of the dominant culture. By the end of this session, participants will be able to define a “way of knowing,” explain their own ways of knowing, and apply frameworks for supporting knowledge diversity in multiple learning contexts. 

605 Butler Table 1 Practice Teaching session + reflection
505 Butler Table 2 Practice Teaching session + reflection
3:30 – 3:55 203 Butler Table share-out and reflections
3:55 – 4:00 Day 2 preview and wrap

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Day Two: Wednesday May 29

Time Location Activity
9:30 – 10:00 203 Butler Settling in, Finish Essentials 2 prep module
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and overview
10:10 – 11:40

Essentials 2 – Designing Learning Objectives

Learn about and engage with backward design: a scalable, end-in-mind approach to instruction that will help you effectively plan an activity, a class session, or an entire course. In this workshop for graduate students, we will discuss how to use previously-determined and described learning objectives as part of the backward design approach to drive assignments, feedback, and in-class activities for students. 

11:40 – 12:10 Essentials 2 reflection
12:10 – 12:30 Feedback on E1 reflections, Sprint temperature check: midpoint survey
12:30 – 1:30 208 Butler Lunch! Pick up your lunch in 208 and eat there, in 203, or outside
1:30 – 3:30 203 Butler

Developing Critical AI Literacy

The quick rise of generative AI is spurring the need to develop effective and equitable approaches to using it in teaching. Similar to critical frameworks developed around information and digital literacy, instructors now need to approach AI with both practical and ethical considerations in mind. What is our role in helping students develop their own ethical practices around GenAI After provisionally defining critical GenAI literacy, we’ll brainstorm discipline-specific considerations and concrete next steps to support students’ development of a critical GenAI literacy in your future teaching roles. 

212 Butler

Hacking the Classroom

How can we leverage the often unideal spaces in which we teach to serve pedagogical goals? This session makes visible a range of “hacks” that instructors can make–ranging from furniture rearrangement to activity facilitation to critically reflective practices– that foster a positive classroom climate, engage students, and support active learning. We will identify techniques to effectively leverage space in office hours, small group discussions, and lectures.

208 Butler Table 3 Practice Teaching session +  reflection
505 Butler Table 4 Practice Teaching session +  reflection
605 Butler Table 5 Practice Teaching session +  reflection
3:30 – 3:55 203 Butler Table share-out and reflections
3:55 – 4:00 Day 3 preview and wrap

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Day Three: Thursday May 30

Time Location Activity
9:30 – 10:00 203 Butler Settling in, Finish Essentials 3 prep module
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and overview
10:10 – 11:40

Essentials 3 – Active Learning

Practice developing class activities that align with your learning objectives for students and incentivize all students to participate. Join the CTL for this workshop for graduate students focused on giving you strategies to better engage students in their own learning. In this workshop, we will discuss the evidence and efficacy of a variety of active learning strategies, and consider how these approaches can make our classrooms more inclusive. 

11:40 – 12:10 Essentials 3 reflection
12:10 – 12:30 Foundational Track capstone and exiting preview – TDP completion checklist
12:30 – 1:30 208 Butler Lunch! Pick up your lunch in 208 and eat there, in 203, or outside
1:30 – 3:30 203 Butler

Learning through Discussion

Instructors often rely on discussions to gauge students’ understanding, curiosities, and challenges in the classroom. Whether it’s by asking students to synthesize conceptual knowledge, providing them with an opportunity to practice making arguments, or probing them for where they are in their learning, instructors use discussions to serve a variety of pedagogical needs. This workshop will explore how to teach through discussion by focusing on the following questions: How can we prioritize goals for a discussion? How can we make our expectations transparent to students and prepare them for discussion? And how can we assess whether or not our goals for discussion were met?

212 Butler

The Sound of Silence: Understanding, Navigating, and Embracing Silence in the Classroom

You’ve just asked a perfect, well-crafted question to your students and are met with….silence. Sound familiar? In this session, we’ll take a closer look at this thing so many instructors seek to avoid and maybe even reframe how we see and hear silence in the classroom. We’ll surface and reflect on assumptions about student (and instructor) silence, identify possible meanings and causes of silence, and strategize interventions to help navigate–and even embrace!–silence in the classroom. 

208 Butler Table 6 Practice Teaching session + reflection
505 Butler Table 7 Practice Teaching session + reflection
605 Butler Table 8 Practice Teaching session + reflection
3:30 – 3:55 203 Butler Table share-out and next steps (exit at FT, switch to AT, fellowships)
3:55 – 4:00 Day 4 preview and wrap

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Day Four: Friday May 31

Time Location Activity
9:30 – 10:00 203 Butler Settling in, Finish Essentials 4 prep module
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and overview
10:10 – 11:40

Essentials 4 – Assessment & Feedback

This workshop gives you tools to assess students accurately, efficiently, and encouragingly. You will learn approaches for assessing student learning and providing feedback that encourages students to focus more on their improvement and less on bottom line scores. We will introduce tools to help streamline and standardize assessment and feedback, while helping students better understand what is valuable in the topic and discipline. Breakout groups will allow you to focus your discussion on written assignments or problem sets. 

11:40 – 12:00 Essentials 4 reflection
12:00 – 12:15 Butler Lobby Sprint photo 📸
12:15 – 1:00 208 Butler Lunch! Pick up your lunch in 208 and eat there, in 203, or outside
1:00 – 3:00 Location 203

Syllabus from Scratch

Are you drafting a syllabus? Whether the syllabus is for the Teaching Scholars program, the academic job market, or a dream course in the future, join us to begin designing an effective, student-centered syllabus from scratch. During this Syllabus from Scratch workshop, participants will learn about the elements of an effective syllabus, define course learning goals, and discuss assessments that can promote student learning in their course. 

Location 212

Ungrading Practices for Graduate Students

Have you or your students been frustrated by grading structures in class? Have you ever felt that education has become too much about grading and ranking, rather than exploration and learning? The recent movement to “ungrade” education offers many tactics for instructors to provide meaningful feedback while decentering or doing without grades and the challenges they might pose to deep learning. This workshop introduces a few common ungrading practices and explores how they maybe adapted for use for graduate instructors and TAs, who often face greater institutional constraints when designing assessment plans.

3:00 – 3:15 203 Butler Next steps (exit at FT, switch to AT, fellowships) – lingering questions
3:15 – 3:50

Wrapping up the TDP Foundational Track

Exit with Foundational Track credit or switch to the Advanced Track!

3:50 – 4:00 Thank you!

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Day Five (optional): Monday June 3

Time Location Activity
10:00 – 2:00 212 Butler and on Zoom (ctlgrads)

Coworking and individual consultation

If you have just a couple of loose ends to tie up to complete the Foundational Track, you are very welcome to use this time as a co-working session. This is also a great time to get individual consultation from CTL staff on any aspect of completing Foundational Track requirements, shifting onto the Advanced Track instead of exiting the program, planning future teaching development, and/or preparing a strong application for a CTL Fellowship

Feel free to drop by 212 Butler or Zoom into ‘ctlgrads’ at any time during this four hour block. Snacks will be on hand, but we will not be providing a full lunch on this day. Feel free to bring one in, though, to munch on as you complete any last Foundational Track tasks.

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Completion deadline: Wednesday June 5

Time Location Activity
Everything submitted by 5:00 pm Online

The finish line

At the end of the Sprint you decided whether you are exiting out of the TDP with Foundational Track completion credit on your transcript, or shifting onto the TDP Advanced track.

While we encourage you to complete all necessary submissions earlier, this is the deadline for Sprint completion. To make sure that you have submitted all necessary materials, please review the TDP Sprint Completion Checklist.

If you have any questions about completion of the Sprint, feel free to reach out to us at And congratulations for accomplishing this milestone; your efforts during this Sprint will benefit you and your students for years to come!

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