Leading Online Synchronous Discussions… When Should I? How Should I?

Event Date & Time

  • January 11, 2021
    3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Event Description

Note: This session is intended for Graduate Students, and Undergraduate and Graduate TAs only

As TAs in the online environment, we want to find creative ways to actively engage our students. One of the strategies we might consider is the use of discussions. However, introducing and leading discussions can be daunting and fraught with uncertainty. Other times, we may question the value of discussions for student learning. This workshop will provide strategies to run discussions successfully in a synchronous online environment. Specifically, by the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

1. Articulate the rationale for including a discussion in a lesson plan
2. Align a specific discussion technique with the learning objective(s) of the lesson
3. Describe solutions to challenges that arise while leading discussions online


  • Peter Grin, PhD Candidate, Centre for Blood Research, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Cassandra Elphinstone, PhD Candidate, Department of Botany

TA Institute

The January 2021 TA Institute runs online from January 11-15. This year, workshops in the TA institute are organized into 6 themes. If you complete 4 workshops in a theme, and do the related pre & post-session online modules, you are eligible for a letter of completion that you can include in your Teaching Portfolio and CV. These letters will include a brief description of any themes that you completed, and how the work you did in those themes supports your development as a teacher.

To be completed – Pre/Post Session Online Module

If you wish to complete this workshop as part of the themes below  you must complete all applicable the pre-session online module(s) by January 11 at 9 AM and the post-session online module(s) by January 18 at noon to receive the letter(s) of completion.

  • Implementing Impactful Teaching Practices
  • Designing for Impactful Teaching
  • Teaching with Technology

Click HERE to access the pre and post session modules.