• Program for Intsructional Excellence

    Learn more about our mission

  • 2020-2021 PIE Associates

    2020-2021 PIE Teaching Associates

  • PIE TA Community Support Site

    A Resource for Online Course Transition

Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE)

PIE Logo Finished_Color Corrected for PDF Brochure.png

the Program For instructional excellence

The Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE), a unit of The Graduate School strives to enrich the learning experience for undergraduate students at FSU by supporting the teaching efforts of graduate student teaching assistants through its various services. PIE offers professional development programs that create opportunities to foster a sense of collaboration and community among all graduate student teaching assistants, and any graduate student interested in learning best practices in teaching and learning while at FSU.

For more information about PIE please see our Informational Brochure.  

See below for more information about our upcoming Teaching Workshops, Conferences, Awards, TA Book Clubs, Recognition programs and more! 

Experienced TAs can apply to become PIE Associates and serve as a mentor for TAs in their own academic department and university-wide.


Click the above banner for more information about our upcoming PIE Virtual Workshops! 

PIE Training Con Header 1.jpg

Spring 2021 PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference

Wednesday and Thursday, December 16 & 17, 2020 (*synchronous Zoom sessions on these dates, asynchronous Canvas training must be completed by Sunday, 12/13/20)

*The PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference for this Spring 2021 will be delivered online via an asynchronous Canvas site AND multiple synchronous Zoom sessions on Wednesday, 12/16 and Thursday, 12/17. See registration link: http://bit.ly/SP21-PIE-TEACHING-TRAINING .

To view the Spring 2021 PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference Program, you may download it here: Spring 2021 TA Orientation/Teaching Conference Program

To view the one-page agenda for the PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference, Spring 2021, you may download it here: 2021 PIE Conference Agenda

 This conference includes sessions that provide graduate students with teaching policy training requirements as stated in the University-wide TA Standards  along with best practices in grading, communicating with students, encouraging critical thinking in the classroom, and Canvas and technology usage. By the end of this training, participants will be able to explain and have procedures in place to address University policy issues related to the Academic Honor Policy, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Discrimination-Sexual Harassment-Retaliation. Participants will also be equipped with strategies to help navigate use of Canvas features essential to their role as a TA, communicate effectively with students, and provide productive student feedback.

Who should attend?

  • New graduate student TAs (and new graduate students who do not yet hold a TA assignment, but will likely do so in the future-especially this spring and summer 2021)
  • Returning graduate student TAs who wish to improve their teaching
  • Any graduate student interested in teaching, or who will hold a TA position in the future, including this coming spring and summer 2021.
  • Post Docs
  • Faculty and staff are also welcome

Where: Canvas Online Modules and Zoom Virtual Sessions

When: Zoom Sessions will occur on Wednesday and Thursday, December 16 & 17, 2020 - please see detailed agenda to be posted below soon for Zoom session times each day.

*General Registration is now open for both asynchronous Canvas training (to be completed with all module post-tests completed with 100% accuracy by Sunday, 12/13/20), and synchronous Zoom sessions held 12/16 & 12/17 (9am-12:30pm each day) for the Spring 2021 PIE Teaching Training Orientation: http://bit.ly/SP21-PIE-TEACHING-TRAINING

  • This Spring 2021 PIE Orientation/Conference satisfies the required graduate student TA policy training, as determined by University-wide TA Standards. Day 1 of the conference covers policies and practices essential for all TAs. Day 2 of the conference focuses on topics especially helpful if your TA assignment includes providing the primary instruction for the course. If you are unsure if you are required to complete both days, please contact your academic department. However anyone at FSU is welcome to complete all of the training sessions.

**You will note on the agenda (soon to be provided below) that “day 1” includes both the Canvas portions expected to completed by Sunday, 12/13, and the Zoom sessions to be held on Wed. 12/16 for “day 1” requirements. Likewise, “day 2” includes both the Canvas modules that are required to be completed by Sunday, 12/13, and the Zoom sessions to be held on Thurs. 12/17 for “day 2” requirements. For questions email us at PIE-info@fsu.edu.

PIE Online Course Design Boot-Camp

To get the Flyer for the Boot-camp, click Boot-camp Flyer

Week 2: Designing Activities and Assessments to Meet Your Course Objectives

Day 1  (Tues. 7/21/20) Materials

Day 2  (Thur. 7/23/20) Materials

Week 1: Creating Realistic Course Objectives & Learning Outcomes & Setting up your Canvas Site 

Day 1  (Tues. 7/14/20) Materials

Day 2  (Thur. 7/16/20) Materials

Schedule – Summer 2020 Online Course Design Boot Camp 

Week 1: Creating Realistic Course Objectives & Learning Outcomes & Setting up your Canvas Site 

Facilitator: Caity Kelly, MS, Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, FSU
Dates: T/R: July 14th and 16th

Time: 10 am-Noon on each day (7/14 and 7/16) All sessions via Zoom

 Week 2: Designing Activities and Assessments to Meet Your Course Objectives

Facilitator: Dr. Vanessa Dennen, Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems, FSU

Dates: T/R: July 21st and 23rd

Time: 10 am-Noon on each day (7/21 and 7/23) All sessions via Zoom

* The focus of each day’s first hour will be on expert facilitators introducing the concepts, tools, etc. The second hour will focus on providing time for participants to work on their own course, ask questions, get help from the experts and/or each other.

Summer 2020 Virtual PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshop Series

Click here for a flier for Summer 2020 workshops

Workshop 1 - Fostering Student Engagement in the Online Classroom

Date/Time: Friday, May 22, 3: 00 pm –4:30 pm

The workshop was a success! Dr. Vanessa Dennen presented with profound reflections on teaching online courses. There were great engaging activities, too! To find the recordings and materials of this workshop, please use the following link: https://pie.fsu.edu/coffee-hour-teaching-workshop-series/workshop-materials

Workshop 2 - Educational Media for Online Learning: Tips, Tools, and Resources

Date/Time: Monday, June 22, 3: 00 pm –4:30 pm

Registration Link: https://bit.ly/PIE-6-22-20

Workshop 3 - Online Assessment: Exploring the Intricacies of Proctored Testing and Alternatives

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 22, 3: 00 pm–4:30 pm

Registration Link: https://bit.ly/PIE-7-22-20

Transitioning To Online Courses

As FSU transitions all courses to online format for the remainder of the Spring 2020, PIE will provide you with ongoing support, and links to resources that will assist you with this transition. Please visit our "resources" page for continuous updates.

Please also visit the FSU Office of Distance Learning (ODL) website for a wealth of information, including a step-by-step guidetrainings, and other resources to assist in this process: odl.fsu.edu.

*Visit the PIE Program’s new Canvas organizational site that serves to provide all FSU TAs the opportunity to find peer community and support while all face-to-face courses are moved to an online format for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, and into at least a portion of the summer. Resources include:

1. Virtual office hours: TAs can connect via Zoom to PIE Teaching Associate TAs from a variety of disciplines to discuss challenges, brainstorm ideas, share tips, and receive referrals to additional resources to assist in the online teaching transition. See the vast schedule of “Peer Office Hours” on the site.

2. Video tutorials, discipline specific online teaching tips, and links to a variety of resources available at FSU and beyond, are also located on this site.

Please join - any TA can self-enroll in this Canvas site via this URL: https://canvas.fsu.edu/enroll/JB4D8K

Resources from the Office of Distance Learning/PIE Emergency Online Training Proactive Training Course:

Check our "resources" page section frequently for continuing updated resources

Peer observation.jpg

The PIE Association is now offering Peer Teaching Observations. If you would like constructive feedback from other teaching assistants on methods to use in the classroom, please reach out to us. Check out the following link for more information: https://fsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0vRg47IjQjbYmix


You can download the PIE Teaching Observation Form to learn about our peer observation criteria or use it to evaluate your own teaching.

PIE Coffee Hour header 1.jpg

PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshop Series

Come join fellow TAs and instructors discuss strategies and techniques that promote excellence in teaching and learning – bring your questions, concerns, and ideas – the pie & coffee will be provided!

These workshops also count towards the PFF and/or PFP Certificates , as well as the Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition .

Our PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshops will be held in the Nancy H. Marcus Great Hall (4th floor) of the Honors, Scholars & Fellows House (Chick Fil A is on the first floor of this building) on the following dates:

SPRING 2020 – PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshop Series

Click here for a flier for SPRING 2020 workshops 

  • Thursday, 1/23/20: 3:00-4:30pm - Supporting Students with Diverse Needs - Register here: https://bit.ly/PIE1-23-20-3pm

  • Friday, 2/7/20: How to Create a Teaching Portfolio - Offered at two separate times:

  •    Session 1, 3:00-4:30pm –register here https://bit.ly/PIE2-7-20-3pm
  •    Session 2 - 5:00-6:30pm –register here https://bit.ly/PIE2-7-20-5pm

    *Please note, this is the same, identical workshop, just offered at two separate times- no need to attend both!

  • Tuesday, 2/25/209: 2:00-3:30pm - TA Panel: How Digital Literacy Impacts Teaching & Research- Register here: https://bit.ly/PIE2-25-20
  • Monday, 3/9/20: 2:00-3:30pm - Metacognition: Guiding Learners in Thinking About How They Learn - Register here: https://bit.ly/PIE3-9-20-2pm
  • Wednesday, 4/8/20: 2:00-3:30pm - Leading Classroom Discussions - Register here:  https://bit.ly/PIE4-8-20-2pm

For more detailed workshop descriptions, registration links, and materials from all of our PIE workshops, please visit our "PIE Coffee Hour & Workshop Series" page .

We encourage pre-registration (so we can be sure to have enough pie & coffee on hand!).

*Please also note, The Office for Distance Learning (ODL) also offers workshops on teaching techniques & strategies that will assist with online teaching as well as face-to-face teaching.  To view and register for these workshops (which also count for PFF/PFP/PIE credit) visit: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13235


PIE Associates and Graduate Students at the recent MCQ training


PIE Teaching Training header 1.jpg


PIE has designed a series of online teaching modules to provide a continuation of the Graduate Student Teaching Conference. If you meet the specific requirements, you will earn the Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition.

How do I enroll in the training? Send an enrollment request email to pie-info@fsu.edu , and we will enroll you in the training. You will receive a notification email once you are enrolled.

When is the deadline for enrollment? It is suggested that you enroll within the first two weeks of any semester (including summer). However there is no actual enrollment deadline, but please keep in mind that once you are enrolled, you have two consecutive semesters to complete ALL requirements to earn the Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition.

What content is covered? The online training series consists of six content units: Developing a course syllabus; Knowing your teaching environment; Using Blackboard for introduction; Planning teaching-learning activities; Student assessment; and Course evaluation and revision.

How much time will I spend? You are expected to spend one hour on reading, and two hours on practicing, each week for 14 weeks.

Are there other activities offered/requirements for completing this recognition? Yes, there will be at least three PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshops held each semester (including the summer) at the The Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House. Topics related to the course content will be presented and discussed.To earn the Advanced PIE Teaching Training Recognition, you are required to successfully finish each of the online Modules for the Basics of Teaching @ FSU and attend at least two of these workshops.

OTAA header 1.jpg

PIE coordinates the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards (OTAA). These awards recognize graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) for their distinguished contributions to undergraduate student learning through excellence in instruction. Recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards (OTAA) are recognized at the annual spring Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence event. Nominations for the 2020-2021 awards are now open! Undergraduate students, faculty and staff may nominate a graduate student teaching assistant (TA) using the following nomination form:  https://bit.ly/NOMINATE-A-TA20-21

The deadline to nominate is Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:59pm.

For more details regarding the OTAA award and nomination process, please visit our webpage at: https://pie.fsu.edu/outstanding-teaching-assistant-award/otaa-guidelines-and-process

Please click here to see the recipients of previous Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards.

Reading Groups Header 1.jpg


Reading groups are a great chance to meet and share ideas with graduate student colleagues from across the university. We’ll discuss great texts about teaching and learning, and generate practical ideas for enriching our own classroom practice. Each group involves a series of three meetings, so please check your calendar. We attempt to use books that are available online through FSU libraries.

Spring 2020 Reading Group

Teaching INTERCULTURALLY - Spring 2020 reading group

When: Wednesdays: 1/15, 1/22, and 1/29, 2-3:30pm,

Where: Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, Room 3009

Register to attend: https://bit.ly/PIE-reading-SP20


How can I simultaneously support students' critical engagement with course content and develop their intercultural awareness?

Most faculty have multiple diversities present in any given classroom or academic program— whether from an influx of international students or an increase of students from low-income, first generation, and/or racial/ethnic minority populations— and are concerned about how to maintain a rigorous curriculum and ensure that all their students succeed, given disparate backgrounds and varying degrees of prior knowledge.

This book provides faculty and instructors with a theoretical foundation, practical tools, and an iterative and reflective process for designing and implementing an intercultural pedagogy. The authors bring to bear the expertise of their various disciplinary backgrounds to offer a responsive, integrative framework to develop and continually refine a pedagogy that both promotes deep disciplinary learning and supports intercultural outcomes for all students.

The authors offer a framework that is flexible enough to be responsive to the experience, environment, and particulars of a given teaching and learning situation. The text incorporates narrative text by the authors, as well as first-person reflections, classroom activities, and annotated assignments that illustrate the dynamic process of intention, experiment/implement, critique, and refinement that characterize pedagogy and intercultural interaction.

The authors bring to bear the expertise of their various disciplinary backgrounds, a deep knowledge of effective pedagogical practice, and their experience and grounding in intercultural practice: Amy in composition/writing studies, Mary Katherine in international education with rich experience as a faculty development trainer, and Bob and Catherine, respectively, an historian and a family scientist.

This book is intended both for individual reading as well as for collective study in learning communities.

Spring workshop header 1.jpg

See PIE Teaching Conference and TA Orientation (listed above) for information on this year's virtual conference offerings. If you have any questions, email us at pie-info@fsu.edu. 

Syllaus Boot Camp header 1.jpg

PIE hosted its first SYLLABUS BOOT CAMP in 2017!

One of the most important steps you can take to have a successful semester is making time to think through your course objectives, learning outcomes, and course schedule design. Join us for 4 sessions over a two week period where you'll get advice from experts, time to work on your own syllabus, and a chance to swap feedback & ideas from your peers. Come prepared with either a course in development or a syllabus that needs a makeover.

Attendance is free, but space is limited. Before you sign up, please make sure you can attend all sessions.

Schedule -- 2017 Syllabus Boot Camp

Week 1: Creating Realistic Course Objectives & Learning Outcomes with Kate Hill, PIE Associate for the department of Biological Science
July 18th and 20th from 10:00am-2:00pm with an hour lunch break from 11:30am-12:30pm

Week 2: Designing a Schedule to Meet Your Course Objectives with Dr. Vanessa Dennen, professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies

July 25th and 27th from 10:00am-2:00pm with an hour lunch break from 11:30am-12:30pm

Syllabus Boot Camp Flyer



      Legacy Sort
      Legacy Priority
      title-inside title-centered
      title-inside title-centered