• Program for Intsructional Excellence

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  • 2016 PIE Conference

    PIE Teaching Conference/TA Orientation

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    2016-17 PIE Teaching Associates

  • PIE Associates 2018-19 at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence

Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE)

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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 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 your academic department and university-wide. 


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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 from 3:30-5:00 PM 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 builidng) on the following dates:

  1. Monday, 6/4/18 Topic: Learning how to Teach problem solving through a VR training session - **Registration is closed
  2. Monday, 6/25/18 Topic: Creating Multiple Choice Questions that Test Critical Thinking - **Registration Closed -- Click Here for Photos
  3. Wednesday, 7/25/18, Topic: The Art of Leading Discussions*Click here to register

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

Also,  check out our Summer 2018 PIE Workshop Flyer -- print, post, email, and share with others/post in your department! 

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

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Fall 2018 PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference

The annual fall PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference is held the Wednesday and Thursday the week prior to the first week of classes each fall. 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)
  • 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
  • Post Docs
  • Faculty and staff are also welcome

Where: New Classroom Building (HCB 101)

When: Wednesday and Thursday, August 22 & 23, 2018

            -Wednesday 8/22/18, 8am-3pm

            -Thursday 8/23/18, 8am-12:20pm

To register to attend the Fall 2018 PIE Teaching Conference/TA Orientation, follow this link: https://fsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bOgKe43D4ygoGY5

For our Conference Booklets from previous years see below:

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Fall 2017 PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference

The Fall 2017 agenda is available here.

PLENARY SPEAKER: Dr. Lisa Scott, FSU Distinguished Teaching Professor, Teaching Faculty III, College of Communication and

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Fall 2016 PIE TA Orientation/Teaching Conference

Critical thinking in the classroom 

PLENARY SPEAKER: Dr. Patricia Spears Terebelski, FSU Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Biological Science

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If you want to earn our PIE Teaching Training Recognition, please visit the following webpage on our PIE website for detailed instructions:/pie-recognitions. Please note:The FSU University-wide TA Standards do not require that you submit the report to earn this recognition to be appointed as a TA, however some specific academic departments do---so you should check with your academic department if you are not sure if they require this. Nonetheless, if you did attend ALL (both complete days) of the Fall PIE Conference, submitting the report to obtain the PIE Teaching Training Recognition is something you can do for your own professional development, and is a great addition to your CV/resume!

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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 2017-2018 year are now closed.

OTAA Nominations for 2017-2018 were closed on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Please click here to see the recipients of the 2016-17 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards.

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Co Facilitated by pie and cat

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. Both books are available online through FSU libraries.

Spring 2018 Reading Groups posted below. 





By Ken Bain

What The Best College Teachers Do - January 2018 reading group
Mondays 3:00-5:00 pm
1/29, 2/5, 2/12

What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken BainWinner of the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize awarded annually by Harvard University Press for an outstanding book on education and society What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.

Ken Bain wanted to know how some faculty manage to "make a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on how [THEIR] students think, act, and feel." How do some faculty consistently provoke deep learning, while the rest of us merely have good intentions? Bain conducted a fifteen-year study of a hundred extraordinarily effective teachers, to see how they help their students learn. The book traces how these exceptional teachers approach their subjects, their students, and the process of learning. RSVP now closed.





By Terry Doyle

Learner-Centered Teaching - march 2018 reading group
Wednesdays 3:00-5:00 pm
3/21, 3/28, 4/4

Recent decades have brought a wealth of research on learning and cognition; these developments are gradually making their way into work on best practices for the college classroom. Doyle's Learner- Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice is a practical guide to strategies for making effective use of the research. When we adjust our classroom focus from teaching to learning, we make our own work more gratifying, and we can enhance our students' learning experience as well as their mastery of material. The group will generate specific strategies and activities for enriching our own classrooms. RSVP here.
Read More  

Terry Doyle is an author, educational consultant and  professor emeritus of reading at Ferris State University where he worked for 38 years. He spent from 1998 to spring of 2009 as the Senior Instructor for Faculty Development and Coordinator of the New to Ferris Faculty Transition Program for the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning at Ferris State University.

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The annual spring PIE Teaching Training Workshop/TA Orientation is held the Friday of the first week of classes each spring. This workshop 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, and Canvas and technology usage. This TA training is delivered partly face-to-face and partly online via Canvas, the centrally supported course management system at FSU. 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), 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.

The face-to-face portion of the Spring 2018 Teaching Policy Training/TA Orientation will be held Friday, January 12, 2018, 1:00-4:30 p.m., in The Great Hall on the 4th floor of the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House.

Please Note: You need to complete ONLINE training prior to this Workshop/Orientation if you are required to complete the University-wide TA policy trainings in FERPA, FSU Academic Honor Policy, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination, and American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please consult your academic department for any questions regarding if you are required to complete these trainings through PIE.

This abridged workshop is primarily offered to meet the needs of new graduate students who will be teaching in the spring or summer and others who were unable to attend the annual fall PIE teaching conference because of exceptional, circumstances that have been documented by the graduate student's academic department (or the department that is appointing the student as a TA).

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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


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