Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching Orientation: Fall 2020

Resource Title:
Graduate Student Instructor Teaching Orientation

After careful consideration, CRLT has decided to transition our Fall 2020 GSI Teaching Orientation (GSITO) to an online offering.

Thus, Fall 2020 GSITO will take the form of a Canvas course available to GSIs starting at 12:00pm, Wednesday, August 12 and completion of the online GSITO must occur by 11:59pm, Wednesday, August 26 to ensure that CRLT can report completion data back to departments prior to the start of the fall term. 

This online Fall GSITO will contain the following Canvas modules:

  • Welcome to Teaching at U-M
    • Remarks from the Dean of Rackham 
    • GSI Role and Responsibilities, including policy information such as:
      • religious-academic conflicts 
      • instructor-student relationships 
      • grading, plagiarism, academic integrity, and FERPA
  • Act for Equity: A Presentation by the CRLT Players 
  • Inclusive Teaching During the First Week and Beyond 
  • Choose at least 2 of the following teaching topics:
    • Backward Design: Lesson Planning with the End in Mind 
    • Technology for the First Days of Class
    • Teaching for Accessibility 
    • Engaging Students in Face-to-Face and Online Classes 
    • Facilitating Group Work to Maximize Learning 
    • Grading Assignments and Exams 
  • Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) Resources

**Please note that we will NOT be able to offer the practice teaching session in this online version of the program.

 If you have any questions about GSITO, please email us at



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CRLT's GSI Teaching Orientation is designed to help new GSIs teaching on the Ann Arbor campus to prepare for their initial teaching experiences. It also has proven to be a valuable event for experienced GSIs and for graduate students who anticipate teaching in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions about GSITO

When and where is GSITO?When and where is GSITO?

Fall 2020 GSITO will be available online starting Wednesday, August 12.

How will I be notified that the Canvas course has launched/is available?How will I be notified that the Canvas course has launched/is available?

The Canvas course will be available beginning Wednesday, August 12 at 12:00 pm. After you have registered, you will receive an automated Canvas email on August 12, notifying you of your enrollment in the CRLT Fall GSI Teaching Orientation. You will need to accept your role as a student to access the Canvas Course.

Am I required to participate in GSITO?

CRLT provides university-wide GSI Teaching Orientations as a service to the campus community. You should check with the individual(s) who oversee GSI appointments in the department in which you will be teaching to find out whether participation in GSITO is required for your GSI appointment. 

I can’t participate in GSITO when it is available in August. What can I do for a make-up?

CRLT does not determine whether GSITO is required for new GSIs, nor does it host a make-up event. Check with the individual(s) who oversee GSI appointments in your department to find out what its training requirements are. If there is no formalized policy regarding make-up events, CRLT is happy to consult with departments on establishing such a policy. GSI Coordinators can contact Ronit Ajlen ( to set up a time to discuss this issue. 

How can I receive accommodations for GSITO?

CRLT is committed to making our orientation as accessible as is possible. If you would benefit from accommodations to aid you in accessing the online orientation, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing

Where can I find future GSITO dates?

 Please check back in October for updated information on Winter 2021 GSITO.