Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching Orientation: Fall 2021

Resource Title:
Graduate Student Instructor Teaching Orientation

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) invites you to register for the Fall 2021 GSI Teaching Orientation (GSITO). This year’s program will be an online asynchronous Canvas course available beginning Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. In addition to these asynchronous modules, GSIs this year will have the opportunity to participate in an online, synchronous practice teaching session offered twice daily from Wednesday, August 18 - Friday, August 27 (excluding weekends). Exact session times will be listed to choose from as you register. Completion of the online GSITO must occur by 11:59 p.m. Friday, August 27, 2021. 

The online Canvas course portion of Fall 2021 GSITO will contain the following modules: 

  • Module 1 - 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, FERPA, and academic integrity 
  • Module 2 - Act for Equity: A Presentation by the CRLT Players 
  • Module 3 - Teaching for Equity During the First Week and Beyond
  • Module 4 - Preparing for Practice Teaching*
  • Choose at least 2 of the following teaching topics:
    • Module 5 - Backward Design: Lesson Planning with the End in Mind
    • Module 6 - Engaging Students in Face-to-Face and Online Classes 
    • Module 7 - Teaching for Accessibility 
    • Module 8 - Technology for the First Days of Teaching 
    • Module 9 - Facilitating Group Work to Maximize Learning 
    • Module 10 - Grading Assignments and Exams
  • Module 11 - Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) Resources 

* In addition to these asynchronous Canvas modules, GSIs this year will have the opportunity to participate in an online synchronous practice teaching session. Please note that GSIs must first complete Modules 1-4 before participating in the practice teaching session. 

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

Registration (now live)

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


Fall 2021 GSITO will be available online starting Wednesday, August 11, 2021.


The Canvas course will be available beginning Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 12:00 pm. After you have registered, you will receive an automated Canvas email on August 11, notifying you of your enrollment in the CRLT GSI Teaching Orientation. You will need to accept your role as a student to access the Canvas Course.


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. 


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. 


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


 Please check back for updated information on Winter 2022 GSITO.