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GATA Information for Nominees

Congratulations on being nominated for the Graduate Associate Teaching Award. Please find information below about creating and submitting your portfolio.

GATA Application

Information Sessions and UCAT Consultations

If you do not already have a teaching portfolio or would like to learn more about how to make yours effective, the Graduate School and the University Center for Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) provide two informational sessions that address creating a teaching portfolio for the GATA competition. Space is limited, please register online for one of the dates below.

Session One (December 6, 9–10 a.m.) | Session Two (January 15, 2–3 p.m.)

UCAT also offers more in-depth one-on-one consultations and would be happy to work with you on your nomination portfolio. Find more information about how UCAT can help and how to register for consulting sessions at their website.

Award Process

Nominations for the GATA are solicited from students, peers, faculty, and staff. Graduate students can also nominate themselves for this award. Nominations are reviewed by the Graduate School for eligibility. Eligible GTAs are then notified and invited to submit an application. Eligible nominees who wish to compete must prepare a GATA application portfolio for review by the GATA selection committee.

The selection committee is comprised of the Graduate School's Award Committee (faculty representing the range of graduate programs), Council of Graduate Students representatives, and previous GATA winners. The committee reviews all submissions and selects 10 award recipients.

Award Eligibility

  • An eligible nominee must have been appointed as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) and must have taught at least one full semester as a GTA.
  • Nominees may be from any graduate program or department.
  • The nominee must have met the requirements for holding a "Graduate Associate" appointment during the semester they taught as a GTA (see the Graduate School Handbook) The GATA awards committee recognizes that the range of responsibilities and activities undertaken by GTAs are dependent upon the context in which they teach.
  • The nominee must be a current student and must have a GPA of 3.0 or better at the time of nomination.
  • Previous GATA award winners are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

Each nominee's application portfolio is reviewed holistically by the GATA selection committee to evaluate the nominee's ability to facilitate student learning and to reflect, evaluate, and improve their own teaching. The committee looks for evidence of the following:

  • Evidence that the nominee excels in carrying out the responsibilities associated with their GTA appointment?
  • Ability to stimulate thinking and develop understanding among students
  • Use of varied teaching techniques appropriate to course content and students
  • Superior organizational skills in relation to course development and management
  • Excellent knowledge of and enthusiasm for course subject matter
  • Resourcefulness in presenting course material
  • Willingness and ability to solicit and reflect on feedback about teaching and to implement changes for improvement
  • Ability to demonstrate that their courses resulted in significant student learning

Application Materials

The components of the GATA application portfolio are similar to those that are typically included in an academic teaching portfolio. Applicants who have already prepared teaching portfolios are encouraged to revise those materials for the purposes of the GATA competition.

Format Specifications

The teaching statement, teaching responsibilities, and evaluative feedback and summary must conform to the following guidelines:

  • white paper
  • 8.5″ × 11″
  • 1″ margins (all sides)
  • Single- or double-spaced (body)
  • 10-12 point Arial, Times New Roman, or suitable text font (for body)
  • Right-justified header with your last name (all pages)
  • No title pages, tables of contents, section inserts, cover letters, or other extra pages are allowed. Such materials will be removed

Teaching Statement

A statement that articulates your teaching and teaching goals. Why do you teach the way that you do? What specific things do you do to implement your beliefs about teaching? How do your teaching techniques or approaches help your students learn? Describe any steps you have taken to further your development as a teacher.

Ohio State Teaching Responsibilities

A list and description of the courses you have taught at Ohio State. Include your specific duties (grading, lesson planning, test design, etc.)

Instructional Artifact

An example of the materials you prepare and use in your teaching to assist with student learning. Provide only one example, with a one-page explanation.

Possibilities include, but are not limited to, a syllabus, lab assignment or pre-lab notes, lesson plan, homework assignment, classroom activity, quiz, or test.

The explanation should address why you designed the example as you did. Your explanation might describe what you hoped to accomplish in developing this material for your students.

The artifact does not need to conform to the paper, margin, and font specifications for the GATA portfolio, but examples of excessive length or awkward size can be difficult for the committee to evaluate. When choosing an example, consider providing a representative excerpt rather than the entire artifact.

Evaluative Feedback and Summary

Narrative summary Summarize and discuss the qualitative and quantitative feedback on your teaching from students, colleagues, and supervisors. Such feedback may include student evaluations (SEIs) and/or department qualitative forms, feedback surveys, or other data that you use to evaluate your teaching effectiveness.

Describe any adjustments or improvements that you have made in your teaching in response to this feedback. (1-2 pages).

Overall SEI Scores

A summary of your overall SEI scores, if available. For questions about accessing your SEI scores, see the Registrar's website.

One Course SEI or a Personal or Departmental Evaluation

A copy of your Student Evaluation of Instruction for one course or a representative sample of student evaluations (three individual student evaluations from a single course, maximum) in response to a personal or departmental evaluation instrument.

Letters of Recommendation

Provide one letter of recommendation from a faculty member or full-time departmental staff member who is familiar with your teaching. This letter cannot be from a graduate student, even if that graduate student has a working title such as GTA coordinator.

Optional: One letter of recommendation from a student who has had a course with you as his or her GTA. Only letters will be accepted; no type of evaluative summary may be substituted for the student letter.

The letters of recommendation may be uploaded with the rest of the application or submitted separately via email to or via mail to Graduate School, c/o Ben Reder, 250 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus Ohio 43202

All letters must be received by the application deadline. If we receive more than one letter from a faculty member/ TA administrator or from a student, only the first letter received in each category will be included in the award committee’s packet.

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