As you may have read on the graduate studies homepage, building your learning and teaching skills just went digital. Well, it’s been digital for a while, but is one of the more exciting things to happen in the online world of student professional development in quite some time.

The website was developed by a group of Ontario universities and funded by the provincial government. Comprised of McMaster University, Queen’s University, the University of Guelph, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and Western University, the Ontario Consortium for Graduate Professional Skills Training Development has designed the modules to provide easily accessible professional development to graduate students. No word yet on if or when modules might be opened up to undergraduate teaching assistants.

What’s Cool About

First and foremost, the site is designed to allow you to learn about each topic at your own pace. The GATA Network is always emphasizing the need to seek out professional and personal development, but we know that sometimes those things just don’t fit into a student’s busy schedule. Having these types of modules online and self-directed should make it easier for all of us to brush up on our skills from the comfort of our own couches.

Secondly, on first glance, the interface seems pretty easy to use. Modules are simply designed, connected to supplemental resources, and embedded with assessment to make sure that you’re retaining what you’re reading. There is even an automated certification process that allows you to keep track of (and show off) which modules you’ve completed. The site also has a blog component that discusses/links to discussions on issues facing GAs and TAs.

Thirdly, it’s free. It’s all free. And not like “Answer this skill testing question” free or “Send us a cheque” free. Really free. Are we making that clear?

Perhaps the most important feature of the site, though, is the wide variety in the modules it already offers. Module topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Teaching online
  • Building a teaching dossier
  • Intercultural competency
  • Converting a CV to a resume
  • Academic and professional communication for new scholars
  • Mentoring undergraduate students

To learn more about the site or start one of its modules, visit and read up on the FAQ.