Cornell Courses

Student at a conference

Graduate students are able to enroll in the courses below with instructor permission. Postdoctoral associates with regular Cornell employee status are eligible to register for part-time study through the School of Continuing Education as one of their employee benefits, with instructor permission.

Note: Postdoctoral fellows (a smaller category of appointees funded from grants) incur tuition when registering through the part-time study program. Budget permitting, Future Faculty and Academic Careers can provided a limited number of tuition scholarships for postdoctoral fellows to enroll in Cornell courses on teaching and communication each year. For more information, please contact us.

Fall Courses

ALS 6014: Theater Techniques for Enhancing Teaching and Public Speaking

This seven-week course uses theater techniques to help graduate students enhance their classroom teaching and public speaking in both formal and informal environments. Using the storytelling and character-development techniques of theatrical improvisation, participants will build decision-making skills and their ability to think creatively under pressure through engaging exercises. The goals for this course are to enhance teaching presence in the classroom, form a learning community, and build the confidence necessary to connect with a variety of audiences in a range of educational settings. Participants will design and present a short talk as a final presentation. Contact Dr. Colleen McLinn (cmm252) at Future Faculty and Academic Careers for more information and a permission number. Next offered in Fall 2022. Last offered in Fall 2020 as a synchronous online course.

Spring Courses

ALS 6015: The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education

This course is aimed at graduate students who are currently teaching and preparing for a faculty position in higher education. Students will complete an electronic portfolio that documents excellence in teaching and that supports their career preparation. The course covers faculty roles and responsibilities, educational philosophies, learning theories, instructional methods, course design and assessment. Contact the Center for Teaching Innovation for more information. Offered in Spring 2022.

INFO 6940: Teaching and Learning Graduate Seminar (New!)

This course is an in-person, doctoral level workshop on teaching and learning. In this course, students will engage with a wide-ranging learning and teaching theories and methods. Moving beyond traditional, lecture-style teaching methods, students will experiment with state-of-the-art pedagogical approaches and learn to teach their own areas of research and topics in IS. Topics include: Pros and cons of selected instructional methods; Designing and facilitating participation-based class in large STEM classes; Setting up highly engaging activities in class, using active learning theory and practice; Class assessment and evaluation; Online and hybrid methods and the use of digital tools; Lesson planning, learning objectives, and syllabus design; Equity and inclusion in the classroom; Writing a teaching statement. This course will particularly be beneficial for those who would like to gain teaching experience and repertoire in higher education, as well as those who want to learn how to effectively communicate and persuade their own research to others. Students will have opportunities to practice their teaching skills and engage in self and peer review processes. Instructed by Dr. SeoYoon Sung (ss3245) and Dr. Lilach Alon (la367). Class# 20366. Offered in Spring 2022.

Courses for Learning and Teaching the English Language

ALS 5780: International Teaching Assistant Development Program Course

The Center for Teaching Innovation offers this course designed for international teaching assistants, focusing on oral communication, cross-cultural classroom dynamics, and teaching techniques. Through small group seminars, conferences with instructors, audio journals, and a teaching practicum, students work to expand their communication and pedagogical skills.

ELSO Courses

English Language Support Office courses offered through the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines are designed to help multilingual students put their English language knowledge to work for the purposes of graduate school and professional life. These courses provide space for international multilingual graduate students to learn a range of strategies, practice writing and speaking skills in a low-stakes setting, and form community with peers from across fields and professions in a supportive atmosphere.

EDUC 5100: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and its Sociolinguistic Contexts

In concert with the Community Learning and Service Partnership, students can apply their study of adult learning in the course while mentoring a Cornell employee as a Learning Partner. This course is open to both graduate students and undergraduate students of every class year. Offered in Spring 2022. Contact Dr. Sasha Endo (ske5) for more details.

Other Relevant Courses

BIOG 6500: Pedagogy, Active Learning and Education Research Training in the Biology Laboratory

This course is designed for the graduate student instructors who are interested in teaching in the biological sciences. This course provides transferable pedagogical skills, focusing on discipline-based education research, active learning, undergraduate TA mentoring, metacognition and best teaching practices in biology courses. The course is taught by the Investigative Biology Teaching Laboratories director Dr. Mark Sarvary (mas245) and educational postdoctoral fellows.

COMM 5660: Science Communication Workshop

This weekend workshop trains researchers in the sciences (including natural sciences, engineering, experimental social sciences, etc.) to communicate effectively with nonscientists such as policy makers, political stakeholders, the media, and the general public. Training activities may include role-play, reading/discussion, writing press releases and other outreach materials, and discussion with invited speakers. Offered in Fall and Spring. Contact Dr. Bruce Lewenstein (bvl1) or the Careers Beyond Academia office for more information.

EDUC Courses 

Please see the Education Program website the latest list of graduate courses that may be taken toward a minor in education or for professional development in specific teaching methods.

PHYS 4484/7684: Teaching and Learning Physics

As a companion to the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) program, the physics department requires this course for all new UTAs, but is also open to any graduate student with an interest in learning more about the practices of teaching physics. Offered in both Fall and Spring semester.

WRIT 7100: Teaching Writing

The Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines offers this seven-week course for new instructors of Cornell First-Year Writing Seminars. Seminar discussions and readings provide an overview of the teaching of writing within a disciplinary context. Participants develop written assignments designed to be used in their own First-Year Writing Seminars. Offered in Summer and Fall.

Past Courses

ALS 6016: Teaching as Research in Higher Education

This course investigates literature on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and facilitates engagement in teaching as a process of systematic research and iteration within one’s own disciplines. Within this academic conversation about the scholarship of teaching and learning and teaching as research, students design and complete their own original research project to inform teaching in their discipline. Pre-requisite: ALS 6015: The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education or equivalent prior coursework with instructor permission. Last offered in Spring 2018.

BIOEE 7600: Special Topics in Evolution and Ecology – Evidence-Based Teaching

Participants in this course will learn about planning a lesson, writing learning goals and assessments, promoting an inclusive classroom climate, and using active learning instructional techniques. Participants will also do teaching demonstrations and collaborate on design of an activity for a Cornell course. Contact Dr. Michelle Smith (mks274) for more information.

PHYS 7679: Finding Your Scientific Voice

Communicate your research more clearly to scientific audiences and improve your research presentation skills, in this course for graduate students and postdocs. Contact Dr. Itai Cohen (ic64) or the Careers Beyond Academia office for more information.

PHYS 7685: Special Topics in Physics – Introduction to Discipline-based Education Research

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the topics, literature, and methods of discipline-based education research (DBER). This new course was offered for the first time in Fall 2017, and is expected to be offered periodically going forward. Contact Dr. Natasha Holmes (ngh35) for more information.