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Teaching Experience and Observation

Teaching Experience

CCT participants should have at least one semester in a formal teaching role that takes place after enrolling in the CCT program (i.e. previous teaching experience is not applicable). Teaching and observations should be completed in the same term to fulfill program requirements.

A formal instructional role can include the following:

  • Being the instructor of record of a class

  • Being an officially designated TA who leads a discussion, lab or recitation section that meets regularly (at least four times) throughout the semester with you as the primary leader/facilitator of those meetings

  • Being a guest lecturer on at least four separate sessions, each at least an hour long, in the same term or semester and working with that course's instructor of record

  • Other types of teaching experience approved by the CCT program director before the term in which it occurs.

Teaching experience should be documented with the Teaching Experience Form.

A formal instructional role cannot include the following:

  • Being a guest lecturer in a class where the instructional contact is less than four contact hours, spread out through the term (e.g., two guest lectures in the week a lecturing professor is at a conference would not qualify
  • Teaching assistantships limited to grading, office hours, or administrative tasks

I am teaching online this term-- will my experience count toward the CCT requirement?
Yes, as long as you have an instructional role regularly throughout the term, such as leading a section, leading a lab or otherwise acting as the primary facilitator of instruction for at least four class sessions during the term. This means engagement beyond (only) office hours, grading or administrative tasks.

If your online teaching or instructional TAing is asynchronous, you’d need to be involved in the design and delivery of the instruction beyond (only) office hours, grading, moderating forums or administrative tasks. In either case, if you are TAing, the professor of the class will need to confirm your role with the teaching experience form.

Duke Pre-College
One option for teaching beyond your department is Duke Pre-College, which is currenty hiring graduate students to design and teach engaging, challenging, non-credit, certificate-based 3-week online courses for high school students in grades 9-12 in July and August 2021. They are looking for course proposals in (but not limited to):

  • artificial intelligence
  • big data
  • business
  • healthcare
  • humanities with quantitative input
  • machine learning
  • research
  • technology

Their goals are to provide students opportunities to develop soft skills that will support their postsecondary success: effective presentation skills, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. Courses in these programs are highly interactive, provide students opportunities to engage with multiple textual and technology formats, and provide rigorous academic experiences where students can be exposed to content and ideas that are often not part of a traditional high school curriculum. You are encouraged to capitalize on Duke resources such as guest speakers, online library collections, virtual lab tours, etc. STEM classes are most popular with our students. Most often parents are paying for these courses, so when creating your course proposal, be mindful of topics that would be appealing to a high school students and their parents. Teaching a course in Duke Pre-College can fulfill CCT teaching requirements (when done in tandem with Teaching Triangles, which will be scheduled again in the summer.)

Last year the (taxable) payment was $1600 for each section taught, so instructors who taught in both sessions 2 and 3 (A and B sections each time) earned $6400. The exact rate for 2021 being finalized. Ideally, you would be able to teach for sessions 2 and 3. Please indicate your availability if it’s not both sessions.

Session 1: June 14 - June 25, 2021 (2-weeks)—Taught by undergraduate students
Session 2: June 28 - July 16, 2021 (3-weeks)—Taught by grad students or faculty
Session 3: July 19 - August 6, 2021 (3-weeks)—Taught by grad students or faculty

Group A – Morning Synchronous Sessions, Monday-Friday
9:00 – 10:15 a.m. EST & 11:00 – 12:15 p.m. EST
Group B – Afternoon Synchronous Sessions, Monday-Friday
1:00 – 2:15 p.m. EST & 3:00 – 4:15 p.m. EST

Details to consider when completing your proposal on the attached form:

  • All courses will be taught using Duke’s Sakai and Zoom platforms.
  • Working with minors at Duke requires a 1 adult to every 10 students. Each course will have 1 instructor and 1-2 TAs, which in most cases will be Duke undergraduate students majoring in a related topic to the course.
  • Additional interactions that take place in an online course can be asynchronous, meaning that students (and the instructor) are participating at different times. Resources accessed this way can provide supporting information in a more flexible format—but it is not self-paced. Students are expected to work on asynchronous work 3-6 hours per week.
  • As long as students meet due dates and deadlines, students can view course information any time that is convenient. This flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of a distance-learning course.
  • However, while most interactions will be synchronous, each course has weekly deadlines associated with reading assignments and written coursework, such as papers, discussion posts, tests, and quizzes. Students will be provided with deadlines in advance so that they can plan their work accordingly.
  • During the first days of the program, instructors will present a selection of daily breakout session topics, review student availability and schedule conflicts. This is done so that students have an opportunity to participate in small groups.
  • Every effort will be made to accommodate the schedules of students in the course when possible. If students or families have concerns about the schedule for the live meetings, they are strongly encouraged to contact the course instructor with their summer schedule when the program begins.

More information, questions, and course proposals (due by Monday, December 14.)
Sally Starrfield
Interim Director
HR Specialist, SPHR
Phone: +1(919)684-5411

Teaching Observation (Teaching Triangles)

Students in the program should observe others teaching and be observed by others as a teacher.

As a teacher, participants should be observed by at least two people who provide brief written feedback. Observers can be faculty from the participant’s department or a related program, Graduate School staff, trained peer graduate students, or others as approved by the CCT program director.

Participants should also conduct at least two observations of other faculty or graduate students teaching.

The teaching observation is typically facilitated through Teaching Triangles, a peer-observation program for graduate student instructors and TAs that is held every semester, including Summer I and II.

A Teaching Triangle consists of three instructors who:

  • Complete a training orientation in peer teaching observation practices (Teaching Triangles orientation)
  • Observe at least one class taught by each triangle partner (a total of two observations)
  • Reflect on the class observation experience
  • Share observations and reflections with partners
  • Share observation experience with participants as a whole group (final meeting)

The steps above are spread over a single semester and completed well before finals begin. Participating in Teaching Triangles is not a time-intensive commitment and should not have a negative effect on your research, dissertation, or time to graduation.

To participate, register for a Teaching Triangles orientation session offered at the beginning of a semester in which you will teach or TA. See the professional development calendar for currently scheduled Graduate School workshops, including Teaching Triangles orientation.

Beginning in academic year 2014-2015, participation in Teaching Triangles will include a requirement to have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in at least one class in college teaching.


Hugh Crumley, PhD
Director, Certificate in College Teaching
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive, Box 90068
Durham, NC 27708