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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.

Getting Teaching Experience at another Institution

Teaching outside Duke may be a great way to get formal teaching experience that can count toward the CCT. Here are several potential options:

Durham Technical Community College

Send a letter of interest indicating what areas you can teach and a copy of your CV to:

Kambiz Tahmaseb, Ph.D.
Science Discipline Chair
Instructor of Biology and Chemistry
Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Department
Durham Technical Community College
919 536-7223 ext. 8090

Wake Technical Community College

Send a letter of interest indicating what areas you can teach and a copy of your CV to:

Sandy Dietrich
Vice President of Curriculum Education Services and Chief Academic Officer


Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP)

The Duke TIP campus-based Summer Studies Program offers academically gifted students in grades 7 through 10 the opportunity to learn highly challenging material at a rate commensurate with their advanced abilities. Instructors for the Duke TIP Summer Studies Program are responsible for designing and teaching challenging courses, planning and supervising the activities of a teaching assistant, and evaluating each student in the class. | Learn more

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

OLLI is recruits potential instructors for courses each term. Instructors can offer anywhere from 1-10 week 90-minute classes.  OLLI has had great success with courses conducted by grad students, who share their expertise & enthusiasm with  members while gaining valuable teaching experience. For more information, contact Kevin Frank at

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