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GSR 982: Mentored Teaching

Why GSR 982?

You don't have to be an excellent university teacher... but you can be!

From Left: Justin Ymana, Amelia Horsburgh, Thomas Horsburgh, President Busch-Vishniac, Dr. Beth Horsburgh and Greg Horsburgh

Most beneficial to my teaching practice has been, and continues to be, the graduate teaching courses that I have had the opportunity to attend. These courses provided not only the theoretical rational behind teaching best practice, but perhaps more importantly to a graduate student teacher, the practical teaching techniques and tools that I can implement in my own classroom." - Amelia Horsburgh, Graduate Student Fellow 2012-2013 and recipient of the 2012 Provost's Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award

GSR 982: Mentored Teaching is a non-credit graduate course for Ph.D. students who have received a Teacher Scholar Doctoral Fellowship.  This fellowship seeks to combine coursework (GSR 982) with the opportunity for PhD students to teach an undergraduate course in their discipine under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Nomination forms for the Teacher Scholar Doctoral Fellowship may be obtained from the College of Graduate Studies & Research.  Nominations are to be completed by the Ph.D. student applying for the Fellowship and a potential faculty mentor, and require the identification of an undergraduate course to be taught by the student, with the approval of the Department Head or Dean.  

Nominations should be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies & Research by April 1st for the following academic year.  For example, a nomination form should be submitted by April 1, 2016 for a student intending to complete GSR 982 in Fall 2016 and teach a undergraduate course under the guidance of their faculty mentor in the 2017 Winter term.

About this Course

Course Overview

As part of the Teacher Doctoral Fellowship, students are expected to register for and complete GSR 982 in Term 1 (offered on Thursday afternoons from 2:00-4:30 p.m).  The purpose of the course is to help prepare students who have received a Fellowship to teach an undergraduate course in their discipline in Term 2, under the guidance of their faculty mentor.  For new teachers, GSR 982 provides an opportunity to learn about course design as well as best practices for teaching and assessment in higher education.  For more experienced teachers, the course provides an opportunity to engage in dialogue with peers while reflecting upon past teaching experiences, successes, and challenges.  The culminating assignment of the course is an inquiry-based teaching portfolio, which will be used during the course to document your classroom activities, and may be used after the course to apply for teaching positions.

In Term 1, students practice and apply the principles of course design by preparing and/or revising course materials for Term 2 such as syllabi, assignments, lesson plans, and exams, in consultation with their faculty mentor.  During this time, it is expected that students will be meeting on a weekly basis with their faculty mentor.

In Term 2, GSR 982 meets every 2 weeks (Thursday afternoons, 2:30-3:30 pm) so that students can continue to support each other as instructors while they are teaching.  In these class meetings students will be able to ask questions and seek advice from the teaching team, clarify information on academic policies, or simply support and learn from their peers as they experience the real-life ups and downs of teaching.  During this time, it is expected that students will be checking in regularly with their faculty mentor.

Learning Approach and Outcomes

The purpose of the GSR 982: Mentored Teaching course is for students to refine and assess their teaching style and approach by learning about and applying innovative course design principles, teaching strategies, and assessment and evaluation approaches that are based upon best practices in higher education.  The Fellowship provides opportunities for students to:

  • Learn about the basics of course design and delivery in GSR 982 (offered in Term 1)
  • Implement and apply best practices from GSR 982 by teaching an undergraduate course in Term 2 (under the guidance of a faculty mentor)
  • Be exposed to new and innovative teaching practices, ideas, and approaches 
  • Collaborate and support peers as part of an interdisciplinary learning experience across disciplinary fields
  • Use the inquiry-based teaching portfolio as a reflective tool to refine and assess their teaching style and approach

GSR 982 is a non-credit (Pass/Fail) course. If students successfully complete the course based on the following requirements, they receive a certificate and note on their transcript indicating a “Pass” in the course.  If a Fellowship is terminated or revoked for any reason students must drop the course according to the University’s official processes, dates, and deadlines, or else their transcript will indicate a “Fail.”

 A “Pass” in the GSR 982 course is based upon:

  • Regular attendance and participation in all GSR 982 classes in Terms 1 and 2 as per the University's Attendance policy 
  • Satisfactory completion of all course assignments, culminating in the reflective teaching portfolio at the end of Term 2
  • Regular attendance and participation in progress meetings with the faculty mentor throughout Terms 1 and 2, as outlined in the Helpful Guide for Faculty Mentors, including the completion of two faculty mentor classroom visits in Term 2
  • Satisfactory completion of teaching responsibilities and duties in Term 2 as assigned by the faculty mentor and/or College, Department, or School

Fellowships may be revoked by the College of Graduate Studies & Research at any time if any of the requirements are failed to be met as outlined above.

Ask Our Students

Visit our Accolades and Articles tabs to find out what our graduates have to say about this course, and why you should consider taking it to further your professional career.


This course is only open to Ph.D. students who have received a Teacher-Scholar Doctoral Fellowship. If you have received a Teacher Scholar Doctoral Fellowship please contact for details on how to register.


Ph.D. students with an interest in enhancing and/or developing their teaching skills should contact a faculty mentor and/or their Department, College, or School to discuss the possibility of being nominated for a Fellowship.  Faculty and/or Department Heads may also consider the possibility of nominating graduate students for this award.  Nomination forms may be downloaded from the College of Graduate Studies & Research website (under the Scholarships & Awards tab) and are due April 1st of each year.  

Fellowship nominations are to be completed by the student (applicant) and faculty mentor, and Department Head/Dean.  Nomination forms include information on the assignment of duties for Term 2, separate statements of intent from the student and faculty mentor (150 words minimum), and a joint statement from the student and mentor (150 words minimum).

Selection is based upon multiple considerations, including, but not limited to:

  • Students' interest in enhancing/developing their teaching skills and expertise
  • Potential for a dynamic, reciprocal teaching partnership between the student, faculty mentor, and Department/College/School
Students must be registered in a Ph.D. program at the University of Saskatchewan to be nominated.  Priority is given to applicants who:
  • Have completed their comprehensive exams and other program requirements (typically these are students who are registered in the 2nd to 5th year of their Ph.D. program)
  • Hold a cumulative GPA of 80% or higher  


We asked our former students what they would like future students to know about the course before they register.  Here's what they had to say:


 This is a great course.  Your universe of teaching styles will be vastly expanded and you will learn things about yourself and your students that you didn't know before.  -Oral Robinson, class of 2013-2014


GSR 982 helps you learn about different teaching strategies to meet diverse learning needs of students.  The assignments in this course help you to reflect upon and discuss who you are as a teacher and other strengths/weaknesses you may not be aware of.  -Isaac Asiamah, class of 2013-2014


This course is ideal to connect with people who like to teach.  -Anonymous, class of 2013-2014


Taking GSR 982 contributed to my professionalization as a teacher by providing me with concrete strategies for course design and lesson planning, but it also provided a welcome opportunity to interact with my peers, and to draw on their experiences and perspectives as new teachers.

 -Carleigh Brady, English, class of 2012-2013


Anyone who is thinking seriously about teaching at the University level should take this course.  It gives great foundational knowledge and offers great support through your first time teaching.  -Anonymous, class of 2012-2013


This will change your life! It's the best course I have taken in my life.  -Mohammad Torshizi, Agricultural Economics, class of 2012-2013

It is extremely valuable to have a structured introduction to teaching and can transform the first experience into a manageable one.  -Anonymous, class of 2012-2013


This class was invaluable for practical reasons, building your syllabus, grading rubric, assignments, lesson plans, etc. for the course you will teach next term. Moreover, the teaching portfolio that you build will prove so important when you do go on the job market." - Amelia Horsburgh, English, class of 2011-2012

This course really helps you stand out as a job applicant and amongst your peers while still a student. In addition, it really defines you as a U of S graduate with distinct advantages as future teachers." -Anonymous, class of 2011-2012


Find a way to take this course or one like it if you plan to teach at the university level. This course (and the professors that taught it) allowed me to view the teaching experience at the university level from a totally different viewpoint." -Anonymous, class of 2011-2012


As a result of taking GSR 982, I feel more prepared to teach. I feel that I learned a lot from the different perspectives of my colleagues in the class." -Anonymous, class of 2011-2012


This is an excellent class, which can provide a systematic and complete training program for your teaching. Students do benefit from it." - Li Shen, Geography & Planning, class of 2011-2012

GSR 982 is a valuable course that gives you a set of tools to turn into skills when addressing future audiences." - Ashlee McLardy, Kinesiology, class of 2011-2012


Take the course at least you will find if you like teaching or not truly. Teaching is hard, which means you can do it only if you like it." - Xiaoyu Liu, Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, class of 2010-2011

I learned a lot of different techniques and strategies to integrate into the course [I am teaching] that I never would have learned if I [had not taken] this course." - Katie Maciulewicz, Kinesiology, class of 2010-2011


Not only did the fellowship provide me with the tools, knowledge, and practice, but I now have the confidence to teach. It has changed how I think and feel about teaching." -Douglas Akhimienmhonan, Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, class of 2009-2010

This course gave me the confidence and skills to be a good instructor for my students. Teaching is more than just lecturing. It's also about listening to your students." -Anonymous, class of 2009-2010

A very useful, rewarding course that places the focus squarely on teaching as part of a lifelong journey of learning." -Liam Haggarty, History, class of 2009-2010

It's been wonderful to have not only the support of the 982 instructors but also that of the class of peers who are experiencing the same trials of teaching for the first time as well. The 982 classes provided a means and a time to reflect on the teaching experience- something that otherwise would have been lost in the rush and finery of preparation, marking, etc." - Emily Morris, English, class of 2009-2010


Douglas Akhimienmhonan

Not only did the fellowship provide me with the tools, knowledge, and practice, but I now have the confidence to teach. It has changed how I think and feel about teaching." -Douglas Akhimienmhonan, Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, class of 2009-2010, from "Teaching the Teachers", in On-Campus News in the April 9, 2010 edition. 

Many of our alumni from GSR 982 are regular contributors to the GMCTE's newsletter, Bridges.  Below are links to articles written from the alumni perspective related to teaching and/or the GSR 982 course:

Faculty Mentors

One important process in the Teacher Doctoral Fellowship experience is the positive development of a dynamic and reciprocal teaching partnership between the Ph.D. student and his/her faculty mentor.

To help ensure the best possible experience we have developed a helpful Guide to assist faculty mentors in developing mentorship goals and in outlining responsibilities within GSR 982 and throughout the assignment of teaching duties in Term 2. The Guide informs the faculty mentors about the tasks they and the students are expected to complete and when to do these tasks as part of the teaching partnership.

Periodic cues will be sent to the faculty mentors throughout the year to remind them of what is required and when. 

Helpful Guide