Teaching Related Resources for Graduate TAs

This page includes resources to support Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) in the Department of Communication and Journalism. Scroll down to find course specific links as well as materials from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and from the National Communication Association (NCA) and popular pedagogical media.


Important reference resources:


CMJ General teaching resources:

For more information, contact Nancy Lewis by e-mail: lewis@maine.edu


CMJ 102, CMJ 103, CMJ 106

Dr. Lily Herakova, Director of Communication Education and CMJ Teaching Coordinator, develops the curriculum for and coordinates the foundational courses of CMJ 102, CMJ 103, and CMJ 106 and will provide instructors with relevant materials. She is also available for pedagogical consultations across the curriculum. To schedule an appointment or if you have teaching materials requests or questions, please email Dr. Herakova: liliana.herakova@maine.edu

The materials on the following folders have been prepared and curated by the CMJ Teaching Coordinator, Graduate Coordinator, and with feedback and contributions from CMJ Teaching Assistants:

CMJ 102 Communication for Resilience and Connection (Link opens in a new window)

The course focuses on interpersonal theories and practices to create more meaningful and supportive relationships and groups. It also enhances learners’ oral presentation and leadership competencies in a variety of contexts. We utilize team-based learning and case studies, so that students can apply the material to their own lives. Assessments include quizzes, team and individual oral presentations, team literature reviews, and individual reflections, including a large reflective project. GTAs are instructors of record who facilitate discussions and activities, and are responsible for grading and BrightSpace management.

CMJ 103 Public Speaking (Link opens in a new window)

The course focuses on public speaking as a leadership practice in professional contexts – e.g., presentations for fairly small, diverse groups of stakeholders. We utilize the “public narrative framework” (Ganz, 2009) to connect ourselves to issues and communities we care about through three (3) graded speeches/stories: ) self-introduction through the lens of a change-point that impacted our passions, 2) a team informative speech on a complex reality; and 3) an individual persuasive speech with a call to action. Learners also practice more informal public speaking AND listening through several dialogue days. Planning, presentational, and reflective exercises will grow students’ competencies in the rhetorical audience-centered practices of 1) selecting appropriate and relevant topics and supporting materials; 2) organizing ideas; 3) using clear, vivid, ethical, and impactful language; 4) using gestures, tone, facial expressions, etc. for engaging delivery; 5) preparing effective and ethical speaking notes; 6) receiving and providing constructive feedback. GTAs are instructors of record who facilitate the day-to-day learning activities and discussions, and are responsible for BrightSpace management and grading. 

CMJ 106 Storytelling (Link opens in a new window)

In this course, we explore the meanings and functions of stories in our lives through the applied practice of oral story-sharing (including telling and listening). Learners consider the ethics and personal and cultural impacts of circulating certain narratives, and how each of us can be a part of bringing about different understandings of the world through the stories we tell and choose to listen to. Students grow their presentation competencies and learn to harness their performance apprehension through three graded story-sharing opportunities in front of the class: 1) a kinship or a personal story; 2) another’s story, gathered through an ethnographic interview; and 3) a program, combining multiple stories on a theme. Each performance involves planning, presentation, and reflection, and cultivates skills, such as selection and adaptation of stories, organizing ideas into plotlines,using vivid and clear language, using gestures, body postures, and vocal techniques for characterization. In addition to the three graded performances, we practice in regular story-sharing circles and through a variety of classroom activities. GTAs are instructors of record who facilitate the day-to-day learning activities and discussions, and are responsible for BrightSpace management and grading.


Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) resources

CITL is a resource for anyone teaching at the University of Maine. Individual consultations can be scheduled.


Resources to support teaching practice:

National Communication Association (NCA) materials

Pedagogy Unbound (Link opens in a new window)

An interdisciplinary “repository of teaching tips for the college classroom”.

Inclusive Teaching Resources from the University of Michigan (Link opens in a new window)

Find activities to foster inclusivity and social justice education in varieties of courses; as well as activity descriptions, application videos, and handouts.


Teaching podcasts and videos:

  • NCA concepts and praxis video series (Link opens in a new window). Video lessons from the National Communication Association (NCA) featuring professors explaining key CMJ concepts.
  • ICA podcast network YouTube channel (Link opens in a new window). Podcasts by the International Communication Association (ICA) that feature key concepts, scholars, and transformative theories from around the world and across fields of study, as well as experiences of people pursuing degrees and careers in CMJ.