The Instructional Support Group (ISG) provides necessary training to temporary employees through orientation and ongoing training sessions. The training topics include:

  • Communication
  • Conducting labs / leading tutorials
  • Consulting with students
  • Coordinating TAs 
  • Course account and TWiki
  • Exam administration
  • Setting goals and priorities
  • Marking
  • Markus/Marmoset
  • Office courtesy and professionalism

The ISG may also invite guest speakers from other departments during the Orientation or Reading Week depending on the term. For example, we have had guests from Counselling Services, AccessAbility Services, Safety Office, and Special Constable Services present their respective duties to the ISAs while on the job.


ISA orientation takes place either on the first official day of employment or sometime during a week near the end of the previous term. The orientation session provides a tour of facilities, some interaction with other ISAs, and a refresher of basic skills needed for the job. 

TA orientation takes place in the fall and winter terms, which can include general information about ISG, overview of expectations and duties, and marking training.

Weekly Coffee & Learn

ISG has ongoing training and discussion sessions, weekly Coffee & Learn sessions, for ISAs throughout the term. IAs might be invited to some of them as well.

The objectives of the weekly coffee chat sessions are to provide:

  • a plan for ongoing training in addition to orientation
  • an opportunity for the entire staff to meet on a regular basis, thus enhancing team spirit
  • a forum for discussion of problems (and, hopefully, solutions!) encountered on the job
  • a means of continuous reinforcement of the core mission of ISG

The intention is that the sessions are interactive sessions, where all members will be active participants. Sessions are usually held on Mondays from 10:00-11:00 AM and, unless otherwise stated, are compulsory for all full-time ISG staff.

IA/TA training/information sessions

ISG may hold some training/information sessions for IAs/TAs during a term, which include currently a training session for exam administration and an information session to discuss IA/TA duties.

Other opportunities

In addition to the ISG training program, staff members can develop their skills by taking University courses, or by participating in any of the workshops provided by Information Systems and Technology.