New TA Program in Pilot Stage

February 29, 2012

Writer: Hayden Coombs

A new teaching assistant program is now in its pilot stage. Brian Schmidt explained that faculty can now apply for specialized student assistants for the spring semester. "We hope to learn from these initial experiences and create a program that makes it easier to find and train student help." To apply for a specialized assistant, follow this link.

Kelly Burgener said that, "Our goal is to train these students well enough that they can, to a degree, hit the ground running on the first day they show up at your (the faculty) office door. We envision providing an important introductory training, and then faculty may pick and choose from other offerings according to their specific needs."

Trainings on I-Learn will be amongst the first workshops offered for the new specialized assistants. At this training, the assistants would learn how to use I-Learn so the faculty wouldn't have to train their own assistants on common tasks, such as inputting grades. Additional trainings under consideration include: graphic services (such as Power Point slides and media objects), or creating a campus-wide rubric for use in grading grammar principles on submitted papers.

All members of the faculty are invited to an academic discussion about the new specialized assistant program to give input on possible trainings they'd like for their assistants on March 14th. Sessions will be held at 11:30 in MC 176B and at 3:15 in MC 176C.

Brian Schmidt commented, "We hope that through these trainings, the specialized assistants will be more self-managing. They will show more initiative and find ways to help the faculty without always being told what to do next."

Click here for more information on the Specialized Teaching Assistant program.