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Tuesday, June 16 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Assessing TA training: Teaching assistant, student and faculty perspectives

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With increasing course enrollments and many graduate students holding research assistantship positions, the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia employs both graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants to support students enrolled in undergraduate courses. Undergraduate TAs have expectations, concerns, levels of experience, pay rates, and relationships with students and the department that differ from graduate TAs (Hogan et al., 2007). Faculty must balance needs of TAs with their own needs for assistance as well as provide mentorship and professional development opportunities to their TAs. Undergraduate students have their own learning goals that may be impacted by the TA’s knowledge and ability (Bland & Sleightholme, 2012; Shannon, Twale & Moore, 1998). Thus, an investigation into TA training is paramount. Drawing upon anonymous survey data from teaching assistants, faculty and undergraduate students as well as focus group data with TAs, this session will discuss the current UBC Sociology TA training program and present strategies for strengthening TA training. By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify: 1) training needs of both undergraduate and graduate TAs and note the implications of these differences; 2) TA training needs of faculty; 3) TA training needs of undergraduate students; and 4) strategies for best meeting the needs of these four groups. The session will conclude with participant driven discussion of best practices for TA training. Our presentation may help establish best practices for the structure of TA training programs in post-secondary institutions.

Tuesday June 16, 2015 3:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Cypress 2 Room

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