June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
New Engineering Educators
Traditionally, professors provide all of the content and material for a classroom while completely under-utilizing their undergraduate teaching assistants (UGTAs). But what if the professor’s material provided students with 95% of the class experience, and a UGTA was able to give students an additional 5% above and beyond what the instructor can provide? UGTAs provide an insight into how students perceive the class and can become valuable assets into learning how to better reach the students. This paper details how the entrepreneurial mindset can be implemented to develop an undergraduate TA program. Using the entrepreneurial mindset (EM) philosophy as a guide, UGTAs are provided with choices that allow them to be curious about how to best reach students as well as give them experience in multiple different teaching practices. This program enforces the belief that UGTAs should be assisting in active learning settings, so that connections with students and faculty are the priority, as well as connecting students with resources, technologies, and each other. Finally, this program allows UGTAs to provide new context, skills, and techniques to the students in the classroom, reaching learners of all types and filling in any gaps left by the professor providing new value to the students to benefit. This program also provides the UGTA with opportunities to develop their own leadership, mentoring, and professorial accomplishments to highlight in their future employment searches.
This paper will highlight how to design a new program for maximizing the contribution of an undergraduate teaching assistant. Example assignments and lesson plans will be discussed to aid in the options available for teaching assistants to provide additional value to their students. These options range from exam review sessions to discussion board prompts to student conflict resolution. All options are chosen by the teaching assistant as part of their professorial mentoring to examine appropriate active learning activities. A survey at the end of the semester provides analysis into the comparisons of topics and assignments that were selected by the assistant, the differences in needs perceived by returning versus new assistants, and personal reflections on the meaningfulness of their experiences as an assistant.
Baumann, A., & Gillespie, S. M., & Sanchez, N. (2019, June), Adding the Extra 5 Percent: Undergraduate TA's Creating Value in the Classroom Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32037
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