Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
This Complete Evidence-based Practice paper highlights the training of teaching assistants (TAs) and analyzes teaching assistant empowerment in the classroom. This study was conducted at The Ohio State University, where undergraduate teaching assistants are used in the first-year engineering classes. There are teaching assistants for both the honors and standard versions of the classes, and each year, there are both new and returning teaching assistants. Training for these teaching assistants has changed over the years and the first-year engineering program is looking for ways to assess the impact of training. Empowerment is used as a frame for analysis of teaching assistant performance in the classroom. Intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral components of empowerment theory are used to map the training aspects to desired teaching assistant outcomes. By this mapping, higher levels of empowerment lead to better teaching assistant performance for students. It is the goal of the program being studied to prepare teaching assistants to be successful in the classroom with students, and training is one of the tools that is meant to help achieve that goal. A survey was developed to look at empowerment in teaching assistants based Frymier's Learner Empowerment survey. This survey showed that teaching assistants perceived high levels of empowerment and the three subscales of competence, impact, and meaningfulness. Results indicate returning teaching assistants had a higher average empowerment, competence, and impact score compared to new teaching assistants. The honors engineering teaching assistants had a higher average meaningfulness score compared to the standard engineering teaching assistants. This survey can be useful in the future as changes are made to the teaching assistant roles and training to see if it has an impact on their empowerment while instructing in the classroom.
Phillips, A., & Kecskemety, K. M., & Delaine, D. A. (2018, June), First-year Engineering Teaching Assistant Training: Examining Different Training Models and Teaching Assistant Empowerment Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30522
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