New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The Teaching Assistant Certification Program in the Cockrell School of Engineering is part of a larger engineering graduate student professional development program whose main goals are to increase success and retention rates of undergraduate engineering students with well-qualified TAs, and to professionally develop engineering graduate students to be successful in their teaching and careers. All TAs are required to be certified during the first semester in which they are appointed. The TA certification workshop is based on research and best practices in education – it takes a hands-on and interactive approach in covering the following topics: understanding undergraduate students and the culture of higher education in the U.S., principles of student success, fundamentals of pedagogy, student learning styles, questioning strategies to increase student engagement, and managing the practical aspects of a TA position, such as working with faculty, grading, office hours, and resolving student issues. TAs are either observed during their classroom/laboratory session or are required to participate in a teaching practicum session, where they are evaluated by their peers. These are followed by a debrief to provide constructive feedback for improving teaching effectiveness. TAs are required to conduct two surveys during first semester in which they are appointed. The Early Semester Survey (ESS) enables students to provide critical early feedback so that TAs can make adjustments to their teaching practices. At the end of the semester, the TA version of the university’s Course Instructor Survey (CIS) is conducted. This paper will present an overview of the program with a focus on the certification curriculum, data analyses of the effectiveness of the TA Certification Program, along with lessons learned and plans for further development of the program.
Connolly, T. J. (2016, June), Graduate Teaching Assistant Certification as a Requirement for First-Time TAs in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25422
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