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The Well-being Teaching Assistant: A Proactive Approach to Caring for Students with Academic and Personal Difficulties in Massive Courses

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Promoting Well-Being in Engineering Education: Strategies and Perspectives

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods Division (ERM)

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--44496

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/44496

Download Count

193

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Paper Authors

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Jorge A. Baier Pontificia Universidad Catholica de Chile

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He is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department and Associate Dean of Engineering Education at the Engineering School in Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Jorge is interested in various forms of applying AI to improve students' experience in higher education.

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Isabel Hilliger P.E. Pontificia Universidad Catholica de Chile Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5270-7655

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Isabel Hilliger is Assistant Professor of Practice and Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation at the Engineering Education Unit in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC-Chile). Isabel received a BEng and PhD in Engineering Sciences from PUC-Chile, and an MA in Policy Organizati

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Ximena Hidalgo

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Psychologist, faculty development coordinator, Division of Engineering Education. School of engineering of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

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Matías Alonso Piña Pontificia Universidad Catholica de Chile

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Matías is a master's student and researcher at the School of Engineering in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC-Chile), and a Research Assistant at University of Toronto. Matías received a Bachelor of Science degree in Design Engineering from PUC-Chile, and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Computer Science at the same institution.

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Gabriel Astudillo Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile

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Gabriel Astudillo is Coordinator for Measurement and Evaluation at the Engineering School in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC-Chile). Gabriel received an MA in Social Sciences from Universidad de Chile.

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Abstract

Since the covid pandemic, some higher education institutions have promoted a flexible evaluation approach for students who face a variety of problems. Instructors willing to implement such flexibilizations face an important challenge: making themselves aware of students going through hard times. This evidence-based practice paper presents an overview and a preliminary evaluation of the well-being teaching assistant (WTA), an approach to facilitating communication, suggesting and documenting flexibilizations, and providing support for students going through difficult times in high-enrolment courses. WTAs are regular members of the teaching assistant staff, but they use an early warning system to identify potential students at risk of failure, initiate communication using supportive language, and take action by suggesting flexibilization or providing academic support for students facing challenges. WTAs have been incorporated into 27 courses at a large school of engineering in Latin America, during 2022, and have been positively evaluated by students. One of the main current challenges of the approach is scalability.

Baier, J. A., & Hilliger, I., & Hidalgo, X., & Piña, M. A., & Astudillo, G. (2023, June), The Well-being Teaching Assistant: A Proactive Approach to Caring for Students with Academic and Personal Difficulties in Massive Courses Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--44496

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