Session S55c (Wednesday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P863: Teaching assistant training? Yes, we do that!

Erin Battin, Michelle Richards-Babb (West Virginia University, USA)

Large scale general chemistry laboratory courses are designed to provide students with monitored exposure to fundamental laboratory techniques as well as the practical skills to understand, interpret and evaluate laboratory data.  The laboratory experience is continuously evolving to improve student engagement and retention; however, there has been little modification to teaching assistant (TA) training for these amended laboratory experiences.  To improve TA training, our department developed a graduate-level teaching practicum course designed to meet the demand for improved TA performance.  Course components include attendance at weekly TA instructional meetings, which includes teaching demonstrations and detailed supplemental memorandums, and participation in laboratory training practicum.  In addition, periodic instructor evaluations to assess teaching assistant performance and progress and to provide ongoing formative feedback are spaced at regular intervals throughout the semester.  Data acquisition is still on-going; however, preliminary results indicate a marked improvement in TA performance during the course of the semester.


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