TAs and Blended Learning (Teaching and Learning)
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- Ata, R. (2013) Experiential Teaching and Learning as Part of a Blended Approach: Classrooms, Blackboard and Second Life Practices. Third Global Experiential Learning Conference.Lisbon, Portugal. Permalink
This paper aims to illuminate teaching experiences of the tutors in a first year undergraduate module and explore the contribution of Second Life (SL) to students’ learning process from the perspective of a teaching assistant.
- Bauer, G. (2007). Blended learning: focusing on effective teaching through online discussions and concept mapping. In C. Ross & J. Dunphy (Eds.), Strategies for Teaching Assistant and International Teaching Assistant Development: Beyond Micro Teaching.Jossey Bass. San Francisco: C.A.
Written for anyone who works with graduate students to support their teaching efforts in American research universities, this book draws on the extensive experience of professional educators who represent a variety of programs throughout the United States. They understand the common constraints of many TA development classes, workshops, and programs, as well as the need for motivating and sophisticated techniques that are, at the same time, practical and focused. Their contributions to this book have proven to be effective in developing the sophisticated communication skills required by TAs across the disciplines.
- Chang, C., Chen, G., & Hsu, C. (2011). Providing adequate interactions in online discussion forums using few teaching assistants. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology - TOJET, 10(3), 193-202.
In order to encourage students to participate in online learning forums, prompt responses to their questions are essential. To answer students' online questions, teaching assistants are assigned to manage discussions and answer questions in online learning forums. To minimize the response time, many teaching assistants may be needed to interact with learners. We investigated the trade-off between the request-response time and the cost of labor for handling the requests since this has become a challenging and important issue for education managers. In this study, a queuing-based model is proposed to construct the relationship between response time and the human resource requirement in a learning forum. In addition, an experiment using students in a Computer Science Introduction course at a vocational high school was conducted to verify the model and determine the average number of assistants required so that the students' questions can be answered within an acceptable time interval, providing valuable information for managing online discussion forums for educational purposes. Finally, the participants' perceptions were investigated using a questionnaire revised from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) in order to identify whether feelings of the perception-of-usefulness and the perception-of-satisfaction during the response wait time showed significant differences when the number of teaching assistants was reduced. The results revealed no significant difference in learners' perceptions after reducing the number of teaching assistants. It confirms that using the model to predict the number of required teaching assistants is highly reliable, and effective in reducing labor costs without jeopardizing student satisfaction.
- Sana, F., Pachai, M. V., Kim, J. A. (2011) Training undergraduate teaching assistants in a peer mentor course. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 4(3). Permalink
Undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) can play a pivotal role in university education. In many large enrollment Introductory Psychology (IntroPsych) courses, these TAs may lead small group tutorials and provide a regular point of student contact. In this important role, formal training provides guidance and support for effective teaching. To this end, we implemented a peer mentor course which introduced pedagogically based teaching principles taken concurrently with a new TA’s first semester of tutoring. Teaching effectiveness and course satisfaction were measured using end-of-term evaluations from the students enrolled in the IntroPsych course. Across various measures, results indicated that TAs enrolled in the training course received higher ratings than those TAs who were not enrolled. These findings, congruous with previous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of formal training, suggest that the promotion of scholarship of teaching and learning improves the quality of small group tutorial experience for students and TAs.
- Santandreu Calonge, D., Chiu, P., Thadani, D. R., Mark, K. P., & Pun, C. F. K. (2011). In-service development for graduate teaching assistants: A blended-learning and formative approach. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 8(3).
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are front-line facilitators with first-hand contact with students. They play an important role in providing an engaging learning experience for undergraduate and postgraduate students. However, most of them have not received adequate training and guidance in teaching. This paper reports on an intensive and compulsory education development course for postgraduate students, which aims to prepare them for their upcoming teaching role whilst they are still research students. The course provides an introduction to the basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills required before they begin to take up teaching responsibilities at the University, in a Chinese (Hong Kong/Mainland China) and English Medium Instruction context. Blended learning technologies, active learning strategies, formative assessment and an outcomes-based approach are extensively used throughout the course to enable and encourage participation and collaboration. To measure the outcome performance of the course in alignment with the University's strategic goals, a number of key performance indicators are assessed. The result shows that students found the course very useful and the blended instructional methods used facilitated the achievement of the Intended Learning Outcomes.
Examples of TA involvements in Blended Learning Courses
- Blended Learning Course in Arts and Science, Queens University.
TA Training for Blended Learning
- Teaching Assistant Training. CTE. University of WAterloo.
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