TA training/Manual

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This page offers resources to consider in the creation of a TA training manual. As with the rest of the UBC wiki, all the material presented here should be open and freely accessible (under a Creative Commons license or equivalent).

Why a TA training

Giving a context for TAs to understand why they are undertaking any form of training. Also some motivational material: why does education matter? Context of teaching training.

Professional expectations

Appropriate interactions with students

  • Create a respectful environment
  • Communicate with students and supervisors using appropriate language for your discipline and in a timely manner
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for your teaching context (e.g., lab work requirements)
  • Be approachable and helpful to students, keeping in mind your position of power if assigning marks
  • Student information is confidential and should only be shared with your supervisor or instructor-in-charge
  • Refrain from personal relationships until after the course grades are submitted

Course or program requirements

  • Survey monkey to all faculty about what they expect from the TAs
  • Indicate frequency and means of contact with supervisor or instructor-in-charge
  • Provide budget of hours to work per week, per term for each TA activity (e.g., preparation, teaching, office hours, marking, invigilation)
  • Recommend keeping track of hours()
  • Inform of other opportunities for extra pay (e.g., extra marking)

Initial Instructor TA meeting

Some information about those meetings, or even maybe how to create those meetings or run them.

TA evaluation

  • TA training program evaluation
  • by the department (summative)
  • by the Faculty (?)
  • for formative purposes

Additional training resources


Purpose of the ISW

Our three day Instructional Skills Workshops (ISWs) are 24-hour professional development sessions designed for graduate students interested in developing and enhancing their instructional skills. It caters to individuals new at teaching as well as those who wish to refresh and enhance their skills. We take a learner-centered approach that may have you looking at your students in a whole new light! Participants benefit from practicing skills and sharing ideas in a cooperative environment.

  • Presentation Skills Workshops
  • Reading Break Series
  • Refresher Series
  • One-on-one Peer Coaching



  • Graduate Pathways to Success

Continuing studies


Language Services

  • Academic English Support Program: UBC's support program for students who speak English as an additional Language. Available through aes.ubc.ca. Students can be directed to the webpage and then they will fill out a short form online. The AES then will contact the student with further information.

Access and Diversity

Other Services

  • Ombudsperson's office
  • Counselling Services - Drop in counselling and follow up, group programs on managing stress, anxiety, and depression (1040 Brock Hall)

Important Contact

  • Universal
  • only relevant to the department
  • only relevant to a specific TA training program
  • CoP participants / actors

Separate contacts for TAs and contacts for the students.

Reflection Forms

Feedback Forms

Administrative Resources

UBC General Statistics


Academic Calendar

Union Information

  • What to do when TAs will strike?
  • Health
  • Your rights


Resolution of conflicts

  • sample scenarios of various situations (maybe think about theater based learning?)
  • classroom issues
  • TA to TA issues (also see Ombudsperson)
  • TA to HR
  • TA and Faculty

Helping Students in Crisis

Here is a link to a pdf containing information on:

  • Illness
  • Assault
  • Suicide
  • Other crises your students could face and resources/contacts to help them deal with these problems



Important contacts:

  • Fire, Ambulance, Police, Hazardous Materials Response 911
  • Campus Security 604-822-2222
  • Campus First-Aid 604-822-4444
  • Poison Control Center 604-682-5050

The following procedures are summarized from www.emergency.ubc.ca/procedures, where more detailed and extensive information can be found.

Types of Emergencies to Cover (see website above for more information):

  • Fire
  • Earthquakes
  • Personal Security
  • First Aid

Resources for Students

Academic resources and other (health and emergency)

Academic Integrity


According to the UBC Academic Calendar, "Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own......when another person's words (i.e. phrases, sentences, or paragraphs), ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation."

Simply put, plagiarism is taking the words or ideas of another person, and submitting them without the proper acknowledgement of the original author.

This link contains information for students about plagiarism, as well as an AWESOME interactive game/video about plagiarism scenarios. Who knew learning about plagiarism could be so much fun! :) http://learningcommons.ubc.ca/guide-to-academic-integrity/

Some examples of plagiarism you (as a TA) may encounter are:

  • Students copying assignments from one another. This usually occurs right at the beginning of a class where the assignment is handed in. Be vigilant!
  • In the lab, it happens sometimes that a student uses someone else's data for their analysis. In this eventuality, it is the student's responsibility to reference their partner's work.
  • Copying from solutions found on the web. This is a serious problem these days. Especially for questions asked out of the textbook, it is often possible to find the solution on the web. If you notice that the solution is readily available, you may want to bring this to the attention of the professor of the course to have that question discontinued.

Effective tutoring

Lesson plans


  • File:INSPIRE-Guidelines.pdf - This two-pager talks about the INSPIRE model which was developed to describe the main qualities of effective tutors. This is the result of the research published in The Wisdom of Practice: Lessons Learned from the Study of Highly Effective Tutors by Mark R. Lepper and Maria Woolverton (Ch. 7 in Improving Academic Achievement, edited by Joshua Aronson, Academic Press).


Lesson plans


Examples of Rubrics

Overview and Examples of Rubrics from Kennesaw

Overview of different types of rubrics (Holistic and Analytic)

Ryerson resources on rubrics

Lesson plans

Media:Example Lesson Plan - LFS 2012 Grading & Assessment.pdf

How Learning Works

  • teaching tips
  • Learning goals

Accessing Prior Knowledge

Knowledge Organization


Developing Mastery

Study Practices and Feedback

Metacognitive skills, or how students think about and monitor their own learning, is very important for students success. Students who are aware of what they know and don't know, how to study so that they retain information, and who can anticipate test questions are more successful than those who can't. However, these skills aren't taught and students who don't possess them can get left behind.

This paper describes a UBC study in which professors met with under-performing students to discuss their study skills and provide feedback on how they could improve them. The students who met with a prof improved on subsequent exams, and reported spending the same amount or less time studying.

Here is a resource on how to help students develop metacognitive skills.

Here is a video series on how to get the most out of learning. It is helpful for educators and students.

Student Development and Course Climate

Becoming Self-Directed Learners