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Expectations

Teaching Assistants/Associates/Fellows are selected for their scholarship and promise as teachers. The primary duty of appointees in these titles is assistance in all aspects of instruction (tutoring, grading, advising, sectional teaching, sectional laboratory teaching, field work teaching, limited lecturing).

These duties are performed under the supervision of faculty "instructors of record" who are vested with the sole and final responsibility for course content, work assignments, performance evaluations and grading in the assigned course.

Appointees may not be given sole responsibility for the content of a course, selection of assignments, planning of exams, or grading, nor are they to be used exclusively as readers. They may supervise teaching assignments in small sections of courses or laboratories.

TA responsibilities may include:

  • Provide assistance in all aspects of student teaching and instruction
    • Attend all lectures given by the instructor whom they are assisting.
    • Assist faculty create/ revise course syllabus, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, and other materials on course websites - Common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CCLE) or "MOODLE".
    • Lead discussion sections, tutorials, laboratory sections, and provide limited lecturing (1-2 lectures) when applicable, as agreed upon with the faculty/ instructor.
    • Notify faculty/ instructor of errors or problems with assignments.
    • Inform students of the procedures for completing and submitting class work such as lab reports, group assignments, etc.
  • Participate in assessment and evaluation activities
    • Meet with faculty/ instructors to develop/ review grading rubric for evaluating written assignments and to discuss students' grades.
    • Develop test questions for exams or practice tests on MOODLE.
    • Provide constructive feedback to students on written work.
    • Use MOODLE to monitor student activities.
    • Record grades in MyGradeBook in accordance with established guidelines.
  • Apply and Incorporate instructional technology
    • Prepare or update parts of the CCLE/MOODLE course web page.
    • Create a MOODLE course calendar.
    • Develop instructional aids (e.g., powerpoint slides, video clips, podcasting).
    • Create/expand the use of social networks for instructional purposes e.g., blogs, wiki (http://www.wikipedia.org/), twitter or Facebook.
    • Use CCLE/MOODLE for quiz/test questions (e.g., developing questions, monitoring students; response patterns).
    • Enter grades in MyGradeBook.
    • Develop simulated learning experiences.
    • Correspond with students on inter-campus communication system (e.g. CCLE discussion boards and/or email).
    • Provide faculty/ instructors with assistance in the use of audiovisual equipment.
  • Apply skills in student advisement and counseling
    • Assist faculty members or staff with student conferences/ counseling sessions.
    • Schedule and maintain regular office hours to meet with students (in person, telephone, email, Skype, etc.).
    • Conduct a study session for exam.
  • Other duties include
    • Preparing and/ or proctoring examinations.
    • Ordering or obtaining textbooks and other materials needed for classes.
    • Copying and distributing classroom materials.
    • Other duties as agreed by the TA and faculty/ instructor

Conducting Discussion Sections of a Large Lecture Course
The TA meets with a small section each week for one or two hours. The sections normally supplement lectures conducted by the faculty member offering the course. In addition, the TA normally assists with the evaluation of student papers and other projects and may also assist with the preparation, proctoring, and grading of examinations. The TA may be required to hold office hours and serve as an assistant to the faculty member in charge of the course.

Assisting in Laboratory Sections of Lecture Courses
The particular manner in which TAs assist with and/or conduct the lab will depend upon the department, the discipline, and the course. Generally, TA duties include laboratory preparation, teaching laboratory techniques and equipment usage, and assisting or evaluating students on laboratory assignments and reports. The TA may be required to hold office hours and serve as an assistant to the faculty member in charge of the course.

Office Hours
TAs are required to hold office hours to answer students' qeustions about course material or assignments. It is also important to be available by appointment for students who cannot make your office hours. Office hours count towards the 25% appointment workload.  Two rooms are available in Factor building for TA office hours on a first-come, first served basis: Factor 5-631 and 5-650.  You can access access the rooms with your SON ID badge. If you have trouble accessing the rooms, please contact Zoe Taylor (in Factor A-618): ztaylor@sonnet.ucla.edu.

Virtual Office Hours
TAs may be required to hold virtual office hours. The introduction of course webpages may involve discussion boards where students can post their questions to TAs. Because it may be time-consuming to respond to student emails, an instructor may ask the TA to spend at least one of their regular office hour sessions online. If this is the case, let students know at the beginning of the quarter when you will check the discussion board, and how much time you will spend doing so. Let students know where they can find information such as weekly assignments and what you expect them to use the course webpage for to avoid any conflicts during the quarter. Encourage students to use this resource and offer to show the webpage and its features to students during office hours as well.

Electronic Teaching
Electronic teaching methods are now a part of many undergraduate courses. For example, TAs may be expected to respond to student comments and questions posted on a course webpage discussion board. TA and faculty should discuss how much time TAs will devote to student postings and how frequently webpages should be checked for student email. TA and faculty should also discuss these policies with students at the beginning of the quarter so that students have realistic expectations regarding the use of webpage discussion boards.

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