Teaching Assistants Professional Development Program

Starting fall 2020, online modules on Blackboard are mandatory for all teaching assistants to complete. Contact your department for more information.

Currently, the following modules are available:

Module Zero (required for all new teaching assistants)

Teaching Assistants Professional Development (TAPD) Mandatory Course

This covers the following topics:

Academic Integrity
Participants are introduced to AUC’s academic integrity policy. They are also exposed to sample academic integrity cases along with a list of “Do's and Don'ts” regarding academic integrity matters.

Scaffolding: Asking the Right Questions
Participants are introduced to the principles of scaffolding and teaching pedagogies.

Introduction to Blackboard
This session gives teaching assistants an overview of the important features available on Blackboard that enhance teaching and learning. The session also introduces the "Blackboard Task-Based Module" which is a short module that trains teaching assistants on using Blackboard.

Teaching Assistants Panel
A discussion panel where teaching assistants share their experience working with faculty and students at AUC. 

Module One (required for all continuing teaching assistants)

Teaching and Learning Essentials for Teaching Assistants

This covers the following topics:

Teaching Adult Learners
Teaching assistants are introduced to some basics of learning and teaching that would help in supporting AUC students and faculty.

Metacognition in Higher Education
Teaching assistants learn about adult learners and adult learning styles as well as explore and apply concepts of metacognition on case studies in the context of Higher Education.

An Introduction to Visual Thinking
Teaching assistants explore the concept of visual thinking, its impact on enhancing learning, and activities that could be implemented in the classroom.

Classroom Dynamics
Teaching assistants are introduced to the basics of student engagement strategies and classroom dynamics.

TAs Beyond the Classroom
Teaching assistants get tips on how to maintain a healthy relationship with instructors and how to find an equilibrium when juggling work, social life, and personal life.

In accordance with the recommendations of the dean’s council committee on the duties of teaching assistants at AUC, February 2015:

TAs, who are graduates or graduate students, enhance their own learning experience and that of undergraduate students by assisting course instructors in facilitating learning activities for the course in and/or outside the classroom. In meeting their responsibilities of assisting faculty teaching undergraduate classes, labs, and studios, TAs are expected to carry out one or more of the following responsibilities based on course and/or departmental guidelines:

  1. Attend and observe classes of the course to which they are assigned
  2. Take attendance in classes, labs and studios in the presence of the course instructor
  3. Run trials of the work to be carried out by students prior to the lab and/or studio session
  4. Support students in carrying out experimental and/or creative work in labs and studios
  5. Assist in preparing answer keys for assignments where applicable
  6. Assist in the grading of quantitative components, of course, weighted assessments, such as assignments, quizzes, reports, and exams (quantitative components are those which can be graded with a key, not requiring the grader to make judgment calls)
  7. Assist in recording and/or calculating students’ grades, which are NOT the final course grades
  8. Assist in uploading course material onto online course management tools (e.g. Blackboard)
  9. Assist in preparing course material under the guidance of the course instructor
  10. Conduct revision, review, and/or problem sessions which do not require the introduction of new materials to students
  11. Lead in-class discussions and group activities that do not require the introduction of new materials to students
  12. Assist in proctoring quizzes and/or exams, but not carry this out in the absence of the course instructor
  13. Hold office hours

Additionally, for blended learning courses and MOOCs, TAs are expected to carry out one or more of the following responsibilities:

  1. Interact with students in online discussions and blogs, where applicable
  2. Respond to students' queries online
  3. Hold online office hours

TAs should never be responsible for:

  1. Grading qualitative components, of course, weighted assessments such as assignments, quizzes, reports and exams. Qualitative components are those which require the grader to make an independent judgment call.
  2. Independently proctor quizzes and/or exams. Independent proctoring entails the presence of the TA in the room where the quiz and/or exam is held while the course instructor or qualified substitute proctor is absent.
  3. Independently introduce new material to students. A TA may not substitute for the course instructor in delivering new course material to students, where the effect is to relieve the instructor of his or her teaching responsibilities. This rule stands whether the instructor is present in the classroom and/or lab or not.
  4. Recording or calculating official grades. A TA cannot have access to Banner Self-Service, and any grading, of course, weighted assessments the TA carries out must be reviewed and approved by the course instructor for the grade to become official. Instructors are ultimately responsible for course grading.
  5. Taking attendance without the course instructor being present.