This case study from Chemical Engineering, is part of a series providing short summaries of some of the different good practice models and approaches taken to department level support for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs).
In Chemical Engineering a member of staff takes on the specific role of coordinating the GTAs (lab demonstrators in this case who mainly support year 1 and year 2 labs). The following outlines the programme of development for demonstrators in the department:
- Department induction –covers induction to labs, key safety and other information, and expectations at department level, working alongside the central TIPs course.
- Lab Report Feedback session – all demonstrators meet to look at their first batch of feedback on undergraduate lab reports, which are discussed for consistency and help in assessing and writing feedback in conjunction with the academics involved in the labs.
- Review of the labs – a full team meeting of all involved in the lab including demonstrators, academics, technicians, to review any feedback or issues arising so far (the first time, this was run after the feedback session, and with pizza/drinks).
- Feedback – feedback from students about the demonstrators is passed via staff who then present it to the demonstrators (filtering for the relevant information and for rude/inappropriate comments) along with any other relevant feedback from staff evaluating their demonstrating so far.
If you would like more information, contact the Directors of Studies/Teaching in the department. Support for setting up or reviewing your own department’s support for GTAs, along with further information on the University level support and development and can be obtained from the Centre for Learning and Teaching (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).