Learning Assistants Quick Start Program
The University of Arizona Learning Assistants Quick Start Program is a mini-course offered for Graduate Teaching Assistants and undergraduate preceptors who will act as Learning Assistants (LAs) in large courses that use active learning strategies in the classroom. In many cases, these classes are held in one of the UA Collaborative Learning Spaces (CLSs). This one-week hybrid D2L-based program includes online components as well as one or more on-campus events. The program is intended to supplement on-going sessions offered by the LAs' departments.
The program gives Learning Assistants an opportunity to learn from local and national experts about evidence-based teaching and learning strategies and to collaborate with their UA peers to prepare for these important duties. The online components of the program are expected to take 5-6 hours to complete. A 1½-2 hour on-campus event gives Learning Assistants an opportunity to spend time with their peers and instructors exploring the exciting opportunities (and challenges) of evidence-based teaching and learning in a fun and interesting workshop format.
Instructors who wish to enroll their Learning Assistants in the Quick Start Program should contact Jane Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than 80% of Learning Assistants who participated in the initial offering of the program recommended that instructors who have Learning Assistants enroll their LAs in the Quick Start Program. Below find some of the positive comments from LAs who participated in Fall 2016:
"I felt that all of the information was very beneficial."
"The group discussion was particularly useful. It made me think critically about the strategies I can use as a TA, and let me see how other people were thinking about it."
"I thought the self-assessment was useful because it helped me realize what I already knew and made me want to better understand what I did not know."
"The gathering was incredibly helpful and reassuring for me, as a first time preceptor and LA. I found that the discussion and other activities helped me get a better idea of what I will be doing and what will be expected of me as a Learning Assistant."
"The learning task activity during the group meeting was very helpful. I really enjoyed listening to the other LA's experiences in class and brainstorming with them in regards to how to be a better LA."