CLS Learning Assistants
Unlike the large number of readily-available resources that focus on evidence-based active teaching and learning strategies, the resources that address effective use of Learning Assistants in large classes are somewhat limited and tend to be STEM-centric, often emphasizing recruitment of K-12 STEM teachers. It is important to properly prepare LAs and to provide ongoing support and direction in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
Learning Assistant Inteview
The candid interview with a preceptor for PSIO 431 Immunology, taught by Dr. Zohen Cohen, highlights some of the unique opportunities and challenges that Learning Assistants experience in the Collaborative Learning Spaces.
The University of Arizona Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology have well-established preceptor programs. Below please see some examples of the materials used in their programs:
The University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab has a Teaching Teams Program that includes a Preceptor Professional Development Workshop. This workshop is designed to assist students with their preceptorships and to provide professional development in areas of critical thinking, public speaking, leadership and group dynamics:
The University of Colorado has a Learning Assistants Program that began in the Physics Department and grew to include other departments as well:
- Learning Assistant Resources Site (University of Colorado)
- Learning Assistants in the Flipped Classroom
- Tips and Strategies for TAs and LAs
- Instructors Notes for First Joint TA/LA Meeting
The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton University provides some useful information about teaching with Learning Assistants: