Teaching Assistant Development

Teaching Assistants and Graduate Students play a vital role in creating rich learning environments at UBC Okanagan.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has collaborated with various academic units to develop a centralized Teaching Assistant (TA) training program at UBC Okanagan. The program consists of 10 hours of paid training outside of the standard TA contract and is offered to all new to UBC TAs. The training is broken into a number of asynchronous and synchronous components in the form of modules (see details below). Of the 11 modules developed, 6 are required to be completed and then TAs choose to complete a minimum of 2 elective modules. If desired, TAs may complete all modules. As well, all TAs, new and experienced, will have access to the full suite of modules for ongoing learning and resources throughout the term.

The training will be offered on an annual basis at two time points: August and September for those TAing in Term 1 or both terms and in December and January for those TAing in Term 2.

For any questions related to the TA program or registration please email Jeannine.Kuemmerle@ubc.ca.

Registration for the TA Foundational Training program Term 2 offering is currently closed. For any questions related to the TA program or registration, please contact jeannine.kuemmerle@ubc.ca.

Overview of Modules with Learning Outcomes

Module 1: Who Are Our Learners?  (Required – 1.5 hours)

  • Identify common challenges facing undergraduate learners
  • Identify new challenges that have emerged as a result of COVID
  • Reflect on the experience of transitioning online

Module 2: Equity/Diversity/Inclusion (Required – 1.5 hours)

  • Develop skills to support diverse learners
  • Critique past experiences through the lens of EDI
  • Discuss what it means to embrace diversity

Module 3: Ethics, Professionalism, and Boundaries in TAing – Oh My!  (Required – 1.5 hours)

  • Explore ethics and professionalism for TAs
  • Recognize and establish boundaries
  • Examine personal assumptions around professionalism
  • Identify appropriate ways to communicate with your students

Module 4: Canvas LMS/A TA Perspective (Required – 1 hour)

  • Discover the basics of Canvas – UBC’s Learning Management System
  • Identify the Canvas functions associated with TA work
  • Practice Canvas functions TA’s frequently work with

Module 5: Assessment and Marking (Required – 1.5 hours)

  • Consider expectations/criteria for assessment
  • Recognize ways students demonstrate understanding
  • Differentiate between assessment for/of/as learning
  • Consider concerns impacting online assessment
  • Identify what constitutes good practice in marking
  • Develop strategies for giving feedback

Module 6: Academic Integrity (Required – 1 hour)

  • Consider UBC’s policy regarding Academic Honesty and Standards
  • Distinguish what constitutes Academic Misconduct at UBC
  • Understand why academic misconduct might occur (why students might cheat)
  • Develop strategies if you suspect academic misconduct
  • Learn strategies from experienced TAs

Module 7: Online Facilitation (Elective – 1 hour)

  • Discover the various functions of online platforms
  • Understand how these functions can enhance the online learning environment
  • Experiment with various functions of the online platform
  • Submit a record of the functions practiced

Module 8: Teaching Basics (Elective– 1 hour)

  • Review what we know about our learners
  • Understand the TA role on a blended learning continuum
  • Examine principles of good teaching, both in a face-to-face environment & online
  • Develop common, basic teaching strategies for blended learning
  • Consider a plan for your first day of class

Module 9: Increasing Student Engagement (Elective– 1 hour)

  • Review what we know about our learners
  • Analyze why students are reluctant to engage
  • Explore strategies to increase student engagement
  • Consider three strategies that you would use to increase engagement in your sessions

Module 10: Lesson Planning Basics (Elective – 1 hour)

  • Learn strategies for planning a lesson
  • Develop an understanding of the B.O.P.P.P.S module
  • Develop an understanding of Backward design
  • Consider some ideas to incorporate into your lesson plans

Module 11: Supporting Student Mental Health/UBC Early Alert (Elective – 1 hour)

  • Explore mental health literacy
  • Discover factors that affect student mental health
  • Explore mental health on a continuum
  • Understand/recognize signs of mental health concerns in your students
  • Develop strategies to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Learn where to refer your students for support