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 collaborates with various academic units to develop and deliver 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 12 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 will have access to the full suite of modules for ongoing learning and resources throughout the term.

The training is offered on an annual basis at two time points: August 1 through September 30, 2022 for those TAing in Term 1 and December 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023 for those TAing in Term 2.

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

Registration for Winter 2022 Term 1 TA Foundational Training program is now OPEN. New-to-UBC TAs who have received an offer of employment as a teaching assistant (undergraduate; graduate) for Term 1 are welcome to register:

Register for Winter 2022 Term 1 TA Foundational Training

Overview of PROGRAM AND Module Learning Outcomes

Program-Level Outcomes

  1. Understand and identify the UBC policies, services, and systems that inform and support your role as a teaching assistant.
  2. Understand UBC’s expectations of being a teaching assistant.
  3. Recognize and navigate factors that contribute to classroom climate and student engagement with learning.
  4. Develop learner-centered facilitation and feedback strategies.

Module 1: Who are your Learners?  (Required)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the structure and requirements of your TA training;
  • Recognize common challenges facing undergraduate learners;
  • Define Metacognition and identify study skills and strategies that support student learning; and
  • Discover resources for referral that can support students’ learning, engagement, and wellbeing.

Module 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Required)

Format: Synchronous In-Person

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) considerations in the classroom;
  • Identify 3 strategies for addressing EDI concerns; and
  • Identify frameworks and policies that shape inclusive practice at UBC.

Module 3: Ethics, Professionalism, and Boundaries  (Required)

Format: Synchronous In-Person

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how ethics, professionalism, and boundaries impact your role as a TA;
  • Identify what informs your ethics, values, and boundaries;
  • Identify and anticipate approaches to navigating situations involving boundaries and ethical, professional conduct; and
  • Consider professionally appropriate ways to communicate with your students.

Module 4: Supporting Student Mental Health / Early Alert (Required)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore mental health literacy;
  • Understand/recognize signs of mental health concerns in your students;
  • Learn where to refer students for support; and
  • Learn about, reflect on, and identify your own emotional boundaries as a TA.

Module 5: Marking & Assessment (Required)

Format: Hybrid (This module as an asynchronous online component + synchronous Zoom session)

Learning Outcomes:

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

Module 6: Academic Integrity (Required)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Use a framework to understand some of the motivation that can lead learners to engage in academic misconduct
  • Identify ways in which your role as a TA can support a culture of academic integrity
  • Explain your role in flagging incidences of academic misconduct as per policy
  • Using case studies, practice communicating suspected incidences of academic misconduct to your course instructor.

Module 7: Online Facilitation using Zoom (Elective)

Format: Synchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover the various functions of Zoom
  • 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)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Review what we know about our learners;
  • Examine principles of good teaching; and
  • Consider a plan for your first day of class.

Module 9: Increasing Student Engagement (Elective)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

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

Module 10: Lesson Planning Basics (Elective)

Format: Asynchronous Online

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect on EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) and classroom climate considerations important to lesson planning;
  • Identify the purpose of Backward Design and its relation to your role as a TA;
  • Define the BOPPPS model and distinguish its various components; and
  • Create a mock lesson/facilitation plan using a BOPPPS template.

Module 11: Canvas Basics (Elective)

Format: Synchronous In-Person

Learning Outcomes:

  • 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 12: UBC’s Relationship with the Host Nation (Elective)

Format: Synchronous In-Person

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the context of UBC’s relationship with the Okanagan Nation.
  • Gain awareness and acknowledgement of traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) People.
  • Reflect on the role of knowledge, community, relationships, and partnerships.