Do you have undergraduate teaching assistants and would like to utilize them more effectively? Are you looking for a way to make your large lecture class more active? Consider implementing the Learning Assistants (LA) model.
Like other peer instruction models, undergraduates who have successfully completed a course serve as a peer instructor in a subsequent semester in the LA model. Unlike other models, the LA model is composed of 4 main activities: in-class small group facilitation, weekly collaborative content prep meetings between the LA and faculty member, pedagogical training for the LA, and course transformation by the faculty member. During their first semester as an LA, the students complete formal pedagogy training. During each semester of the course, they attend the class session, assisting the instructor by facilitating small group activities during lecture. In addition to this in-class time, LAs work closely with the instructor to prepare for the class session, develop deeper understanding of the content, and discuss the understanding of the students during the class session.
The LA model benefits the course instructor by allowing for more active learning during a class session and providing more touch points to the students in the course. The image below represents a traditional course with the flow of information going from instructor to students compared to the LA model where the flow of information is more dynamic. There are connections between students, students & LAs, LAs & instructor, and student & instructor.
In an effort to support IUB faculty members who are interested in exploring the implementation of this model to their own courses, CITL will be offering a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) during the 2017-2018 AY as well as a Large Class Course Design Institute (CDI) to facilitate the transformation of the targeted course. If you would like to participate in the FLC or the Large Class CDI, please apply by Sunday, June 4, 2017. If you would like to learn more about the LA model, visit https://learningassistantalliance.org/ .