Ready to learn more?
Faculty feedback shows that faculty value the work their LAs perform and that they are essential to supporting their classroom pedagogy. Faculty working with LAs have been shown to incorporate more active learning into their courses after transformation. This is true even for “active lectures.”
Get in touch with Devon Quick (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn about the application process and discuss your ideas.
Faculty that apply to work with LAs agree to:
- Work with LAs to promote interaction and collaboration among students enrolled in the course
- meet in weekly planning sessions with the LAs who support their courses
- participate in ongoing community events
- evaluate transformations and assess learning in their own courses
What does working with LAs look like?
To prepare for course facilitation, faculty and LAs regularly meet as a teaching team. During these meetings (often, weekly), the teaching team discusses course content, as well as course mechanics, students’ struggles or successes, appropriate pedagogies for engaging with students, and more. These meetings deepen both LAs' content knowledge, as well as faculty’s understanding of student experience. Meetings typically last ~1 hour and both faculty and LAs prepare for the meeting in advance by reviewing relevant content.
To successfully implement an appropriate curriculum with LAs, faculty must understand the role of the LA in the course and provide opportunities for students to engage with one another, the course materials and the LAs. This typically means the faculty provide extended work time during class periods that students engage in problem-solving, while the faculty and LAs provide targeted, adapted feedback to inform student learning.
Faculty note that incorporating LAs is not without a time commitment. While many find the experience “absolutely” worth it, others may struggle to teach a new course for the first time and coordinate LA involvement. Through the LA Program, we will consult with faculty thinking about working with LAs in their courses. And, new LA Faculty onboarding and ongoing workshops help faculty develop a strong course structure to find success in their LA-supported courses.
Professional development experiences
Faculty working with LAs have the opportunity to engage in regular professional development workshops (one every term), and bi-weekly LA Faculty Coffee Hours. Faculty are also prompted to complete in-term and end-of-term reflections about their experiences. LA Program personnel offer classroom observations and consultations to optimize faculty experiences working with LAs and supporting students. Since Spring 2022, faculty working with LAs have had the opportunity to engage in three professional development workshops, and bi-weekly LA Faculty Coffee Hours.
Get connected: Learning Assistant Alliance
Connect with other faculty on the Oregon State University campus, and across the world, through the Learning Assistant Alliance website. Through this site you can learn how other institutions are working with Learning Assistants as well as access an online undergraduate assessment tool (LASSO). OSU Faculty working with LAs can find opportunities for training and mentorship at local, regional and national workshops. Contact program coordinator Devon Quick (email@example.com) to learn more!