Oregon State University’s LA Program is based on the LA Model, first started at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The LA Model’s General Program Elements are Pedagogy, Practice, and Content Preparation. LAs learn how to best support student learning (pedagogy), facilitate student learning in LA supported courses (practice), and deepen their disciplinary and pedagogical content knowledge in regular meetings with faculty (content preparation). While the specific implementation of these elements varies across programs and courses, all LA Programs include these three General Program Elements. The Learning Assistant Alliance supports more than 100 participating institutions around the world.
Training, practice and content knowledge
The OSU LA Program contains three integral pieces:
- First-time LAs complete a pedagogy course in which they discuss learning theory, teaching strategies, metacognition, and students’ conceptions all in the context of their LA work.
- LAs practice what they learn in the pedagogy course when interacting with other LAs and faculty at weekly preparatory meetings and when interacting with other students through course activities, such as classroom group work sessions or in informal learning spaces like office hours.
- Working with their lead faculty member, LAs not only deepen their content knowledge (at weekly preparatory meetings) but also discuss how students learn in the course in which they facilitate.