Collaboratively designing teaching assistant training programs to address institution-specific needs


Graduate students are usually recipients of finite teaching assistant (TA) training programs, yet they are rarely considered collaborators when these trainings are developed. The dedicated faculty designing TA training programs often have graduate experiences from other institutions and may be blind to the specific concerns of new graduate student TAs at their current institution. Training programs developed without insight and support from experienced TAs, therefore, fail to address institution-specific concerns. We report a graduate student-led initiative to create an iterative and collaborative TA training design process that incorporates the expertise of experienced TAs, chemistry faculty, and education experts. This annual design process strengthens the relationship between multiple stakeholders while offering professional development for graduate students interested in chemical education and instructional design. We present a blueprint for other departments to continuously improve and facilitate their TA training programs alongside experienced TAs. Presented by James C. Schwabacher at the American Chemical Society’s Spring 2019 National Meeting in Orlando, FL, USA.

Orlando, FL
James C. Schwabacher
Ph.D. Candidate

I’m a scientist and educator currently based in Chicago, IL.