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Faria Sana, Matthew V Pachai, and Joseph A Kim (2011)

Training undergraduate teaching assistants in a peer mentor course

Transformative Dialogues, 4(3).

Undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) can play a pivotal role in university education. In many large enrolment Introductory Psychology (IntroPsych) courses, these TAs may lead small group tutorials and provide a regular point of student contact. In this important role, formal training provides guidance and support for effective teaching. To this end, we implemented a peer mentor course which introduced pedagogically based teaching principles taken concurrently with a new TA's first semester of tutoring. Teaching effectiveness and course satisfaction were measured using end-of-term evaluations from the students enrolled in the IntroPsych course. Across various measures, results indicated that TAs enrolled in the training course received higher ratings than those TAs who were not enrolled. These findings, congruous with previous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of formal training, suggest that the promotion of scholarship of teaching and learning improves the quality of small group tutorial experience for students and TAs.

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