McMaster’s TA Day 2000 focuses on undergraduate teaching issues


Teaching assistants (TAs) at McMaster University will gear up for a new academic year at TA Day 2000  a series of workshops that help TAs deal with undergraduate teaching issues. The position of teaching assistant can be difficult, especially when TAs are just a couple of years older than their students.

Hosted by the Centre for Leadership in Learning, the one-day event begins today at 8:30 a.m. in the Burke Science Building. New and veteran teaching assistants alike will acquire skills that one would typically learn at teacher's college.

Workshops will address pre-class jitters, lesson preparation, learning styles, psychology and evaluation, to name a few. Additionally, TAs will learn how to handle the more delicate teaching issues, such as plagiarism and harassment.

Providing an extra layer of face-to-face contact and discussion with the students, the TAs work with the professor and his or her students. Supporting the professor in the delivery of the course, teaching assistants instruct labs and tutorials, as well as mark and comment on student assignments. Plus they advise and motivate undergraduates during their weekly office hours.

McMaster has about 1,400 teaching assistants, and about 500 of them are expected to attend the upcoming workshops.

The day wraps up on a social note with a barbecue at 5:30 p.m. at the Phoenix.