Learning Assistant Program
Georgia Tech now has a Learning Assistant Program! Faculty can apply to have their course supported by Learning Assistants, who will be paid student employees of Tutoring and Academic Support (TAS). Learn more about the LA Program at one of our information sessions:
- Thursday, October 21st, Skiles Courtyard, 8:30-10am (doughnuts!)
- Friday, October 29th, click here: virtual, 10-11am
- The Spring 2022 Faculty LA Application is now open! Please click the above button to apply for LA support in the Spring 2022 semester. Faculty Applications are now past due. However, applications will continue to be accepted through early November.
- Students interested in LA positions can now apply. To view the application and the list of courses supported click here.
Why now? The COVID-19 pandemic has initiated remarkable and impactful changes to the educational landscape. As instruction transitions back to an in-person format, instructors will need to decide which elements of remote learning they want to maintain. For example, by shifting content delivery to online videos, the in-person component might be used for collaboration and discussion. This is a great opportunity to transform the classroom experience into an active environment with the help of Learning Assistants.
Learning Assistants (LAs) are students who are prepared to provide support for student learning in an interactive classroom environment. LAs can help facilitate active learning and collaborative instruction in lecture, recitation, studio, and/or lab. LAs are able to guide or coach students by sharing skills and knowledge they have already learned from taking the course. In addition, they can use their skills to identify and address student difficulties with course content. LAs engage in pedagogical training to assist them in promoting student learning outcomes.
Who are the Learning Assistants?
Students who recently completed the course they are being hired to support
High performing students in the subject
Interested in helping fellow students and/or in careers in the field of education
What do the Learning Assistants do?
Work directly with students, helping make courses more student-centered using interactive techniques with an emphasis on exploratory questions. LAs can facilitate group work, worksheets, labs, peer discussion of polling questions, and other interactive methods.
Meet weekly with course instructor to discuss upcoming assignments/activities/labs and common student difficulties
Hold office hours and assist with grading as needed from course instructor
Take 1-credit pedagogy course on interactive educational techniques (CETL 2001) during their first semester as an LA
What is the difference between a PLUS Leader, TA and LA?
- PLUS Leaders provide opportunities for students enrolled in traditionally challenging courses to work together in a collaborative setting to review course content, develop learning and study strategies, and prepare for exams. These sessions are held outside of scheduled class times. PLUS Leaders do not provide assistance on graded work.
- The main responsibility of a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) is assisting the course instructor in running Recitations or Studio sections and grading assignments. They may provide assistance on graded material.
- Learning Assistants are used more flexibly, a hybrid of a PLUS Leader and TA, as they may facilitate small group interaction inside the classroom, hold weekly office hours, and contribute to grading. LAs provide assistance to students in a 1-to-1 and/or small group format and help lower the teacher to student ratio. They may provide assistance on graded material. LAs are not to replace TA duties.
How many hours do Learning Assistants work?
- On average 6 hours a week:
- 1 hour weekly meeting
- 3 hours in class with students
- 1 hours prep time to review course material
- 1 hour office hour (optional)
- 1 hours assisting with grading (in class assignments, they are not to replace TAs)
*Note, each course may adapt these requirements to the needs of the course.
What are the requirements to become a Learning Assistant?
Georgia Tech student in Good Academic Standing and Good Judicial Standing
Have completed at least one full semester at Georgia Tech
Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Be eligible to support the selected course with an A grade or support from the instructor
Be available to meet with the instructor once a week
Be available to attend all components of the course required by the instructor
Be available to see students for weekly office hours
Be available for assisting in grading, as needed
Have a professional reference (faculty preferred)
Be available to enroll in the training course, CETL 2001: Fundamentals of Peer Tutoring
Why are Learning Assistants important?
Learning Assistants provide a viewpoint different than the instructor or TA. Since the LA has more recently taken the course, they may have unique insights of where students struggle and can help students grasp the concept in a more relatable way.
One of the biggest advantages of having an LA in the classroom is it provides another point of contact for the student. It decreases the student to teacher ratio, which can be valuable for larger lecture courses.