TAs in the Virtual World: A Win-Win-Win-Win
Concurrent Session 4
Virtual Teaching Assistants are consistent with the OLC’s Five Pillars of Quality Education and have been found to be a success at one fully online university. Recruitment, onboarding, responsibilities, data and best practices of a one-year TA Project will be discussed from the students’, TAs’, faculty, and administrative perspectives.
Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the virtual world are not only consistent with the OLC’s Five Pillars of Quality Education (Online Learning Consortium, 2017), but have been found to be a win-win-win-win at one large, for-profit, fully online, accredited university. The School of Health Sciences (SHS) at Walden University implemented a Teaching Assistant (TA) project. Ten (n = 10) Ph.D.-level graduate students were hired by the SHS to provide teaching support to high-risk courses in the undergraduate (UG) programs. The TAs were assigned to faculty mentors each term and supported instructional delivery, evaluation, and communication. Background, recruitment, onboarding, division of course responsibilities, data, best practices and lessons learned from the one-year TA Project will be discussed from the students’, TAs’, faculty, and administrative perspectives.
Audience engagement will occur through an interactive question and answer session and brainstorming activity. Participants will be given a worksheet and work in small groups to create a TA program at their respective schools/departments.
Determine the impact the TA project had on undergraduate student persistence, engagement, and retention.
Determine the benefits the TA project had on students, TAs, faculty, and administration.
Develop an understanding of TA best practices from the student, TA, faculty, and administrative perspectives.
Model a virtual TA program based on implementation and lessons learned.
Online Learning Consortium. (2017). Our quality framework. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/about/quality-framework-five-pillars/