OVPTL Learning Assistants Pilot Deemed a Success

LARC and the Office of the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning are pleased to share preliminary results of this year’s Learning Assistant pilot program.
What are LAs? Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who are trained to help transform undergraduate courses to include small groups of students articulating, defending and modifying their ideas about a relevant problems or phenomena.

During the pilot, Learning Assistants were utilized in the Economics 100 series, Physics 2 and Political Science 21A, as well as Writing 39A. Early results indicated statistically significant final grade improvement and increased faculty-student interaction. Students reported that LAs helped stimulate their interest and understanding. Both national studies and our local pilot studies confirm the importance of pedagogical training (and on-going support) for the LAs, full integration within the course structure, and weekly/regular content planning sessions with faculty and TAs.

Academic units interested in LAs can contact the Center for Engaged Instruction for Course Design Support along with Best Practices for LA Training & Recruitment, and a guide for the various ways to best utilize LA’s in class and discussion.

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