Students benefit from teaching assistants trained in inquiry-based instruction

February 13, 2014

A recent study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) reveals that providing inquiry-based training to graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) can improve both teaching effectiveness and student outcomes. Inquiry-based training focuses on teaching to develop students’ questions and observations, as opposed to the more traditional content-based approach. The HEQCO study was conducted in the Carleton University biology department in fall 2012, and divided 52 GTAs into 2 groups: one given inquiry-based training, and the other given traditional training. In 3 different measures (student evaluation, cognitive learning evaluation and the students’ final grades), the GTAs enrolled in the inquiry-based training group had higher teaching effectiveness scores. HEQCO Summary | Full Report