Teaching assistants benefit more from long-term training programs

November 21, 2013

A new report released this week by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) suggests that while both short- and long-term training programs for teaching assistants (TAs) improve the quality of teaching and learning, the long-term programs have a greater impact. The study used self-reports from TAs before and after training programs, as well as focus group interviews 4 months after completing training. The TAs reported that they “felt better prepared for their role as instructors after participating in training,” whether short-or long-term training. Short-term programs resulted in concrete techniques for effective teaching, while long-term programs included focus on “principles of course design and alignment and articulating learning outcomes.” Participants in long-term programs also demonstrated a “greater depth of reflection on teaching,” and were able to build communities of TAs across multiple disciplines that enabled sharing of best practices and new initiatives. HEQCO Summary