We have implemented two models of TA training for these courses. Both of these models are based on the University of Washington model – Physics Tutorials.
CHEM 1111 TAs had a three-day intensive training prior to the start of fall semester. This training had two foci – pedagogy and content. Chemical education literature was introduced as a rational for the recitation model being used. Chemistry content was presented through model recitation sessions lead by the TA trainer. After each content session, a debriefing session allowed the TAs to discuss issues and student concerns that might arise when they are running their sessions. Training continues throughout the semester through brief discussions during weekly TA meetings.
The Fall 2007 TA training schedule can be found here.
In CHEM 1131, TAs work with undergraduate learning assistants (LA) during recitation sessions. The joint TA / LA meeting occurs each week after the standard TA meeting. During these meetings the TAs and LAs work through the recitation materials and discuss methods of implementation and possible student difficulties. The faculty and SEI personnel facilitate these meetings.
These models of TA training are being investigated through course observations, interviews of students, TAs, and LAs, and through written evaluations of the recitation sections.