The Learning Assistant Program at CU Boulder brings the benefit of individual instruction to large science courses. The program assigns accomplished science majors to courses in order to “improve the quality of science education for all undergraduates”. Michelle Duggan and Bridget Morales are learning assistants for Fourier Series and Boundary Value Problems (APPM 4350). Learn more about the Learning Assistant Program here.
What are the duties of a learning assistant? How is a typical class period structured?
Michelle: As a learning assistant it is my job to aid students in the learning process. A typical help session involves students approaching me with specific questions. We do our best to guide a discussion on how to proceed in the right direction.
In what ways do you think learning assistants benefit a classroom?
Bridget: Learning assistants are helpful to students in many ways. They are more relatable for students to go to for help because learning assistants are students themselves. Additionally, learning assistants may be more available than the busy professors so they can offer more time for the students to come and get help which can benefit students that may not be able to make the professor's office hours or may need more time to work on the homework. They also provide an additional resource for students.
What have you gained from your time as a learning assistant? How has this affected your role as a student and as a member of the CU community?
Michelle: Being a learning assistant allows me to be more involved in the CU community and has enriched my experience here. Helping students learn is rewarding. I feel more confident as a student, and as an Applied Mathematician.
Bridget: Having to teach a class to other students has helped me truly master the material. This experience has been able to give me an alternative perspective on my own studies because it has taught me to think in different ways. This is something that I need to do in order to teach different students the material since everyone learns things differently.