Presentation on theme: "Undergraduate TA Training"— Presentation transcript:
1 Undergraduate TA Training Collaborators in Teaching and LearningSeptember 2nd 2014
2 IntroductionsRobin Paige, CTE Assistant Director & Adjunct Associate Professor of SociologyBetsy Barre, CTE Assistant Director & Adjunct Assistant Professor of ReligionWhat classes are you TAing for?What do you see as you main responsibilities as a UTA?
3 TeacherStudentUTAOne main over lap is that all three are still learning!
4 Being a UTA What skills do you bring to your UTA position? What skills do you want to develop?Roles of a UTA:Grading and assessmentDesigning exams and assignmentsPeer to peer workHelping facilitate a lab/class
6 Scenario #1You have been asked by a faculty member to be a teaching assistant/grader for a course that you received an A in last semester. You agreed and filed all the appropriate paperwork with the department coordinator the first week of classes. You are now in the 3rd week of classes and you have not heard from the faculty member teaching the course. What do you do?
7 Communication with Faculty Effective communication at the beginning of the semester and throughoutPotential scheduling conflictsPotential personal conflictsHave an early conversation about the instructors expectations of you and your expectations of themWhat do you think the faculty member you are working with expects of you?What do you expect of them?
8 Scenario #2Your faculty supervisor has asked you to grade the class midterm. After she has given you instructions and examples of A,B,C, and D/F exams you take a pile of exams back to your room to start grading. However, quickly you learn that your suitemate’s exam is in the pile. What do you do?
9 Social ConcernsDisclose conflicts of interest to your faculty supervisorStudents your are dating or dated in the pastStudents you will find it hard to be objective withStudents you are tutoring outside of classRefrain from talking to other students about the class, especially regarding “behind the scenes” informationAsk the faculty about using tools such as Owl-Space to increase the anonymity of grading and feedback
10 Scenario #3You have been asked to hold office hours once a week as part of your responsibilities as a teaching assistant. During office hours in the 3rd week of class you have a student come to see you. They are frustrated and worried about the first exam that is quickly approaching. When you ask the student what they want to focus on in your meeting with them, they say: “ Everything! I just don’t understand.” Knowing you have a limited amount of time, how do you begin working with this student?
11 Prior KnowledgePrior knowledge can be both help or hinder student learningStrong vs. WeakStrategies to assess prior knowledgeBrainstormingConcept MapStrategies to activate strong prior knowledgeLink previous material to new materialUse examples to connect to student’s everyday knowledge
12 metacognition Understanding one’s own thought process Assess the taskEvaluate their own knowledge and skillsPlan their approachMonitor their progressAdjust their strategies as neededThe best strategy for UTA’s to promote metacognition is to model their own metacognitive process
13 Novice Vs. Expert Knowledge Novices have a realistic perspective on the amount of time it will take to complete a taskNovices are better at predicting how many steps it will take to learn something, where mistakes are likely to happen, and which steps might need to be repeatedNovices are more likely to relate difficult content to everyday, common knowledge“When students can connect what they are learning to accurate and relevant knowledge, they learn and retain more.”
14 Scenario #4Your faculty supervisor asks you to grade the midterm exams students have just completed. When you arrive at his office on Tuesday to pick up the exams you find that he is not there, but he has left the exams and a note instructing you to enter the grades in Owl-Space by next Monday morning at 8am. There are no further instructions about grading the exams. In addition, you have a midterm exam on Thursday and a research paper due on Monday. What do you do?
15 Time and Scheduling Concerns Communicate important dates – exams, travel, etc. – with your faculty supervisorTips for grading efficientlyDon’t wait till the last minuteDon’t try to grade everything at onceSet goals and stick to themi.e. grade for 1 hour or grade 15 papers/problem setsReward or chastise yourselfNo /Facebook/phoneCandy, dinner, a new pair of shoes
16 Introducing RubricsAt its most basic level, a rubric is nothing more than a guide to grading. Although there are many different kinds of rubrics, what they all have in common is that they set out specific scoring standards for a given assignment. Generally speaking, a rubric contains three parts:a grading scale,the dimensions graded,and descriptions of grading standards for each dimension.Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Dimension 1Description of Level 1 for Dimension 1Description of Level 2 for Dimension 1Description of Level 3 for Dimension 1Description of Level 4 for Dimension 1Description of Level 5 for Dimension 1Dimension 2Description of Level 1 for Dimension 2Description of Level 2 for Dimension 2Description of Level 3 for Dimension 2Description of Level 4 for Dimension 2Description of Level 5 for Dimension 2Dimension 3Description of Level 1 for Dimension 3Description of Level 2 for Dimension 3Description of Level 3 for Dimension 3Description of Level 4 for Dimension 3Description of Level 5 for Dimension 3Dimension 4Description of Level 1 for Dimension 4Description of Level 2 for Dimension 4Description of Level 3 for Dimension 4Description of Level 4 for Dimension 4Description of Level 5 for Dimension 4Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Dimension 1Dimension 2Dimension 3Dimension 4Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
17 Holistic Rubrics: Grading scales and Standards for the Assignment as a whole The simplest rubrics to design are those that lay out grading scales and standards for the entire assignment.ABCDFWHOLE ESSAYThe essay demonstrates a sophisticated mastery of the material that may exceed the expectations established in the assignment guidelines. The central argument is supported by and developed through appropriate and convincing evidence, and the student clearly explains the relevance of that evidence. The student includes insights that reveal that he or she recognizes the complexity of the topic or problem. Writing on the sentence level is clear and concise without persistent problems in grammar or mechanics. …The B essay meets most of the criteria listed above. It demonstrates a good comprehension of the material and responds appropriately to the assignment. While the essay’s exploration of the topic or problem at hand may not be as nuanced as the “A” paper, and while the student may demonstrate one or two lapses in logic or knowledge, the essay still develops and substantiates a central argument through appropriate evidence. Writing on the sentence level is for the most part clear, and …The essay may demonstrate a satisfactory grasp of the material. However, the central argument or conclusion of the paper is problematic. It may be over-general or unsophisticated; it might not respond appropriately to the prompt; or, it might demonstrate a lack of thoughtfulness or effort. The paper may be a simple repetition of ideas discussed in class, or the paper’s main ideas might not be substantiated by adequate or appropriate evidence. In a C paper, evidence often is insufficiently explained. …The essay does not demonstrate a satisfactory grasp of the material. Its argument is missing or incomplete. It may not respond to the prompt. Evidence is missing or misused. The paper may contain serious errors of fact or logic. Writing on the sentence level is very problematic. The writer has made basic, serious, and repeated mechanical errors. The paper displays serious problems with organization at the level of the paragraph and of the overall structure. The writer fails to document outside sources appropriately …The essay is turned in very late or not at all. The essay has no relation to the prompt. The essay seems to constitute deliberate plagiarism.Portions taken from "A Guide for Grading Writing," Helena Michie, Victoria Ford Smith, and Terry Doody (2012)
18 Analytic rubrics: grading scales and standards for dimensions of the assignment To allow for better discrimination between levels of performance (and to provide more targeted feedback to students), analytic rubrics provide scales and standards for numerous individual dimensions of an assignment.ABCDFTitleThesisArgumentOrganization
19 Analytic rubrics: grading scales and standards for dimensions of the assignment As with all rubrics, there is no need to operate with a traditional 5-point (letter grade) scale. Your scale could also have 3 levels and those levels can be described in various ways.ExcellentCompetentNeeds WorkTitleThesisArgumentOrganization
20 Analytic rubrics: grading scales and standards for dimensions of the assignment CAUTION: the more levels you create, the more work you will have to put into setting standards that discriminate between the various levels. This is one argument against grading on a traditional 100-point scale. Are you really able to set out explicit standards that allow you to discriminate between a 87 and an 86? If not, consider using a smaller scale.1009998979695949392919089888786858483828180797877767574737271TitleThesisArgumentOrganization
21 FROM Rubrics TO GRADESRubrics allow you to assess performance on a given assignment in detailed ways. However, they do not (by themselves) provide guidance about how to assign a final grade. As you can see in the example below, this scored rubric will give a student a sense of her performance and how she might improve, but it does not give her a sense of her grade. So it is also helpful to create a scoring guide that allows you and your students to translate your rubric into a grade.Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Dimension 1Description of Level 1 for Dimension 1Description of Level 2 for Dimension 1Description of Level 3 for Dimension 1Description of Level 4 for Dimension 1Description of Level 5 for Dimension 1Dimension 2Description of Level 1 for Dimension 2Description of Level 2 for Dimension 2Description of Level 3 for Dimension 2Description of Level 4 for Dimension 2Description of Level 5 for Dimension 2Dimension 3Description of Level 1 for Dimension 3Description of Level 2 for Dimension 3Description of Level 3 for Dimension 3Description of Level 4 for Dimension 3Description of Level 5 for Dimension 3Dimension 4Description of Level 1 for Dimension 4Description of Level 2 for Dimension 4Description of Level 3 for Dimension 4Description of Level 4 for Dimension 4Description of Level 5 for Dimension 4
22 STEPS to CREATING A SCORING GUIDE Step 1: Weight the dimensions by importanceABCDFTitle(10%)Thesis(20%)Argument (40%)Organization(30%)
23 STEPS to CREATING A SCORING GUIDE Step 2: Determine points awarded for each scale level in one dimensionABCDFTitle(10%)4321Thesis(20%)Argument (40%)Organization(30%)
24 STEPS to CREATING A SCORING GUIDE Step 3: Determine points for other dimensions using your weighting schemeABCDFTitle(10%)4321Thesis(20%)86Argument (40%)1612Organization(30%)9
25 STEPS to CREATING A SCORING GUIDE Step 4: Create scale to convert total rubric points to overall gradeABCDFTitle(10%)4321Thesis(20%)86Argument (40%)1612Organization(30%)9SCALE41.7 – A+31.7 – B+21.7 – C+11.7 – D+38.3 – A28.3 – B18.3 – C8.3 – D35.0 – A-25.0 – B-15.0 – C-5.0 – D-Total Points28
26 SCORING GUIDEsCAUTION: If and when you translate points into letter grades (whether in an individual assignment or at the end of the semester), do not assume that the point system you’ve designed is equivalent to (and easily integrated into) a point system in which a D is equivalent to 60-70% of the total possible points. For example, if grades were awarded to the assignment below according to a traditional point system, a student who scored a “C” on every dimension would receive an overall grade of F on the assignment because he would have earned 20 total points out of 40 possible (50%). And a student who scored a “B” on every dimension would receive an overall grade of C on the assignment because he would have earned 30 total points out of 40 possible (75%).ABCDFTitle(10%)4321Thesis(20%)86Argument (40%)1612Organization(30%)9
27 SCORING GUIDEsIf you are committed to using a traditional 100-point grading system, and don’t want to bother with converting grades into a different scale, consider assigning rubric points according to the traditional scale, as follows:ABCDFTitle(10%)9585756555Thesis(20%)190170150130110Argument (40%)380340300260220Organization(30%)285255225195165Note that I’ve assigned points at the midway point of traditional grading scales for all but the “F” grade. You might choose differently. The rationale for assigning 55% of the total possible points for an F grade is that the midway point for a traditional F range (30%) would have a disproportionately negative effect on the overall grade.
28 SCORING GUIDEsCAUTION: Although it is (relatively) easy to assign points and create a grading scale for a 5-point scale, matters become more complex when working with alternative scales. When assigning points and creating the grading scale, you must ask the following question about each level of performance on your rubric: “If a student performed at this level on all dimensions of the assignment, what grade should she or he receive?” In the example below, what grade would you assign to a student whose performance was “Competent” on all dimensions of the assignment? A “C”? A “B”? Should a student who needs to work on all dimensions receive an “F”? A “D”? A “C”? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can proceed to creating a scale that assigns the grade most consistent with your standards.ExcellentCompetentNeeds WorkTitle(10%)321Thesis(20%)64Argument(40%)128Organization(30%)9
29 DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT’S LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE INDIVIDUALIZED COMMENTS RETURNING GRADESOnce you’ve created a rubric and a scoring guide, you should have all the tools necessary to grade a particular assignment. But if you want to use your rubric to help students understand their own performance (which we recommend), it is equally important to communicate the results of your grading process in an accessible way. We recommend returning grades with a separate grading sheet that incorporates the relevant aspects of the rubric and the scoring guide, while also leaving space for individual comments. You should also consider sharing both your rubric and your scoring guide with students before they complete the assignment.DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT’S LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE(FROM RUBRIC)INDIVIDUALIZED COMMENTSPOINTSDIMENSION 1(% weight)DIMENSION 2TOTAL POINTSGRADE
30 Making the Most of your UTA Remember that working as a TA your are committing yourself to a fixed schedule – grading, class attendance, office hours, etc.You are expected by students and the instructor to be prompt and timelyYou need to keep an open pathway of communication with the instructor and studentsYour success affects the instructor and the entire course, not just you
31 It is Okay to Make mistakes and Ask questions TeacherStudentUTA