4.2. TA Responsibilities

One common concern of TAs is exactly what they are responsible for in TAing a class. Since TAs for different classes and instructors perform different duties, there is no single answer. The purpose of this form is to alert TAs to some of the area where there may be confusion. If you'd like, you might want to sit down with your instructor at the beginning of the class, and clarify any items mentioned here that you are unsure of.

PRIMARY TA RESPONSIBILITIES

What duties will you perform, and roughly how much of your time is each expected to take?

Office hours:

Grading:

Assisting with assignment/quiz/exam preparation:

Attend classes:

Leading discussion sections:

Lecturing:

Holding review sessions:

Administrative:

Creating/maintaining class web page:

Others:

COURSE OVERVIEW

As specifically as possible, what are the course goals and objectives?

What background should students have?

Who are the other TAs assigned to the course?

INITIAL TASKS

What are you expected to do prior to the first class?

Are you expected to attend the first class? Are you expected or encouraged to attend all of the classes?

MEETINGS

How frequently will you meet with the instructor and/or other TAs?

How can you best be contacted?

How can the professor and other TAs be contacted?

How often are you expected to check e-mail, phone, or your mailbox for messages from the instructor, other TAs, or students?

How promptly are you expected to reply to email, etc.?

MATERIALS

How familiar are you expected to be with the course material (textbook, material presented in class, computing hardware and software, etc.)?

OFFICE HOURS

When will you hold office hours?

When will the other TAs and instructor hold office hours?

COMPUTING

What hardware and software will the class use?

What are your responsibilities for it?

ASSIGNMENTS, EXAMS, AND QUIZZES

How many assignments are there for the course?

When will these be distributed, and when will they be due?

Are there any special rules for how students submit their assignments?

How soon after assignments are due will you be expected to have them graded and ready to hand back?

What responsibilities will you have? Helping prepare assignments? Giving instructions about how to hand in the assignments? Helping collect and hand back assignments? Grading?

How many exams/quizzes for the course, and when will they be?

Will you be expected to help create quizzes or exams?

Will you be expected to help proctor quizzes or exams? If so, when?

Will you need to do any special planning (such as reserving certain blocks of time) to ensure that exams, assignments, etc. are graded in a timely fashion?

DISCUSSION OR LAB SECTIONS

What will the discussion or lab sections be used for and how do they relate to the lecture portion of the class?

Will you be expected to lead discussion or lab sections?

If you will, which discussion or lab section or sections will you lead?

If you will, who will be in charge of preparing the discussion or lab section? You? The instructor? Another TA? How far in advance of the actual discussion or lab section will you receive information about what should be in it?

GRADING

Who keeps the grades for the class?

On assignments and exams where more than one person is grading, what steps will be taken to ensure the grading is consistent?

How much feedback will you be expected to give to students on their work, and what form will it take (corrections on assignments and exams, answer keys, etc.)?

What are the general guidelines for grading?

CLASS WEB PAGE

Will you be expected to create, maintain, or contribute to the class web page?

If so, what information will you be responsible for, and what format should it be in?

UNITE

Is the class on UNITE?

If so, do you have any special duties associated for this (having an evening office hour, delivering material to the UNITE office, etc.)?