What Is a Learning Assistant


Background. Learning Assistants (LAs) are students whom have previously done well in a course and are seeking to help students strengthen their learning strategies and master course material. Informed by established learning theory, LAs are trained to use varied pedagogical practices such as facilitating group activities and discussions. Here are some further details of what the LA role entails:

In-Class Assistance. Attending the lecture of the course you're supporting each week of the semester to facilitate small-group learning activities and discussions. (3 hours/week).

Team Meetings. Meeting with the instructor of the course you're supporting and your fellow LAs each week (frequency dependent on instructor and LA availability) to plan and discuss the material that will be covered that week of the course. (1 hour/week).

Help Hours or Recitations. Scheduling time for students in the course to come see you outside of class to get help on the course material. This will also be a time for you to review the course material and prepare for the week's class sessions. Help Hours start in late afternoon and could extend into the evening. This includes time reviewing material and preparing lesson plans. (1-3 hours/week).

1-Credit Course with Learning Topics (Weekly Trainings). Attending mandatory one-credit course or peer education trainings on teaching techniques, small group facilitation, and assorted other topics that range from learning theory to practical pedagogy. (1 hour/week)

The LA Experience Flow Chart