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Graduate Research Assistant, Land, Food, and Community I, II, and III

The Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia invites applications for Graduate Research Assistant.  This position supports a curriculum enhancement project that includes incorporating pedagogical tools and flexible learning strategies into a series of courses LFC I, II and III.

Background / Context

The Land, Food, and Community (LFC) Core Series courses in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems integrate community engaged scholarship approaches, community-based experiential learning (CBEL) and community-based action research (CBAR) with flexible learning strategies to enhance student learning, including the application of theoretical knowledge in hands-on activities. The project will incorporate flexible learning strategies into the core series (LFS 100, 150, 250, 350 and 450) to deepen and increase CBEL and CBAR initiatives, as well as develop flipped classroom approaches that both foster interactions among students and instructors and enhance skill development. The project team will integrate the experience of ongoing flexible learning initiatives in the faculty, incorporate community partner feedback, blend current flexible learning strategies from online to face-to-face versions of courses, and create online repositories of resources for the Core Series. This will be the first year (grant funded) of an expected three-year project (pending future successful grant applications).

The Position

We seek a part-time Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for a total of350 hours (approximately 8-10 hours/week for 9 months, starting in August). The successful candidate for this grant-funded position will assist the LFC Flexible Learning Initiative research, design, create, and maintain the architecture for a web-based communication platform. Rate of pay will be $850 monthly, which includes 4% vacation pay.

Organizational Status

The successful candidate will report to the LFC Series Coordinator, Will Valley and the Assistant Dean of Learning Technologies, Dr. Cyprien Lomas.

Work Performed

  • Research, design, create, update and maintain the architecture for a web-based communication platform for students, instructional team, and/or community stakeholders
  • Research, identify, and create resources to support Core series courses
  • Work in collaboration with Core Coordinator as well as Core series instructors, CBEL Officer and other stakeholders
  • Work independently to search for and identify recent peer-reviewed journal articles, secondary and tertiary references, online videos and other material
  • Carry out other duties as required in keeping with the qualifications and requirements of the positions in this classification.

Specific Skills

  • Experience using UBC WordPress blog  or similar web-based platforms
  • Experience in fields of digital media and communications design
  • Experience using content management systems such as Connect
  • Experience with basic multimedia tools such as video production and photo/graphics editing

To Apply

Please submit a resume of relevant skills and experience and a cover email explaining your interest in the position to Will Valley (wcvall@mail.ubc.ca) and Dr. Cyprien Lomas (cyprien.lomas@ubc.ca) with the subject heading ‘GRA LFC Core Series ’ by July 10, 2014.

Include the names, phone numbers and email addresses of 2-3 references who can speak to your experience in the above-described kinds of work.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.

2014-2015 LFS TA Training Coordinator Position(s)

We are looking for 1-2 graduate students to fill the positions of coordinator for the 2014-2015 LFS TA Training Program under the supervision of an Advisory Committee.

This position pays $28.50/hour for approximately an 85 hour contract. There is some flexibility in when the hours are worked, but generally they are as follows:

Month Coordination Hours
July/August 35
September 15
Oct/Nov/Dec 15
January 10
Feb/March/April 10

We anticipate that funding for the position will be available until June 30, 2015, pending successful application to UBC’s 2014/15 TA Training Fund. Successful applicants are expected to participate in reviewing the funding application in February and March 2014, prior to the start of the actual appointment.

Background: LFS TA Training Program

The Faculty of Land & Food Systems has on average an annual total of 167 Teaching Assistantships, filled by approximately 100 Teaching Assistants. All TA positions involve very different duties and skills. TAs in the Faculty are responsible for: marking and assessing student work, leading science labs, facilitating community and problem-based learning, giving lectures, monitoring in-class and online discussions, providing instruction on field trips, and more.

We are excited to offer LFS TAs with a faculty-wide development program which has included in the last two years:

  • Development of a Teaching Assistant Handbook
  • Problem-based Learning Workshop
  • Instructional Skills Workshop
  • TA Orientation Day
  • Marking & Assessment Workshop
  • Term 2 TA Orientation Day
  • Diversity & Conflict Management Workshop
  • Monthly TA Community of Practice Coffee Hours
  • Access to Faculty-based Support for TAs

The overall program objectives are 1) to have TAs feel better prepared and supported in their TA roles, 2) to allow TAs to gain valuable professional skills (applicable beyond this year’s TA-ships), 3) to receive feedback from instructors and TAs on the skills they would like TAs to gain and 4) to establish a culture of Teaching Assistantships, where TAs and faculty are actively involved in a community of teaching and learning in LFS.

Coordinator Job Responsibilities

  • Assist in the preparation of TA Training Grant application for UBC
  • Develop 2014-2015 TA Training Program (based on previous years records)
  • Develop 2014-2015 TA Training Program budget (based on previous years records)
  • Update 2014-2015 TA Handbook
  • Coordinate and facilitate Term 1 and Term 2 Orientations
  • Coordinate and facilitate monthly Community of Practice meetings
  • Coordinate specialty workshops (e.g., PBL, Marking and Assessment, Conflict Management, Instructional Skills Workshop)
  • Keep accurate accounting records of spending
  • Monitor and record success of each TA Training Program activity with recommendations for improvement
  • Develop Term 1 and Term 2 progress reports
  • Put together project report for Granting agency
  • Maintain records in an open source (Google Drive) folders
  • Promote high standard of teaching and learning in the faculty to students, TAs, instructors, faculty, staff and administration
  • Develop succession plan for future years (particularly relevant for masters students)
  • Facilitate meetings with Faculty Advisory Committee (approximately 3 times/year)

Qualifications

  • Graduate student (Masters or PhD) in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems for 2014-2015 academic year
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly effective organizer and developed coordination skills
  • Trained facilitator
  • Proficient public speaker
  • Strong interest in how we learn and teach
  • Knowledge of campus-wide resources available to TAs for their teaching practice
  • TA experience (preferably in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems)
  • Self-driven and ability to work on your own

Application

Please submit all resumes and cover letters to Gwen Chapman, Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Land and Food Systems by February 7, 2014. Applications should be sent by email to gwen.chapman@ubc.ca.  Only successful applicants will be contacted for an interview. Position start date is February 24, 2014.

If you have any questions about the position, please direct them to the 2013-2014 TA Training Program Coordinators, Bryanna Thiel (bryannathiel@gmail.com) or Dru Yates (dru.e.yates@gmail.com)