Under the leadership of Gwen Chapman, Associate Dean, Academic, the TA Performance Review process was launched in 2014.
This process was developed to facilitate discussions between a TA and the instructor, to encourage growth and improvement in the TA’s skills, to enhance teaching performance, and to recognize successful teaching.
Teaching assistants are potential academics in training. These positions provide an opportunity for students to be further integrated into the learning environment and to encourage teaching development.
Feedback from both TA’s and instructors has been positive.
The evaluation process includes 2 mandatory components:
- A preliminary orientation meeting, to be held immediately prior to or within the first week of the start of term. At this meeting, the TA and instructor will go through the “LFS TA Orientation Guide”: a checklist to ensure that both are clear about the expectations of the TA’s role and the TA / Instructor relationship.
- The formal “TA Performance Review” to be completed at the end of the TA appointment.
In addition, there is an informal check-in component which can be used as a means of addressing specific areas of concern at an early enough stage of the TA appointment to allow the TA an opportunity to improve prior to the formal end-of-appointment final evaluation. This “TA Informal Check-In” is optional and can be requested by either the TA or instructor.
Each of these forms should be added to the TA’s file as soon as it has been completed, and kept by the Instructor in his/her records.
These steps are intended to strengthen communication between the TA and Instructor.
Providing positive two-way feedback can encourage the TA’s professional growth and augment the instructor’s supervision. Instructors who have serious concerns with the performance of a TA should discuss them with the TA as soon as possible and notify the Associate Dean, Academic and/or the Director, HR & Administration.
Time used for this performance evaluation is part of the TA contract hours and should only take a total of ~1 hour.
Forms can be found under the Resources section of this blog.