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Teaching in Science Laboratories. Rajlakshmi Ghosh (rghosh2@kent.edu). Overview of Assistantships. TA (Teaching Assistant) Teach labs or lecture sessions in undergraduate level RA (Research Assistant) Work in research labs GA (Graduate Assistant)

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teaching in science laboratories

Teaching in Science Laboratories

Rajlakshmi Ghosh (rghosh2@kent.edu)

overview of assistantships
Overview of Assistantships
  • TA (Teaching Assistant)
    • Teach labs or lecture sessions in undergraduate level
  • RA (Research Assistant)
    • Work in research labs
  • GA (Graduate Assistant)
    • Duties other than “teaching”, grading, data management, office work, administrative work
overview of science lab structure
Overview of Science Lab Structure
  • UG level science lecture class students
    • Divided to smaller groups for labs
    • TAs handle smaller group(s) in lab setting
    • May have an experienced TA as Lead TA (also called the Lab Coordinator)
    • Either teach independently, or coteach
    • Perform other duties as needed
      • Proctoring exams, grading
duties of a science lab ta
Duties of a Science Lab TA
  • Varies from department to department
  • Include one or more of the following :
    • Teaching lab section (most common)
    • Grading exams and assignments
    • Proctoring exams
    • Tutoring
    • Data entry and analysis
    • Leading discussions and seminars
    • Prep work (setting up) and cleanups in labs
we must not forget
We must not forget

We have dual role to play

Role as graduate studentmore important than role as graduate assistant

Working towards degree – main focus

purpose of science labs
Purpose of Science Labs
  • Connect lecture to the practical world
  • Let it “make sense”
  • Understand scientific method(s) involved
  • Learn by hands - on experience
planning what we will you do
Planning what we will you do….
  • Before the semester begins
  • Getting ready for your first class
  • Your first class
  • Running the lab
  • Refining your strategies as learned and needed!
before the semester begins
Before the semester begins
  • Meet the graduate coordinator and get to know the courses you will be teaching (RAs meet advisor).
  • Meet the instructor and get to know your specific duties.
  • Contact other TAs who have taught the course before (RAs contact others in the same lab).
  • Meet your head TA / Lab coordinator
  • Get as much information as possible!
getting ready for your class
Getting ready for your class ….
  • Arrive on time
  • Bring all necessary books and materials
  • Dress properly
  • Understand safety procedures
  • Be enthusiastic about what you teach
preparing yourself before semester begins
Preparing yourself before semester begins
  • Get a copy of the lab manual – review it carefully
  • Check out the lab facilities and equipments
  • Get your keys!!!
  • Prepare your syllabus !!! (ask for an existing one from office)
    • Put your rules down!
    • Mention your policies about LATE SUBMISSIONS, ABSENCE and MAKE-UP.
    • Attend GSO workshop on Syllabus and Scheduling recommended.
      • Or at least see materials available online in GSO website.
  • Get a copy of the Roster (student list)
check out the safety parameters
Check out the safety parameters
  • Know the University safety policy and regulations
  • Take lab safety training
  • Know location of all safety equipments and how to operate them
  • Determine any hazard contained in the lab
before your first class
Before your first class
  • Go over the assigned lab manual / exercise
  • Familiarize with the equipments and materials involved
  • Attend a lab
  • Plan your teaching strategy – time management
  • Determine all safety measures
your first class
Your first class
  • Arrive early and greet students as they come in
  • Introduce yourself
  • Set up the lab / lecture connection
  • Go over the syllabus
  • Get to know your students
  • Be clear on your policies :
    • Dress code
    • Late work
    • Missed class
    • Attendance
    • Grading
  • RELAX . . . . . . . . . YOU KNOW MORE THAN THEY DO!
running the lab
Running the lab
  • Preview
    • Plan ahead your strategy
    • Organize introduction and conclusion
  • View
    • Perform the exercise / experiment
    • Take care of time and safety
  • Review
    • Relate to theory (lecture)
    • Leave time for questions
grading lab assignments
Grading lab assignments
  • Smaller ones – quizzes, homework, etc.
  • Longer ones – essays, lab reports, journal reviews
  • Strategies
    • Give the grading criteria in advance
    • Mention your policies about LATE SUBMISSIONS, ABSENCE and MAKE-UP.
    • Read a few before you grade
    • Be consistent
    • Be prepared to answer question about grading
    • Attend GSO workshop on Grading and Evaluation recommended.
      • Or at least see materials available online in GSO website.
your role
Your role
  • Someone between a “buddy” and a “dictator” – establish your role the first day
  • Patience is a virtue – and will be tested! (RAs too!)
  • Handle complaints with diplomacy – everyone is criticized …….
  • Be cool and confident – its all about preparation !
  • Our Contact Information :
      • Rajlakshmi Ghosh – rghosh2@kent.edu