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Workshop Descriptions

Essential Features of the Learning Assistant Model

This session focuses on the three key experiences of LAs: interactions with students, weekly content preparation meetings, and participation in a discipline-specific (or STEM-specific) teaching seminar. In this workshop, the roles of LAs, faculty, and curricular materials will be highlighted as participants analyze videos of LAs working with students on tasks designed to engage students in scientific and engineering practices, as articulated in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Starting an LA Program

This session details nuts and bolts for actually launching an LA program at a small or large scale. Presenters will share key structural elements of an LA program and discuss lessons learned and available external resources.  Participants will identify their program goals, scope, partners to work with, and existing resources at their institutions.

Making the Case: the Role of Data

Learn about the role of data in developing and sustaining a Learning Assistant program. Build your awareness of the breadth of data types and how to represent data effectively, and think about which data to collect. We will consider a variety of audiences and discuss compelling data for each.

Preparing and Supporting LAs: The LA Pedagogy Course

We will discuss the role and goals of the LA Pedagogy course and explore different course structures, with the purpose of deciding what best suits participant needs. Participants will get to sample some course activities and strategies.

Panel Discussion with LAs: The LA Experience

Current LAs share their experiences and provide insight into the impact that an LA program has on the LAs and on the students taking the courses.

Preparing and Supporting LAs: Faculty-led Content Prep Meetings

In this workshop, we will discuss the key elements that go into the faculty-led weekly prep sessions and discuss why they are so critical to ensuring that your LAs are in fact prepared to assist in lab/lecture/discussion. The focus of this session is on multiple strategies for using the weekly session time to maximize benefit for LAs and Faculty.

Panel Discussion with Faculty: Implementation Models

Faculty from a variety of contexts, including two-year and four-year institutions, will describe their LA program structures, including program goals, support mechanisms, and successes and challenges.

Building and Sustaining an LA Program

In this workshop, participants will develop strategies for garnering support for the LA Program on campus (financial, administrative, human resources, visionary), selling your program to administrators and funding agencies, and meeting the needs of the stakeholders.

Planning Next Steps

Workshop organizers work with you to plan your next steps; provide you with planning materials and guidelines, including in introduction to resources available through the National Learning Assistant Alliance; and give feedback on possible implementation pathways for your institution.