TA Training Information

Dear Engineering and CIS Faculty,

Happy start of the semester!  Engineering Learning Initiatives (ELI) would like to briefly share information on our support for your TAs.
TA Training
We provide 1-2 days of TA training (depending on TA level and roles), which is required for new TAs in Engineering.  We would like you to have information on our TA training content and model, so you know what TAs have been exposed to in our workshops before they begin to work with you.  We hope this will be useful as you consider how to use TAs most effectively to meet your course objectives.
The link to a short “Overview of ELI TA training” document is here https://www.engineering.cornell.edu/MTEI/teaching-tips-week/overview-eli-ta-development-program
TA Midterm Evaluations
TA Midterm evaluations are important for providing student feedback to the TAs.   We/IT will open TA evaluations on September 20 and close them October 1 (weeks 5 and 6 of instruction).    This is earlier than prior years so TAs can make any needed changes earlier in the semester.  We hope you might put these dates into your syllabus and encourage student participation to improve the formative feedback for your TAs at mid-semester.
If you like to offer incentives to students to complete TA evaluations you can contact ta-develop-eli@cornell.edu after the closing date of October 1 for a list of students who participated.  Please note there are no forced response options in this survey format and so students who complete the demographic information and hit submit will show as having responded to the survey.  If that is a concern, we can also share with you the information about who did and did not actually complete the questions in the survey.  We are exploring ways to improve this in the future.
Suggestions for effectively communicating with your TA team:

  • Let the TAs know you value their work, and invite them to share ideas that they may have for evidence supported practices.
  • Incorporate 2 or 3 brainstorming sessions for them to share challenges and ideas as a ‘team’ during the semester (if this is appropriate to what they do). This will build community and likely result in improvements where there are difficult situations.
  • Encourage them to reach out to ELI when challenges arise in their duties and they would like to talk with people who can help them plan and implement new strategies
    • Suggest they keep their eye out for some regularly scheduled Drop-in hours at ELI with TA consultants or the Associate Director.  No challenge too small to discuss😊!

Thank you for taking the time to hear a little bit about what ELI does to support your courses through Training Graduate and Undergraduate TAs.  We welcome your questions and ideas!
Celia A. Evans, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Engineering Learning Initiatives
Pronouns: she/her/hers
College of Engineering
Cornell University
175 Rhodes Hall,
Ithaca, NY 14853
Mobile: 518 637-1512
Lisa Schneider-Bentley, Ph.D.
Director, Engineering Learning Initiatives
Pronouns: she/her/hers
186 Rhodes Hall
College of Engineering
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853
ph: (607) 255-4621