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TA Teaching Rubrics

Aligned with SLO 2B

Instructions to Teaching Assistants

Does this apply to me?

Although SLO 2B is listed as a M.S. Student Learning Outcome, all graduate Teaching Assistants (Ph.D. and M.S.) will be formally evaluated at the end of each semester using one of the above rubrics. All rubrics have been formatted for use with a Scantron. Each indicator is numbered, corresponding to numbers on the Scantron; proficiency levels are assigned letters A through D ("Beginning" through "Advanced"), corresponding to Scantron choices for each of the numbered indicators.

Steps (Please Read Carefully)

  1. Evaluations are scheduled to begin the week of Monday, November 6. The deadline for completed evaluations is Friday, November 17 at 4:30 PM. Do not miss the deadline for completing the TA evaluation.
  2. Make sure that your students see the rubric at least one week prior to the evaluation date. Take time to ask your students if there are any indicators that need to be explained. Be prepared to answer their questions.
  3. Establish a date for the evaluation and announce it to your students at least one week prior to this date. Distribute or explain the "Statement of Purpose" (see below) to your students and take some time to explain the purpose of the rubric to your class. Emphasize the importance of obtaining reliable feedback from your students. Also explain that each student will sign a Teaching Assistant Evaluation Completion Form when they turn in the Scantron which attests that they have read the descriptor text for each indicator in the rubric and that the scores recorded in the Scantron are fair and accurate.
  4. Designate a high‐performing and reliable student in your class to administer the rubric. Do this at least one week prior to the evaluation date and make sure the designee can correctly instruct the class on how to complete the Scantron. Have the designee again emphasize to the class the importance of reading the descriptor text in the rubric and accurately assigning a proficiency level. In particular, make sure that both the designee and the class understand that the A choice is the lowest proficiency level ("Beginning") and that the D choice is the highest ("Advanced").
  5. Administer the evaluation at the beginning of the period, not at the end. Do not allow students to turn in the evaluation until the designated time for the evaluation is ended (no less than 10 minutes). Explain this to the designee. Rubrics completed at the end of a lab period where students can leave whenever they finish are not generally reliable.
  6. The designee must not collect the evaluations until the end of the evaluation period. Students are not to turn them in prior to this. The designee must also ensure that each student legibly sign the Teaching Assistant Evaluation Completion Form when the Scantron is turned in.
  7. The designee will turn in all Scantrons and the Completion Form in a sealed envelope to Ryan Damhoff in Faraday Hall 323. On the envelope, please list the name of the TA, the course number and section. Ryan may ask the designee specific questions to validate the above implementation process.

Is there anything else?

We need a high response rate from your students. Item 5, above, should help with this because you're administering the rubric at the beginning of the period, which means that students should not be able to escape the evaluation.

And here's the last item, which only applies to Recitation TAs. The first indicator in the recitation teaching rubric looks at whether you are holding your students accountable for taking the NIU Student Tutorial on Academic Integrity. If you are not, then make sure that your students do not score this indicator. We have cases where students gave high proficiency scores on this indicator even though the TA had not required the AI tutorial or collected Certificates of Completion. Click the "Launch Student Tutorial" button, scroll down and you will see a link for the Certificate of Completion that is referenced in the teaching rubrics. The link will give you more information. As a recitation TA, you should (at some point) take the Faculty Tutorial on Academic Integrity.

Statement of Purpose

(To be read or distributed to your undergraduate students)

The purpose of the TA evaluation rubric is to 1.) gather constructive feedback on specific skill areas of teaching that can help our Teaching Assistants become better teachers and 2.) to inform the graduate program on areas where it can provide better support. Your help in the successful and accurate administration of this rubric is much appreciated.

Teaching Resources

  • Upcoming Graduate Teaching Assistant Programs
    Students with academic career interests are encouraged to attend some of these programs. For those taking UNIV 595, they are mandatory. The use of one or more of these programs is strongly recommended if you wish to be nominated for the Oustanding Graduate TA Award.

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