Appendix E: Mid-Course Evaluation for Teaching Assistants (TAs)
Mid-course evaluations for TAs feature many of the same characteristics as mid-course evaluations of faculty, with a few important differences. Mid-course evaluations of TAs should:
- Focus only on aspects of the course over which the TA has control.
- Your TAs might mark papers, lead discussions, or meet with students in office hours. Ensure that their mid-course evaluations focus on these tasks, and not on issues, such as assignment design, over which they have little to no control.
- Focus on teaching or instructional behaviours.
- Because of the previously described considerations, much of what can be fruitfully evaluated in mid-course student evaluations of TAs will include teaching or instructional behaviours that take place in class and through individual interactions with students. Please see Appendix C for examples of teaching behaviours that most influence student learning.
If you would like to help your TAs conduct evaluations of their teaching, you may wish to:
- Assist them in selecting issues for evaluation. You might help them to identify areas in need of evaluation by sitting in on a class they are leading or by evaluating their grading of student work.
- Meet with them after the evaluations have been conducted to help them identify areas of strength and weakness, and to provide some assistance in ways to improve problem areas.
- Opt to allow them to keep their evaluations private.
Depending on the number of TAs in your course and their roles, it may make more sense to develop separate and individual TA mid-course evaluations, or to incorporate questions about TAs in your main mid-course evaluation.
- If you have multiple TAs leading several tutorials or labs, it may be easiest for each TA to administer an evaluation in their own section. This can be an evaluation only about the TA, or the general evaluation you are using for the course with the addition of several questions about the TA.
- If your course has multiple graders, you may ask general questions about students’ perceptions about how assignments are evaluated, but will not be able to match these comments to individual graders because evaluations are anonymous. You may, however, be able to identify areas in which your TAs require additional training or instruction on grading.