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Teaching, Managing, and Assessing Large Courses
23 November 2022 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am EST
A Faculty of Arts & Science Teaching and Learning Community of Practice
In-Person, Political Science Conference Room, Sidney Smith Hall, Room 3130, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
Online, Register via Zoom
Lifecycle of Assessments in a Large Course
Asif Zaman, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Mathematics
From an instructor’s perspective, every assessment goes through roughly five key stages of its “lifecycle”.
1. Design the assessment.
2. Create a grading rubric.
3. Build comment library.
4. Grade assessments.
5. Review graded assessments.
Each stage requires significant resources to produce high quality and consistent feedback. In a small course, I traditionally lead stages 1, 2, and 5 myself whereas a couple of TAs will do stages 3 and 4. As the coordinator for a large course, I am under significant time constraints and cannot follow this traditional scheme without significant compromise on grading quality. With the support of the Writing-Integrated Teaching (WIT) program, I have remodeled this workflow in collaboration with Head TAs and a Lead Writing TA. I only lead stage 1 and initiate stage 2. With my support, Head TAs lead stages 2, 3, and 5. Grading TAs focus primarily on stage 4 with support from Head TAs. This remodel has maximized the impact of my limited time, created leadership and development opportunities for experienced TAs, strengthened TA grading skills, and improved assessment feedback. I hope to share my experience with others along with suggested strategies that could be adopted in other large courses.
Managing a 1000+ Students Class: Perspectives and Strategies from a Head TA
Irene Poetranto, Head TA, PhD Candidate, Political Science
POL106H1 is a large course of over 1,000 students taught by one faculty member and supported by a Head Teaching Assistant (TA) and a team of TAs. In this presentation, I will share my experiences as a Head TA and identify strategies that establish and maintain expectations while facilitating processes for managing students and the TA team. My presentation will highlight how support and resources are coordinated and offer methods for managing the abundance of emails and requests throughout the semester. I will also address the realities of balancing TA responsibilities with graduate work and what structures can help ensure that the faculty member’s course learning objectives are achieved and students can successfully demonstrate their learning.
The Faculty of Arts & Science Teaching & Learning Community of Practice (CoP) was established in 2015 to create a collegial forum for faculty and instructors to meet and share teaching practices and strategies across fields and disciplines. This CoP is coordinated by Andrew Dicks (Professor, Teaching Stream and Associate Chair, Undergraduate, Department of Chemistry).