Improving Pupil Motivation Together: Teachers and Teaching Assistants Working Collaboratively

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This result has implications for revising current GTA-training practices, which often do not provide opportunities for practice. For techniques that were practiced, we found that adoption varied depending on the specific instructional practice being targeted. Some techniques were adopted readily and consistently and were easily influenced by specific, goal-oriented, and timely feedback. Other practices primarily those involved in participation enforcement were not stably adopted. Thus, the effectiveness of formal feedback programs for instruction may be dependent on the particular instructional practices being targeted.

We suggest future work focus on understanding the complex relationship between attitudes both of students and of instructors toward evidence-based teaching practices, particularly enforced participation, and instructor readiness to adopt such techniques. This work was carried out in a specific instructional setting and was influenced by the institutional culture present in this setting. The pre-existing structure of this course greatly facilitated our study, as GTAs for this course were already expected to attend weekly training sessions, and our training program did not increase overall GTA time commitment.

In the absence of established training requirements, introduction of a training program may cause issues with GTA buy-in.

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Our course also has a dedicated full-time staff member who is responsible for training and overseeing GTAs E. The existence of this resource enabled the time-intensive, repeated, in-person classroom observations and one-on-one meetings called for in our training program. Courses lacking this resource may have difficulty in implementing a similar training program. It is, however, the experience of our GTA coordinator E.

We also note that, although some GTA classroom practices did appear to be responsive to feedback, this response may have been transient, with GTAs eventually returning to their previous teaching practices. Future studies investigating the persistence of feedback-responsive change in teaching methods would help to understand the optimal frequency with which to deliver such feedback. We were unable to uncover any relationship between GTA instructional practices and student exam performance. Although the sample size for our study was quite large in the context of classroom observational studies, due to high amounts of natural variation in instructional practices across GTAs, it may be necessary to collect data on an even larger number of class sessions to resolve these relationships.

In particular, the possibility of a negative relationship between student volunteer rate and exam performance warrants further investigation. We thank the GTAs and ULAs for their patience with us in conducting this research, the undergraduate research assistants who helped transform many hours of raw video footage into data for analysis, and the many Bis2A instructors who have been instrumental in continued improvements of curricular materials for this course. We also thank Dr.


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Marco Molinaro for his involvement in securing funding for this project. Funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; or preparation, review or approval of the article. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.


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Marilyne Stains, Monitoring Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Becker gro. Becker et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author s.

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It is available to the public under an Attribution—Noncommercial—Share Alike 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Evidence-based teaching is a highly complex skill, requiring repeated cycles of deliberate practice and feedback to master. To this end, our study addressed five research questions: To what extent did a practice-based training program prompt GTAs to implement evidence-based instructional practices?


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TABLE 1. GTA demographics a. Open in a separate window. Training Program Each of the 15 GTAs taught three 2-hour discussion sections per week of approximately 24 students each. TABLE 2. Target Techniques and Drills Target techniques were selected that facilitated our overall goal of creating a highly engaged classroom characterized by a high degree of student participation in iterative practice and feedback within a safe and supportive classroom environment.

TABLE 3. Target techniques a. Video Coding For assessment of the frequency of GTA implementation of target techniques and how GTAs elicited student participation across classrooms throughout the quarter, video recordings were taken of all 45 classrooms in the second, fourth, seventh, and 10th weeks of the course.

Longitudinal Analyses of Classroom Practice To understand the dynamics of GTA instructional practices, we analyzed changes in frequency of technique use throughout the quarter and changes in student participation in class discussions. Analysis of Feedback Trainers met with individual GTAs the week after their classrooms were observed to discuss strong points and potential areas of improvement in classroom management, technique implementation, and content knowledge. TABLE 4.

Target technique total observed frequency a. TABLE 5. Changes in Classroom Practice over the Course of the Training Program To characterize possible impacts of the training program, we investigated whether GTA classroom practices changed over the course of the term. Changes in Classroom Practice Following Feedback To explore the potential impact of technique-specific feedback on GTA practice, we looked at changes in technique use between the observation immediately before and immediately after each feedback session. Student Learning Outcomes In an attempt to determine whether any of the teaching practices we measured were associated with student learning, we modeled the relationship between these practices and student exam scores.

TABLE 6. Student learning outcomes a. Supplementary Material Supplemental Materials: Click here to view. Acknowledgments We thank the GTAs and ULAs for their patience with us in conducting this research, the undergraduate research assistants who helped transform many hours of raw video footage into data for analysis, and the many Bis2A instructors who have been instrumental in continued improvements of curricular materials for this course.

Active learning: Effects of core training design elements on self-regulatory processes, learning, and adaptability. Dominance statistics: Ordinal analyses to answer ordinal questions.

Improving Pupil Motivation Together: Teachers and Teaching Assistants Working Collaboratively

Psychological Bulletin. In: Handbook of applied multivariate statistics and mathematical modeling. Tinsley H. San Diego, CA: Academic; Classroom participation and discussion effectiveness: Student-generated strategies.

Blurring The Lines Between Teachers and Students: Student Assistant Teaching

Communication Education. Nonvoluntary class participation in graduate discussion courses: Effects of grading and cold calling. Journal of Management Education. Impact of cold-calling on student voluntary participation. Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, CA: Wiley; A model for training and evaluating graduate teaching assistants.