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In 1993 the School of Graduate Studies adopted the Report on Teaching Assistants at Queen's. Recommendations addressed a broad range of issues concerning the selection, training, and evaluation of TAs, including the following:

  1. that each department
  2. that the Instructional Development Centre

Since that time, the Instructional Development Centre has collaborated with academic departments and the School of Graduate Studies to help train teaching assistants at Queen's.

In 1994-95 the IDC conducted a campus-wide survey in an effort to determine the concerns of TAs at Queen's. The findings suggest that TA training sessions facilitate and enhance the TA experience, improve the teaching environments at Queen's, and are useful in alleviating many of the problems that TAs face in their work with faculty and students.

The number of departments offering orientation sessions for their TAs has grown from a handful in 1992 to at least 20 in 1995. While the support services of the IDC continue to be available to all who request our assistance and advice, more and more of the training sessions are planned and delivered primarily by faculty and graduate students in these departments. This Training Manual has been developed by IDC staff to help departments with this task. It includes a variety of training activities, materials, and resources, all of which have been used in TA orientation sessions at Queen's; all materials referred to in the Manual are available in the IDC Library (Room 101, Old Medical Building).

We hope this manual, and the companion Training for Trainers session we offer every summer for departmental representatives, will help you to develop and implement a strategy for TA training in your department. We welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions. If you have materials and/or activities that have worked well in your department, we hope you will let us know about them so they can appear in the next version of the manual.

Working as a teaching assistant is an opportunity for graduate students to make a positive contribution to the quality of education at Queen's, and an opportunity for their personal and professional growth. Please let us know how the IDC can assist you in helping your TAs make the most of their TA experience.

Susan Wilcox
Instructional Development Centre

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Last updated June 24, 1997

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