P1031: Preparation of graduate student teaching assistants in 13 hours
To address the issue of preparing graduate students to serve as teaching assistants and go on to effectively teach in any capacity necessary for post-graduate career, the Department of Chemistry at Rice University has developed a course to orient and train our graduate students in their first semester. The course was structured following a training program described in an article published by the University of Maryland. The course contains: a session with lab simulation, student scenarios with senior graduate students, grading simulation, review of actual teaching evaluations received by previous teaching assistants, presentation by Prof. John S. Hutchison (Dean of Undergraduates at Rice University), and weeks of simulated teaching situations. We have seen a marked improvement in the quality of our teaching assistants since the start of the class. This is evident in both comments from the lab instructors who deal with large numbers of teaching assistants and in the numbers given the teaching assistants when evaluated by the students.