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Abstract Title: Designing Learning Assistant Program Structures to Create Resilient Community
Abstract: The Physics LA program at TXST was designed to support development of collaborative relationships among participants. The initial implementation had two features intended to build community:  LA support in all sections of the calculus-based introductory physics sequence; and weekly LA preparation sessions held jointly with all LAs and LA-supported faculty, incorporating whole-group discussions. Because of existing course structures, LA facilitation was implemented in the "lecture" portion, with 3 to 5 LAs assigned to each section. This has created a network of support for LAs: an LA uncertain about how to assist students can ask a peer or the course instructor, and can observe as well as practice facilitation skills. The majority of our majors now serve as LAs. In addition to the large body of shared experiences this provides, the strong program emphasis on communication, collaboration, and mutual support has significantly shaped the culture of the physics department.
(Supported by NSF DUE-1557405 and PHY-0808790.)
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C27

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Eleanor Close
Texas State University
TXST Dpt. of Physics
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666
Phone: 512-245-8664
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jessica Conn, Texas State University
David Donnelly, Texas State University
Hunter Close, Texas State University