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Abstract Title: Exploring Benefits, Challenges, and Relational Dynamics in an Expanding Learning Assistant Program
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: To transform large, traditionally lecture-based STEM courses at a Hispanic-serving institution to more active and inclusive learning environments, we launched an undergraduate Learning Assistant (LA) program in Spring 2017 in physics, astronomy, and chemistry. Reflection essays from the LA pedagogy course provide insight into challenges and benefits for LAs and perceived dynamics between faculty, LAs, and students. We iteratively coded 82 essays across five semesters and tallied frequency counts of emergent themes. Consistent with the literature, LAs found the pedagogy course and readings helpful, cultivated a greater appreciation for STEM teaching, felt that they became better learners, enjoyed helping others, and appreciated being part of a STEM teaching community. LA suggestions for future improvements included opportunities to clarify expectations of LA roles with their students. These results give insights into LA experiences as we continue to revise and expand the program to math, computer science, and engineering.
Session Time: Poster Session 1
Poster Number: I-71

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Cynthia Ibrahim
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: 951-256-7236
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jomar Lopes (he/him/his), University of California Irvine
Jake Campuspos (he/him/his), San Francisco State University
Nicole Kolak (she/her/hers), San Francisco State University
Kim Coble (she/her/hers), San Francisco State University