Teaching Assistants and Workshop Leaders

Teaching Assistants

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may serve as teaching assistants for laboratory courses. Teaching assistants are employed by the biology department to assist professors in preparing materials for lab demonstrations and experiments, setting up labs, supervising students and answering questions in lab courses, and maintaining a safe, clean working environment in the laboratory. Opportunities also exist for freshmen to be employed by the biology department.

Teaching assistants acquire additional experience and advanced skills in specific areas of biology while helping fellow students learn new laboratory techniques and understand the underlying investigative principles. To apply for a position, contact the instructor responsible for the lab in which you are interested. In most cases a student is expected to have completed the course in which he/she assists.


Workshop Leaders

One or more courses offered by the biology department may be supplemented by a peer led team learning (PLTL) program. The PLTL program involves selected students serving as leaders of weekly discussion groups made up of small groups of students. Peer leaders do not re-teach the lecture material to those students, but rather use a variety of active learning strategies to clarify and reinforce concepts in ways that are suited to different student learning styles.

Peer leaders are selected by the biology faculty from among student applicants who have excelled in their courses. Students selected as peer leaders receive training in active learning teaching strategies and must enroll in the Service Learning in Biology course (BIO 387). In this course they meet weekly with the course instructor to plan activities and discuss student progress and responses.