Pedagogical Partnerships

Enrich your classes with the partnership of a student Learning Assistant and/or Writing Assistant.

Learning Assistant Program 

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Learning Assistant preparation meeting with Eric Gaze. 

What is the Learning Assistant program? 

Learning Assistants are students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who work directly with and enhance peer learning in courses. Learning assistants often have taken the course previously (may NOT currently be enrolled in the course), and often are majors/minors in the department/program. Learning Assistants bring their student perspective to interactions with the course instructor while serving as peer educators for students. They meet weekly with the faculty or lab instructors. 

Learning assistants may engage in the following tasks: 

In class sessions: 

  • Facilitate and monitor discussions and class participation 
  • Lead small group activities 
  • Tech support  

Out of class: 

  • Review and offer feedback on learning activities, assignments, rubrics, Blackboard/Canvas design, and other course materials   
  • Add course materials to Blackboard/Canvas 
  • Assist with making course materials more accessible 
  • Lead study groups 
  • Lead exam review sessions
  • Offer student “office” hours 
  • Provide one-on-one tutoring
  • Report to instructors on common student errors or difficulties 
  • Maintain online resources for students
  • Offer feedback to students on coursework; small assignments, drafts, etc.
  • Guide and support mid-course student feedback 

Learning Assistants will NOT: 

  • Be first-years enrolled at the college
  • Be enrolled in the course they are hired to work in
  • Be employed in First Year Writing Seminars (FYWS)
  • Be graders, research assistants, transcribers, office assistants, technical assistants, lab assistants, theater technicians, or equipment managers- these roles will be hired by academic departments
Request a Learning Assistant position for your course

Writing Project Courses 

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A Writing Assistant goes over a Writing Project course paper with a student.

What is a Writing Project Course? 

A Writing Project designation ensures that all of your students work directly with Writing Assistants, and enables you to talk with Writing Assistants about your expectations and goals around student writing. You will have the opportunity to prepare the Writing Assistants for each assignment and introduce them to disciplinary conventions that inform student writing in your field.  You would require that all students participate in the drafting, feedback, and revision process--submitting a complete draft to their assigned Writing Assistant, meeting with the Writing Assistant to discuss suggestions for revision, and then submitting both the draft and revision to you. This requires a timeline of at least 10 days between first draft to the Writing Assistant and revised paper to you.  

Writing Assistants assigned to your course would read drafts of two papers for around eight students each, provide written comments, and hold conferences with the writers, encouraging them to revisit and refine their ideas, consider how they are constructed for a reader, and revise their writing with a fresh perspective and renewed motivation.