Towards certified learning assistants for improving educational quality

G.T.M. ten Dam, M. van Geel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Undergraduate students can be appointed as ‘student assistant’ and as such they
can fulfil many different tasks, related to education, research and organisation.
These tasks vary from entering data or making schedules to guiding tutorials or assisting in lab settings. In the year 2018/2019 at the University of Twente, an estimated 51.000 to 84.000 student assistant working hours were spent on learningrelated tasks. In order to enhance the quality of education at the university, it is proposed to extend the didactical training for student assistants with tasks in which they are formally involved in other students’ learning processes (Learning Assistants, LAs).
The Learning Assistants Project at the University of Boulder, Colorado [1] has been an inspiration. By incorporating elements of other LA trajectories, the ‘Colorado LA Model’ has been adapted to the local situation and demands. The main goals of the intervention are that Certified LAs show a reflective, professional attitude aimed at improving their practice as LA and that LAs can determine pedagogical strategies for assisting, when provided the goals, teaching strategies and assessment of the unit they are asked to assist in.
Following a rapid prototyping approach [5] an LA-training trajectory is designed and implemented at small scale. Simultaneously, an inventory is being made of the current roles and tasks of LAs, and more in-depth needs analysis for the design of this training. This article present the first results of both the training needs assessment and the pilot LA-training.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sep 202024 Sep 2020
Conference number: 48


Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
Internet address


  • Learning assistants
  • Pedagogical training
  • Teaching career


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