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Learning and Teaching Happenings and Resources for Teaching Assistants

October 2022 | Issue 1

Happy October!

In this month’s newsletter, we feature some warm words of wisdom shared by a few of our current Teaching Assistant Consultants (TACs) who share a short snippet with you to assist you on your journey. Your TAC is a great departmental resource to assist you with many questions you may have as you navigate your TA journey.

This month’s newsletter focus or theme is on Academic Integrity and supporting Academic Integrity as a TA. We recognize that academic integrity can mean many different things across the world, but at UVic when we talk about academic integrity we mean “Academic integrity is foundational to scholarship within the post-secondary environment. It refers to a standard of commitment and behavior in accordance with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage in learning, teaching and research (ICAI, 2014). As such, academic integrity is central to the mission of the university in developing new knowledge and in creating a strong academic environment that strengthens students’ intellectual and moral development. Beginning in first year, students are mentored into integrous processes to recognize and attribute the contributions of others as well as ways to assure the integrity of their own intellectual work.” (UVic Academic Integrity Week).

There is a great recorded session on YouTube by Dr. Sarah Eaton, leading researcher around academic integrity and ethics, sharing on ‘Rethinking Academic Integrity’. Topics that are addressed in this resource are: What is your role as an instructor in upholding academic integrity? What ways can we promote academic integrity in our teaching? And what does ethical assessment mean to you? Thinking about how we can promote academic integrity in our classes as TAs can be helpful in starting that conversation with our students and helping them learn what academic integrity means here at UVic.

Check out UVic’s inaugural Academic Integrity Week with workshops, panels, events, and more taking place October 17-21. Specifically, there is a panel geared towards students taking place on Tuesday, October 18 and two graduate-student and TA-focused workshops taking place on Friday, October 21.

View registration and events for Academic Integrity Week

Words of Wisdom from featured
Teaching Assistant Consultants (TAC)

Your TAC is an invaluable resource to assist you as you navigate your work as a TA here at UVic, and specifically within your department. If you are an international TA, connect with our International Teaching Assistant Consultants (ITACs) who can assist you the transition to teaching in a Canadian classroom.

Xue (she/her)

"It might seem scary to do “teaching” for the first time a TA, but once you get a chance to observe a peer TA teaching, it will give you a much better sense of how teaching looks like from both the student and the TA perspectives. I benefited significantly from my fellow TAs in anthropology department by going to some of their tutorial sessions. This peer observation practice also allowed us to be supportive of each other in facing similar challenges."

Yao Sun (she/her)
Exercise Science, Physical and Health

As a TA, students may ask you to provide clarification or feedback on an assignment before submission, this can be tricky sometimes. Here are a few tips:

Don’t provide “right” or “wrong” answers to the statements in the assignment.

Students may ask “Can I write like this for this question?”, it is okay to respond “I cannot answer that question” to the student directly. But you can follow up with a clarification question like “Could you explain how did you draw this conclusion?”. If you think the student is on the wrong track, you can ask the student to explain how they understand the assignment, then provide clarification if needed.

Don’t proofread or edit students’ work.

The use of an editor in a student’s written or non-written work is prohibited by the UVic academic integrity policy. But if you think a student’s writing has a lot of room for improvement, you can refer them to the Center for Academic Communication (CAC). The specialist at CAC can provide professional feedback on writing.

Let the student know where your comments are coming from.

Although it is okay to provide general feedback, such as “I think you are on the right track”, “A statement like this needs references”, it is also important to let the student know where your suggestion comes from, i.e. course material, the requirements of the assignment, marking rubric (if it is also available for student). Students will be able to learn how to evaluate their work and solve similar questions in the future.

Starting out with your TA work?

Check out our self-paced asynchronous professional development opportunity on Doing TA Work. Topics include grading and marking as a TA, creating a sense of community, and general tips or strategies for engaging with students.

Doing TA Work



Teaching Assistant Events & Workshops

Missed a TA Conference session? Not to worry, many are repeated throughout the fall term. Check out the offerings on Learning Central - filter by provider "LTSI" and look for the "LTSI/TA" tag! 

View all upcoming workshops

Doing TA Work (self-paced asynchronous course)

Have you been tasked with a teaching assistant (TA) position for an online course or a course that uses online components in a blended format? In this online course, you will access information and resources you require to successfully perform your TA duties via Brightspace and other online tools.

Learn more and register

Instructor Workshops

TAs are also encouraged and welcome to attend instructor workshops.

View all upcoming workshops


Student Resources and Supports

Learn Anywhere is the best place for students to access resources and supports for in-person, blended and online learning and access our student academic success supports (Learning Strategies Program, Math and Stats Assistance Centre, Centre for Academic Communication)

Share Learn Anywhere with your students


Contact Us

Would you like to contribute to this newsletter, or have questions regarding our workshops, events or resources?

Email us