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Learning and Teaching Happenings and Resources for Teaching Assistants

November 2022 | Issue 1

Seeking Mid-Term Feedback From Students

Welcome to November! In this month’s newsletter, we feature a few of our current Teaching Assistant Consultants (TACs). Your TAC is a great departmental resource to assist you with many questions you may have as you navigate your TA journey. Over the course of the academic year, you will have a chance to see many of the TACs featured throughout the newsletters.

This month’s newsletter has a theme of seeking mid-term feedback from our students to support not only your students’ learning but also your own professional development. Maybe you have not yet had a chance to ask your students for feedback; now is a great time! You can review the Formative Feedback as a TA resource which provides great examples of questions to ask your students, as well as suggestions around how to utilize the feedback from your students.

Formative feedback as a TA resource

Words of Wisdom from featured
Teaching Assistant Consultants (TAC)

profile photo of Lyn

Lynn (she/her)
Political Science

Getting mid-term feedback from our students is strongly recommended because you get a sense of how they're feeling as a whole at certain intervals instead of only at the end, when many students may actually have forgotten how they felt about classes earlier on. I'm sure the feedback loop in academic writing is a familiar process to folks and you probably understand the benefits it brings, even if time-consuming at times.

Feedback connects with: idea, response, opinion, survey, comment, rating, result and advice

The same logic applies to getting feedback about your teaching too! Doing this informally with your students halfway into the term is a good check-in and will allow you to adjust or modify accordingly. Your students will definitely appreciate the care and concern!

profile photo of Mehrab

Mehrab Najafian (he/him)
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Using midterm feedback to follow and continuously improve the performance of a class is a significant and accepted principle. It is helpful in almost any academic learning course to make a plan for a midterm evaluation. Midterm feedback from students has an intuitive appeal that makes students feel considered. It also makes them think about their learning processes and what has led to their past successes. So, students can convey to instructors their thought and ideas about what would improve their learning while a course is still ongoing through the midterm feedback.

This midterm feedback is a bit different from the end-of-the-semester feedback when they may not consider the feedback too seriously because they may not see the instructor or have the course anymore. Another benefit of the student feedback in the midterm is that it is formative rather than summative. Based on the student's feedback an instructor can modify the course material at midterm through the midterm feedback and class opinions. The midterm feedback can be taken based on the class and course, for example, in small groups the students discuss answers to the given questions such as:

1. What is going well for you with the course?

2. What parts do you think should be improved?

3. What suggestions do you have for bringing about the improvements?

profile photo of Julia

Julia (she/her)
Earth and Ociean Sciences

Making sure that you are reaching each student at their level is one of the hardest aspects of teaching. A way around this challenge is to engage with students and take their feedback seriously. Students and instructors are in a mutual learning partnership; both end up learning more about the subject in the process, and the instructor gains insight into what teaching methods do and don’t work. Treat your students as learning partners, and your teaching will flourish.

Teaching Assistant Supports

  1. Supports for International TAs are available for international TAs and for TAs supporting international students. These include connecting with our International-Focused Teaching Assistant Consultants. They are available to answer any questions you may have as an international TA or with supporting international students, providing teaching observations of international TAs, and one-on-one consultations to support you as you are teaching at UVic.

  1. Graduate Student Teaching ProD Certificate is available to any TA or graduate student who attends six distinct workshops (not part of the TA Conferences) and submits a reflective piece. This certificate is a great addition to your CV and your teaching dossier to highlight your dedication to enhancing your professional development.

  1. Doing TA Work Certificate is a professional development certificate for TAs and graduate students that engage with the self-paced, asynchronous course “Doing TA Work” on Brightspace.

  1. Are you a sessional instructor, preparing to teach your first course? Check out our syllabus guidelines and suggestions for creating a well-designed syllabus that is informative, useful, and engaging.


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! TAs are also encouraged and welcome to attend instructor workshops.

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


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

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