GTA Code of Practice Implementation Guidance
This document sets out the recommendations of the GTA Code of Practice, grouped by broad theme, with guidance intended to help Schools with implementation. Please note that the document does not include matters related to the University’s Extended Workforce Policy, which represents institutional policy separate from the Code of Practice.
The guidance here is intended to complement that given in the Appendices to the Code of Practice, (1) Summary of responsibilities; (2) GTA induction plan template; (3) Example GTA representative structure.
Training Provision and Payment
3.3 GTAs are paid for three hours at their normal training rate to attend the statutory GTA ILTHE training (one hour of flipped content in advance of a two-hour live session).
3.3 Completion of the Introduction to the General Data Protection Regulation, Information Security Awareness, and Equality and Diversity Essentials Moodle courses is required of all University of Glasgow staff, including GTAs. GTAs can record their training when accessing HR Core with their staff login.
A challenge identified by some Schools here is that GTAs should complete the GTA ILTHE training in advance of starting teaching. This in practice normally means before they are fully registered, and therefore before they can submit a timesheet. We suggest that Schools recommend that GTAs wait until they are registered to submit their claim, noting the date that the training took place.
Information on which GTAs have completed the GTA ILTHE training is sent out to Schools once per semester by Academic and Digital Development (ADD). To facilitate this, ADD require prompt information about any changes to School contacts.
GTAs should be paid for completing all mandatory training. Please note that the courses mandatory for staff may grow over time. Schools should make the expected time commitment for mandatory training courses clear in information to GTAs, so that GTAs can claim appropriately. For the avoidance of doubt, while GTAs (as all staff) are welcome to retake mandatory training, only the first instance is paid.
GTA Facilitator Role
4. It is recommended that Schools identify a School GTA facilitator to coordinate GTA activity. Where it is not possible or appropriate to identify a single GTA facilitator, Schools should ensure that the responsibilities of the various relevant post-holders are transparent to GTAs and to staff working with GTAs.
4.2 Schools should identify and highlight to GTAs a named person or people (in some areas called a ‘GTA facilitator’) to whom GTAs should refer with any questions about their contractual conditions, core training and payment. This may be a professional services member of staff or an academic and professional services member of staff working together, as appropriate to the School. The GTA facilitator role should be recognised as a student/staff support role in workload models. Changes in the GTA facilitator should be notified to Academic & Digital Development.
It is recognised that coordination of GTA activity can be a sizeable role, especially in a large School or subject area. This should be appropriately recognised in workload models. In some Schools it may be more appropriate to split the GTA facilitation role into academic and professional services components. Contact details of the GTA facilitator(s) should be shared with Academic and Digital Development (email@example.com.) to enable them to maintain an up-to-date list of contacts.
Payment for All Elements of Role
|4.1 Colleagues should be fairly paid for the work that they do, reflecting both the contribution and the time spent on associated activities. For hourly-paid colleagues engaged in tutoring and graduate teaching related activities, this includes being paid appropriate time for preparation, administration and marking, in addition to their teaching or class contact time.|
|4.1 Schools must provide GTAs with a clear outline of contracted hours (including contact hours, training, any office hours and time for responding to student emails where this is a part of their role, expected time for preparation and marking, attendance at meetings, as appropriate), any other responsibilities, and expectations.|
|4.3 Three hours of paid subject-specific statutory training is required to be provided by Schools. This statutory training can take different forms, depending on the needs of local areas, and Schools may wish to adopt and tailor the materials that Academic and Digital Development offer (see ‘Developing as a Graduate Teaching Assistant’, or contact Kimberly.Wilder@glasgow.ac.uk for more information).|
|4.4 Paid preparation time for teaching must be at a fair and realistic rate for the time required to carry out the work. As the Extended Workforce Policy specifies “Colleagues should be fairly paid for the work that they do, reflecting both the contribution and the time spent on associated activities. For hourly paid colleagues engaged in tutoring and graduate teaching related activities, this includes being paid agreed appropriate time for preparation, administration and marking in addition to their teaching or class contact time.”|
|4.4 Similarly, where GTAs are involved in assessment and feedback, Schools must establish fair and realistic marking rates and make these transparent to GTAs before GTAs take on the assignment. Rates must take account of the time it takes to provide high quality feedback to students.|
ADD provide information on how to implement subject-specific training and support for GTAs in assessment and feedback. It is important to give clarity on the expectations on GTAs of preparation and marking, for example through School-level training.
|In addition to a synchronous or in-person induction session in which GTAs have the opportunity to ask questions, induction information should also be made available to GTAs in the form of a handbook or Moodle site for ongoing reference. Schools should bear in mind that some GTAs may be new to the UK Higher Education sector, as well as to the University of Glasgow (see Appendix for a suggested induction template) and provide appropriate induction information.|
It is not expected that this recommendation will cause challenges for Schools. Appendix 2 of the GTA Code of Practice gives a suggested template for GTA inductions. Further advice, if needed, can be provided by Academic & Digital Development.
Feedback on Teaching
|4.6 GTAs should be given feedback on their teaching, including via the same mechanisms as other staff (e.g. student-staff liaison committees and EvaSys feedback). Schools should offer an opportunity to discuss this feedback, and consider it alongside additional feedback from course conveners and others involved in working with the GTA.|
|5.2 Course conveners must ensure that GTAs are provided with relevant course materials in good time before teaching sessions. Ideally, this would be available by the start of the course to enable GTAs to plan. Exceptionally, where additional teaching materials have to be produced during a course, GTAs should receive this at the very latest one working day in advance of the teaching event, in line with the expectations of materials being made available to students in the Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy.|
EvaSys questionnaires can be set up to prompt for feedback on any named member of staff, including GTAs. This can then be shared individually with GTAs, alongside wider student feedback from EvaSys and staff-student liaison committees. GTAs may also join the GTA Learning & Teaching Enhancement Network (GTA LanTEN) via Teams. This will enable them to meet other GTAs and engage in informal teaching observations for further feedback on their teaching practice.
|4.7 GTAs should have opportunities to raise concerns or issues within their School and for their voice to be heard in relevant decision-making processes. This will take different forms according to local structures, but may include GTA representation on the School Learning and Teaching Committee or involvement in teaching-related elements of subject meetings.|
|4.7 Where appropriate, Schools should establish an elected position of GTA representative, to enable the GTA voice to be heard. The expectations and responsibilities of the GTA representative should be set out transparently. (See also Appendix 3).|
|4.7 Schools should set out how GTAs feed into local processes and committees and how issues raised by GTAs will be responded to.|
The important consideration here is that GTAs should have a route through which to raise concerns or problems. Appendix 3 of the GTA Code of Practice gives an example representative structure, developed by SRC and GTA members of the GTA Support working group, which can be used as a model where appropriate.
|5.5 Subject areas and/or course conveners have a role in facilitating peer support for GTAs. This may take many forms, for example: providing access to rooms in which groups of GTAs can carry out marking, facilitating peer observation of teaching, providing GTAs with a Moodle site or similar to discuss approaches to course material and/or marking.|
In addition to the suggestions noted in this section of the Code which are typically provided by Schools, ADD maintains GTA Network Moodle pages to accompany the GTA Network events. It is intended to expand these institution-wide. This includes a one-hour self-guided assessment and feedback training, access to the GTA Learning & Teaching Enhancement Network (GTA LanTEN), which will provide an informal support network of GTAs across campus, including opportunities to participate in peer observations of teaching.