THE ROLE OF GTAs IN ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK
Impact of GTA teaching, assessment and feedback
Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have an important role at the University. On many pre-honours courses GTAs are the staff who work closest with the students in seminars, tutorials and labs.
While not all GTAs mark student work, all GTAs take part in feedback processes. Whether they teach or support teaching in seminars, tutorials, lectures, labs or other teaching contexts, they all provide formative feedback to students.
Most GTAs at the University teach on pre-honours courses. While the grades the students receive at this stage might not count towards their final degree, the feedback that they receive at this early stage in their education in many ways form their future perception of and reflection on their own learning.
Why it’s important to implement subject-specific training and support for GTAs
Many GTAs have no prior experience in teaching when they enter into the role and most have no experience in marking and assessment. Furthermore, many GTAs have done part of their own education within different institutional and educational cultures, where assessment and feedback practices are slightly different.
LEADS offers a number of different GTA training and professional development sessions. However, these options are university-wide and do not cover the specificities of marking, assessment and feedback within different disciplines. The different Subjects use different marking criteria and assessments and ILOs vary from course to course and so do the appropriate forms of feedback. It is therefore essential that these training options are supplemented by subject-specific training and support.
In order to secure that marking and feedback is consistent and useful to all students, it is important to put in place a good system of subject-specific training and support in assessment and feedback for all GTAs. Proper support and training can also help make the workload more manageable to new GTAs. You can read about what the University guidelines and policies say about subject-specific training and moderation of marking here.