Psych 495 - Teaching Assistantship

Course Objectives:

Teaching is exciting, energizing, and exhausting, all at the same time. The goal of this course is to help you step out from the position of learner, into the role of instructor. This involves raising awareness of a host of different issues including the different types of teaching, ways to present material, the use of technology and multi-media, what to include and what to drop, how to engage learners, and so on. You will gain skills that will help you become an effective teacher. If you are interesting in being a TA please complete this form and send it me. TA Application


There will be three forms of writing required for this course:

  • One-page philosophy of teaching paper. (Click here for a helpful guide)
  • Weekly journal/notes of insightful teaching experiences (criticisms and comments of what you see).
  • Scholarship of Teaching ((SoTL) proposal/research paper (5-6 pages).

In addition you are expected to complete all teaching-related responsibilities. These include:

  • Attending all class sessions and reading material for class.
  • Designing, implementing, and grading of small group exercises.
  • Preparing and running 2 review sessions before each exam.
  • Writing exam questions and aiding with giving the exam.
  • Doing a class lecture (50-75 minutes).
  • Responding to and moderating online student discussion.
  • Recording online quiz scores.
  • Check your TA email account (psychta1/

Meeting Schedule:

Weekly/Bi-weekly meetings with the instructor.


Successful and conscientious completion of all assignments and will include observation of teaching and review sections (written and verbal comments will be provided, section may be videotaped) by instructor and peers. The student should create a teaching plan for the lecture they will give and have it critiqued by the instructor.

Reading List:

  • Buskist, W. (2000). Common mistakes made by graduate teaching assistants and suggestions for correcting them. Teaching of Psychology, 27 (4), 280-282.
  • Davis, B. G. (1993). Preparing to teach the large lecture course. In Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • McKeachie, W. J. (1994). Teaching Tips. Lexington, MA: Heath.
  • Svinicki, M. (2001). The teaching assistantship: A preparation for multiple roles. In W. McKeachie, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (11 ed.). Lexington, MA: Health.
  • Current issues of Teaching of Psychology journal.

Useful Sites: