Nursing Education and Teaching Assistants

Nurses Educator 2

 Teaching Assistants in Nursing Education

Nursing Education and Teaching Assistants

Who are Teaching Assistants,Impact of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants,Benefits of Teaching In History Assistants.

Who are Teaching Assistants

    Teaching assistants (TAS) provide support to faculty and students in course related tasks or in the simulation or laboratory resource center. Undergraduate TAs (UTAs) are appointed or employed based on satisfactory completion of the course, meeting a minimum grade point average (GPA), and successful faculty to student matches. The use of UTA is a newly emerging practice in nursing education and may prove valuable, especially in light of current and future increases in student enrollments and short ages of nursing faculty.

Impact of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

    UTAS have been used successfully in many disciplines to lead discussion sessions, grade assignments, tutor other students, conduct office hours, and enter grades (Goff & Lahme. 2003; Herrman & Waterhouse, 2010; Reges, 2003). UTAs may assist in programs of nursing by supporting faculty, providing additional academic resources to students, and increasing the UTA skills in peer leadership and course material mastery while exposing undergraduate students to the faculty role as a potential career choice (Chandler, 2005; Goldsmith, Stewart, & Ferguson, 2006; Herrman & Waterhouse, 2010).

Benefits of Teaching In History Assistants

    TAs and faculty mentors may benefit greatly from the TA role. UTAs learn to connect with students on a mentoring level and assist them with strategies to enable learning and thriving in the academic environment. UTAS develop skills in leadership, project management, and communication. Furthermore, they may begin to appreciate the role of the nurse educator and see it as part of their career trajectory. Faculty benefit by being able to focus on higher level demands of teaching, including developing classes, incorporating creative strategies into teaching methods, conducting classroom assessment and higher level evaluation measures, and other faculty tasks. 

    Faculty also glean benefits from the close relationships developed with UTAS and are able to provide valuable mentoring while being relieved of selected administrative and clerical roles. Students are perhaps the most fortunate beneficiaries of the UTA programs. They have the opportunity to learn from fellow students, to develop mentoring relationships with peers, and to have increased resources for development.The role of UTAs may vary based on the needs of the students, the teaching formats of the educational program, and the individual wishes of faculty. 

    Authors have identified the potential tasks of the UTA to include proctoring examinations, taking examinations to the testing center or running examinations, providing review sessions for students on a weekly basis or in preparation for examinations, tutoring students who are struggling with class content, checking the American Psychological Association (APA) format in student assignments, maintaining course records for mandatory assignments, commenting on field experience assignments, grading short assignments or those easily analyzed via established rubrics, entering student scores into grade programs or online grade books, grading quizzes, leading discussion groups, providing peer education in the laboratory setting, and stocking or preparing the lab (Chandle, 2005; Goldsmith et al., 2006, Herrman & Waterhouse, 2010), In addition, faculty play an important role in ensuring the success of the UTA program. 

    Ongoing communication, clear delineation of expectations, and supervision of tasks are critical. UTAS should not be asked to handle difficult student situations or to take on responsibilities outside their level, skill, and expertise. Faculty who delegates by clearly explaining the UTA's tasks and details find that UTAs are of significant assistance in their educational workload. Without such delegation, UTAs may appear to add to the faculty burden. It is important to maintain a close working relationship with UTAs and ensure that the experience is positive in their course of study.

    Other disciplines allow TAs, usually at the graduate level, to teach didactic classes, develop examinations, and evaluate higher-level assignments. In nursing, they are used more in undergraduate clinical nursing education. Graduate student TAs may be helpful, but their personal course work and requirements, family demands, and short-term needs may limit their value as TAs. 

    A shortage of nursing faculty and pressure to increase student enrollment is leading schools to reconfigure the nursing curriculum . Strategies to increase enrollment in nursing education programs include increasing numbers of faculty and supplementary staff to support clinical and classroom teaching. One component of this redesign could be to develop a TA program for undergraduate students (Herrman & Waterhouse, 2010). In an example UTA program, students apply and register for a pass-fail course. 

    They work 28 hours with a faculty member or provide support in the simulation resource center in addition, the UTAs sign a contract delineating behavior and the obligations of the UTA role and participate in a group orientation highlighting confidentiality, working with students, and role expectations. This program demonstrated success in allowing faculty to ensure time spent on class lectures and other teaching methods, assisted students in receiving extra support for their learning, and provided UTAS with valuable experiences. Participants report satisfaction with the program (Herrman & Waterhouse, 2010).

    Chandler (2005) described a UTA program in which undergraduate students are paired with graduate TAs and faculty to support a large freshmen class of nursing students. Evaluation of this program revealed positive outcomes including increased mentoring of students, development of UTA leadership qualities, and faculty perceptions of an ease in workload. Goldsmith, Stewart, and Ferguson (2006) employed third year nursing students to assist more novice students to learn skills in the lab setting, leading to positive outcomes in learning and course implementation.

    As with any new teaching method or innovative program, the use of TAs in nursing education demands ongoing and rigorous evaluation. Each nursing program must assess needs and the possibility for UTAs to fill critical gaps in educational practices. The relatively intangible outcomes of UTAs, benefit to TAs, and impact on faculty workload necessitate evaluation using both quantitative and qualitative methods.The need for clear delineation of the UTA role and ongoing evaluation of student and faculty outcomes is imperative. 

    Collins and Simco (2006) describe the use of reflection and reflective journaling to ensure that UTAS incorporate principles of teaching and learning rather than simply completing tasks to support faculty and students.Future analysis may explore how UTA programs cultivate interest in careers as nursing and researchers faculty members, support faculty mentoring, and accommodate additional numbers. Because the teaching role and the teaching-learning process are inherent to the education of students, TAs are logical additions to the provision of undergraduate education and may prove useful in a variety of academic settings.

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!