Student Guide to Working with Your Teaching Assistant or Instructional Assistant

Looking for guidance in getting the most out of your courses? Not sure that you understood what the instructor said in class? Make an appointment to speak with the Teaching Assistant (TA) or Instructional Assistant (IA) for your course.

TAs and IAs are assigned to many College of IST courses during Fall and Spring semesters and are excellent resources for students. They work closely with the instructors in providing challenging and meaningful learning experiences.

Courses may also include Learning Assistants, motivated undergraduate students who assist instructors and students. For more information on working with your LA, see the LA-Student Guide.

If your course has a TA or IA assigned to it, contact information should be listed on your syllabus. Many assistants hold office hours, and those should be listed on the syllabus as well. If your assistant holds office hours during Tutoring Sessions, you may benefit from both your assigned assistant and the other assistants who are typically on call during college-wide tutoring hours.

Your course instructor determines what, exactly, your TA or IA will do. Most often, assistants help with explaining course concepts, sharing tips on assignments, helping teams get organized for large projects, grading and providing feedback, and helping students get started on challenging assignments and problems. They may also assist with setting up virtual labs and trouble-shooting problems with course technologies.

Students are asked to provide feedback to assistants during the semester. You will receive emails inviting you to complete these evaluations.

Undergraduate students in a 5-year Integrated Undergraduate Graduate (IUG) program in the College of IST are eligible to apply for IA positions. All other undergraduate students who are interested in assisting in a course should consult the Learning Assistant (LA) page for information on that position.