Inquiry-based training improves teaching effectiveness of biology teaching assistants
P. William Hughes, Michelle R. Ellefson 2013 PLOS One v. 8, no. 10
Abstract: Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are used extensively as undergraduate science lab instructors at universities, yet they often have having minimal instructional training and little is known about effective training methods. This blind randomized control trial study assessed the impact of two training regimens on GTA teaching effectiveness. GTAs teaching undergraduate biology labs (n = 52) completed five hours of training in either inquiry-based learning pedagogy or general instructional “best practices”. GTA teaching effectiveness was evaluated using: (1) a nine-factor student evaluation of educational quality; (2) a six-factor questionnaire for student learning; and (3) course grades. Ratings from both GTAs and undergraduates indicated that indicated that the inquiry-based learning pedagogy training has a positive effect on GTA teaching effectiveness.