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Center for Teaching and Learning

Focused Inquiry Groups (FIGs) - Title III

Learning Assistants

Area of Inquiry

The Learning Connection’s support programs are initiated by instructors who have considered - often with the support of various grants and the Center for Teaching and Learning - new pedagogical approaches and effective learning support interventions. Also, our focus is on very closely linking learning support interventions with classroom instruction. One of the learning support programs initiated by instructors is the Learning Assistant pilot program, which places trained peer tutors, selected by the instructors, in classrooms to work directly with students in the classroom setting, as well as outside of class. Trained by the tutor trainer and mentored by the instructor, the Learning Assistants are in unique positions: While tutoring the students, facilitating student study groups, or serving as model students, they bring additional eyes and ears to the student learning occurring in the classroom. As a result, the Learning Assistants are able to share with the instructor important information about what and how the students are learning.

Our questions are:

  • How does the Learning Assistant intervention impact students’ retention, persistence, and success?
  • In what ways, if any, do instructors who work with Learning Assistants reconsider or “tweak” their pedagogical approaches?
  • How might the training of Learning Assistants best serve these peer tutors as they attempt to “integrate what to learn with how to learn”?

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