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Selecting and Training the Mentor TAs Each semester ETP selects new Mentor TAs from exemplary GRAD 701 students who exhibit strong interpersonal and teaching skills.During an hour-and-a-half training session, the Mentor TAs learn how to give constructive feedback to peer instructors and to assemble and run the equipment.
Subsequent modifications in higher education settings typically rely on faculty or teaching assistant (TA) peers rather than actual students to provide feedback.
But the model’s positive attributes as a method for introducing neophyte instructors to the experience of classroom teaching are multiple: (a) Microteaching is real teaching; (b) It lessens the complexities of normal classroom teaching in that class size, scope, and content are reduced; (c) It focuses on accomplishing specific tasks; (d) It organizes controlled, structured practice sessions; (e) It allows for immediate, focused feedback; and, (f) It promotes reflection on teaching approaches and on constructive feedback. 275-276) In most microteaching models, the workshop leader along with the peer audience (comprising 5-7 instructors) will review the tape of the five-minute segments together.
After distributing these forms, each TA presenter delivers his or her mini-lesson while the Mentor TA keeps time.
A camera operator, selected from the TA participants, records the presentation.
For example, the instructions for the discussion leader are: When guiding the discussion, be certain that the group focuses initially on the two specific skills the instructor wants feedback on.
Keep the tone positive and constructive, perhaps asking questions such as, ‘How can we provide X with the most help?
Mentor TAs receive a packet with the materials needed for their all-day sessions.
Preparation for the Microteaching Participants The TAs attending GRAD 701 receive written instructions on the microteaching process and a list of sample topics.
’ The TA presenter then receives constructive feedback from the two subgroups.
The Mentor TA facilitates this feedback session by calling on the spokespersons in the two groups to offer constructive criticism in at least three areas: the feedback requested by the presenter, the positive aspects of the presentation, and the areas that need improvement.