Peer TA Program
After certification, FYLI courses receive support for up to one Peer TA per section of the course. Peer TAs must be full-time undergraduate students at NAU during the time they will be working as peer TAs, and they cannot work over 20 hours per week for any combination of NAU paid positions. Course coordinators select students they wish to be Peer TAs, following the FYLI Financial Policy Summary.
Coordinators and instructors identify Peer TAs and initiate the hiring process through their own departments using our department specific FYLI peer TA position number.
FYLI Peer TA & Department Checklist for Departments Accordion Closed
Checklist for Department for hiring the FYLI Peer TA:
- Determine the number of FYLI Peer TAs based on funding allocation provided to you by FYLI
- Initiate the Hire Express, make sure student completes
- I-9 documentations needs to be completed within 3 days of the start date
- Create EPARs using FYLI position number provided to the department, contact FYLI@nau.edu if this information is needed
- Scheduler adds FYLI Peer TA id # to build if they need to access class in Louie
- Online NAU Time Reporting in place for each peer TA (NAU Time & Labor)
- Spreadsheet summary of hiring is sent to FYLI@nau.edu at the beginning of each semester.
- Peer TAs are paid following the NAU Payroll Schedule.
Checklist for the FYLI Peer TAs after hiring is complete:
(Hire Express & I-9 completed / EPAR has been approved)
- Complete the FERPA Training
- Complete CERT Training
- Additional training for new employees
- Provide your FYLI peer TA instructions on your departmental timesheet process
- The FYLI peer TA position number may not be used for summer or winter sessions, nor for non-FYLI Peer TAs
- Peer TAs no longer working under FYLI need to have epars terminated. This should occur at the end of each semester.
What do peer TAs typically do in a course? Accordion Closed
Faculty and coordinators determine the best way to deploy Peer TAs in their courses; FYLI does not enforce a standardized “job description.” However, Peer TAs’ responsibilities should complement the active pedagogy and high levels of engagement in FYLI courses. Examples include:
- circulating among small discussion groups during class to help keep the discussion on track and check progress
- holding office, tutoring, or studio hours (this is particularly helpful when done on weekends or other times when faculty are not on campus)
- grading small-stakes assessments, such as in-class “minute papers”
- participating in and helping monitor online discussions
- recording daily class participation, attendance, or assessment data
Who manages peer TAs’ work? Accordion Closed
It is up to individual faculty and coordinators to guide and supervise the work of the Peer TAs.
Steve Jacobs of SICCS has shared the following document that you may find helpful as a guide for CS 110: Peer TA Roles and Responsibilities.
Elisa Wiedeman has shared a similar document used in her ART 100 course: Welcome Letter TA and Reader Grader.
FERPA and peer TAs Accordion Closed
Benefits of peer TAs Accordion Closed
Peer TAs enable faculty to engage in more active pedagogies and provide needed support for the frequent graded work that is typical of FYLI courses. They may also provide other important benefits. Research in social and cognitive psychology strongly suggests that having a relatable role model – such as a fellow undergraduate student – is particularly powerful for increasing student motivations and feelings of self-efficacy.
Peer TAs themselves also likely enjoy a number of positive outcomes from the experience. These may include having an important work experience to add to a resume/vita, opportunities to revisit and strengthen material learned in earlier courses, and building professional relationships with faculty. A recent study* of undergraduates who had served as peer TAs found that those who went on to become graduate TAs were more comfortable in that graduate TA role. In general, peer TAs in this study rated the experience as being very beneficial, particularly when they had a relatively high level of responsibility in their peer TA positions.
*The full research study citation is Weidert, J., Wendorf, A., Gurung, R., & Filz, T. (2012). A survey of graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. College Teaching, 60 (3), 95-103.