Teaching Assistant, ENSP 460, Spring 2015

Instructor Daniel Soto
Office Rachel Carson Hall 12
Email sotod@sonoma.edu
Meeting Time Varies
Classroom Varies
Units Varies

Course Catalog Description

Open only to advanced students. Intended to give students experience in assisting the instructor in an environmental studies course by doing research and tutoring students in the class. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. This may be repeated for credit.

Learning Objectives

  • Deepen understanding of course material by teaching to others
  • Provide constructive feedback to improve student work
  • Increase organizational and time management skills

Assisting in the teaching of a course will allow you to deepen your knowledge of the material in the class by having to communicate it clearly to new students. You will also improve your skills in organization by helping to provide a weekly schedule of activities and assignments for students to follow. You will also learn how to critique work and provide concrete suggestions for improvement, a vital skill.


  • Accountability

Your work as a Teaching Assistant influences the learning of all students in the class. Please make every effort to meet the assignment deadlines we agree to. If you cannot complete work by the deadline, please notify the instructor as early as possible so that some adjustment can be made.

Course Requirements

As a teaching assistant, you will assist me in all aspects of class. This includes creating lectures, problem sets, and quizzes, grading student work, providing outside support, and organizing materials. You may be asked to help with more than one class that the instructor is teaching.

The following is a list of tasks that you may be asked to assist with as a teaching assistant.

  • Attend lectures
  • Suggest activities and examples for upcoming classes
  • Prepare homework questions
  • Prepare exam questions
  • Facilitate in-class activities
  • Grade and provide feedback on homework assignments
  • Hold study sessions for students
  • Attend regular planning meetings
  • Keep a log of time spent
  • Set up and take down AV equipment

Weekly Goals and Time Log

To develop your time management skills and abilities to prioritize tasks, you will keep a weekly log of what tasks you are working on, how long you expect them to take, and what you were able to accomplish. We will review this at least weekly. Through this you will be able to provide more accurate estimates of how long you need to accomplish things.

The time expectation for this class, like the internship, is 3 hours per week for each unit of credit.

Mid-Semester reflection

At the middle of the semester, you will provide a 300-word essay on the experience so far and what you would like to adjust in the course.

Course reflection

At the end of the semester, you will provide a 500 word essay on what skills and knowledge you gained by serving as a teaching assistant for your class. Please include how you expect these skills to be important in your future plans.


The time log and the course reflection described above are due on 5pm the Friday of finals week. (20 May 2016)


We will work together at the beginning of the semester to come up with a rubric that will determine your grade.