korndoctor

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after reading through this forum, it seems a lot of undergrads have been ta's. how is this possible? i'm at uconn and every ta is a grad student; they seem to have a big responsibility being in charge of grades of everyone in labs, so how would a university let premeds that are willing to sabatoge their friends grades be a ta?
 

Robizzle

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korndoctor said:
after reading through this forum, it seems a lot of undergrads have been ta's. how is this possible? i'm at uconn and every ta is a grad student; they seem to have a big responsibility being in charge of grades of everyone in labs, so how would a university let premeds that are willing to sabatoge their friends grades be a ta?
at my school they are split between TA (teaching assistant) and TF (teaching fellow). Where TF's are grad students who have lotsa responsibilities while TA's are just undergrads who answer questions when the professor is busy.
 

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Dunno. I just talked to the Gen Chem professor while I was doing my post-bac, showed her my grades and she said she'd give me a shot if a spot opened up.

I had Gen Chem I the next semester.
 

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korndoctor said:
after reading through this forum, it seems a lot of undergrads have been ta's. how is this possible? i'm at uconn and every ta is a grad student; they seem to have a big responsibility being in charge of grades of everyone in labs, so how would a university let premeds that are willing to sabatoge their friends grades be a ta?
TA's at my school are students who have taken the class before. There was never sabatoge, at least at my school. In fact, with student TA's I never saw below a grade 95% (everyone did well not just friends) and they served as a excellent resource for questions and freakouts before exams. Grad student TAs tend to grade harder (because they are being graded themselves on how they TA at my school) and were usually unavailable for questions.
 

jackieMD2007

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I wasn't a pre-med when I became a biochem TA. I knew the proefssor well, had done well in the class. I lead three discussion sections a week, had office hours, and graded exams, all under the direction of my prof. I lead three Saturday (pre-midterm and final) reviews on my own time. I was paid a nice stipend for my trouble, and LOVED working with fellow students. I would make a mistake on the white board, someone would let me know, we'd laugh and move on. :)
 

CavalierMD

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Matth52 said:
Purdue has a similar system for bio labs. Each lab has an undergrad ta and a grad student ta. It seems to work out really well.
This is how UVa works, too. The undergrads are called "peer teachers." We basically help out during the actual lab period, answering questions, running reviews, making sure the experiments run smoothly. We don't even see a grade and are not even allowed to hold office hours or give help outside the actual lab period... that's to avoid conflict that would arise if one lab section has a genuinely helpful peer teacher and another has one that's in it for the ego boost/trolling opportunity. It's a lot of fun though! :thumbup:
 

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My school doesn't have a graduate program, so undergrads get to be TAs. You have to have decent grades and have taken the class before, so it's pretty easy. We just assist during lab, no grading papers or anything.
 

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Our TA for Gen Chem II just ran the review sessions and would sit in on the class to see what material was being taught. We had undergrads for lab instructors too, and they did all the grading and stuff for lab. Undergrads also worked in the Science Learning Center, and they graded tests and tutored for all the sciences.
 

butmylipshurtrealbad

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I was a u-grad TA for a teacher I knew well after taking a few classes with him and doing well. For us, u-grads TAs are the same as grad TAs, except we probably do more work because we're more excited about the opportunity, and we got paid a lot less (I would have done it for free anyway). We graded papers, held reviews, taught sections 2X a week, etc... I never would have thought of sabotage, and as was said earlier, I think we were actually friendlier than the grad TAs. I had a lot of grad TAs who seemed to have fun making things too hard and grading too hard, and spent a lot of time trying to look smart.
 

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CavalierMD said:
This is how UVa works, too. The undergrads are called "peer teachers." We basically help out during the actual lab period, answering questions, running reviews, making sure the experiments run smoothly. We don't even see a grade and are not even allowed to hold office hours or give help outside the actual lab period... that's to avoid conflict that would arise if one lab section has a genuinely helpful peer teacher and another has one that's in it for the ego boost/trolling opportunity. It's a lot of fun though! :thumbup:
This is what we did too, but only some departments did it. I think the Bio labs were the only ones to have undergrad TA's, although we could help outside of class if anyone had questions. Some of the intro level humanities classes had undergrad TA's too, who were basically there to do review sessions outside of class. Undergrads never had anything to do with grading though, that always went back to the prof or a grad student.
 

TinyFish

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ParvatiP said:
My school doesn't have a graduate program, so undergrads get to be TAs. You have to have decent grades and have taken the class before, so it's pretty easy. We just assist during lab, no grading papers or anything.
Yeah, same here...we were a small LA College with no graduate program (except in art), so we had no choice but to have ugrad TAs. We did grade problem sets, papers, and lab write-ups, butI never knew of a TA screwing anyone else over. Everyone was pretty good about honor code stuff, good sportsmanship, and helping other students out.