Learning Assistants at UM

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE SPRING 2022 SEMESTER

For Prospective Learning Assistants and Instructors

How do LAs benefit?

Learning Assistants create and foster relationships with their faculty mentor through weekly meetings. During these meetings, mentors discuss the upcoming week's material while LAs provide feedback related to their own experience with the material. Since they will be revisiting the course material from a different perspective they gain a better understanding of the course content. LAs attend a weekly pedagogy seminar where they learn how to facilitate productive conversations and discuss their struggles and successes with other LAs from around campus.  Learning Assistants earn up to 3 upper-division, education credits depending on their LA commitments.

 

How do instructors benefit?

Learning Assistants help create a more collaborative and active learning environment in your classroom. Since they only recently completed the course, they are able to identify and help correct students' misconceptions.  They provide regular feedback to you related to both your teaching strategies and what they struggled with when they took the course. Learning Assistants attend a weekly pedagogy seminar where they learn research-based instructional strategies that they can help you implement directly into your courses such as peer-learning, formative assessment, ConcepTest questions, metacognition, and midterm evaluation surveys.  

 

Become a Learning Assistant Mentor

Learning Assistant Mentors are experienced Learning Assistants who are passionate about mentoring current LAs and expanding the Learning Assistant Program. They are asked to: 

  1. Attend and help facilitate the weekly LA Pedagogy Seminar on Tuesdays at 5-5:50 PM
  2. Mentor a subset of LAs, answering questions related to LA concerns and expectations
  3. Learn how to observe LA practices and provide feedback
  4. Assist with recruitment and selection of the next set of LAs

In addition to gaining valuable experience working with LAs, Learning Assistant Mentors are paid a stipend of $1,000 per semester.

Deadline: Monday, December 13th

What is the Learning Assistant Model?

The Learning Assistant Model pairs high-performing students, called Learning Assistants (LAs), with faculty focused on transforming their courses into engaging, active learning based courses. Based on University of Colorado-Boulder’s Learning Assistant Model the program focuses on three pillars: practice, content, and pedagogy.

 

Practice

LAs encourage/support discourse as small groups of students work weekly on collaborative group tasks.

Pedagogy

First time LAs participate in a weekly education seminar led by STEM teacher/faculty mentors.

Content

LAs engage in weekly planning sessions with mentor faculty member of course serving as an LA.

Who are Learning Assistants?

LAs are students who successfully complete a course and then return to the class as a volunteer.  The LA promotes learning by facilitating discussions, asking thoughtful questions, addressing misconceptions, and fostering a collaborative environment in the classroom. LAs help transform courses into an active-learning environment where students, LAs, and faculty all work together to understand core concepts on a deeper level. Since LAs recently worked through course material, they are better able to identify common struggles and how students work through them.  LAs are not responsible for teaching the material or grading and are looked at as a peer rather than an authoritative figure. 

comparison of top dowm teaching model and la collaborative model

Learning Assistant Poster Showcase

Each semester, all of the Learning Assistants across campus put together a poster that illustrates their successes during the semester.  Since we were unable to gather in the spring semester, the LAs recorded their presentations. View the LAs posters and presentations.

Sponsored by UM’s Learning Assistant program and the Provost's Teaching Excellence Initiative

What do we ask of LAs?

  1. All LAs take a 1-3 credit pedagogy seminar on Tuesdays at 5-5:50 PM, answer weekly reflection questions, and complete 2 projects (LA Feedback Survey and Poster presentation).
  2. Some duties related to being an LA could include:
    1. Meeting with faculty mentors on a regular basis to discuss content and help design course activities or questions that encourage discussion.
    2. Attending regularly scheduled labs or lectures per mentor’s schedule.
    3. Hosting office hours or running review sessions
    4. Looking at lectures or responding to students questions on Moodle

NPR story detailing CU-Boulder’s LA program and its benefits.

History of our Learning Assistant Program?

The Learning Assistant Program started at the University of Montana in 2011 thanks to a National Science Foundation Noyce Grant DUE 1136412.  Originally, the Learning Assistant Program was limited to mathematics and science majors who chose to become teachers, but in the fall of 2017, the program was expanded to include high-performing students interested in helping facilitate active learning environments in all courses. 

Courses Recruiting LAs for Spring 2022

The following courses are interested in recruiting Learning Assistants 

Course Instructor Course Meeting Times Number of Learning Assistant
BIOB 170

Erick Greene

Scott Miller

MWF 1-1:50 PM 7 (Filled)
BIOM 460

Angela Luis

MWF 11-11:50 AM 1
CHMY 121 Recitations Kimberly Stanek

M 10-10:50 AM

M 12-12:50 PM (2)

T 9-9:50 AM (2)

5 (1 Filled)
CHMY 123 Recitations Brooke Martin

M 1-1:50 PM (2)

M 2-2:50 PM

M 3-3:50 PM (2)

M 4-4:50 PM

6
COMX 115 Heather Voorhees

MWF 12-12:50 PM 

1
GEO 101 Natalie Bursztyn

MWF 11-11:50 AM

1-2
GEO 103 Natalie Bursztyn

Asynchronous

1
ENSC 396 Caroline Stephens

W 4-4:50 PM and labs

1 (Filled)
ENSC 470 Caroline Stephens T R 3:30-4:50 PM 1 (Filled)
FRCH 102 Anna Lokowich MTWR 2-2:50 PM 1
FRCH 102 Anna Lokowich Asynchronous 1
GBLD 110 Gillian Glaes Asynchronous 1
GBLD 220 Nicky Phear T 3:30-4:50 PM 3 (1 Filled)
HONR 120-82 Bruce Hardy TR 9:30-10:50 AM 1 (Filled)
LATN 102 Scott Arcenas MWF 9-9:50 AM 1 (Filled)
PSCI 377 Peter Koehn M 4-6:20 PM 1 (Filled)

STAT 216

Fred Peck MWF 10-10:50 AM 5

NRSM 422

Brian C Chaffin MWF 10-10:50 AM 1-2 (1 Filled)

WILD 180

Erim Gómez  TR 10-10:50 AM 2

WILD 480

Erim Gómez  TR 8-9:20 AM 1

 

Courses Recruiting LAs for Fall 2021

The following courses are interested in recruiting Learning Assistants 

Course  Instructor Course Meeting times Number of Learning Assistants
ASTR 131 Mark Reiser TR 11-12:20 1 (1 Filled)
BIOB 260

Mark Grimes

MWF 9-9:50

3 (2 Filled)

CCS 103X

Peter McDonough

MWF 3:30-4:50 PM

1-3 (1 Filled)

CHMY 121 Recitations

Brooke Martin

Tuesdays

4-6 (2 Filled)

CHMY 123 Recitations Brooke Martin

Mondays

4-6 (2 Filled)
GEO 101-01 Natalie Bursztyn

MWF 1-1:50 PM

2-3

EDU 370

Bonnie Spence Asynchronous 1 (1 Filled)
EDU 397 (Distance) Bonnie Spence W 12:30-2:20 PM 1
EDU 397 (UM Campus) Bonnie Spence W 10-11:50 AM 1

ENST 201

Rosalyn LaPier TR 9:30-10:50 AM 1
ENST 410 Rosalyn LaPier TR 11-12:50 AM 1
GBLD 194-01 Gillian Glaes TR 11-12:20 PM 1
GBLD 194-04 Peter McDonough MWF 11-11:50 AM 1 (Filled)
GBLD 194-07 Caroline Stevens TR 3:30-4:50 PM 1 (Filled)
HONR 120 Timothy Nichols

T 3-4:15 PM

W 8:30-9:45 AM

20-25 (13 Filled)
HONR 121-80 Erin Saldin

TR 11-12:20 PM

1 (Filled)
HONR 121-81 Mark Hanson

TR 12:30-1:50 PM

1 (Filled)
HONR 121-82 Mark Hanson TR 2-3:20 PM 1 (Filled)
HONR 121-83 Mark Hanson TR 3:30-4:50 PM 1
HONR 121-84 Bruce Hardy TR 9:30-10:50 AM 1 (Filled) 
HONR 121-85 Bruce Hardy TR 8-9:20 AM 1 (Filled)
LATN 101-01 Scott Arcenas MWF 9-9:50 AM 1 (Filled)
LATN 101-02 Matthew Semanoff MWF 11-11:50 AM 1 (Filled)
M 105 Richard Darnell MWF 9-9:50 AM 1-3
M 115 Richard Darnell MWF 11-11:50 AM 1-3 (1 Filled)
M 122-02 Regina Souza MWF 1-1:50 PM 1
M 151-01 Regina Souza MTWF 10-10:50 AM 1 (Filled)
M 151-02 Regina Souza MTWF 11-11:50 AM 1 (Filled)
M 172-01 Elizabeth Gillaspy MTWF 11-11:50 AM 1
NRSM 273 Andrea Stephens W 1-3:50 PM 2 (Filled)

PHSX 215

PHSX 217

David Macaluso

Jaylene Naylor

R 1-1:50 PM

T or W 3-4:50 PM

6 (6 Filled)
PSCI 463 Peter Koehn W 4-6:20 PM 1
STAT 216 Frederick Peck MWF 10-10:50 AM 6 (3 Filled)
WILD 105 Erim Gomez MWF 11-11:50 AM 2-3 
WILD 180  Erim Gomez TR 10-10:50 AM 4-5 (3 Filled)
WILD 240 Victoria Dreitz TR 9:30-10:50 AM 1
WILD 470 Angela Luis

MWF 12-12:50

R 1-2:50

1 (Filled)

 

Introduction to Honors LA Application

Apply to Become an Introduction to Honors Learning Assistant!!

The Introduction to Honors instructor and Davidson Honors College Dean, Dr. Tim Nichols, is recruiting 20-25 Learning Assistants in HONR 120. DHC LAs will introduce a group of HONR 120 students into the DHC and help guide them through their first semester at UM. You will get to work closely with Dr. Nichols, the other LAs, and 2 Lead Learning Assistants who will help run the weekly pedagogy seminar with the LA Program Coordinator, Josh Herring. During our weekly meetings, we will discuss research-based practices for facilitating a collaborative and productive learning environment, strategies for building a vibrant DHC community, and how to become a leader at the DHC and UM! 

If you are interested, please fill out the application below

 

Contact Information

Josh Herring, Learning Assistant Coordinator and Learning Assistant Instructor

Email: Josh.Herring@UMontana.edu