TA Guidelines

Summary of TA Responsibilities

  • TAs can be expected to devote up to a 20 hours per week, averaged over the semester, helping to teach a subject.  This number, ~260 hours over the course of a 13-week semester, represents the absolute maximum time commitment that is to be required of the TA. It represents total time, including preparing recitations, teaching, holding office hours, and contributing to problem sets.
  • TAs attend all lectures, and should take notes, which may be requested by the faculty lecturer.
  • TAs are responsible for preparing and teaching recitations.
  • Lab course TA’s have lab-specific responsibilities that may include set-up of lab equipment, testing of lab experiments, and assisting students during lab course time, among others. The ~260 hour maximum time commitment is applicable to one lab course module.
  • TAs hold regular office hours.
  • Faculty and TAs proctor exams.
  • TAs may grade problem sets and quizzes and may grade exams/term papers/projects with a faculty-provided scoring rubric.
  • TAs may play a role in designing problem sets, quizzes, and study problems, under guidance from a faculty member.
  • While TAs may make suggestions for exam questions and give feedback on drafts written by faculty, TAs are not responsible for writing exams.
  • Answer keys for exams or problem sets are a shared responsibility of faculty and TAs, with faculty responsible for the final content of the answer key and for re-grading exams, as needed.
  • As requested by faculty, TAs will take exams before they are given to the class, to improve clarity of the exam and their ability to grade.
  • Former TAs are encouraged to mentor and/or help the current TAs, but the responsibility of the TAship stops at the end of the semester, typically after grades are submitted.


Additional Faculty Responsibilities

  • Faculty must meet with TAs before the start of the semester in order to establish expectations for each course and plan the arrangements.
  • Faculty should meet with TAs on a regular basis throughout the course, to assess performance, hourly time commitment to the course, and to provide a forum for feedback.


Issues during the TA

  • Problems that arise during the TA should be brought to the attention of: (1) BE REFs, (2) the BE Graduate Program Chair, (3) the Head of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, or (4) the Head of the Department.