Pedagogy Course

Peer Instructor Education (01:090:322)

Learning assistants are required to co-enroll in this pedagogy course during their first semester in the LA Program, and subsequent participation in the LA Program is contingent upon successful completion of this course.

Course Overview

The content of this course focuses on effective methods of college teaching and instructional strategies. Students participate in activities designed to increase their understanding of the role of a peer educator. The instructional strategies taught in this class align with the Learning Center's guiding principles of student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments and differentiated classroom instruction.

Through this course, students learn how to:

  • work with course instructors to facilitate small-group learning among students in their lectures
  • help teaching assistants facilitate individual and small-group student learning during recitations
  • lead study groups or recitations, which involves
    • designing student-centered activities
    • facilitating small group learning through dialogic discourse and effective questioning techniques

Course Topics

Learning assistants are trained to facilitate learning and engage students in scientific discourse (rather than act as experts who have knowledge that needs to be transmitted to the student). The syllabus for Spring 2018 is available here.

Topics include:

  • questioning techniques
  • learning theories
  • mental models and conceptual change
  • cooperative learning
  • memory and metacognition
  • activity design
  • diversity

Course Structure

The course design models active and collaborative learning experiences for the students, who then can apply these strategies and techniques in their assigned lectures, recitations, labs, and study groups.

Constructing Knowledge

As course instructors, we do not lecture the students who enroll in this course. Rather, this course follows a "flipped classroom" design. Students are required to read content (from discipline-based education research articles; review articles; book chapters) prior to class. During class, students discuss the content in small-group and as a whole-class; participate in active, collaborative learning activities related to the content; and develop their own activities that they can utilize as study group leaders or contribute to lesson planning for recitations, labs, and lectures.

Assessment of Student Learning

Students demonstrate their understanding of course content weekly reading quizzes and in-class activities. Students take two exams and complete two projects throughout the semester (an interview project and writing a teaching philosophy statement).

Course Offerings

This course is a requirement for all first-semester LAs and is also open to peer leaders from any other Rutgers departments or programs or students interested in peer education. To discuss designing such a course, or the potential to offer such a course for the peer leaders in your program, please email Dr. Alice Seneres or Stacey Blackwell.

Fall 2011 - 2 sections
 

Instructors: Stacey Artman and AJ Richards (graduate student, Rutgers Department of Physics and Astronomy

  • Meeting Times
    • Section 1: Friday, 2 pm - 5 pm, ARC 328
    • Section 2: Monday, 5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328
  • Poster Session
Fall 2012 - 2 sections
 

Instructors: Stacey Artman and Mary Emenike

  • Meeting Times
    • Section 1: Friday, 2 pm - 5 pm, ARC 328
    • Section 2: Monday, 5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328
  • Syllabus
  • Poster Session
Fall 2013 - 2 sections
 

Instructors: Stacey Artman and Darrick Jones (graduate student, Rutgers Department of Physics and Astronomy)

  • Meeting Times
    • Section 1: Tuesday, 5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328
    • Section 2: Wednesday,  5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328
  • Syllabus
  • Poster Session
Fall 2014 - 2 sections
 

Instructors:Mary Emenike (Sec 2), Susan Bennet (Assistant Director of First Year Programs, Sec 1)

  • Meeting Times
    • Section 1: Wednesday,  5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328
    • Section 2: Fridays, 2 pm - 5 pm
Fall 2015 - 4 sections
 

Instructors: Stacey Blackwell (Sec 1), Lucille Lu (Sec 2), Mary Emenike (Sec 3), Susan Bennet (Assistant Director of First Year Programs, Sec 4)

  • Location: ARC 328 (Busch Campus)
  • Meeting Times
    • Section 1: Thursday, 5 pm - 8 pm
    • Section 2: Fridays, 10:20 am - 1:20 pm
    • Section 3: Fridays, 2 pm - 5 pm
    • Section 4: Mondays, 5 pm - 8 pm
  • Syllabus
  • Poster Sessions:
    • View list of presenters and poster titles
    • Friday, Dec. 11th
      • 2 pm - 4 pm
      • ARC first floor foyer
    • Monday, Dec. 14th
      • 10 am - 12 pm
      • ARC first floor foyer
Fall 2016 - 7 sections
 

Instructors: (listed next to sections below)

  • Instructors: (listed next to sections below)
  • Location and Meeting Times
  • for STEM Disciplines
    • Section 1: Tuesdays, 5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328 (Ashley Pennington)
    • Section 2: Wednesdays, 5 pm - 8 pm, ARC 328 (Charles Ruggieri)
    • Section 3: Fridays, 10:20 am - 1:20 pm, ARC 328 (Sari Katzen)
    • Section 4: Fridays, 1:40 pm - 4:40 pm, Tillett 111 N & P (Alice Seneres, Ph.D.)
    • Section 5: Fridays, 1:40 pm - 4:40 pm, ARC 328 (Mary Emenike, Ph.D.)
    • Section 7: Tuesday, 5 pm - 8pm, LSH A-232 (Aisha Huggins-Smith)
  • for non-STEM Disciplines
    • Section 6: Fridays, 1:10 pm - 4:10 pm, Rutgers Academic Building Room 1150 (Lucille Lu)
  • Syllabus
  • Poster Sessions:
    • View list of presenters and poster titles
    • Thursday, Dec. 15th in Kessler Great Hall, Busch Campus
      • Session I: 9:30 am - 11:30 am
      • Session II: 12 pm - 2 pm
      • Session III: 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Fall 2017 - 5 sections
 

Instructors: (listed next to sections below)

I recently completed a 6-month volunteering project in Brazil where part of my duties included teaching English, Spanish, and basic science to at-risk and orphaned youth and adolescents. Everything that I learned in the LA Program’s Peer Instructor Education Course (particularly related to collaborative learning environments) and through being a genetics learning assistant was incredibly helpful and, without a doubt, enhanced my ability to reach out and teach such a tough population.

Melanie Davila
BA Genetics, minor Public Health (2013)
learning assistant for genetics (01:447:380) 2012-2013