P2-13: A First Look at Training GTAs to Foster Active Learning and Teaching for Conceptual Understanding

With Kristen E. Roland and Jennifer J. Kaplan (The University of Georgia)


As enrollments in introductory statistics courses rise, institutions are increasing the use of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) to instruct or help facilitate these courses. Simultaneously, courses are beginning to include more active learning components and teaching for conceptual understanding as recommended, in part, by the GAISE College Report. Little research has been done, however, to determine the needs of these new instructors, in particular GTAs, to facilitate active learning and teach for conceptual understanding.

This poster will discuss lessons learned from a two-year pilot GTA training program we developed to implement new lessons designed for our introductory statistics course to actively engage students and develop conceptual understanding. Descriptions of the GTA training program, lessons learned, and changes made to the program will be described. In addition, initial findings will be presented about struggles GTAs have connecting their theoretical knowledge to the conceptual ideas that are the focus of the new activities. This poster will focus specifically on changes in GTAs conceptual understanding and ability to facilitate activities focused on the conceptual understanding of confidence intervals for one population proportion. The poster is based on work supported by NSF DUE 1504587.