February 15, 2022

SFU's TA Hub is proving to be a valuable resource for teaching assistants

Since its launch in Fall 2022, the TA Hub has accumulated over 900 registrants.

Originally published on the AVP Learning & Teaching Stories website.

SFU graduate students are feeling more grounded in their teaching support roles thanks to the recently launched TA Hub. 

The TA Hub is a virtual resource created by the Centre for Educational Excellence and Human Resources that introduces graduate students to their roles and responsibilities as a TA. It includes information on how to prepare for tutorials, design engaging lessons, facilitate discussions, lead labs and manage time while marking.

 “Knowing that there's a whole pool of resources that I can access whenever I need it makes me feel more comfortable,” says Rajat Biswas, a first-time TA in the computing science department.

There are currently over 900 graduate students enrolled in the hub, which was designed to complement discipline-specific teaching assistance training provided by departments. 

Jaron Abram, a graduate student in the Beedie School of Business, notes that TA Hub helps him identify practices and information he can trust when it comes to teaching at SFU.  

“One thing I was concerned about was keeping my marking consistent. There is a lot of information out there on different best practices, YouTube tutorials and so on. It’s overwhelming trying to sort through what is good and what’s not. I appreciated being able to find information on marking that is endorsed by SFU. The TA Hub gave me more confidence in my marking.”

School of Communication PhD student Saemi Nadine Jung echoes this sentiment, highlighting the guidance around communicating with students.

“A big challenge is setting boundaries with students and knowing what is appropriate at SFU. Different universities have different conduct policies. For example, some don’t allow TAs to speak to students through texts or messenger platforms. The TA Hub scenarios helped fill that gap. They gave me a concrete sense of what to do and what to expect.”

Clare McGovern, senior lecturer in the political science department, adds that she appreciates being able to refer students to somewhere they can access on-demand support.

“I refer our TAs to the TA Hub. We always tell them that it’s a great place to access ongoing support that’s available on their schedule—like if they need help the night before their tutorial,” says McGovern.

If you are supervising a TA, you can let them know about this resource and how to access it by sending them to CEE’s TA Hub landing page: TA Hub website