Investigating Research Assistant Experiences in the TLDG Programme

Grant recipient: Angela McLean, Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines

Project team: Irina Presnyakova, research assistant, Laura D'Amico, Research Associate, Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines

Timeframe: December 2015 to December 2016

Funding: $6,000


Final report: View this project's final report (PDF) and extended version of the final report (PDF)


Description: I would like to investigate the experiences of the Research Assistants (RAs) involved in the SFU Teaching and Learning Development grant programme (TLDG). These RAs are of two different ‘types’: those who are hired by faculty grant recipients to work as a RA on a specific grant project, and those who are hired by the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) to work with the team that facilitates the grants program. The RAs hired to work on projects are graduate students, and come from a variety of different disciplines; most are not familiar with educational research, nor are the faculty grant recipients who hired them. RAs who are hired by the ISTLD will have at least had experience as a RA for a specific project.  In light of the RAs’ differing disciplinary contexts and ways of thinking and practicing, I am interested in their experiences with this teaching and learning inquiry work.  

Questions addressed:

  • What are the experiences of the RAs?
  • What do the RAs learn from the projects?
  • How socially-situated is RA experience?
  • How can the TLDG programme improve?

Dissemination: First and foremost the project will be shared with members of the ISTLD team, as the research is undertaken, via ongoing informal discussions/updates. There may be an opportunity to present this work more formally at institution-wide events, such as SFU's Symposium on Teaching and Learning, or equivalent. Other opportunities to share this work beyond SFU may also arise (e.g. BC Campus Symposium)