Closed - RA Opportunity: Designing a Post Entry Language Assessment in a First-year Engineering Course at a Canadian University

Research Assistant Opportunity
Simon Fraser University’s Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines invites applications for a Research Assistant appointment for the Teaching and Learning Development Grant project: Designing a Post Entry Language Assessment in a First-year Engineering Course at a Canadian University.

The outcome of this project has two intertwined goals: 1) assess students’ reading comprehension skills to allow the instructors to provide appropriate support for students identified as in need of additional assistance; 2) gather data required by our accreditation board.

The research assistant will:

  • Undertake literature reviews related to Post-entry Language Assessment (PELA) and other literature relevant to the project (e.g., compile a database of sample PELAs and related rubrics/grading scales)
  • Search and compile engineering texts that can be incorporated into the design of the PELA
  • Consult/collaborate with principle investigators (PIs) to select appropriate writing samples/texts
  • Participate and assist in instrument and rubric development to assess participants’ reading comprehension skills and responses to open-ended questions
  • Completing observational field-notes (e.g., note time to completion)
  • Interviewing participants individually to collect data around their understanding of the text and their general feedback on the PELA and its design or to follow up on survey responses
  • Collection and analysis of data, including creating a written summary of findings
  • Analyzing data and creating a written summary of findings
  • Preparing and reporting project findings
  • Attending regular meetings with PIs

Required Experience, Qualifications and Skills

  • Preference will be given to a graduate degree in or related to applied linguistics, education, evaluation and assessment.
  • Ability to undertake literature reviews in disciplines beyond own research area
  • Academic research and writing skills
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative data analyses
  • Teaching and learning research inquiry
  • Knowledge of PELA resources, tools, and strategies

Additional experience, qualifications and skills:

  • Experience taking, compiling, and formatting field notes
  • Experience in designing research tools, such as surveys and rubrics
  • Experience interviewing/leading focus groups

Rate of pay: $20 to $25/hr (incl. vacation and statutory holiday pay, no medical or dental benefits) - based on experience, qualification, and degree program (MA or PhD). Up to 196 hours between May and August 2019.

Application instructions: Applicants should submit: (1) a 1-page cover letter structured to address the qualifications, skills, and role responsibilities as listed above, and (2) a 1-2 page resumé with two references listed. These two items should be organized as one PDF attachment and addressed to Mike Sjoerdsma, and emailed to Note: Letters of reference will only be requested from short-listed applicants.

Application deadline: April 22, 2019, 4:30 p.m. We appreciate all replies to this position posting, however, we will only contact short-listed applicants.



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