December 11, 2019

“My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series

By Centre for Educational Excellence staff

Guillermo Santa Cruz discovered that making his tutorials more interactive and giving students the opportunity to apply theory to "real life" problems led to greater engagement and learning. He describes his experiences as a teaching assistant in episode 6 of the TA/TM Stories podcast series.

Three new podcasts published by the Centre for Educational Excellence in early December provide fresh glimpses into the lives of teaching support staff. All three are part of the six-part TA/TM Stories series and feature interviews with SFU teaching assistants, tutor-markers or sessional instructors.  

Episode 4 in the six-part TA/TM Stories series is titled “Creating Connections in Online Courses” and describes the challenges of developing relationships and community in virtual environments.

Episode 5 is titled “Confessions of a First-time Sessional” and focuses on the realization that being a good teacher is about much more than being well-liked.

Episode 6 is titled “From Bored to Active” and centres on how a novice teaching assistant came to discover the importance of interactivity as a means of fostering student engagement and learning.

The series was produced by Jackie Amsden and Duane Woods of the Centre for Educational Excellence.

Listen to episodes 4 to 6 below. Episodes 1 to 3 are accessible here.

4. TA/TM Stories: Creating Connections in Online Courses

With Michelle La (sociology and anthropology)
“We’ve tried to make ourselves seem human … Perhaps we overshare.”

5. TA/TM Stories: Confessions of a First-time Sessional

With Medha Satish Kumar (Beedie School of Business)
“I thought being a nice person would mean automatically that you are a good teacher too. I found out later that you needed to do a lot more things.”

6. TA/TM Stories: From Bored to Active

With Guillermo Santa Cruz (educational psychology)
“My students didn’t look like they were having fun.”


Teaching Support, Student Experience, Teaching Practice