Instructor Resources


Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants are primarily graduate students, with varying assigned duties depending on the course and the instructor. A tutorial-based teaching assistant (T-TA) is a TA who meets one or more small group sections of a lecture course through regularly scheduled tutorial sections. An open lab teaching assistant (O-TA) is TA who is available to larger groups of students, typically in a scheduled, drop-in type of lab. An open lab TA does not meet regularly scheduled tutorial sections. A marking TA (M-TA) is a TA who primarily or exclusively assists an instructor with grading and in some cases, discussion or small group activities in the context of a lecture class. An M-TA does not lead tutorials and may be restricted from having contract with students unless arranged otherwise. M-TAs are not to be confused with tutor markers, who are a special group of TAs assigned to teach online courses through the Center for Online and Distance Education (CODE). 

For more information on working with TAs, please review the FHS TA checklist and the FHS TA/tutorial policies & procedures available here.


Supporting your Teaching Assistant

New and experienced TAs can participate in (or present at) TA/TM Day: a free, one-day orientation event with multiple sessions offered by the Teaching and Learning Centre in cooperation with the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows and the Teaching Support Staff Union at the Burnaby campus each September and January.

 All TAs are guaranteed up to six paid hours per contract for professional development (those six hours are included in the TUG sheet). You should encourage your TAs to make use of the learning activities indicated above to help them prepare for their teaching responsibilities.


Time Use Guidelines and Workload Review

A Time Use Guideline (TUG) is a form that outlines the expected breakdown of hours for a TA or TM appointment. At the beginning of the term, you will receive an email from the TRACS system to complete the TUG for your assigned TA(s). Completion of the TUG is required, normally by end of the first week of classes. Around the eighth week of classes, you must complete a workload review in TRACS that will determine whether the number of hours required exceeds the number of hours assigned in the TUG. Excess hours will require approval from the Associate Dean, Education. Visit this link for more about TSSU workload guidelines:


Tutorial and Meeting Room Bookings

Regular tutorial rooms are scheduled in advance before the start of the semester. If you or your TA require a room to set up a meeting with more than one student, need a more private setting, or to coordinate a make-up exam, email the program assistance at least 3 days in advance with details of your requested meeting date and time.