Learning results from what the student does and thinks and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn.

Herbert Simon
Nobel Laureate and former professor at Carnegie Mellon
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What it is

What it might look like in the classroom

Why it's important

Planning

Determining the objectives, activities, and assessments that will accomplish course goals.

  • Putting an agenda on the board.
  • Sequencing tasks in increasing levels of cognitive difficulty.
  • Making overt references to course goals.
  • Transitioning smoothly between activities.
  • Using a variety of activities.
  • Managing time well.
  • Putting discussion in context (referring back to prior course content, looking ahead).

Gives purpose and structure to the session so that:

  • Students know where the class is going and what to expect.
  • TA feels and appears more confident.
  • Course goals are more likely to be accomplished.
  • Challenges are anticipated and contingencies built-in.

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This is one of nine TA skills. View/download a chart of all nine skills.

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