Beginning of Semester: Questions to ask faculty members
Remember that many of these questions may be answered by the instructor during your first meeting or will be outlined in the syllabus. Some won’t apply to all TAs, so keep in mind the specific class you’re assisting for. If many of these questions haven’t been addressed before the semester starts, you should meet with the instructor you’re assisting to clarify your responsibilities.
- What are my duties during lecture? Will I be required to provide my notes to students?
- What are my duties in the lab?
- Will I be conducting review sessions? If so, do you have a preference for how these are conducted?
- What is the attendance policy? Should I be keeping track of attendance?
About my role in exams and grading
- Do you accept late assignments? If so, should I deduct points? How many?
- What is your policy for missed exams? Should I arrange make-ups? What are acceptable excuses for missing exams?
- How will exams be made, copied, and given?
- How do you want me to keep track of grades? Do you prefer Canvas? Should I create an Excel spreadsheet?
- Are we using Penn State’s test-scanning services? If so, would you like to pick up the exams or have them delivered?
- How much time do you allot for grading papers? Should I post grades before or after papers are returned?
- Do you provide grading rubrics for open-ended exam questions and papers? If not, can I/you/we make one?
About my semester schedule
- When should I be available before the semester to prepare for the class? How long after the semester ends should I be available? (Note: It is very important to ask this question BEFORE making travel arrangements!)