This KB covers general guidelines about TA workloads and appointments, special considerations for remote teaching and sample TA workload templates.
TA workloads and appointments
In setting TA workloads and duty expectations we encourage you to consult GAPP for overall policy guidance. We would like to highlight:
- Satisfactory performance of these duties shall not require an effort exceeding three hundred and sixty (360) hours per semester for a halftime (50%) academic year pay basis appointment;
- The number of hours is stated for the full appointment period, but hours needed to carry out required duties may fluctuate over portions of the appointment period.
- Fluctuations above and below the hours reflected in the appointment level are expected, corresponding to individual distinctions such as experience. As soon as departments become aware of substantial fluctuations, they should contact L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Administration for a discussion.
Special Consideration for TA workloads for remote teaching
Rethink your current TA workloads for in person instruction and adapt them for remote teaching.
- Be aware that preparation times for many activities will very likely increase due to the unfamiliar format, technology and limited internet bandwidth.
- Be aware of the extra time inexperienced TAs need. They may be the ones who need the most help and support.
- Consider course design, its different components, and their implication for workload.
- Are TAs involved in course design from the beginning or will they be facilitators?
- Is time included for regular communication throughout the semester, which should include making sure TAs have a clear understanding of each assignment and the expectations for it? This allows TAs to be well informed if they are not involved in the design or creation. What are the expectations for synchronous vs. asynchronous activities and associated preparation and implementation times?
- How are grading and assessment implemented and work shared amongst instructors and TAs? Is the responsibility for grading and assessment increased in remote modality?
- Will the TAs need more time allotted for one-on-one student interactions given that it is harder to hold office hours and engage in group communication/correction online?
- Will the TA need more time to in order to effectively reach out to struggling or distant students who are struggling with the online format?
- What is the time needed to adapt technology, associate learning curves, and troubleshooting issues?
Strategies to consider
- Divide out some categories. E.g.,
- Preparation for course content - subcategories could be made for (1) creating new content/videos, (2) curating content; etc.
- Consultation with students- subcategories could be consultation on content versus consultation on course technology. Recent spring experience indicates students may use email more than attending office hours.
- Allocate hours at different time points of the semester, keeping total hours associated with the appointment in mind.
- Hours prior to the start of instruction and after the start of the contract;
- Hours during week 1;
- Hours during weeks 2-14;
- Hours during week 15 & finals week
This spreadsheet contains a few sample TA workload templates. Templates for basic semester schedule, weekly schedule, and new/experienced TA are included.