Who are the Assistants assigned to my course, and how do I utilize them?

What are TAs, IAs, and LAs?

The College of IST supports courses with Assistants, who coach students’ learning and help instructors with course administration each week. Assistants can be undergraduate students, master’s students, or doctoral students, and they are named differently according to their level of study (with a few exceptions).

  • Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students.
  • Instructional Assistants (IAs) are Master’s students.
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs) are doctoral students, and occasionally Master’s students.

With the exception of grading, LAs, IAs, and TAs can be assigned similar responsibilities; but with each higher level of education, the Assistant brings more maturity to those responsibilities. With grading, instructors can ask IAs and TAs for help with all exams and assignments, provided the instructor offers a grading rubric. Instructors can ask LAs to assist in grading objective exams and smaller assignments (e.g., pre-class essays to check reading, lab reports with clear outputs, early drafts of papers, and other 2-3 page assignment deliverables).

For more information on working with course assistants in your classes, see the Course Assistants page under Teaching Support.