Using a Website and Wiki as a Support tool for Teaching Assistants

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

ASEE 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Inclusive pages

15.1317.1 - 15.1317.11


American Society for Engineering Education

Place of Publication

117th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education

Peer Reviewed



Employing students as teaching assistants (TAs) in laboratory sections of large courses
reduces faculty’s teaching commitments and provides valuable teaching experience for future
faculty. However, it also presents challenges, such as inexperienced TAs and high turnover
between semesters. New tools are needed to ensure high quality of lab instruction, consistent
across all sections of a large course, as well as from one semester to the next. We have studied
the effectiveness of one such tool, a website created to support TAs who teach laboratory
sections of two large introductory electrical engineering (EE) courses. Our findings suggest high
effectiveness of the website as a repository of established reference information, which is
extremely helpful for beginning instructors because it allows them to learn the lab procedures,
foresee student questions, and consistently grade lab reports. At the same time, we have found a
reluctance of TAs to use the wiki component by editing or adding information to it. Focus groups
have revealed the causes of this reluctance, which we discuss in this report. Using a Website and Wiki as a Support tool for Teaching Assistants

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