The Lecture Component Of A Course Essay
Labs and recitations complement the lecture component of a course. While the lab component of a course typically has a well-defined schedule of experiments to be conducted each week, the recitation is intended to allow students to discuss and obtain clarification of material presented in the formal lecture. Consequently, its structure is generally more flexible than a lab. Some courses may have both a lab and a recitation. While labs and recitations support the formal lecture, their importance, and hence the teaching assistant’s importance, in helping students achieve the overall learning objectives of the class should not be underestimated. In addition, experiences early on in the undergraduate curriculum can have significant impact on student retention and on a student’s decision to pursue a particular major.
Some institutions have an established teaching assistant (TA) development program where teaching assistants start as graders, then progress to teaching recitations or labs, before teaching their own section of a course. Other institutions assign new teaching assistants directly to labs and recitations. For new TAs, this role can be both exciting and daunting, especially for an international teaching assistant who is also new to the US educational system.
This chapter will discuss how to successfully organize and lead a lab or recitation. Although the specifics are different, this sections will start by discussing common…