The roles and responsibilities of GTAs will vary across departments. Your are expected to attend a local induction organised by your department or module convenor where these will be explained in more detail.
The students will attend, typically, 20 lectures and 20 seminars for each module over the course of twenty weeks (for a 30-credit module over two terms). The permanent academic staff will provide the lectures and GTAs will provide the corresponding tutorials.
GTAs must attend the modules’ lectures, if they are teaching the module for the first time: this will be an important element in preparation for teaching the tutorial, and it is compulsory.
Some of the students in the class will be ‘Study Abroad’ students who are visiting the College for one semester; or perhaps the full academic year. So the group could change slightly in January each year, as the first semester students will have left and the second semester students arrive. If they are here for one semester only they are assessed by means of coursework essays (please note that Spring SA students may be required to sit an exam; please check the module outline with the team at email@example.com if in doubt).
Please also note that the assessment patterns are pre-determined by the relevant College committees and cannot be changed. If you would like any clarification of the status of any of your students, and their method of assessment, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . The Study Abroad tutor is Dr Ofer Fridman (email@example.com): he acts as personal tutor for all Study Abroad students.
Below are some links to common areas of teaching that you will need to familiarise yourself with:
Dealing with absences/mitigating circumstances
Dealing with plagiarism
Preparing to teach a class
The teaching context at King's is governed by its Regulations for Taught Programmes, which includes a breakdown of the credit framework and information on assessment.
The Faculty uses KEATS as a Virtual Learning Environment for its students, providing reading lists and other module materials. The submission of assessments is also managed through KEATS.
If you would like to receive training on KEATS please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Your first class and getting to know your students
The following are some hints and tips that you might want to use in your first teaching session:
Make a note of the names of the students, which degree programme they are taking, and their reasons for taking the module. Encourage your students to get to know each other
Provide an overview of the course; how classes will work, how the students will work with course content and the kinds of skills they may develop;
Work with the class to agree 'ground rules' and ways you will work together (e.g. discuss expectations around weekly workload/reading, punctuality, meeting assessment deadlines, student contribution to discussions, etc);
Prepare the group up for the coming week (readings, roles, their next lecture, etc);
Provide your students with an overview of KEATS and the context within which they will use it as part of the module.
How to deal with common scenarios
The following points are hints and tips for dealing with common scenarios when teaching:
The whole group is silent and unresponsive. Ask students to work in pairs to get people talking and energised;
Individuals are silent and unresponsive. Use open, exploratory questions;
Sub-groups start forming with private conversations. Break them up with sub-group tasks. 'What is going on?'...';
The group becomes too deferential towards the teacher. Stay silent, throw questions back, open questions to the whole group;
Discussion goes off the point and becomes irrelevant. Set clear themes or an agenda. Keep a visual summary of the topics discussed for everyone to see;
A distraction occurs (such as two students arriving late). Establish group ground rules about behaviour such as late arrivals;
Students have not done the preparation. Clarify preparation requirements, making them realistic. Share what preparation has been undertaken at the start of each session;
Members do not listen to each other. Point out what is happening. Establish ground rules about behaviour;
Students do not answer when you ask a question. Use open questions, leave plenty of time. Ask students to work on a problem or a passage of text in pairs or small groups. Consider nominating someone from the group (perhaps someone who usually avoids speaking) who will speak on behalf of that group. You could also ask the group to choose a spokesperson;
Two students are very dominant. Use hand signals, gestures and body language. Support and bring in others. Give the dominant students roles to keep them busy (such as note-taker);
Students complain about the seminar and the way you are handling it. Ask for constructive suggestions. Ask students who are being negative to turn their comments into positive suggestions;
Discussion focuses on one corner of the group and the rest stop joining in. Use structures. Point out to the group what is happening. Look at the room layout, how the students are positioned and where you sit.
Further information can be found in the staff handbook.
Training & Mentoring
It is compulsory for all GTAs in SSPP departments to attend the following induction and training sessions:
The Preparing to Teach Course run by the King's Learning Institute covering:
Small and large group teaching
Teaching your first session
Using technology in your teaching
The Faculty Induction covering:
How students learn
GTA career development
Faculty marking and feedback policies
Module and teaching evaluation
Student support and signposting
Department of module induction covering:
Department practice in marking feedback
Mentoring and support mechanisms
The use of KEATS
College and Faculty inductions will be bookable via SkillsForge.
There is additional training open to all GTAs throughout the academic year, which is bookable via SkillsForge. This is voluntary and is not paid but may aid your personal development. Topics covered include:
use of technology
use of Microsoft Office
You will be assigned a mentor throughout your time spent teaching in the department. This will normally be the lead academic on the module on which you are teaching. Your mentor will peer observe your teaching at specific times during the module. This will take place at different times depending on the department in which you based.
For any issues concerning study abroad (e.g. student requests for references to study abroad), please check with your mentor or convenor of the GTA scheme who will be able to assist you. If any situation arises which you are unsure of how to handle and you need advice and guidance, please consult your mentor.
If you have any concerns about training/mentoring issues, either before the start of the teaching year or during it, please contact the chair of the Department Education Committee or Head of Department.
Please give students written feedback on their work, as well as a numerical mark. Please return coursework in timely fashion, and ideally within two weeks of submission. This is important.
Study Abroad students here for one semester only will have a different assessment pattern. Find out the details with your Module Convenor.
You should receive training and advice on how to mark essays during your "Preparing to Teach" Course. If you require further advice about grading and/or feedback, you can also ask your Module Convenor
Details of the generic marking criteria are available on the Policy Zone
Feedback & Reports
You must be available to give one-to-one feedback with the students about their essays.
All undergraduate students will complete evaluation questionnaires about the modules they have studied and the individual tutors. These results will be available to you in June each year.
Please keep a record of student attendance at all seminars (registers can be downloaded from the online timetable). This is especially important for any students on a student visa.
You should create your own distribution lists for student emails, or you may use the facility on KEATS to send messages but please be aware they will go to everyone registered on that module, not just your students. Student email addresses can be found on the web here
GTAs should familiarise themselves with the Faculty's various policies relating to marking assessments:
College Marking Guidelines
Plagiarism & related forms of cheating
How to give feedback on KEATS
Marking anonymity - this will vary between departments so you should clarify practices with the module convenor or professional services staff
Timing – how long should it take to return marks and feedback;
Students with disabilities - if a student has declared a disability it is likely that the College will have agreed some reasonable adjustments through the Disability Service. If a King's Inclusion Plan has been produced you will be informed of this by departmental professional services staff or the module convenor. You may also find that students approach you individually to make you aware of any reasonable adjustments, such as the recording of lectures. If you have any questions about reasonable adjustments contact the module convenor or departmental professional services staff.
Student Progess, Welfare & Attendance
If you have any significant concerns about a student’s academic progress, please inform their personal tutor (and the Department Office). All students MUST provide you with written explanations for any absences. If a student is absent from class on two consecutive occasions, please inform the Department Office email@example.com
If you are concerned about a student’s welfare or wellbeing, please inform their personal tutor, and also the BA Senior Tutor Prof Brian Holden-Reid (Term 1) and Dr DomitillaSagramoso (from term 2) (if you judge the problem to be serious).
Please DO ask your module convenor for advice about running tutorials: they will be happy to help.
Please note that students can give undue weight to any off-the-cuff remarks. GTAs are part of the staff and teaching team and as such share in the collective responsibility of delivery of the module.
The Faculty recognises the importance of providing feedback to students in order to help them progress in their academic studies.
The Student Handbook sets out the Faculty's policy on feedback on assessment; namely that it should be returned within four weeks and that it should be of a quality and quantity that will help students enhance their academic performance on future assessments.
Please discuss feedback on assessment requirements with the module convenor or departmental professional services staff