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Description of Specific Duties

TA Seminar:
All new TAs are expected to take PHYS 5072: Teaching Introductory College Physics in both fall and spring semesters. This course will helps TAs prepare for teaching and deals with various issues that can occur in classes. TAs should take PHYS 5072 for one credit in the fall and two credits in the spring

TAs are often required to proctor exams during the semester. While proctoring, TAs are responsible for answering student questions and deterring/reporting cheating.

  • Before the Exam
    • Pick up exams from the student services office the day of the exam, at least 25 minutes before the exam if the exam is held on West Bank
    • TAs are not allowed to print exams on their own
  • At the start of the exam
    • Read any special instructions from the professor to the class
    • Remind students that they should put their names, student ID numbers, and x500 all papers including bubble sheets for identification purposes.
    • Explicitly tell students what materials (calculator, crib sheet, etc.) they may use
    • Ensure that students are sitting in every other seat
    • Announce what time the exam ends and write it on the board
  • During the Exam
    • Count the number of students in the room
    • Announce when there are five minutes remaining
    • Quietly walk around the room watching students work
    • Answer student questions quickly and quietly
    • Have students who finish early turn in exams quietly and leave the classroom
    • Confiscate any unapproved calculators, to be returned at the end of the exam
    • Watch for suspicious behavior/cheating - If cheating is suspected, TAs should discuss this with their fellow proctors and instructor
  • After the Exam
    • Have remaining students turn in complete exams in an orderly fashion
    • Check the room for any lost items
    • Bring all test materials to the students services office right away after the exam
      1. Count and separate each problem (and bubble sheet) of the exam into separate piles and record in the Proctor Log
      2. Turn in separated problems, bubble sheets, scratch paper, extra exams, blank paper, and bubble sheets in neat stacks to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator

TAs may pick up their problem for grading as soon as the proctors turn the papers in to the office. Graders must count the papers and record the number in the Grader Log. Upon returning the graded exams, the exams must be counted again and recorded in the Grader Log. Grades must be submitted electronically via MyPhys. Emailed grades will not be accepted. After grading is complete, TAs must enter grades into the class templates using the following procedure on a physics network computer:

  1. Download the class template from the Gradebook Templates and uploads page, found under My Classes in MyPhys
  2. Enter student scores
    1. NEVER change or alter the template in any way. Do not change the name of the template, the order of the students, or delete students
    2. If a student’s name does not appear on the template, enter the name and score at the bottom of the student list
    3. If a student is listed in the template but did not turn in a paper, do not enter a score
    4. If a student did answer the problem, but did not receive any points, enter a zero
  4. Upload the template to the physics website (link found underMy Classes in MyPhys)
    1. Never upload more than one template
    2. See the Undergraduate Program Coordinator if you need to add or change the template
  5. Once the templates have been uploaded, delete the files from any public computer, but keep a backup copy on a secure private computer. Do not keep old templates. New templates are posted for every quiz
  6. Grade changes may be submitted online using the link found on the template webpage

Grading typically must be completed two business days after the exam. For example, if an exam is on Friday, grades are due to the office on Tuesday by mid-day. This give the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and faculty time to compile and review the gradebook and make any changes or score adjustments as needed before the papers are handed back during that week’s discussion section.

Returning Exams to Students
Exams will be available to be returned to students on the day of the discussion sections, pending instructor approval. Papers are not released from the office unless the entire exam has been turned in to the office and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator has faculty approval to return the exam. TAs need to sign out the exams in the Returned to Students Log. Papers typically go back to students the week after the exam is held, during the discussion section.

Final Exams
Most TAs will be expected to grade at least one final exam problem. Final exams must be graded and turned in before students may leave campus (see 8. Paid Vacation above). Because submitting final grades late to the registrar has a significant impact on undergraduate students (potential loss of financial aid, enrollment status, etc.), failure to grade and return final exams to the office before leaving campus will result in disciplinary action.

There are two types of Final Exams:

  • Regularly scheduled final exam times are determined by OneStop (http://onestop.umn.edu/calendars/final_exams/). The procedure for regularly scheduled final exams is the same as the exam procedure outlined above
  • Common Final exam times are chosen by the Office of Classroom Management. These exams are for classes that have multiple sections (12xx and 13xx). Most sections will be split into multiple classrooms to accommodate every other seating, therefore more proctors are needed for the common final than for regular exams.
    • The common final always starts at 6:30pm. TAs should pick up final exams at least 25 minutes early from the student services office. TAs should follow normal exam procedure for proctoring and returning the exam to the office
    • The exam ends at 9:30pm, so TAs should be back to the office no later than 10:00pm. After checking the exam problems in to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, TAs may pick up problems for grading.
  • There is a make-up final exam the morning after the Common Final, starting at 8:00am. TAs who are proctoring this exam (one from every class that has a student taking the final exam) need to pick up the exams from the Undergraduate Program Coordinator no later than 7:30am. Once the make final is over, exams must come back to the office right away to be distributed to the graders.
  • The make-up finals and the finals taken at the Disability Resource Center are available for grading at 12:00pm the day after the Common Final.

Office Hours/Tutoring
Office hours for introductory courses are currently held in Tate 25. Students come to the tutoring room for one-on-one/small group tutoring. Most TAs will have at least one office hour each week in the tutoring room. The tutor schedule is determined by the student services office and the instructors. Office hours are part of a TA’s appointment and are not optional. Failure to attend scheduled office hours will result in disciplinary action.

TAs must sign in to the tutoring room in the Tutor Sign In Log. If a TA fails to sign in to the tutoring room, the TA is required to hold a make-up office hour in the next week. In the event of a conflict with a tutoring hour, TAs must find a replacement to cover the tutoring hour, except in an emergency. If the TA cannot find a replacement tutor, the TA must attend his/her tutoring hour. Missing a tutoring hour will result in holding an additional make up tutoring hour the following week. For help finding a replacement tutor, contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

graduate_handbook/ta_expectations/appendix_a/description_of_specific_duties.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/13 16:40 by jenny