In order for JI teaching assistants to play a better role in supporting and coordinating the teaching at JI, the 43 teaching assistants for the 2014 summer semester attended an innovative training workshop sponsored by the JI Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT-JI) on May 17.

Dr. Gang Zheng, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, pointed out the TA system is a characteristic of JI, which plays a significant role as the bridge between the students and the instructors. He encouraged every TA to treasure this learning opportunity to serve as the critical link in the teaching process. He insisted that the TA’s use English and reinforce Honor Code in their job. As JI is being reviewed for ABET accreditation, Dr. Zheng emphasized that TA’s should pay serious attention when correcting homework.


The training workshop included seminars and panel discussions.  The topics of the three practical seminars were ‘how to use Sakai,’ ‘how to grade homework and examinations,’ and ‘how to motive students to learn.’  Each TA selected a seminar based on his/her interest or need. This year’s new feature is the interesting ‘role play.’


During the panel discussion, JI’s faculty and staff members including Gang Zheng, Shane Johnson, Thomas Hamade, Andrew Yang, and Scott Yang had lively and humorous discussions with the TA’s about their roles and responsibilities, which greatly helped the TA’s learn about their job.


Role playing


Role playing

During the role play session, CLT-JI presented four common scenarios that many TA’s would encounter for group discussion and role play, namely (1)how to establish effective relationship with students; (2)communicate with students using QQ or e-mail; (3) how to satisfy different levels of student needs; (4) how to handle students’ inevitable requests. For example, there was a heated debate on ‘how to insist on speaking English with students.’

A judge panel composed of CLT-JI’s Prof. Thomas Hamade, Ms. Sophie Song, and experienced TA’s selected the 4 team winners and 4 individual winners based on their communication skills, solutions,  critical thinking, and team work.  

CLT-JI is engaged in creating the best learning environment for JI students and meeting different students’ needs. This innovative TA training workshop has motivated the TA’s to resume their great responsibilities. They promised to help the teachers and students with hard work and passion.