Publication Details

S. Nikolic, T. F. Suesse, T. J. McCarthy & T. L. Goldfinch, "Maximising resource allocation in the teaching laboratory: understanding student evaluations of teaching assistants in a team-based teaching format," European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 42, (6) pp. 1277-1295, 2017.


Minimal research papers have investigated the use of student evaluations on the laboratory, a learning medium usually run by teaching assistants with little control of the content, delivery and equipment. Finding the right mix of teaching assistants for the laboratory can be an onerous task due to the many skills required including theoretical and practical know-how, troubleshooting, safety and class management. Using larger classes with multiple teaching assistants, a team-based teaching (TBT) format may be advantageous. A rigorous three-year study across twenty-five courses over repetitive laboratory classes is analysed using a multi-level statistical model considering students, laboratory classes and courses. The study is used to investigate the effectiveness of the TBT format, and quantify the influence each demonstrator has on the laboratory experience. The study found that TBT is effective and the lead demonstrator most influential, influencing up to 55% of the laboratory experience evaluation.



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