Document Type


Publication Date



Middle and Secondary Education


This study examined the development of peer mentoring skills and deepening of content knowledge by trained and supported undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) working with students in entry-level STEM courses across nine departments at a large research intensive U.S. university. Data were collected from two sources: a survey with 10 items requesting 5-point Likert-type responses and an open-ended reflection written by each UTA to process their experiences. The survey responses were analyzed by comparing rates of agreement across the 10 items. Statements from the reflections were categorized by research question and descriptively labeled to capture the essence of implied or explicit meaning. UTAs reported developing stronger pedagogical skills and fostering metacognitive approaches to learning, as well as benefitting personally from improved communication skills. UTAs also indicated they have deepened their own knowledge of content in their discipline and learned to use more strategies for becoming a better learner.


Copyright © 2016, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Reprinted with permission from Journal of College Science Teaching, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2016.

Original Publication Information

Philipp, Stephanie B., Thomas R. Tretter, and Christine V. Rich. "Development of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants as Effective Instructors in STEM Courses." 2016. Journal of College Science Teaching, 45(3): 74-82.