Update: TA Management

As part of the ongoing transition to Canvas, the EEE Team will be adding a TA management utility to GrandCentral (currently, we’re still using the EEE Legacy Assistant Editor tool to manage TAs; this new utility will replace that tool).

To help the EEE Team design the next generation of TA management tools, we surveyed 2,257 campus instructors with a history of using the EEE Legacy tool, and received 190 responses.

One of the common requests we have received is to add more granular TA management. In EEE’s Assistant Editor tool, instructors could enable/disable TA permissions on a tool-by-tool basis. Canvas doesn’t have this same capacity, but it does provide ways to create different types of TAs, with different sets of permissions. After drafting potential TA roles based on what we’ve heard from the campus, we sent a further survey for feedback on  TA roles in order to determine if the roles we came up with would make sense to instructors and would be adequate to cover their needs. This survey received 171 responses and the results highlights below include information from both surveys.

Results Highlights

The following are selected highlights from the two surveys’ results. For those questions with a large number of response options that contain a number of one-off comments, the charts below highlight the top 10 themes, plus any additional themes that tied for tenth place in frequency.

We also received many comments on a variety of topics beyond TA management and TA roles, which are not included here, but which have been carefully reviewed and shared with the EEE Team.

What duties do your TAs perform?

Relative to the start of instruction, when do you typically ….

How many TAs do you most often have to manage?

Note: Excludes responses for those who selected “Zero; skip to the end of the survey”

What do you like about the current TA management tools?

What do you dislike about the current TA management tools?

If you could change one thing about managing TAs’ EEE/UCI Canvas access, what would you change?

Currently, instructors must manage their own TAs. Would it help, hurt, or have no anticipated impact for you if 1) designated department staff could manage TAs on your behalf and/or 2) TAs could submit access requests and you’d receive an alert and option to confirm, deny, or customize their access

Caveat: These would be much larger changes that are beyond the scope of the immediate project to rebuild TA management outside the EEE Legacy system. We’re asking this question because your thoughts on this topic may have implications for early design / implementation decisions that could later figure into the viability of one or both options.

Please rate the usefulness of the current and proposed UCI Canvas roles.

Current Roles

TA
Can manage course content and see student information, including assignment submissions

Additional Student
Can participate fully within Canvas; cannot participate in official evaluations

Observer
Can view Canvas content; cannot participate in course activities or see any student information

Instructional Designer
Campus staff, typically from the Division of Teaching Excellence & Innovation, who work closely with some instructors to build their course spaces. Instructional designers can view and modify course content; cannot participate in the course or see student information

Instructional Designer
Campus staff, typically from the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, who can work on course content, but cannot participate in course activities or see any student information

Proposed Roles

Super TA
Can do everything a TA can do, with added abilities to 1) create and 2) publish Canvas course spaces

Grader
Can view student assignment submissions and grade work; cannot edit or publish Canvas content

Content Editor
Can view and edit Canvas content; cannot create or modify assignments, or see any student information, including grades and assignment submissions

Note: No data labels are included in this chart because the bars represent average values of numeric equivalents assignments to likert scale ratings; the relative values are meaningful, while the numeric values themselves are not inherently meaningful.

Are there any other course roles that you, as an instructor, would like to be able to manage?

One significant trend emerged from the comments in response to this question: a need for a “Learning Assistant,” “Peer Tutor,” or other role that would allow an undergraduate student to have additional access to course resources, without improperly having access to protected information about their fellow students.