What the professors are saying

“This was my first semester using Group Activities and Learning Assistants in my classroom. I was nervous at first about replacing 9- 10 lectures with group activities, however I was able to cover the important material during the 2 lecture days a week, small videos, and well-designed worksheets. The students were a bit shy at first, but as the semester progressed, they figured it out, became very interactive, and didn’t rely on me or the LAs as much. It was incredible to see this type of engagement and I do not want to go back to what I was doing before!”

–Dr. Anne Spuches, Associate Professor

“LAs helped me keep a flipped classroom going. This was critical because I can’t be everywhere and talk to every group at the same time. They functioned as my eyes, ears, and mouth. As the semester went on, students in my class became less reliant on me and developed relationships with the LAs. Also, throughout the semester, I noticed that the LAs became better physics students.”

–Dr. Mark Sprague, Associate Professor

What the students are saying

“I found it extremely helpful to go over all of the information again and it helped me understand it better when I was teaching it to the students. I found the LAs in my biology class extremely helpful and I wanted to be able to provide that kind of help and benefit to other students as well.”

–Savannah Cating, Biology Learning Assistant

“I would like to continue being an LA because of how much I learn by teaching others. Being an LA for these three semesters has strengthened my understanding of Chemistry just by the basic questions that students ask. I have been able to make connections with several professors through this job, such as Dr. Banerjee, which have helped me not only secure job internships for the summer but also encourage me in my Chemistry studies.”

–Hannah Henderson, Chemistry Learning Assistant

“As I become a senior and am preparing to go to graduate school, being an LA serves as practice for me to converse with students who are new to physics (which I would do often as a probable TA in grad school, and eventually as a professor). Being an LA is also rewarding in having the sense of accomplishment, whenever a student does well on a test (or on their own) because of my help, and it serves as a refresher on all the topics reviewed 2-3 years ago.”

–Noah MacKay, Physics Learning Assistant

“As a student that has recently taken these classes or is currently taking them, I know how difficult they can be. There are oftentimes that I do not understand what is being taught, but the LAs that I have had have always been a major help to me. They always took the time to explain the material in a way I understood, and they guided me in assignments. I truly believe that I would not have succeeded in some of my classes without them, and I want to help other students in the same way.”

–Olivia Thiag, Biology major

“I know that I definitely struggled when I was in these biology courses and if it were not for the learning assistants I had, I do not know how well I would have done in these classes. The LA’s I had really impacted my experience and my grade.”

–Will Armistead, Biology Learning Assistant

“I would love to be a Learning Assistant for this upcoming semester because working alongside students has become a great passion of mine. Being an LA throughout the duration of my junior year has enriched my experience at East Carolina University and strengthened my relationships with not only professors but fellow students. Since taking on this role and “personal challenge”, I have learned to better communicate with my peers, reinforced general chemistry concepts, and made great friendships with fellow LA’s. Learning about each students’ mental model and how to better communicate information to them has been the most resourceful takeaway from this position I’ve held. I would love to conclude my final semesters at East Carolina University helping students to better understand and love general chemistry!”

–Kiersten Radford, Chemistry Learning Assistant

“Throughout my freshman year at East Carolina, I have had the privilege of having learning assistants help me in my BIO 1000 course and BIO 2300 course. Their presence has greatly influenced and impacted my ability to succeed in these courses.”

–Anna Vassallo, Biology Learning Assistant

“I want to be an LA because when I was in my BIO 1100 class, having the extra help available was very beneficial to me when it came to certain topics I had been unsure of at the time.”

–Hailey Willman, Biology major

“I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from being in classes that had LA’s. I was able to apply what I had learned and that helped me understand the concepts better.”

–Hannah Farmer, Biology Learning Assistant

“I want to be a learning assistant to gain valuable teaching and leading experience. This would get my foot in the door and open up other possibilities for my future career in education as well as benefit the physics department and it’s students.”

–Hannah Sasser, Physics Learning Assistant

“After being an LA for Dr. Banerjee’s General Chemistry, I’ve come to appreciate the role they fulfill within the class. As a LA, we helped make intangible concepts more concrete for students. While professors can provide amazing lectures, classwork, and examples, LA’s are able to relate to students on a deeper level as they were very recently in the same position! My favorite part of being a LA was seeing students get excited about concepts once they understood them. They became more eager to learn, and in return, became more open to the idea of asking questions and making mistakes as they begin to see it as a path to success instead of failure. I feel like with my experience as a writing center tutor and chemistry LA, I can continue to help students overcome obstacles in courses by pushing them to think critically and reflect on what they were taught in class as opposed to just lecturing them and working the problems out for them.”

–Danielle Jackson, Chemistry Learning Assistant