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International symposium on teaching assistant training and development held

MAR . 29 2021
Peking University, March 29, 2021: On March 23, the International Symposium on Teaching Assistant Training and Development was held online. Initiated by Waseda University and co-organized by Peking University, Fudan University (FDU) and Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech), the symposium aimed to provide an opportunity for faculty members and students to share experiences and best practices about the training and development of graduate teaching assistants in four universities in China and Japan against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 300 university students and teachers from the two countries attended the conference.

During the symposium, Hu Xiaoyang, director of the Office of Student Training in Peking University Graduate School, talked about PKU’s practices in terms of the management and training of graduate teaching assistants. Hu said graduate teaching assistants play a key role in promoting curriculum development and deepening teaching reform. Being a teaching assistant is also an important part of student training. Peking University works with schools and departments to specify the number of posts and the responsibilities of teaching assistants. Meanwhile, all teaching assistants are required to receive training beforehand.

Hu Xiaoyang

Representatives from other universities also shared their observations. Professor Masao Murota from TITech talked about the graduate student assistant regulations that the university implemented in 2016. Professor Cai Qinghua from FDU and Professor Yusuke Morita from Waseda University elaborated on the responsibilities of teaching assistants at their universities respectively.

Masao Murota, Cai Qinghua, Yusuke Morita

After representatives from the four universities gave presentations based on their own experiences, the participants formed different groups to discuss changes in teaching assistant duties and responsibilities in the context of the epidemic and the measures taken by universities. Throughout the epidemic, many universities conducted online teaching training for teaching assistants before the semester began to facilitate the transition from traditional classes to online classes. Feng Fei from Peking University Center for Excellent Teaching and Learning also talked about the training contents that accommodate various modes of online teaching and noted that online teaching ran smoothly amid the epidemic thanks to the training and other measures.

Teaching assistants from the four universities share experiences

The symposium, which transcended borders, universities, disciplines and languages, showcased the management and training of graduate student assistants. It also stimulated the enthusiasm of current graduate student assistants and the interests of other students who are keen to take this role.

Written by: Chen Yilin 
Edited by: June Tan Rui Min
Source: PKU News (Chinese)