Before the Quarter Begins

New CA Training

Before the quarter begins, new CAs are required to attend a department wide training, typically held on Monday or Tuesday evening of the first week of the quarter. 

If you need a refresher, you can follow this link to view the Spring 2014/15 presentation slides.

You can also see the Course Assistant Information Sheet for more information on the following topics:

  • Acceptable office hour locations and building access
  • Salary and hours
  • Tuition credit
  • Photocopying
  • Borrowing equipment
  • Reserving rooms
  • Course website and mailing list access

Connect with your instructor

All CAs should ensure that the instructor has provided:
Basic course information:

  • Prerequisites
  • Meeting times and locations
  • Textbooks (both required and optional). Links to electronic versions should be provided, and copies of the textbook should be available on reserve at the library (see Course Reserves.) Links to errata should also be provided, if available.
  • List of instructors and their contact information, including office hours

A syllabus, containing:

  • Exam dates and times
  • Expectations for students (e.g., late policy, attendance, etc.)
  • Grading criteria
  • Calendar of lecture topics and assignment due dates; these may be tentative
  • Clearly defined means of communication (e.g. email lists, online forums)

Set expectations

In any teamwork situation, it's very important for each person to communicate and understand each other's expectations and define roles.  This is no less true in the relationship between professor and CA.  Some professors may expect the CA to do everything but lecture, while some CA’s may expect to only grade. In fact, as you CA, you will come to see that there is far more to running a successful course than simply lecturing and grading. The roles and responsibilities for such tasks should be negotiated and understood from the beginning. Typical expectations are as follows:
What you can expect from a professor:

  • Lecturing
  • Homework and exam design
  • Office hours
  • Everything a CA is not able to do within their time constraints

 What a professor can expect from you:

  • Grading (homeworks and exams)
  • Solution sets
  • Office hours (25% CA: 2 hours per week, 50% CA: 4 hours per week)
  • Section leading (depending on the course)
  • Other administrative needs which can be accomplished within your time constraints