The Active Learning Assistant program supports Active Learning Assistants (ALAs), faculty, and students by helping faculty create engaging, collaborative, and student-centered learning environments.  ALAs are undergraduate students who meet with faculty members for weekly preparation sessions to promote active learning in their courses.  These preparation sessions provide valuable feedback for faculty, allowing the ALA and the instructor to bounce ideas back and forth as they prepare for the next week. 

ALAs also attend workshops with Jenna Alexander, Assistant Director for Student Support Programming in the Center for Teaching and Learning, to learn about teaching, facilitation techniques, and active learning strategies.  The workshops teach Learning Assistants about "best practices" in education, including but not limited to:

       1) helping students become active and engaged in the course,

       2) listening and questioning,

       3) building relationships with students and faculty, and

       4) integrating theory with practice.

Learning Assistants write weekly teaching reflections to examine how education research plays out in their interactions with students.  Overall, the ALA program works to align courses with discipline-based education research, supporting and rewarding those faculty who aim for instructional innovation.  The ALA program provides the infrastructure to make that innovation happen. 

ALAs could support faculty in any format: online, blended, or in-person courses.  For a list of ways faculty members can utilize Active Learning Assistants in their courses, click here.

Recommended ratios:

  • 1 ALA for every 40-50 students in a large lecture course.
  • 1 ALA for every 20-25 students in a larger, flipped course.
  • 1 ALA for every 15-30 students in a smaller course.

Request an Active Learning Assistant (ALA) for your Course:

If you are a faculty member who would like to request an ALA for your course, please complete the Active Learning Assistant Faculty Request Form or email Professor Jenna Alexander, the Assistant Director for Student Support Programming in the Center for Teaching and Learning. 

Apply to Become an Active Learning Assistant:

If you are a student who would like to apply for an Active Learning Assistant (ALA) position, please complete the Active Learning Assistant Application Form or email Professor Jenna Alexander, the Assistant Director for Student Support Programming in the Center for Teaching and Learning.  Active Learning Assistants earn $12 per hour for approximately ten hours per week.  Students of all races, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, national origins, ages, disability statuses, and veteran statuses are encouraged to apply.