Graduate Students as Undergraduate Teachers

An increasing number of graduate students are teaching undergraduate courses, according to a recent Faculty Focus article. In the article, authors Shazia Ahmed, Ph.D., and Lisa Rosen, Ph.D., cite a 2017 U.S. News and World Report statistic showing that at some universities such as Purdue and the University of South Florida, up to 26 percent of undergraduate courses are taught by graduate instructors.

Still, graduate students are often unprepared for their role as head teacher, Ahmed and Rosen say. The authors suggest a few tips for departments and universities employing graduate students as teachers for undergraduate courses, including offering more comprehensive and formal training to graduate student instructors and providing sample rubrics and guidance for ethical grading.