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Department of Statistics

Learning Assistants

Who can be a Learning Assistant?

Learning Assistants are typically students that have already taken a course they want to be an Learning Assistant in and did very well, (i.e., earned at least a B+ or better).  Or, they might be students with a high degree of interest in statistics, did well on the STAT AP exam or are a statistics major.  All of these students are eligible to apply.


Why might you consider being a Learning Assistant?

  • Great way to get to know the instructors.
  • Valuable experience and responsibility to list on your resume.
  • Opportunity to ask an instructor to write an informed letter of recommendation.
  • Great way to deepen your own understanding of statistical concepts.
  • Great way to help students and practice your communication of statistical concepts to others.
  • Use as a first step to becoming a Guided Study Group Leader with Penn State Learning.


What does a Learning Assistant do?

As a Learning Assistant you will take 1 credit course about being an effective Learning Assistant and also earn a second credit by spending from 5-7 hours per week facilitating active collaborative learning in and out of the formal classroom setting. Specifically, the roles of a Learning Assistant may include the following tasks. 

  • Attend the lectures and labs and facilitate in the active learning activities during these class sessions.
  • Attend weekly meetings with the course instructor to review:
    • the topics that will be covered,
    • the concepts or methods to be emphasized, and
    • where students typically have problems.
  • Enroll in SC 220 and successfully complete the 1 credit pedagogy course SC240 designed for LAs, (taken only by first time Learning Assistants.)
  • Enroll in SC 220 and successfully work with introductory statistics students 5-7 hours per week.


How are Learning Assistant's evaluated?

A Learning Assistant is evaluated differently for the two components of their experience.

SC 220 Pedagogy course part (1 credit)

  • Attendance and participation in SC 220 class activities (40%).
  • Satisfactory complete of all course reflection assignments (50%)
  • Final Reflection paper (10%).


SC 240 Performance of Learning Assistant Duties part (1 credit)

Students are evaluated mid and at the end of semester on the following criteria by instructors:

  • Acts in a professional manner in all interactions with instructor and students in the course.
  • Attends all class and lab sessions.
  • Attends all instructional team meetings with the instructor and other Learning Assistants.
  • Makes an effort to interact with students and guide them through the active learning exercises in a respectful manner.
  • Makes an effort to improve their facilitation skills throughout the semester.
  • Completes SC 240 Pedagogy course in good standing (if this is the first semester.)

In addition, feedback is also collected from the students in the course.


Apply to be a Learning Assistant in Statistics!