Use of Undergraduates as Teachers

(MUPIM 10.5/OAC 3339-10-05)

General (MUPIM 10.5.A)

These regulations govern the use of undergraduates to perform duties usually performed by faculty members and are intended to assure the high quality of instruction that undergraduates at Miami expect and deserve, while providing ample opportunities for innovative programs that will benefit both the undergraduates given teaching responsibilities and the undergraduates enrolled in the courses taught by the undergraduates. The regulations apply to the use of undergraduates who are not themselves enrolled in the courses and are not intended to restrict the types of activities faculty members may plan for students enrolled in a course. The regulations pertain to three distinct duties to be performed by undergraduates: (1) teaching, (2) assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions, and (3) grading. In courses where duties performed may be interpreted as either teaching or assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions, the regulations for teaching will apply.

Undergraduates may be used as teachers through the Undergraduate Associates Program, which is University-wide, administered by the Bernard B. Rinella Jr. Learning Center (RLC), and approved by the relevant department chair or program director (when appropriate). Requirements are described below.

Requirements for Participation in the Undergraduate Associates Program (MUPIM 10.5.B)

  1. Ordinarily an Undergraduate Associate (UA) will serve as a junior assistant for instruction in a specific course or as a research assistant for a faculty member’s project. Faculty may also suggest other creative ways that a student can serve as an Undergraduate Associate.
  2. Faculty may nominate seniors, juniors, or sophomores to serve as Undergraduate Associates under his or her supervision for a semester. The nominated undergraduates must be in good academic standing (i.e., attained a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher);
  3. All portions of the application form must be completed by the nominated student and/or the faculty nominator. The application should include:
    1. a statement describing the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the experience for the student and the relation of this experience to the student’s learning;
    2. an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the student and faculty member;
    3. a rationale for the student’s readiness for this responsibility (including past coursework, experiences, and personal attributes) and the plan for preparing the student to assume the required responsibilities;
    4. a statement from the faculty member explaining the educational value of the use of the Undergraduate Associate, not only to the student but also to the faculty member and the students enrolled in the course; and
    5. a plan for assessing whether the use of the Undergraduate Associate advanced learning and the course objectives.
  4. No student may serve as an Undergraduate Associate in a course in which that student is currently enrolled.
  5. A student serving as an Undergraduate Associate in a course is responsible for acquiring an adequate knowledge of all relevant course materials.
  6. A student participating in the Undergraduate Associates Program may teach a very limited number of class sessions. When an Undergraduate Associate teaches all or part of a class session, the Associate’s faculty sponsor will be present.
  7. In discharging his or her duties as an Undergraduate Associate, a student will not have sole responsibility for grading any assignment or instructing a specific class without supervision. An Undergraduate Associate may read other students’ assignments and examinations, write comments on them, and advise the faculty member about the grades.
  8. An Undergraduate Associate is expected to work a minimum of thirty (30) hours per semester.
  9. The faculty sponsor and the Undergraduate Associate should meet at least monthly and more often as desired and useful.
  10. At the conclusion of the undergraduate associateship, the student shall submit to the Rinella Learning Center a final reflection of what was learned by the undergraduate associateship experience. The reflection should be submitted on the appropriate form obtained from the Rinella Learning Center and should include but not be limited to:
    1. a commentary on how the use of the undergraduate associateship advanced learning on the part of the Undergraduate Associate, the faculty sponsor, and students in the class;
    2. a description of the Undergraduate Associate’s and faculty sponsor’s roles within the undergraduate associateship and the outcomes achieved;
    3. an explanation of the ways, if any, the roles, responsibilities, and outcomes differed from the original objectives and why;
    4. a reflection on how the undergraduate associateship experience advanced the Undergraduate Associate’s learning.

Upon acceptance of the Undergraduate Associate’s final reflection, the Rinella Learning Center in conjunction with the academic department shall notify the Office of the University Registrar to award the student an appropriate transcript notation. A student may receive one credit hour through independent study in the appropriate department or program for his or her participation in the Undergraduate Associates Program. The final grade will be determined by the faculty sponsor on the basis of the student’s work and on the quality of the student’s final reflection. A student may not receive pay for this experience.

Exceptions to these requirements may be made in extreme circumstances if permission is granted by the Director of the Rinella Learing Center based upon the recommendation of the faculty sponsor and department chair or program director (when appropriate).

Assisting in Laboratory Classes and Drill Sessions (MUPIM 10.5.C)

With the approval of the department chair or program director (when appropriate), faculty members may hire undergraduates to assist in laboratory classes and drill sessions. The students shall not present new material or answer questions that go beyond the material presented by faculty members. The department or program shall determine the methods for selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of students.

Students assisting in laboratory classes and drill sessions shall be paid but cannot receive academic credit for their work.

Grading (MUPIM 10.5.D)

With the approval of the department chair or program director (when appropriate), faculty members may hire undergraduates to score work by other students when the scoring is completely mechanical, as with multiple choice tests. The faculty member, not the student, will assign the actual grades. Undergraduates cannot be hired to grade final examinations or any quizzes, tests, or assignments where grading requires a qualitative evaluation. However, homework (problem) assignments may be graded by undergraduates provided the faculty member is responsible for the course grade and is available to respond to a student’s appeal of a grade given on a homework (problem) assignment. The department or program shall determine the methods for selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of students. Students hired to grade the work of students shall be paid but cannot receive academic credit for their work.

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