In recent years, efforts have been made to move from teacher-centered to student-centered education and to improve students’ learning experiences at universities in Japan. Many universities have introduced structures to enrich students’ learning experiences outside of the classroom such as students’ learning support centers, learning commons, and writing centers. There are number of studies on the practice, management, and effectiveness of such places. Meanwhile, less attention has been paid to structures to support in-class teaching and learning, such as teaching assistants and learning assistants. The purpose of this report is to contribute to the field of research related to teaching assistants and learning assistants in higher education, and to create a network of practitioners and researchers working in the field.
This report includes a review of literature, a summary of the International Forum on Teaching Assistant Development and Structural Reform (Hiroshima University, February 27, 2018), and the Teaching Assistant (TA) and Learning Assistant (LA) Meeting in Tokyo (Seikei University, March 1, 2018). Based on the literature review and discussion from the International Forum and TA/LA Meeting, it became clear that more efforts are necessary to understand the actual situation that TA/LAs are in. We need to investigate how teaching and learning appears when it is conducted by faculty instructors in collaboration with a TA/LA. It’s also important to consider what kind of professional development opportunities are necessary for faculty members to understand how to work with TA/LA.