The Learning Assistant (LA) program is utilized at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) to assist in shifting classrooms from lecture based to more interactive and groupwork based learning. LAs are employed in courses with greater than 80 students enrolled that have historically high drop, withdrawal, and failure rates. Not only are students in courses with LAs having positive experiences, but the LAs themselves are as well. Interest has grown in the development of LAs during their time in the program; this can be measured in the form of transformation. Transformative learning is defined as “learning that results in transformative changes which alter the student in a significant way, changing the state of the learner” (Springfield et al., 2015). Through their time in the program LAs have been studied through the use of survey answers, using a coding rubric developed by Springfield et al., to determine their levels of transformative learning. Involvement in the LA program has been shown to transform LAs in four categories, confidence, skills, perspective, and identity. Data has shown that a large majority of LAs experience high levels of transformative learning gains in all four categories. One way this transformation is extremely beneficial to LAs may be that they have a stronger identity within their STEM field (Close, 2016). Factors influencing this transformation in LAs is investigated, with the impact of different approaches to LA training being a focus.
First Advisor Department
Second Advisor Department
Human Development and Family Studies
Gold, Caitlin, "Transformative Learning Gains in Undergraduate Learning Assistants" (2019). Honors Projects. 426.