Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Winter 2014


Journal of the Association for Communication Administration 33:1 (Winter-Spring 2014), pp. 47-56.


Used by permission.


Undergraduate students have been and continue to be employed as instructor assistants (UIAs) in a variety of courses across disciplines. However, relatively little empirical research has been published regarding the educational merits for them or their students. The present essay extends such research by focusing specifically on UIAs’ perceived value of the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) on their learning and personal growth. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with six former UIAs and employed a qualitative thematic analysis of their responses. Perceived benefits that emerged from the analysis include, for example, learning how to balance many different roles and responsibilities, gaining a unique perspective on teaching, and developing leadership skills. The findings support previous research that the UIA experience benefits both the UIAs and the instructional process.