Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bonander, Allison R. "Strengthening Graduate Student Teaching Through the Basic Course: COMM 101: Communication in the 21st Century" (2021). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 177. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/177


Basic course instruction receives significant attention in relation to pedagogical practices and application. While this examination is very worthy, it often neglects to understand how Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are trained, taught, and how their learning as teachers is examined. This portfolio examines COMM 101: Communication in the 21st Century, a large lecture basic course with recitations led by GTAs, as a means of understanding how GTAs are trained and taught to meet the “learning objectives” of teaching pedagogy of a basic course. A qualitative analysis of GTA training meetings transcripts as well as emails from GTAs – and select undergraduate emails, along with GTA lesson plans for each recitation were examined to understand how GTAs were meeting the standardization of undergraduate learning objectives and success in teaching.