How should I facilitate a content preparation session?

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Episode 203: Unwinding University of Colorado Boulder

In a content preparation session, teaching and learning assistants work through the students' exercises themselves, in order to be ready to teach. How should instructors facilitate a content preparation session?

July 3, 2018

Pedagogy Content
Facilitating collaboration
Physics Content
Newton's laws, Rotation
Instructor Interaction
STEM-wide audiences

Lesson Contents (4 MB)Student Handout
Transcript, discussion questions, and problem

(1 MB)Specific Lesson Guide
Facilitator's guide for this lesson

(1 MB)General Facilitator's Guide
Background and best practices

(161 MB)Video
Captioned video


Sample Discussion Prompts

  1. What did you notice in this episode? Talk to your neighbor about what you noticed.

  2. The professor invites the TAs and LAs to discuss their own answers to the pretest. Why, according to her, should the TAs and LAs do this? What good will it do?

  3. What does Andrew describe the students as doing?

  4. What does Andrew describe his own group as doing?


  5. Andrew says that his group has not reached a conclusion yet. How does Linda respond to this confession?

  6. Brett shares a response he saw students giving to one of the pretest questions. How does Linda respond to what he shares?

  7. What is similar about what Linda does in lines 3, 7, 11, and 14?

  8. What does this episode suggest about how to facilitate a content preparation session?

Collections featuring this lesson

How to Run a Prep Session3 LESSONS