University of Hawaii

Department of Electrical Engineering

TA Duties and Responsibilities

TAs are typically appointed to one or two laboratory sections per semester.  Each laboratory section is 10 hours of work per week.  Therefore, a TA assigned to two laboratory sections has 20 hours of work per week.

TAs will work under the supervision of one or more professors

They report directly to their supervising professors, who determine their responsibilities. Depending on the nature of the course, this may include teaching one or more laboratory sessions, preparing and grading assignment and exam questions, holding office hours, etc.  

They will be provided a job description for their assigned course(s). An example job description form can be found at here.

A supervising professor will attend at least one laboratory session or recitation session held by their TA, and provide feedback oriented toward developing and improving teaching skills. They will meet with their TAs regularly (weekly meetings are recommended) to discuss course topics, teaching skills development, and synchronization between the lecture and laboratory/recitation components.

TAs must be prepared for their teaching assignments

  • TAs are exected to attend the lecture courses of their appointed laboratory sessions.  For example, the TA for EE 361L is expected to attend the lectures for EE 361; and the TA for EE 211 is expected to attend the lectures for EE 211.  This will ensure that TAs are familiar with the course content.
  • Before each laboratory session, the TAs must do the laboratory assignments themselves. This will ensure that they are familiar with the assignments and will be able to answer any questions.
  • Before each laboratory session, the TAs must check and ensure equipment and components are available and in working order. Lost, damaged, or malfunctioning equipment and supplies must be reported immediately to the supervising instructor and the EE Department Technician Myron Sugiki (msugiki@hawaii.edu).  TAs who need components should provide a specific list several weeks in advance so that they can be ordered.  Myron will not pick up supplies.  The Department will not reimburse students or TAs for laboratory supplies that are bought for experiments.
  • Before each laboratory session, the TAs must check that the computer hardware and software, Internet access, and department server access are available and in working order.  They should check that the printer is working and there is box of printer paper and an extra toner cartridge (dry ink).  Lost, damaged, or malfunctioning computer software, hardware, accessories or supplies must be reported immediately to the supervising instructor and the Information Technology Support person June Akers (jakers@hawaii.edu). 

TAs with lab sections are responsible for maintaining a clean, professional, and safe environment

TAs

  • Must be familiar with safety rules and procedures.
  • Must never leave students in a laboratory unattended.
  • Must lock the laboratories when they are not in session.
  • Should stop and report students who abuse equipment.  
  • Should stop and report students who misuse computers such as downloading inappropriate software and files. Violation of these rules may result in students being dropped from the laboratory section.
  • Should be familiar with ethical standards of teaching and engineering.  They should promote and enforce these standards.
  • Are encouraged to meet informally throughout the semester, to discuss their experiences and to compare notes on best practices.

TAs must be familiar with the department staff

TAs must be familiar with the department staff and the staffs' responsibilities.

TAs should personally introduce themselves to each of the department staff, before the semester starts or as soon as possible; and become familiar with the staffs' office locations, email addresses and telephone numbers.

  • Myron Sugiki
    • Electronic Technician:  Responsible for
      • Instructional laboratory components such as intergrated circuit chips, protoboards
      • Electronic instruments such as oscilloscopes, multimeters, signal generators, power supplies
      • Tools such as wire cutters, wire strippers, EPROM programmer
      • Instructional circuit boards
    • Contact information:
  • June Akers:
    • Information Technology Support: Responsible for computer hardware and software including computer accessories (such as computer printer) and computer supplies (such as printer paper and toner or dry ink).  Also responsible for Internet access and department servers, e.g., spectra and quantum.
    • Contact information:
      • Email:  jakers@hawaii.edu
      • Office:  Holmes Hall 452
      • Telephone: 
        • (808) 956 9738 (office)
        • (808) 956 4149 (server room)
  • Liane Jackson:
    • Department Secretary:  Responsible for the department office in Holmes 483.  From the department office, TAs can get office supplies (excluding computer accessory supplies such as toner and printer paper) and access to the photocopy machine.
    • Contact information:

TAs must post office hours

TAs must have office hours in their instructional laboratories.  They may not have their office hours in their TA offices unless their assigned laboratory course does not have a physical laboratory.  For example, EE 160 does not have a laboratory room.  But most laboratory sections do.  EE 211, EE 213, EE 260, EE 323L, EE 341L, EE 351L, EE 361L, etc all have laboratory rooms, e.g., EE 361L is in Holmes Hall 451.  TAs for these laboratories must have their office hours in the lab rooms.

Before the semester begins, the TAs must notify the EE Office (in Holmes Hall 483) about their hours (days and times) and lab room in person or by email (eeoffice@hawaii.edu).  If by email, the

  • Subject heading should be "TA Office Hours"
  • Content should include
    • TA name
    • Course number, e.g., EE 361L
    • Section number(s), e.g, Sections 1 and 2
    • Days and times, e.g., MWF 1230-130
    • Office hours location, e.g., Holmes Hall 451

TAs should check if their office hours have been posted at the department web site:  click here.

The reason why office hours are in the laboratory rooms is have equipment and computers available for students with questions.  Also, it allows students to get extra time to go over lab assignments in the laboratory room.

The amount of weekly office hours per week should be part of the job description and discussed with the supervising faculty.  An example is one office hour per week per lab section.  Thus, a TA with two lab sections will be available twice a week, for an hour per availability; therefore, a total of 2 hours per week.

TAs must understand and follow the information and instructions below

It is important that TAs understand the following to avoid problems and provide a good experience for students.

  • Performance Evaluation:  This has information about how TAs are evaluated and consequences of the evaluations.
  • Orientation:  This describes the TA orientation activities and meetings that occur at the beginning or before the semester.
  • Ethics: This includes a document about ethics as well as a url to the University of Hawaii student code of conduct.
  • Office and Teaching Resources:  This describes useful resources available for teaching.
  • Laboratory Computer Usage:  This includes some of the rules of computer usage. 

TA checklist

  • TA Checklist:  TAs should use this checklist to ensure that they are on schedule.