Meta-TAs

The Meta-TAs coordinate the UTA Program.

They are hired during the first few weeks of the spring semester for the following school year. The term lasts one school year, but includes all interactions, from hiring through final exams, with the fall and spring course staffs. The Meta-TAs are hired by the director of undergraduate study and the user services coordinator based on input from other members of the technical staff and the faculty.

The current Meta-TAs are listed here.

The Meta-TAs coordinate the department's undergraduate teaching assistant program, working closely with head TAs and members of the technical staff, administrative staff, and faculty. The two positions are: the Meta-TA, Technical and the Meta-TA, Administrative.

The Meta-TA, Administrative reports to the director of undergraduate study, and coordinates the program's many logistical and administrative details including the semesterly TA hiring, often acting as a liaison between the TAs and the administrative staff and between the faculty and TA program. She or he is the primary point of administrative contact between the TA program and the rest of the department (ugrads, faculty, and astaff).

The Meta-TA, Technical reports to the director of undergraduate study and coordinates with the director of facilities and the tstaff user services coordinator. She or he works with student and professional members of the technical staff to provide system and software support to the TA program and to individual courses, and helps to interface between the undergraduate community (students, lab consultants, UTAs, and HTAs) and the rest of the technical staff.

The Meta-TAs are also responsible for documentation, training, and policy development for the TA program, and working to help faculty and HTAs respond to day-to-day issues that arise. They also advocate for the UTAs with the administration, work to address the program's facilities needs (and, in cooperation with the head consultant, general undergraduate facilities needs), and ensure a positive work environment for UTAs and HTAs. They meet regularly with the director of undergraduate study and with the user services coordinator.

What follows is a task list that is continually updated in response to new thoughts from the Meta-TAs and their managers as well as suggestions from TAs, students, and faculty. If you have comments or suggestions, please mail ustaff.

Collective Responsibilities

Documentation and Support

  • Update, maintain HTA support document (including admin info, how to hire, ta jobs/staff organization, ta camp organization, how to interview, how to write a missive, how to work with/talk with profs, how to develop course policies, how to have your UTAs work with your prof)
  • Update, maintain UTA missive
  • Update, maintain ugrad missive

General

  • Propose, facilitate discussion on TA-related policy decisions
  • Advocate for UTAs with administration
  • Cope with, provide support on house-related issues
  • Reevalute this document and general UTA/HTA job descriptions
  • Establish Meta-TA goals for the year and semester
  • Sponsor a few fun TA activities each semester
  • Ensure a positive work environment for UTAs and HTAs ("you will have fun!")

Administrative

  • Attend a weekly organizational meeting with the director of undergraduate affairs
  • Attend a weekly ustaff meeting with the system administrator

Facilitating and Documenting Communication Channels

  • UTA to student: interaction guidelines (ugrad missive)
  • MTA to astaff
    • Handle UTA to astaff communication
    • Confer with astaff about UTA needs
  • TA program to sunlab consultants
  • x to MTA, x = (profs|htas|utas|students?)
  • Students to HTAs
  • Students to profs (encourage publication of times for office hours)
  • UTAs to profs (encourage them to work directly)
  • Coordinate interactions with HTAs, including biweekly HTA meeting

Meta-TA, Administrative

Hiring Process Tasks

  • Communicate with professors to establish hiring schedule
  • Coordinate the UTA info session
  • Coordinate the UTA hiring meeting (attended by HTAs and professors)

New Hires Tasks

  • Schedule TA camp dates (announce before UTA hiring)
  • Maintain master TA lists (and any eventual changes)
  • Send lists and changes, as necessary to
    • brown.cs.ta newsgroup
    • payroll staff
    • department card access staff
    • university card access and key staff

Beginning-of-Semester Course Tasks

  • Emptying hand-back drawers
  • Assigning handin bins and hand-back drawers
  • Assigning cleaning schedule
  • Coordinating due date scheduling meetings (one during the semester before, one at the beginning of the semester)
  • Checking status of files in TA room (FIXME update with locker info)
  • Requesting creation of university web links for cs courses (through course publisher)
  • Requesting that cs course texts be put on library reserve

Beginning-of-Semester House Tasks

  • Re-post room policy signage
  • Get rooms ready for use (trash, chairs, light bulbs, temperature, supplies, clock, books, course texts)

Ongoing House Tasks

  • Maintain stash of TA supplies (in a cabinet?)
    • White board markers
    • White board erasers
    • Cleaning spray
    • Folders and tabs
  • Oversee use of TA spaces, including scheduling of any department-owned classrooms

Education Responsibilities

  • Coordinate HTA orientation meeting (deliver HTA support document)
  • Coordinate UTA orientation meeting (deliver UTA missive)
  • Prepare ugrad missive
  • Coordinate visits to each class (during the first week)

Meta-TA, Technical

Hiring Process Tasks

  • Maintaining and supporting web applications
  • Distributing completed applications

New Hires Tasks

  • Mail alises for alltas/allheadtas
  • Course (TA) groups, identities, mail aliases

Beginning-of-Semester Tasks

  • Updating skels
  • Helping courses plan software support
  • Helping courses write hooks

Documentation Responsibilities

  • Update, maintain TA technical documentation

Education Responsibilities

  • Prepare technical training document
  • Coordinate UTA technical training

Ongoing Responsibilities

  • Help to maintain course software as needed
  • Provide technical assistance to HTAs and UTAs (on scripting and web pages)

Communication Responsibilities

  • Communicate with technical staff