Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) play an integral role at large, research-intensive universities. GTAs have become increasingly important for instruction particularly in laboratory and discussion sections. This dissertation focuses on the use of a mixed reality teaching simulator, TeachLivE™, alongside existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) GTA training. In Chapter 1 we focus on an introduction to chemistry education research (CER) and the background of the study presented. In Chapter 2 the focus shifts to discussing the theoretical and conceptual frameworks as well as the relevant study instruments. In Chapter 3, we introduce the simulator as a training method for GTAs through the development of content rich concept modules. We discuss their development from selecting the relevant pedagogical skills, integrating student conceptions, and testing the modules with experienced GTAs. We found that the modules provided the GTAs a low-risk environment to practice cold calling and normalizing error skills. In Chapter 4 we analyze GTA conceptualization and use of error framing and cold calling in the simulator as well as their use of the two skills in the classroom. We found that while GTAs were able to use error framing in the simulator, they used the skill less frequently in the classroom. We found that cold calling was used frequently in the simulator and the GTAs were able to integrate the skill into their training practice and classroom. In Chapter 5 we focus on the impact of the teaching simulator on GTA instruction. We identified three GTA instructional styles and found that the method of training had an impact on the instructional styles GTAs used when they taught. Finally, in Chapter 6 we discuss the overall outcomes of the work and future works associated with the project. The result from this dissertation shows the impact of a mixed reality teaching simulator on chemistry GTAs' instructional styles and the ability of this simulator to be integrated into existing training to help prepare GTAs for their roles as instructors.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Geraets, Ashley, "Developing GTA Instructional Skills: How does a Mixed Reality Teaching Simulator Impact GTA Instruction?" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 683.