Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Grant, Jo Anna


Graduate teaching associates (GTAs) maintain a prominent presence in higher education institutions nationwide, warranting our attention to both their instructional effectiveness and well-being. Though they remain an integral part of higher education, the training practices implemented for GTAs often fall short in addressing all of the needs posed by the role GTAs fulfill. The shortcomings in training often stem from an overemphasis of basic teacher preparation skills (such as syllabus creation, lesson planning, and grading) and university/departmental policies, as well as a lack of attention to teaching effectiveness and skills on managing uncertainties and identity concerns in their unique role.

In the hopes of filling existing gaps in the training of GTAs, offered here is a supplemental guide that seeks to satisfy the needs of GTAs, regardless of the discipline within which they teach. The salient needs of GTAs can be classified as either task or self concerns. The GTA task concerns identified in this work stem from the want to be "good" and effective teachers, who are not only well-liked by students, but who are also successful at promoting learning, motivating students, and managing the classroom effectively. In addressing these task concerns, this work introduces readers to instructional communication-based concepts/constructs, specifically teacher immediacy and behavior alteration techniques (BATs) and messages (BAMs), along with practical means by which GTAs can utilize them in the classroom. Self concerns experienced by GTAs, such as role conflict due to managing multiple identities, impostor phenomenon, and teacher self-efficacy, are also addressed here, in addition to practical means by which GTAs can reduce uncertainties through taking an active role in the socialization process.

Included in

Communication Commons