Resources for Faculty

 PLAImage of the faculty attending aSMA meeting. Included to illustrate the collaborative nature of the meetings.


Required statement for the syllabus:

Good news: this class is supported by PLAdawgs. PLAdawgs are students who successfully took this course in a previous semester and are returning this semester to support you and your learning. They have received special training on how people learn and how to be an effective resource for you. In addition, they will meet regularly with your instructor to understand how to best support your learning in this course. PLAdawgs are not here to reteach the material, nor to provide you with the answers, nor to evaluate your work. They do not grade assignments or exams and are not teaching assistants (TAs). PLAdawgs are here specifically to help you learn by enhancing discussions and activities in this class. They will help you get the most out of classroom activities by clarifying instructions and assisting you in finding the right questions to deepen your learning. So, get to know your PLAdawgs and take advantage of their training on your journey to academic success.

Suggested and customizable additional statements for the syllabus depending on how the faculty will use PLAdawgs:

Responsibilities of a PLAdawg in this course include:

  • work in the classroom side-by-side with you (e.g., facilitate interaction and discussion between students during clicker questions and activities, answer student questions, listen and ask questions as students talk through a concept/problem etc.)
  • encourage you to reflect on their own learning
  • facilitate collaboration among students in order to talk through the problems together to learn as a small group
  • respond to online discussion boards

Your responsibilities in this course include:

  • come to class prepared by having done the pre-class work (reading, videos, etc.).
  • look over the Learning Objectives (LO) for topic/s to be covered in class
  • familiarize yourself with the basic concepts
  • note the advanced ideas

To be successful in this class, it is critical that you come to class each day and engage fully with the in-class activities.


PLASMA Faculty Group

PLASMA (Peer Learning Assistants: Strategies, Management, & Application) is a faculty-lead community of practice dedicated to the study and promotion of using peer learning assistants in STEM courses. The PLASMA community comprises faculty members who are teaching with peer learning assistants or would like adapt their courses to host peer learning assistants.  The group meets regularly to discuss best practices, successes, failures,  tips and traps, and assessment as the basis for supporting campus-wide, PLAdawgs peer learning assistants program.  Currently, about twenty-five faculty from biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and the Office of STEM Education, and the Office of Division of Academic Enhancement meet to discuss progress and plans for utilizing peer learning assistants effectively in STEM courses.

PLASMA is currently targeted at supporting the PLAdawgs program. Everyone is welcome but we will often concentrate on issues and topics related to the specifics of the PLAdawgs program. 

Class Training Information

coming soon