University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering


Appointed TAs in Mechanical Engineering are expected to follow the instructions and/or steps below in preparation for the upcoming semester. All instructors will be informed of the steps and instructions as well. The mandatory workshop should cover a lot of other basic questions not listed. For specific questions, visit Graduate Assistant Employment Services.

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To-Do List (Spring 2018)
  1. Meet with your Instructor
    Be sure to download and bring "First Meeting with Course Instructors" and "Tips for TAs and Instructors" found on Resources for Current TAs under the headline "Getting Started".

  2. Email your Selfie
    At the beginning of every academic year, all TAs will send new and current pictures of themselves for posting on the ME departmental posters – a resource used by all undergrads in ME courses.

    Selfie/Photo Requirements:
    1. Head and shoulders only
    2. Only you in the picture
    3. Good lighting so that the face can be clearly seen
    4. No passport photos
    5. Picture should portray your current appearance or “look”
    6. At least 1MB in size (most camera phones ok)
    7. Email as a jpg or png file no later than your 2nd day of appointment

    Send all pictures to Jennifer Dahal. In your email include:
    • Your Full Name
    • ME Course Number
    • Full Name of Course Instructor
  3. Arrange for Office Hours
    Before you reserve space, you need to determine with the instructor how many people will attend the office hours weekly. Will the average be < 8 people or will there be > 8 people? Once this is decided, follow the instructions provided our FAQs page.

  4. Moodle or Canvas - Which Learning Management System is your Instructor Using?
    Most course instructors are still using the Learning Management System Moodle. Be sure to ask if they have an active site, and which steps or tasks each TA should perform. The U of M system will be transitioning all course sites from Moodle to Canvas by Fall 2019. Visit U of M's Canvas page for more information.

  5. Develop a Secure Method to Record Grades and Return Homework
    Check with the instructor to see what was done in the past. Does the method adhere to University Policy regarding Managing Student Records and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)? Be aware that FERPA does not allow graded papers and lab reports be placed in public places. Familiarize yourself with this FERPA tutorial.

  6. Read your TA evaluation(s) if you were a TA Before
    To see evaluations completed electronically, email Prof. Durfee to receive the results. To see evaluations done on paper, go to ME 1120 and ask Miranda for your evaluation.

  7. Bookmark the TA Application Calendar in your Web Browser
    Be sure to familiarize yourself with important dates and deadlines for which you are responsible.

  8. Include in your contacts so it's not marked as spam.
    Members of this group include current TAs, Prof. Durfee and Jennifer Dahal. This email will be used throughout the semester for items such as reminders, events, and deadlines.

  9. Mark the Last Day of Classes on your Personal Calendar(s)
    This will be the deadline to:

    1. Complete and report on a professional development activity
    2. Be peer evaluated by another TA
    3. Complete the Student Rating of TA Teaching process, either online or using paper

** By supplying your likeness you are giving the Mechanical Engineering Department permission to post it.