Working with your teaching assistant (TA)
It is important for instructors to provide detailed information about their expectations for course assignments. This information will help TAs assess student work fairly and consistently. It is also essential that instructors talk to TAs about their role in relation to academic offences. Since teaching assistants are responsible for grading in a course, they are frequently the ones who uncover suspected plagiarism or other academic offences; however, instructors cannot ask TAs to handle these situations. If a TA suspects plagiarism or other academic offences it is their responsibility to inform the course instructor before returning any work to the student. They have no authority to make any decision regarding the work. They should refer the student to the instructor if the student has any questions. The responsibility in these cases lies with the instructor, and teaching assistants should never make accusations or impose sanctions on students.
Students are encouraged to speak to their TAs about course requirements (e.g. readings, assignments, deadlines, etc.). TAs are a part of the teaching team and are an excellent resource for students.
- Tip Sheet: Academic Integrity and the Role of the TA (Teaching Assistants’ Training Program)