You are here

UIC TA Handbook - Gathering Student Information

Why Gather Information from your Students?

You could use the information gathered to:

  • help you get to know your students;
  • begin to establish good rapport with students;
  • identify students with potential problems;
  • help balance talents, interests, or experiences in group assignments;
  • build a supportive climate for learning;
  • provide a starting point for discussion with individual students;
  • help individualize instruction

Student information provides you with a greater underĀ­ standing of your students, their academic backgrounds, interest areas and skill areas which may potentially cause them problems.

Before gathering any information, discuss it with your faculty supervisor, who may have some suggestions for improving your approach.

Information Requested

Listed below are suggestions of what types of information to ask your students on the first day of class. This information will assist you in getting to know your students.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • E-mail Address
  • Year in College
  • Major
  • High School Attended
  • Other Colleges or Universities Attended
  • Why are you taking this course?
  • What course topics interest you the most?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What pressures are there on your time in addition to school? Job? Family?
  • Other?

Please rate yourself on the skills listed below on a scale of 1-5. (5=excellent, 4=good, 3=average, 2=poor, and 1=in need of much improvement)

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Critical Thinking
  • Math
  • Time Management
  • Note-taking
  • Other

Is there anything else you think I should know? (special needs or interests)

How to Gather This Information

  • Use this survey on the first day of class. Emphasize to your students that they do not have to answer any questions with which they are uncomfortable.
  • Latecomers can complete the survey at the beginning or end of a later class. Or students who enroll after the first day can come to your office to fill it out.
  • You could use this activity as an ice breaker. Students could interview the person next to them and fill out everything up to the section on skills. This encourages your students to get to know one another and creates a comĀ­ munity "feel" in the classroom.
  • Students should be told that they can leave a question blank if they are uncomfortable with it.
  • Remember to respect a student's privacy concerning the information which is shared with you.

Teaching Assistant Handbook Home