Sharanya Jayaraman

The Learning Assistant program at FSU has been instrumental in enhancing student performance and retention rates in the introductory computer programming courses – COP 3014 and COP 3363. By utilizing Learning Assistants (LAs) both in the classroom and through support sessions, we’ve witnessed remarkable improvements across various metrics.

The LAs, who are recent course graduates, serve as invaluable resources for current students. Their firsthand experience allows them to empathize with student challenges and provide immediate, relatable feedback. This fosters a supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable seeking assistance not only with course material but also with broader career-related concerns.

The impact of LAs is evident in several key areas. We’ve observed a reduction in instances of academic dishonesty, improved average test grades, and a decrease in the number of drops and withdrawals. Additionally, the overall average course grade has seen a noticeable increase.

In essence, the presence of LAs has transformed the learning experience for our students, empowering them to succeed academically while also fostering a sense of community and collaboration within the classroom.