On being a World Teaching Assistant

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Recently I got associated with a new title. It’s called a CTA or a Community Teaching Assistant.

According to Kate, our TA manager at Coursera, an online platform providing massively open online learning or MOOCs,” From October-December 2013, Bhawna volunteered as a Community TA (CTA) for the Coursera online course “Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society.” This course emphasizes basic design processes, and includes design challenges that require students to apply course concepts to solve real problems. As an open online offering, it attracted thousands of student participants from all over the world. “

What do CTAs do? Well, we are teaching volunteers who according to Coursera website “have done exceptionally well on the last run of the course and have been invited back to help with the course.” Our duties include forum moderation and solving student queries regarding the subject and highlighting any issues that may arise to the Teaching Assistant of the university providing the course or to the Instructor, who is the Professor offering the course.

A recent study by Stanford and others have highlighted how CTAs are instrumental in building an “Esprit De Corps”.

While being associated with distinguished professors from reputed universities such as Wharton is itself an honor, learning through interacting with a mind boggling number of students is an experience every teacher should take. Not only we get to participate in the online offering of the course, but we also have our very own online TA headquarters, where we get to meet other TAs and Professors from universities across the world. An enriching experience on the ultimate learning level!