Learning Assistants

About the LA Program

The Learning Assistants (LA) program at UCLA is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary instructional strategy that benefits science majors and faculty teaching large introductory science and math courses. It was established in Winter 2016 by two instructors, Nadia Sellami and Shanna Shaked. The program includes a pedagogy course and LAs facilitating in Physics, Biochemistry and Life Science courses. Undergraduate students who serve as LAs help facilitate active learning and collaborative instruction in class and outside of lecture during office hours and discussion/lab sections.

The LA program has been constantly expanding to implement LAs in as many large enrollment lecture courses as possible, focusing on the gateway courses in the introductory STEM curriculum. The program aims to strengthen three key aspects of UCLA courses:

  1. The ability to effectively scale active learning, collaborative learning, and other interactive activities to more effectively teach a large and diverse student body.
  2. The level of student satisfaction and belonging in these courses.
  3. The interdisciplinary connections being made by instructors and TAs.

For a detailed explanation of LA and instructor responsibilities, please refer to the buttons on the top of the page.


The LA program receives about $30k in funding from the UCLA OID to officially assess the program and $50k from the UCOP to formalize and scale up the program.


Shanna Shaked

Senior Associate Director of CEILS for Physical Sciences Initiatives
Lecturer, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Email: shaked@physics.ucla.edu
Office Location: Young Hall 3077D

Other program coordinators:

Gaston Pfleugl, Life Sciences Core

Heather Tienson, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Joshua Samani, Physics & Astronomy

Website developed in collaboration with LAs Yiwei Sun, Emily Duong, and Sara D’souza.