How have AMPs at the University of Maryland helped their peers learn deeply?
Xander | Senior, Psychology | AMP for PSYC334
As an AMP, I have been doing my best to teach my peers the importance of optimism about learning. I actively try to promote the idea that it's possible to improve any skill with practice. By holding a positive mindset about learning, my peers learn more deeply.
Samhita | Junior, Bioengineering | AMP for BSCI222
As an AMP, I relay past experiences, help build student understanding of content material, and act as an extra resource for students to consult. I don’t answer student questions right away; I help them arrive at the answer.
Burhanuddin | Junior, Biology | AMP for FIRE-TBI
I challenge my peers to think critically about what they are doing in the lab and what the purpose of each step in a protocol is for. Through this, they become more active and independent learners that can answer their own questions.
My-Asia | Senior, Global Health Equity & Advocacy | AMP for AASP100
Through my role as an AMP, I introduced the idea of weekly online discussion boards where students can answer questions focused on the weekly readings. When I completed AASP100, I attended classes regularly but completing the weekly readings helped to solidify my knowledge of course material and I wanted to provide my students with a similar experience.
Matthew | Senior, Computer Science & Mathematics | AMP for CMSC131
I give my peers a new perspective on class topics, using visual aids and extra examples to help them gain a well-rounded understanding of course material. Having this instruction come from a fellow undergraduate typically makes it easier for the student to ask questions they may otherwise feel uncomfortable asking in a large lecture hall. I really enjoy seeing an "a-ha!" moment when a student grasps a concept or idea that I am explaining! This program has been incredible and I think everyone benefits from participating.
Gabby | Sophomore, History | AMP for STAT100
As an AMP, I work each class session to not only engage the students in the material at hand, but to also build connections with these students. Through simple efforts, such as learning a student's name, the classroom environment becomes more welcoming and thus encourages my peers to learn deeply.
Amy | Junior, Communication | AMP for CPPL100
I have helped my peers learn deeply by guiding their discussions and prompting them to discover more about their own leadership styles, strengths, and weaknesses.
What are some of the ways AMPs support teaching and learning at the University of Maryland?
AMPs work with students one-on-one and in small groups.
When working with students in class and in online spaces, AMPs facilitate and monitor discussion, ask guiding questions (rather than just provide answers), communicate directions and expectations, and answer student questions. Some work with specific groups of students that stay the same throughout the semester, while others may work with different students. AMPs mostly support student learning of course content, but also serve as role models and provide general support about being successful in college.
AMPs help with course logistics and facilitating active learning environments.
AMPs play a huge role in coordinating active learning, especially in large classrooms. Some AMPs facilitate student engagement and participation, pass out, collect, or organize materials, and set up slides. They also may help with general room setup, including setting out nametags, table numbers, or whiteboards.
AMPs work with students outside of class and maintain communication with students.
Some AMPs hold office hours, review sessions, or practice sessions, both in person and virtual. To support this work, many AMPs create review materials, practice questions, and study guides for students. AMPs coordinate discussion boards and class chats via multiple platforms, including Canvas, Slack, Piazza, and GroupMe. They maintain communication with students by answering e-mails or individual ELMS messages and sending announcements and reminders. AMPs may work behind the scenes to set up and maintain ELMS content, including posting discussion questions or readings and captioning lecture videos.
AMPs support grading, especially low-stakes formative assessments.
AMPs might review and keep track of low-stakes formative assessments, such as exit tickets. They also grade lecture worksheets, in-class activities, lab notebooks, and pre-lab assignments for completion or track participation in class for participation credit.
AMPs provide instructors with feedback and support in developing instructional materials.
AMPs play a huge role in "bridging the gap" between instructor and student by reporting on individual and general student progress and concerns as well as sharing common questions and areas of confusion. They may review assignments and exams before administered to students and make suggestions for changes. They provide feedback on course activities and teaching after they happen. AMPs also help choose readings and provide suggestions for new in-class activities.
Some AMPs co-create instructional materials with instructors. For example, they may work with the instructor to create resources, in-class activities, and worksheets. They may also help write quizzes, exam questions, or pre and post-class questions.
The Unique Role of the FIRE AMPs
A large number of AMPs support the First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE). Beyond some of the roles previously mentioned, FIRE AMPs also supervise students in the lab, support lab maintenance, create and test new lab protocols, develop lab training modules, and track student lab hours.