Program Overview

What is a Learning Assistant?

Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students who facilitate discussions among groups of students in a variety of classroom settings that encourage active engagement.

UHM Learning Assistant Program

This program is an active participant with the national Learning Assistant Alliance and is modeled after the UC Boulder LA Program. The program provides a unique learning experience for undergraduates enrolled in various courses by transforming current classes and lectures into an active learning setting. The UH Mānoa’s LA Program initally started working with STEM (e.g. physics, biology, chemistry, math, etc.) courses and has now been expanded to include any course that is looking to build an active learning enviornment. LAs offer a vital level of support in difficult and/or big lecture courses. They serve a critical role by facilitating active learning and collaborative instruction in large lectures, discussions and labs.

For questions about the LA Program, please contact us!

UHM LA Program Goals

Curriculum and Course Transformation

Improve the quality of instruction and
learning outcomes for undergraduates.


Transforming the culture at the departmental level to value research-based teaching.

Discipline-Based Educational Research

Continuously measuring the outcomes of our transformations and making revisions.

Teacher Recruitment and Preparation

Recruiting and preparing talented majors for
careers in teaching.

Learning Assistant Model

The experience for LAs is built on these three pillars:

  1. Content: LAs meet weekly with their faculty instructors to plan for the upcoming week, reflect on the previous week, and analyze data.
  2. Practice: LAs facilitate discourse among in small groups of students.
  3. Pedagogy: LAs participate in a weekly STEM education seminar.