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Instructional Assistant III, School of the Arts,
McMaster University


Job Link:

Part-Time: January 7 – April 30, 2019

Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2018

Salary: TBD

Organization Description

McMaster University, School of the Arts
At McMaster, we measure our success by the degree to which we improve people's lives, contribute to our global knowledge base and advance the societies in which we live.

The School of the Arts offers intensive programs in Studio Art, Art History, Music & Music Cognition and Theatre & Film Studies.

Job Description

Department Overview:
The School of the Arts offers niche programs in Art, Art History, Music and Theater & Film Studies in an interdisciplinary School of the Arts supported by staff and faculty dedicated to high quality teaching and research. Through close connection with faculty we promote excellence in artistic production in all its diverse forms, as well as critical, theoretical analysis and study in historical and contemporary contexts. The programs empower students to act as engaged global citizens who contribute to the transformative roles of the arts in society.

Job Summary:
McMaster University is seeking a part time position for an Instructional Assistant for the studio arts program. The studio arts program is committed to supporting sustainable practices, and continues to research and implement safer alternatives to traditional materials reducing the foot print on the environment and impact on health without compromising the integrity of the disciplines.

The faculty is seeking applicants who enjoy working collaboratively, and across studio arts disciplines. Interested applicants must hold a MFA in studio arts, and must have expertise in one or more of the following practices:

3D practices in wood-working, preparatory exhibition instillation skills, 2D practices in stone/ plate lithography, digital, relief and photo and traditional intaglio, drawing/painting and fibre arts.

Responsible for providing pedagogical and technical support to instructors, teaching assistants and students. Designs and modifies laboratory experiments, tutorial sessions, and lesson plans in accordance with the curriculum priorities of the instructor within an academic unit, department, or faculty. Forecasts operating budgets for lab and tutorial courses. Ongoing responsibility for supervising up to nine (9) Teaching Assistants.


  • Design, adapt, and modify laboratory experiments and tutorial sessions.
  • Modify and adapt test procedures and equipment to meet specialized requirements.
  • Forecast budgets and proposed expenditures for new program proposals, and for operating lab and tutorial courses. Write and design lesson plans in accordance to the curriculum priorities of the instructor.
  • Provide formal supervision to teaching assistants and other part-time staff. Communicate curriculum to teaching assistants that is to be covered in tutorial sessions.
  • Review current educational research literature to ensure curriculum follows best practices in teaching, education and learning.
  • Organize and coordinate teaching laboratories, computer-based instruction, and tutorial classes accordingly. Introduce and demonstrate labs or tutorial sessions to students.
  • Tutor students in programs and assist students with lab work.
  • Assess the need for laboratory equipment and provide recommendations for the acquisition of materials and equipment
  • Calibrate laboratory equipment according to established calibration standards. Collect, track, and safeguard student marks and tests.
  • Calculate student marks and submit final grades to appropriate areas.
  • Input, maintain, and verify information in a variety of databases and spreadsheets. Pipette a variety of reagents and media.
  • Prepare chemical reagents and biomedical media according to formulae and assume responsibility for accuracy in the preparation and standardization of solutions.
  • Ensure that all laboratory waste is disposed of according to established policies and procedures.
  • Train others on proper lab techniques, operating laboratory equipment, and on running efficient and effective tutorial sessions.
  • Compose test questions and assignments, and prepare solution sheets for review by others.
  • Assist staff with the preparation and set up of equipment and supplies for laboratories and tutorial sessions. Organize and monitor the on-line learning environment for courses in an academic unit, department, or faculty by ensuring that the appropriate course content information is made available to students.
  • Write a variety of documents such as procedure manuals, correspondence, and reports. Prepare a variety of lecture materials including presentation slides and handouts.
  • Provide guidance, advice, and solutions to teaching assistants when resolving student inquiries. Provide teaching assistants with appropriate teaching material as specified by the instructor.
  • Ensure accurate grading of assignments is completed by teaching assistants and report discrepancies to the instructor. Correspond and meet with students to address concerns related to the course including, but not limited to, the resolution of contested grades.
  • Liaise with instructors, teaching assistants, and students to ensure information within the academic unit is understood by all parties.
  • Exchange technical and scientific information amongst colleagues. Operate, adjust, and maintain a variety of equipment and instruments.
  • Troubleshoot equipment and perform minor repairs. Ensure major repair requests are escalated to the appropriate area. Assign tutorials to teaching assistants and arrange teaching assistant office hours.
  • Section classes at the beginning of the year, dealing with all scheduling changes, room reservations, and scheduling conflicts.

Knowledge and expertise in any of the follow would be an asset:

  • Environmentally responsible art approaches
  • Ceramics, metal fabrication
  • Critical discourse on issue of social, political, feminism, and performance within a contemporary art practice
  • Maker- Space facilities, such as CNC machines, 3D printers, laser cutters CAD, and photo-shop


Education: Master’s degree in a relevant field of study
Experience: Requires 3 years of relevant experience

There are two openings available at approximately 20 hours per week each. Evening and weekend work will be required occasionally to support the needs of the School.

Please apply through MOSAIC including cover letter, resumé and names of two references.

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement.

In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. While all qualified candidates are invited to apply, we particularly welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons. Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact the Human Resources Service Centre at 905-525-9140 ext. 222-HR (22247) or the Faculty of Health Sciences Human Resources office at ext. 22207 to communicate accommodation needs.





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