• University of Groningen logo

Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring

Learn how to be professionally involved in teaching, support and governing of higher education institutions.

20,795 enrolled on this course

Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring

Student assistants are valuable staff members at the University of Groningen. Currently, over 700 students take up teaching duties, support role functions, governing positions, and many other responsibilities.

But, how to prepare for a job as a student assistant? What is professional behaviour? How to deal with challenging situations in the classroom? How to support first year students? These and other questions will be covered in this course.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds My name is Jon Hummel. I’m a student in the master Technology and Operations Management at the University of Groningen. I became a student assistant because I was searching for more challenging aspects in my study. My name is Rowanne Degenhart. I am a research master student at the faculty of law. I got involved in the student council when I was helping students find accommodation. And then someone said, “Well, apparently you like to help other people and make their voice heard. So maybe you want to do that on the highest level within the university.” We get together every month, and we discuss the policies of the university and exchange ideas about them and put that forward to the board.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds My tasks as a student assistant contains, for instance, teaching lessons, being invigilator at an exam, but also mentoring students to help students in their first steps at our university. I want to be a lawyer, and the skills that I learn this year are very useful because I have to debate with a lot of people and make a lot of good connections that maybe could help you do an awesome job afterwards. Well, the benefits of being a student assistant for my own study programme is that I have to teach courses that I have followed before. So it forces me to delve more information and knowledge out of that course.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds What I like it is we can actually change a lot of things. Even though they don’t happen overnight, you can still see things happening because you put an effort in. How do you prepare for a student assistantship? How do you show professional behaviour in a higher education environment? How do you teach fellow students?

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds What challenges do you face when participating as a student in the governing bodies of the institution?

What topics will you cover?

  • The benefits of involving students in the organization
  • Professional behaviour in higher education
  • Basic design principles of higher education
  • Class preparation
  • Teaching a class
  • Assessment
  • Mentoring and feedback
  • Student representation
  • Case studies in higher education

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Contribute professionally in a higher education working environment
  • Develop a well-founded opinion of what is a good university teacher and mentor
  • Identify the basic principles for designing a course
  • Explore the aspects of how to teach a small group session in an interactive way while paying attention to classroom management and atmosphere
  • Interpret the difference between directive and facilitative formative feedback
  • Reflect on challenges students participating in governing bodies face

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with a passion for higher education. The course is specifically tailored to the needs of students and employees, who are involved in teaching, support and participation in governing bodies of higher education institutions.

What do people say about this course?

"Really, it has been a very educative online course. I appreciate the coverage and I will advise others to join this course, it is useful for beginners such as tutorial assistants/ trainers. I believe now I can use the techniques to work as a part time trainer/ instructor or student assistant with improved vision related to teaching and learning activities. Also, I have been impressed by the final conclusion on the governing the University. Thank you all and the University of Groningen, I am looking forward to joining another online course."

"This is one of the most interesting online course I have ever attended. I take interest in especially on how to give feedback to students, setting rules for classroom management, managing a disruptive student, etc. I also learn from the comments made by the participants. Thank you to the course designers and the University of Groningen."

Who will you learn with?

Lead educator of the course "Students Taking Charge of Higher Education" and
educational advisor and teacher trainer at the University of Groningen

My name is Klaas van Veen and I work as professor in educational studies and as director of the Teacher Education institute of the University of Groningen.

Hello, my name is Robbert van Veen. As educator of the course "Students Taking Charge of Higher Education", I helped design content about professional behaviour, mentoring and governing.

Hi! I am Sytske Dijkgraaf-Nijdam, a student assistant at the Educational Support and Innovation of the UG. Also, I am a mentor of the MOOC 'Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring'

Who developed the course?

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 7 weeks



Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$279.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLstudentsHE to talk about this course on social media.