Peers Instructing Peers

Part of the JMC curriculum is taking classes that require labs to go with them. A professor instructs the lecture portion of the class but a student instructs the lab portion. Most students don’t think much about it, but being a lab instructor is this person’s job. Marissa Jones is a lab instructor for Publication Design and Intro to Visual Media. Publication Design works mostly with Adobe InDesign. Intro to Visual Media works with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere.

The Job

Jones was asked to be a lab instructor first by Dr. Kenneth Pybus for Publication Design then by Cade White for Intro to Visual Media. Her favorite part of the job is the useful skills she teaches to students about Adobe programs. “I think it’s really important JMC students know how to use these programs.” The hardest part is helping students better understand what Jones has taught them. “It’s hard to explain how to use Photoshop or Premiere to people who have never edited photos or videos. And then there’s when I ask the class if they have any questions and most of the time they’ll just stare blankly back.”

The Students

Jones has to balance being a teacher and a student but feels more like a student. Her goal is to come across more as a student in her labs so people feel like they can always ask her for help. “There’s no way I could come across as intimidating even if I tried, so I hope they feel like they can ask for help.” Jones tends to have a good relationship with her students because they know her from other classes.

Her advice to students who want to be lab instructors is to “show initiative in your classes. Professors notice when you care about what you’re learning about.” Professors want students who work hard so keep that in mind when considering this job.

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