Position Detail HNC Comparative Economics Teaching Assistant

HNC - Nanjing Campus
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  • Open Position
  • Position Details:

    Hours/Week: 15 HRS
    Hourly Rate: $19.00
    Expires: Feb 1, 2022

    Campus : Washington DC
  • Job Contact Info:

  • lszyman6@jhu.edu

HNC Comparative Economics Teaching Assistant Position

Job Description

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center is looking to hire a teaching assistant for Professor Paul Armstrong-Taylor's Comparative Economics course in the second half of the HNC spring semester, roughly from April 1-July 1. An outline of responsibilities and time commitment can be found below. Please also include a brief cover letter in your resume attachment. 

Description of course

This course gives a broad overview of different aspects of the Chinese and US economies. Topics covered include demographics, growth, inequality, education, healthcare, finance, the coronavirus crisis, and more. It is designed to be accessible to non-economics concentrators, so makes minimal use of formal theory and any theories used are covered in the class. It is a popular class with the highest enrollment at HNC for at least the last ten years.

Requirements of teaching assistant

The teaching assistant’s main duties will be to grade papers, lead discussion groups and provide feedback to students. Therefore, the teaching assistant should be able to:

·     Evaluate academic papers consistently and fairly

·     Lead discussion groups effectively

·     Give succinct but helpful feedback to students.


This course will be taught as an intensive course in the second half of the spring semester (April 25-June 16), so the selected TA will need to be available between April 1-July 1. There will be two three-hour lectures per week – probably on Zoom. To accommodate potentially high student demand, we may relax the usual 30 student cap for this course to a maximum of 60 students. The teaching assistant would help with grading and managing some aspects of this larger course.

Duties of teaching assistant

As this is new, the precise duties of the teaching assistant may evolve as we determine the best way to organize the class. However, it is likely that the primary two duties would be grading and leading small discussion groups.


The class requires students to submit two short papers (of around 1200 words) and one final paper (of around 2500 words). If we hit the cap of sixty students, this would mean a total grading load of 120 short papers and 60 longer papers. Grades should be given as a percentage approximating the following schedule:

·     A: 90+

·     A-: 87-89

·     B+: 85-86

·     B: 82-84

·     B-: 80-81

·     C: <80

The grader should also give some feedback to the student on both the content and structure of their paper – what they did well, what they could improve, etc. Once completed, the grader should send the grades to the professor.

The grader should be alert to signs of plagiarism, etc. TurnItIn.com can be used for this.

Estimated time for grading: 60 hours (less if enrollment is significantly below the cap).

Small discussion groups

Given the potentially large size of the course, there may be limited opportunity for students to ask questions in the lectures. To give students a more interactive experience, we plan to offer some smaller, TA-led discussion groups. The details of this will depend on enrollment, but potentially we would have four groups of about 15 students. They would meet around six times during the course.

Estimated time for discussion groups: 30 hours (including some preparation time).


The TA should attend the class lectures. This will require about 48 hours.


The TA may have some other small tasks such as replying to student emails.

Estimated time for miscellaneous tasks: 10 hours


The total time commitment is estimated to be about 150 hours