Previous research has explored the influence of co-teaching models on student learning in the K-12 grade curriculum. However, little research explores the effects of co-teaching models implemented in higher education among graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). This study examines the benefits and drawbacks of co-teaching models in higher education classes for both GTAs and students. Surveys and interviews were used to collect data from 36 undergraduate students and three GTAs at a mid-sized Midwestern university. In addition to measures of cognitive and affective learning, content analysis of the surveys, interviews, and a reflexive journal were used to identity emerging themes pertaining to the benefits, drawbacks, and student learning outcomes of co-teaching in higher education. Results reveal that GTAs perceive a variety of teaching approaches, instructor experiences, instructor chemistry, and instructor approachability as benefits of co-teaching. Drawbacks included power distances and lack of familiarity with co-teaching models to be drawbacks of co-teaching in higher education. Students claimed diverse instructor perspectives, variety of teaching styles, increased communication skills, and fresh perspectives to be benefits of co-teaching in higher education. Students found drawbacks included: a confusing class structure and rejection of traditional instructional styles. Additionally, students in co-teaching classrooms reported higher levels of affective learning when compared to students in traditional classrooms. Implications for utilizing the co-teaching as a model for training GTAs are explored.


Laura Jacobi

Committee Member

Kristi Treinen

Committee Member

Elizabeth Sandall

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities



Rights Statement

In Copyright