Winter Quarter 2014 — Information and Computer Sciences — UC Irvine
Lab Tutor Seminar (ICS 193)
Instructors: David G. Kay (
5056 Donald Bren Hall; Rich Pattis (
firstname.lastname@example.org), 4062 Donald Bren Hall
Tutor coordinators: Andrea Lau (
email@example.com) and Ada Guan (
firstname.lastname@example.org). Jointly we're reachable at
Meeting time and place: Tuesdays 2:00 to 3:20 in 5011 DBH. We may not meet for the whole time, especially later in the quarter.
Course requirements: It's simple: Everyone can get an A who performs professionally. Unprofessional things (like missing scheduled lab sessions or missing the ICS 193 meetings) will lower the grade and pretty quickly result in a tutor being asked not to be a tutor any more. Of course real emergencies come up (but normal academic obligations like midterms and projects aren't real emergencies; you can plan around them); in a real emergency, contact the coordinators and the TA of your section as soon as you possibly can.
Topics to be covered: Primarily we will discuss issues that have come up or may come up in your tutoring. We will talk some about computer science curricula and teaching in general, and we will also cover relevant aspects of Python and other computer science principles. Refer frequently to the Lab Tutor Guide,
Quick resource guide:
This syllabus (with all its hyperlinks) is available on line at http://www.ics.uci.edu/~kay/labtutors/193.w14.html . There are other useful resources on David Kay's Teaching in ICS page.
We're making heavy use of forums at Piazza.com this quarter (for tutors, as well as for the students). This is a site where questions can be posted and answers can be created collaboratively, wiki-style, both by other students in the class and by instructors.
- Some or all of ICS 31, 32, and 33 will have Piazza groups. You should go ahead and add yourself as students to the course(s) you'll be tutoring for, and as time permits, feel free to answer students' postings. Just remember three things: (a) It's better to say nothing than to post something wrong; recovering from incorrect postings is like putting toothpaste back in the tube. (b) Hundreds of students will read what you post, so you want to be sure you don't confuse more people than you help. If the questioner has done something an unusual way, preface your response with something like, "There are other ways to do this; nobody should adopt this approach if they have another approach that's working for them." (c) TAs have a little leeway to clarify assignment requirements for their own sections. So if a student asks, "Do we have to handle the X case?", if the answer isn't clearly written in the problem specification you should tell them to check with their own TA. Finally, be careful about posting code that actually solves the lab problems; give examples of similar usage or something, but don't write all of the students' code for them. [This is more of an issue after the first couple of weeks; early in the course, it's appropriate to be more concrete.]
- ICS 193 also has a Piazza group where you can post questions and observations about tutoring. You can use it to ask things you'd otherwise have to postpone to the next Tuesday's ICS 193 class meeting. There's just one thing: If you're tutoring for ICS 32, realize that some of the ICS 31 tutors are students in ICS 32 this quarter. It's not appropriate to post solutions or approaches to the ICS 32 lab problems (or identifiable refrences to ICS 32 students) on the main ICS 193 Piazza group; it would deprive the ICS 32 students who are ICS 31 tutors of the opportunity to work it out for themselves (and especially since they're the strongest students, they should have that opportunity). The same goes for ICS 33 tutors not posting to the main ICS 193 group information that ICS 33 students who are ICS 31 or 32 tutors shouldn't see. But there's a solution: ICS 32 tutors have been added to the "ICS 32 Section" of the ICS 193 class on Piazza and likewise for ICS 33 tutors and an "ICS 33 Section". General tutoring issues, everyone should post and answer in the main ICS 193 Piazza group. But ICS 32 tutors who want to discuss sensitive ICS 32 issues should have those discussions in the ICS 32 Section, which is visible only to members (and likewise for ICS 33, 45C, and 45J).
David G. Kay, email@example.com
Monday, January 6, 2014 3:06 PM