Lab Assistant Resources
Requirements and Expectations:
Be available, friendly, and helpful.
- You're the first line of defense when students are struggling with a concept or an assignment -- we're counting on you!
- You should read the assignments for the intro classes, before your shift starts if possible.
- You should have a clue about which topics have been covered in the intro classes. Skim the course web pages or, when a student asks you a question, ask him/her to tell you what he/she knows. Then, for example, you won't tell a student to use a loop if loops haven't yet been introduced in the class.
Generate reports from the front.
- If you observe systematic issues for students (students seem really confused by = versus == or question #2 on the assignment is really confusing or ...), pass that information along to the professor for the course. Also consider posting a FAQ on the whiteboard if you can provide helpful clarification or emailing the cs-lab-assistant list.
Faculty Course Pages:
Things to Do when you aren't helping other students:
- Learn how to program in python
- Read the current assignments from all the CS 1xx courses
- Do the CS 1xx assignments (in Python)
General Thoughts On Helping Students:
Keep students aware of other options for getting help:
- the professor of the class
- for classes with a TA ("prefect"), the TA ("prefect")
- for more algorithmic (less syntactic) questions, the math skills center during shifts with people who have taken 111.
Don't take the keyboard! ("teach a student to fish ...")
If confronted by a student with a blank screen, try to get them
- to work on incremental versions. (step one: can you get the program to display a prompt?) (step two: ...)
- Help them get started.
*Read* error messages. 111 students in general won't recognize errors nearly as quickly as you will.
Trust your judgement.