CSC148 Head TA Experience: UTM

I’ve had the pleasure of working as the Head Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto Mississauga for CSC148 (Introduction to Computer Science) in winter 2021 under the coordination of Professor Larry Zhang. In this article, I’ll describe the system I created for running labs.

The Task

I wanted to create a lab that would:

  • Allow students to get their questions resolved
  • Be Fun
  • Allow students to collaborate and work together
  • Not be awkward

The System

  • Create the maximum number of breakout rooms allowed in BB collab (20) and allow students to switch between breakout rooms.
  • Allow students to work in groups in rooms 1–16
  • Set TAs at breakout rooms 17, 18, and 19 to answer questions. There was at least one TA in these breakout rooms at all times throughout the lab.
  • Make breakout room 20 a quiet breakout room for people who prefer to work individually.
  • At the start of the second hour of the lab, we played a Kahoot with the students. The Kahoots were made based on the lecture content of the current week.
  • Following the Kahoot, students had 20 minutes to work on the quiz activity provided to them, to simulate a test environment.
  • Finally, we went over the quiz with the students and finished the lab.

To encourage students to work together we created an official Discord for the course where they could talk and work together. The winners of the Kahoot received the “Kahoot winner” role in Discord.

The Experience

Further Improvements

Conclusion

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I am incoming backend engineer at Circle. I like to research new topics and blog about them. Particularly ones relating to Artificial Intelligence.

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Michael Sheinman

I am incoming backend engineer at Circle. I like to research new topics and blog about them. Particularly ones relating to Artificial Intelligence.