Link Search Menu Expand Document


Table of contents

  1. About this course
  2. Final Course Grades
  3. Tutoring performance specific to your course
  4. 190J Course components:
  5. Attendance/Participation
  6. Homeworks/In-Class Activitites

About this course

  • CMPSC 190J: Teaching Computer Science website:
  • W21 Course Website:
  • Instructor: Yekaterina Kharitonova (Prof. K)

  • Lecture: F 9:30-10:45am, ATTENDANCE REQUIRED.
  • Discussion Section. 5 hours of discussion section, negotiated with your supervising instructor, in service to the course to which you are assigned. The actual time might not correspond to the one listed on GOLD. The time will be some combination of service during your course’s discussion sections, and/or service during open labs hours.

Final Course Grades

Course grades will be calculated as follows:

  • 30%: Tutoring performance in your assigned course
  • 10%: Attendance and active participation in 190J lectures
  • 40%: Two projects (20% each) (one-on-one observations, end-of-term project)
  • 20%: Homework assignments (average of plenary, and course specific)

Tutoring performance specific to your course

As a tutor, you are a role model to the students in the class. Therefore, your conduct should reflect the values that we would like to instill in our students. With this philosphy in mind, we expect you to be:

  • Responsive: As a tutor you will be working with the instructor and the students. You are expected to respond appropriately and in a timely fashion.
  • Reliable: This means showing up ON TIME to your scheduled lab hours, keeping up with your commitments and deadlines.
  • Proactive and engaged: Observe the students in your lab sections and offer to assist them proactively. You must appear “available” to students during your hours and not immersed in your devices or side conversations.
  • Prepared: Read the lab instructions carefully before attending your sections, read the lecture slides, the book or other resources shared with students to know what students are expected to know.
  • Helpful: Demonstrate the understanding of what it means to be helpful as a tutor. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” but seek help from the TA or instructor to make sure that the student received the help they need.
  • Ethical: You must follow good ethics in your interaction with students and are required by university rules to report any cases of harrassment or inappropriate behavior to you instructor immediately. Part of your ethical behavior includes not discussing students or their performance with anyone outside the course staff.

Your tutoring performance will be graded along the above dimensions based on observations made by the instructor. You may ask the instructor for feedback around Week 5 during their scheduled office hours or by setting up an appointment with them. This is optional.

For purposes of calculating a final course grade, a numeric value out of 100 will be assigned by your supervising instructor for this portion of your course performance.

190J Course components:

The course has three main components lectures, discussions and homeworks as described below.

  • Lectures will cover best practices and current research in CS pedagogy with the goal of providing students with the knowledge and skill set needed to be an effective mentor and teacher of Computer Science. Students will learn about how to assist other students in lab sections, learn about different pedagogical techniques and the ethics of being a mentor.

  • In their assigned discussion sections and open lab hours students will apply the content covered in lectures to mentor students. At the outset of the course, each student in CS190J will gain hands-on experience as “course mentors”.

  • There are two projects in 190J:

    • An observation of one-on-one tutoring by your supervising instructor, lead course ULA or the ULA program leads. (20%)
    • A final paper summarizing your learning in the course. (20%)

    Each of these is discussed in more detail below.


Attendance/participation at the weekly lecture sections, and assigned discussion/open hours sessions may be required and mandatory for students enrolled in CS190J. CS190J students should notify their supervising instructor if it is necessary to miss a lecture for an unavoidable reason (e.g. illness, legitimate conflict with academic activity, family emergency.)

Homeworks/In-Class Activitites

Each homeworks or in-Class Activities (ICs) will be worth the same number of points (i.e. normalized to 100 points).

Homeworks include reading and writing assignments, as well as the completion of specific tasks that will be specific to the course that students have been assigned to. Assignments include reading scholarly articles and writing summaries/reviews about them, writing reflections on tutoring activities, and providing feedback on student work. Other tasks may be assigned as homework by instructors of the courses that students are mentoring for. For more information, please see the following subsections.

They will be of two types:

  • Plenary Homeworks/ICs are those that all CS190J mentors will complete, regardless of the course to which they are assigned.

    At present, at least the following are planned:

    • Writing a bio (with photo) for your courses website.
    • Summarizing a research paper on CS Education
    • Presenting a lightning talk on a topic in CS Education
    • Reading short articles (e.g., from Teaching Tips, or other sources) and writing a short reaction paper.
    • Creating a resource for the specific course.
  • Course-specific homeworks may or may not be assigned by your supervising instructor. If they are present, they will be factored into your homework grade.