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Current Version

This is a quick outline of the current version of the Tutor/Mentor Training session Sam ran in 2016. It is based primarily on notes from observing one of Jerod's sessions. It exists mostly because evidence suggests that Sam will forget what he did (or what he planned to do).


  • Welcome back to campus!
  • About the peer educator program.
  • We have a new Peer Education Coordinator (who we hope will start next week).
  • Four primary kinds of peer educators.
    • Mentors - Attend class (and help out), run weekly mentoring sessions. Meet with professors.
    • Evening tutors - Staff the labs; Help out with intro classes (151 and 161 required; everything else is optional).
    • Individual tutors - Meet with students one-on-one (or in small groups) to help them through things.
    • Graders - Grade. Provide feedback to faculty.
  • Introductions! Who are you? Pronouns? What roles are you serving? New or old?
  • Thank you for serving in this important role!
  • Online materials (that I forgot to send you).

New Things This Semester

  • New Peer Education Coordinator in charge.
    • She knows math and stats and will be learning the CS.
    • Responsible for both CS and upper-level stats.
    • More supervision!
  • Some College-wide requirements that I don't know about yet.
  • Title IX training required, as are some reporting expectations.
  • We may do implicit bias training.

Reminder: Responsibilities

  • Everyone: Help students, in an unbiased way.
  • Everyone: Grow in your skills.
  • Everyone: Paperwork!
  • Mentors: Run organized mentor sessions. Liason with CS faculty.
  • Evening Tutors: Keep track of what's happening in courses! Check in with students. Make sure that students sign in.
  • Individual Tutors: Help your student develop skills to solve problems on his/her/zir/their own.
  • Graders: Prompt!

Group Activities

Take a few minutes to write down answers to the following questions.
  • What do you find most exciting about this job?
  • What do you find most important?
  • What do you find most challenging?
  • What would you like to know?
  • Special
    • For new peer educators: One concrete thing you want to remember from the readings (or from your own experiences).
    • For experienced peer educators: One tip for others.

Other Important Information

  • Please record information!
  • Preparation (and charge us).
  • Follow normal policies in the lab.

Prior Version

This is a quick outline of the old version of the Tutor/Mentor Training session Sam agreed to run in about 2012. It exists mostly because evidence suggests that Sam will forget what he did (or what he planned to do).
  1. Prelminaries
    1. Note: Some stuff is on the Wiki. I will refer to Wiki stuff, but will try not to just read it.
    2. Handout: "Tutoring in Computer Science"
  2. Introduction
    1. Kinds of student assistants in CS
    2. Why we use student assistants in CS
    3. What you should get out of being a student assistant
      1. More debugging experience - the more debugging you do, the better programmer you become
      2. A line on the resume
      3. Presentation and speaking skills - something our alums say that they don't have enough of
    4. Why we have this session
      1. To help ensure that we're all on the same page
      2. Although you may have had trainging from Minna, some things are different in CS
      3. A chance for experienced tutors to share with less experienced tutors
  3. Quick Review - What did you learn in Minna's session?
  4. The Basics
    1. Know class policies
    2. Guide, don't tell
    3. Encourage citation
    4. Please don't criticize the CS faculty
  5. Beyond the basics
    1. Tutoring CS can be hard. There are multiple levels to most problems (CS problems are like artichokes?). As importantly, there are multiple places bugs can crop up (algorithm design, language understanding, algorithm translation to language, etc.)
      1. Walking students through levels (algorithm, parts of the algorithm, implementation, etc.) can be useful
      2. Asking students to test smaller parts may be helpful
    2. Although the long sheet suggests that you solve the problems you may be helping in advance, remember that there are usually lots of ways to solve the same problem.
    3. Develop a set of questions that help you help the students. (Often, getting students to state things carefully helps them find their own problems.)
  6. Some important policies
    1. Show up for your shift.
    2. Keep the chair and Allison Vosburg posted on changes to times
    3. Remember that you're being paid to work, so look for people who may need help.
    4. Encourage students to sign in so that we know whether this time is worthwhile.
    5. Provide a short summary at the end.
  7. Feedback - What should we improve, change, whatever?
Topic revision: r2 - 2016-09-11, SamuelARebelsky

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