This semester is the first time I will be a teaching assistant, and I’m really excited for the job. Although it’s not technically research related, I am going to include some experiences I have as a TA on this blog, because it is an education-oriented endeavor. I will be TA-ing one section of CSE 231: Introduction to Programming. The course has 12 sections, and four of the 9 TAs are women!
My duties as a TA will include leading one lab section (of 20-30 students), as well as grading assignments, monitoring an online message board of students questions, manning the helproom weekly, and writing several programming project assignments for the next semester.
In addition to my work as a TA, I hope to have the chance to interview some of the students in the introductory course about their mental models of computer programming. Bill Punch and Mark Urban-Lurain conducted interviews of this type with the summer section of the same course, and did not have any conclusive results. I’m hoping that if we take a look at the questions asked and rewrite them with the previous results as guidance then we will be able to glean some information about mental models from this semester’s group of CSE 231 students.
If you’re interested in learning about the course material for CSE 231, the course website can be found here. The syllabus, labs, projects, slides, and all other course files can be viewed there.