Course:CPSC101/2009F Staff page

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This page contains information of use to the TAs for Fall 2009.

Oct 27 2009: Javascript Art lab

Oct 19 2009: GIMP lab

  • GIMP is a bit slow so ask the students to be patient.
  • There is no font on the lab computers, so students cannot type text in images.

Sept 29 2009: Algorithm Scratch lab

  • Ask students to save the work often while they are on it, since the lab computers freeze often.
  • Students should not set a background as a seprate sprite. In order to add a background, students should click on 'stage' on the bottom right box where you see all the sprites, and set 'Backgrounds' by going into the middle colum.
  • 'switch to costume #' operator under 'Looks' works on and off for some reason. Please remind students about this information to have them avoid spend lots of time fixing this problem.

Sept 22 2009: HTML lab

  • Let the students know that helping each other out is encouraged!
  • Students were not familiar with the unix commands of changing privileges. Many students typed 'chmod a+rx' instead of typing 'chmod a+rx .' Please remind students to not to forget the period (.) at the end of the command.
  • Make sure students do not save an image file with the file extension. For example, they should not save 'UBC' as 'UBC.jpg', because it would be saved as 'UBC.jpg.jpg' on Windows.


Sept 8 2009: Getting Started Lab

  • Write the instructions for getting an account on the board; students can't see them until they get an account! (I.e. they should type 'getacct' at the windows prompt In the lab it says to log in to solaris to create an account using 'getacct' but it also works on windows login prompt.)
  • Make sure students know they are doing the Getting Started lab, not the HTML lab.
  • Note that students might not have an account. You could let them use the cs101 account and email the file they create to themselves at the end of the lab. You will have to type in the password and make sure they exit at the end.
  • Students may have trouble with accessing the Z-drive. (Students get a "z:/ is not accessible - access is denied" message.) Have them try restarting the computer and logging back on again. They can save the files on the Desktop until the Z drive is accessible.
  • Take time at the start to introduce yourselves and ask the students to introduce themselves too. Tell them where you're from. Encourage them to chat with you and each other during the lab, not to feel held back by comfort level with English.
  • Lab exercise: ask students to write down five things about themselves, e.g. major, hobbies, interest in CS. Then, walk around and find others who have similar interests. The goal is to help students get to know each other and possibly find potential project partners.
  • Grading scheme?
  • Grading sheet: Bring a sheet of paper. Have students fill in their student name and IDs. You add the grade to the sheet. One graduate TA should make a copy, enter the grades, and put in my mailbox or bring to the next Tuesday TA meeting.

Sept 8 2009: General Notes on Labs

  • If a student misses a lab and wants to make it up later: that's fine in exceptional circumstances but not on a regular basis. Ask the student to email me and cc you, explaining why it is necessary.
  • Ensure marking schemes emphasize exploration or creativity, rather than just getting the correct answer or taking the shortest path to completing the lab. When a student needs help, see if you can guide them to fix the problem rather than taking over their computer. (Sometimes that's not possible but often it is.) Set a positive tone in the lab: be encouraging and praise students when they make extra effort. Avoid comments that reinforce stereotypes.