The purpose of CS501 is to prepare the Computer Science Department TAs for teaching in the classroom environment. TAs are not expected to have any prior teaching experience thus this course will help them achieve confidence in the classroom, grade equitably and efficiently, teach to various learning styles and establish their personal teaching philosophies. The course is given to both students who will concurrently be TAing in the fall quarter and those who hope to, or expect to TA in future quarters. In addition some TAs will only be responsible for grading, some only for leading discussion sections, and others only for running labs. Therefore, the content of the course encompasses each of these areas. Due to the fact that some students of CS501 will be concurrently TAing, more important topics are covered toward the beginning of the course.

You will also have to attend and critique one other TA discussion.

Your participation will drive this seminar! Your questions, concerns and experiences will shape the topics and value of the course, so be involved!


Course Requirements

  • Attendance: miss no more than one class.
  • Teaching Demo:
    • Those who are TAing this quarter (leading discussion/lab): Share your section logistics under the Observation tab here. No additional demo needed.
    • Those who are not TAing this quarter (readers, GSRs, etc): Sign up for in-class teaching presentation under the Presentation tab here. You can choose any non-trivial topic of your general interest to present.
  • Critique (fill in the TA Observation Form):
    • Attend at least one other TA's section and critique. You can find the section logistics under the Observation tab here.
    • Critique at least one in-class teaching presentation.
  • Complete Teaching Philosophy Statement.


Week 1 - October 7th 2020

    We started with introductions and briefly described the course structure, requirements and objectives. Then we went over the Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating technique from the UCSB TA handbook. We demonstrated this technique with an in-class teaching example.


Week 2 - October 14th 2020

    We discussed implicit bias in teaching, how to help students in need, and then discussed ways to prevent and detect cheating in CS courses.


Week 3 - October 21th 2020

    We discussed grading student work, grading rubrics and did an in-class exercise on grading students' submissions.


Week 4 - October 28th 2020

    We discussed different grading tools (gradescope, turnin, Google Apps Script, etc.) and how to write a teaching philosophy statement.


Week 5 - November 4th 2020

    We discussed how to lead cooperative learning sections, and tips and techniques for effective board work.


Week 6 - November 11th 2020

    Veterans' Day, no class.

Week 7 - November 18th 2020

    We discussed maintaining student confidentiality and went over FERPA regulations, with several in-class case studies.


Week 8 - November 25th 2020

    No class. Happy Thanksgiving!

Week 9 - December 2nd 2020

    We talked about student-TA relationships, International TAs, and a review of the CCUT program.


Week 10 - December 9th 2020

    We talked about students with disabilities and how to create great presentations.

Thanks to everyone for their time and efforts this quarter in making this course interesting!

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