Comp 110 and KOLT
The tutoring services provided for Comp 110 (Introduction to Computer Programming with MATLAB) has been an essential and invaluable part of the course since the establishment of KOLT. KOLT’s tutoring center truly contributes to the learning of students, especially by assisting them in preparing homework assignments and studying for exams.
As the instructor of this course, in a typical semester I try to work with KOLT in the following ways:
Before the semester starts, I contact KOLT in order to determine the number and names of the Comp110 tutors. These tutors are chosen from students who have previously taken Comp110 and have passed with an A+/A/A- grade.
When giving information about Comp110 in the first lecture of the semester, I tell students that if they are stuck at any point while doing their homework assignments or preparing for exams, besides getting help from their instructor and teaching assistants, they can also get help from KOLT. I further emphasize the advantages of these three sources compared to getting help from their friends.
At the beginning of the semester I invite the new Comp110 tutors to my office and emphasize the points that I want them to watch out for while tutoring. Within the first couple of weeks of the semester, I introduce the tutors to my students at the beginning of one of my classes.
I work together with KOLT in determining the tutoring schedule. In order to make sure that students get the most effective support when they are stuck in their homework assignments, I try to organize the tutoring schedule so that tutoring hours are close to the time homework assignments are due. Furthermore, to spread out the opportunities in which students can get help, I try to organize tutoring hours that do not overlap with instructor/TA office hours.
After all the office hours and tutoring times are finalized, I organize a timetable that shows all of these hours, and share it with students via e-mail. I also upload the timetable to the course’s shared folder for future easy access.
Throughout the semester, when students tell me that they are having difficulties with their homework, or whenever the opportunity arises, I remind them that the preferred and more helpful support will come from the instructor/TA office hours and the KOLT tutoring services. This further leads the students to perceive that the tutoring services provided by KOLT are a standard part of the course.
In the last couple of semesters, KOLT has added a new dimension to their student support services. Upon the proposal and volunteering of a tutor, a “question and answer / review session” for students prior to their exams was started. With this addition, KOLT has further extended its support for learning in this course.