With focus on scaling the course and reducing attrition
The traditional problem with 61A is attrition. Students struggle and fail to understand the
material early on. Since new material builds on old, the student's problem cascades and
eventually the student either drops the course or performs poorly, with all the consequences
that brings (GPA drop, lower confidence, bad taste for the course, etc.) Now with 1100+
students enrolled for Fall 2013, this problem will only be magnified.
● Students fall behind because of the pace of the course
● The student load is not balanced--on the books, every TA has ~60 students. In theory, if
everyone went to their own sections, things would be okay. In practice, more students
attend office hours the day the homework is due.
● Students sometimes feel lost and don't know where to turn.
So in general:
● Help struggling students catch up
● Load balance so that we're using our limited resources effectively
● Build Community - connect students together.
● Extra discussion sections geared toward the students who are falling behind
● Tried in Summer with moderate success
○ Demo: www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs61a-tf/guerrilla/3-sol.txt
○ Summer 61A Piazza: https://piazza.com/class/hg8g5ou3qtl4s5?cid=629
■ Copy pasted at the bottom for convenience
● Disadvantages: requires bigger commitment from staff
● Advantages: a sort of second wave of learning. Students have a haven where they meet
like-minded students. Less problems with pressure or esteem. Builds community.
Implementation: Two sections per week. Will require significant planning and manpower.
Sample Piazza post for Guerrilla Sections. Used in Summer 2013
The Return of Guerrilla Sections!
For this week and next week, I (Andrew) will be overseeing optional CS61A meetings specifically aimed
at going over past concepts that you may still be struggling with. Here is the schedule:
8/7 Wednesday 8:10pm - meet outside of 320 Soda. Topics: Environment Diagrams and Interpreters:
8/9 Friday 7:00pm - meet outside of 320 Soda. Top