Tutoring CMPUT 101 – Introduction to Computing

Post ImageA few months ago I was walking through HUB Mall at the U of A when I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen since high school. We had a brief chat, and I of course told her about all of the geeky things I do. Turns out she was taking CMPUT 101 this semester (spring term), and asked if I’d be willing to tutor her. I said sure, not knowing what I was getting myself into!

Her final exam was today (hopefully she did well) so our last session was yesterday. Throughout her course we met twice a week for roughly two hours each time to go over the concepts she was learning in lecture, and to work on her labs. It was a really good experience for me, and she said my help was really important for helping her understand the material. Actually, she told me yesterday “you have a gift you should share! maybe you should join the tutor registry.” I think she was being overly nice 🙂

Here are some thoughts:

  • As this was an introduction course (that I never took actually) I really had to refresh my memory on some of the topics (like Two’s Complement). Mostly it all came flowing back to me though!
  • There were definitely some frustrating times, for her and for me! She would have trouble grasping a concept and I would have trouble explaining it. We worked through it though, and found a way for it to make sense. So I learned that tutors need patience.
  • I get the feeling that taking a computer course in a compressed term (spring or summer) is quite hard, especially if you’re not a computer-person! The content is just rushed.
  • I think tutoring a higher level class would be fun, where the student already knows the basics.

I know she’ll pass the course, so I am just eager to see how well she does! She gave me a gift card for Starbucks yesterday as a thank you – incredibly nice of her, but completely unnecessary!

I don’t know if I am going to join the tutor registry, but I’ll definitely considerate it now that I have some experience.

2 thoughts on “Tutoring CMPUT 101 – Introduction to Computing

  1. Congratulations to you and your tutored student Mack…patience is not always easy to come by when helping someone else learn something that seems totally foreign and unknown to them…it takes a talent indeed but it sounds like the two of you were able to work things out and it was a rewarding experience for both of you! I hope your tutored friend receives a passing course grade that she will be very pleased with, I wish her the best! I’m sure she will do quite well, she seems to be one smart cookie…she chose a great tutor and she knew how to reward you in the best possible way…Starbucks! For each of us…learning is so challenging and rewarding plus lifelong but when you can impact some one else with their learning the feeling is undescribable, it’s special!

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