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.