CS375: Teaching Techniques for Computer Science (Spring 2014)
Monday 4:10 - 6:00pm in 310 Soda

Instructors: David Culler and Satish Rao
TA: Jon McKinsey

Welcome to CS375! Most of the course logistics will be handled through Piazza.

Textbook and Readings

We will be reading chapters from Barbara Davis's Tools for Teaching (TT) and Arthur Mattuck's The Torch or the Firehose as well as other selected papers and articles.

To access the e-book and other assigned readings off the Berkeley network. you will need to set up library proxy. For your convenience, the assigned chapters of Tools of Teaching are also provided as .pdfs in the Calendar section.


In addition to readings, you will be expected to complete various small assignments and worksheets for the class that are designed to help you plan, prepare and review your sections: See this Piazza post on how to submit your homework. Assignment due dates are marked on the calendar, but we accept assignments on a rolling basis meaning the earlier you submit an assignment the faster you get feedback. We reserve the right to add 1 or 2 more assignments not listed here.


We expect students to attend 80% of the scheduled meetings.

When you need to miss a meeting, we want you to select one of the papers for the week, summarize it and email your summary to the instructors and TA prior to the meeting. For unexpected absences, please contact us as soon as possible.


This table will be populated as the semester goes on. Be sure to check back frequently for updates.

Week Date Topic Homework Reading due Additional Resources
Week 0 January 20 No class (MLK holiday) GSI Duties and Responsibilities Worksheet [.docx] (due by 1/27)   So You Think You Can TA
TA Responsibilities
GSI Checklist
Week 1 January 27 Welcome (lecture)
Ice breakers (activity)
Designing a good discussion (discussion)
Self-Reflection 1 (due by 2/3)
GSI Ethics course (due by 1/31)
TT part III: Discussion Strategies  
Week 2 February 3 Present something! (activity, experiment)
Presentation skills (lecture)
Present something again! (activity)
Peer Video Observation Notes Worksheet
Peer Video Observation Reflection 1 (due by 2/17)
TT part IV: The Large Enrollment Course Drama and teacher effectiveness
Dan Klein distinguished teaching video
How'm I Doing? [Abstract]
Teacher nonverbal behavior
Amy Cuddy your body language shapes who you are video
Week 3 February 10 How's your class going? (discussion)
Tools for helping students understand (lecture)
Learning something new (activity)
Self-Reflection 2 (due by 2/17) TT part VI: Enhancing Students' Learning and Motivation
Through the Lens of Learning
Week 4 February 17 No class (President's Day holiday) Exam Question and Rubric (due on 2/24) TT part VIII: Test and Grading  
Week 5 February 24 Problem solving (activity)
Peer review group therapy (discussion)
Designing good questions, exams and rubrics (discussion)
Student survey methods (lecture)
Student Survey
Student Survey Reflection (due by 3/10)
Teaching Problem Solving Survey/student ratings
Benefits of early course evaluations
Tips for fair and efficient grading
Problem Solving Strategies: Effectiveness
Problem Solving Strategies: Nigeria Study
Week 6 March 3 Student learning
Why do we have discussions, TAs, OH and forums?
Peer Video Observation Notes Worksheet
Peer Video Observation 2 (due by 3/17)
The 2 Sigma Problem
VARK Questionnaire
Learning Styles Don't Exist
Week 7 March 10 Learning Syles/Active Learning Activity/Survey Reflection     Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence
Week 8 March 17 Barriers to learning
Defensive climate
  TT part II: Responding to a Changing Student Body
Reducing the Racial Achievement Gap
Identity and Stereotype Threat [Highlight]
A Threat in the Air
A topology of CS students preconditions for learning
Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing
Week 9 March 24 No class (Spring Break)      
Week 10 March 31 No class Self-Reflection 3 (due by 4/7)    
Week 11 April 7 Guest speaker Dan Klein: Designing other parts of the course Self-Reflection 4 (due by 4/28)    
Week 12 April 14 No class      
Week 13 April 21 No class      
Week 14 April 28 Last thoughts
Course surveys