Fourth And Fifth Weeks

Notes for Teaching Assistants — Labs 4 & 5

Your fourth lab session

Labs will not be held this week. Instead,

  • Grade the assignments and get them back to me by the end of the week so I can check them
  • Be available for students who are doing Assignment 2.
  • Collect general comments on Assignment 1 (strengths/weaknesses) that you will tell students to follow/avoid for Assignment 2.



Your fifth lab session

Topics covered are:

  • Questions on Assignment 1 marking (briefly!)
  • Assignment 2 expectations and grading
  • Lead a discussion on the system evaluated in Ass2
  • Introduce the project
  • At end of formal lab, go over individual reports


Assignment 1 marking

  • students will likely have questions for you
  • tell students overall things you noticed when marking assignments:
    • what made write-ups excellent
    • what made write-ups weak
    • where marks were typically lost
  • while you should answer high-level questions about marking, defer picky questions (e.g. actual grade) until the end of the formal lab
  • I strongly suggest you ask students with complaints over their grading to give in their assignment with a note on it that says exactly where they feel the grading was wrong, and exactly why they should be regraded.
  • encourage groups to discuss their assignment 1 reports with you. This is the best way to give feedback!


Assignment 2 expectations/grading

  • give out grading sheet
  • go over main differences (organization and final section)
  • length should be long enough to tell the story! But probably no shorter than 8 pages, no longer than 20.
  • Stress:
    • report should be oriented toward manager
    • must be readable
    • must show deep thought
  • Refer to lab 3ís notes for details of writeup


System discussion

  • have people present their sample tasks, and why they thought they were good (or bad) ones. In particular, did they explore a common thing that users did in the system, or an arcane part of the system? Did the task really matter that much?
  • have people discuss their general observations and anecdotal evidence of what happened
  • try to elicit some problems of the system, at both the low level (particular examples) and the high level (ie how they generalize)
  • try to elicit design changes of the system that use the same technology
  • If you have time, have them design a new interface to the system.


Assignment 3 project

  • briefly introduce the project(see handout)
  • get them ready for first milestone, as below:
  • choose project area:
    • not to ambitious/large
    • better to have excellent interface to small system implementable
  • start exploring many interface ideas with paper/pencil
  • present best ones to class as sketches/storyboard/pictive display
  • explain other aspects of first milestone

Last updated April 1997, by Saul Greenberg