FA19:Discussion syllabus

From CS2800 wiki

This semester we are introducing mandatory discussion sections. This is the most requested change to CS 2800. We are still refining the details, so please bear with us if anything changes.

Discussion Evaluation

Your section grade is worth ten percent of your final grade. Section grades are broken down into two three components:

Participation is a combination of attendance, in-section engagement and participation in group work. If participation in class feels intimidating or uncomfortable, please talk to your section leaders.
Worksheets will be distributed in section and are due in section the following week. Worksheets are designed to be completed in groups of three to four students during section time. However, each student is required to turn in their own handwritten solution. Worksheets will be graded for completion, not correctness, but will have TA comments on how to improve your solution. Completion will only be granted if a reasonable attempt has been made at every question on the worksheet. Partial completion will not be granted for only attempting a fraction of the worksheet questions. However, if you turn in a partially completed worksheet, we will provide feedback on the questions that were attempted. Because worksheets are graded for completion, don’t be afraid of messing up! Making mistakes and getting feedback is part of the learning process.
There will be a short, multiple-choice quiz every week. This quiz requires access to a web browser; please bring a mobile device or laptop.


Be present. Not only is attendance mandatory, but presence is also mandatory. This means in addition to showing up to section, we require you to be an active participant in section. In effect, ask questions, engage in discussion and keep personal electronics out of sight unless otherwise told. If you have a disability that requires the use of an electronic device, please contact Student Disability Services at 607-254-4545 and the instructor for a confidential discussion of your individual needs. If a one-time event prevents you from attending section, email your section TAs at least 24 hours before your section.

Be helpful. There are a plethora of ways to assist your fellow peers during section. One major way is by asking questions; if you have a question there is a high chance that your classmates have the same question. If you find

Be respectful. Everyone—the instructor, TAs, and students—must be respectful of everyone else in this class. All communication, in class and online, will be held to a high standard for inclusiveness: it may never target individuals or groups for harassment, and it may not exclude specific groups. That includes everything from outright animosity to the subtle ways we phrase things and even our timing. For example: do not talk over other people; don’t use male pronouns when you mean to refer to people of all genders; avoid explicit language that has a chance of seeming inappropriate to other people; and don’t let strong emotions get in the way of calm, scientific communication. If any of the communication in this class doesn’t meet these standards, please don’t escalate it by responding in kind. Instead, contact the instructor as early as possible. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing something directly with the instructor—for example, if the instructor is the problem—please contact the advising office or the department chair.

Section Collaboration Policy

Student collaboration is highly encouraged, in fact section worksheets are made to be collaborative. During each section, you will be assigned to a group of 3-4 students with whom you can collaborate as much as you would like, even outside of section time. However, you must turn in your own handwritten solution at the beginning of the following week. If your solution is a verbatim copy of another student’s solution, you will not get completion credit for that week.

Barring the course wiki, internet collaboration is strictly forbidden. In fact, because section worksheets are not graded for correctness, you are only hurting yourself by using online resources.