Listen to students

This is a tricky one to explain as instructors often don't understand what I mean by this.

What I do NOT mean is to listen to student's technical questions and help them by doing the assignment for them.  Troubleshooting your their bug or issue is not what you should focus on.  If a student comes to you and says he/she is struggling, you should

  1. Sit down with the student and find out what's going on
  2. Try to really understand what they are feeling.  You're getting data points on the UX data point. Maybe they are happier than you thought or more stressed than what you thought the students would be at this point in the curriculum, etc.
  3. Ask them questions to see if they really understand key concepts
    1. If they don't understand key concepts, and they've already gone through the platform, then see if anyone else is struggling with that concept.  Invite all those who are struggling to a room and teach them directly until everyone gets it.  Once the session is done, reflect and think how you could have taught your course better, based on what you've just learned.
    2. If they do understand key concepts already, find out what's missing.  Look at their codebase if needed to understand where the learning gap is.  Once you identify the learning gap, invite others in the class to see if they can figure things out together as a group.  If they can't, take the group and see if you can teach them.  Then reflect, and see what you could have done better in your course to do a better job teaching that concept to students.  Follow the prompting.

Note that actually helping students by taking their keyboard and typing on their behalf is not the right solution.  In fact, when you're helping students 99% of that should be through whiteboard and very very rarely, you will actually have to type a single thing.  You're there to learn, gather data, learn how to teach things better, and get feedback directly from the students whether your curriculum is really helping.  You're not there to do their assignments.

Important - note that in the video, I also explain how to conduct live classes and lead help sessions, in a way where you're not troubleshooting bugs directly for the students but how to increase collaboration and learning outcomes for all students whenever students approach you for help or are stuck.  I strongly recommend that you re-watch this video when you're doing the live class to see if you're employing the help session techniques I mention in the video.



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