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Students registered for Computer Science courses can get free help from coaches!

NOTE: The CS Coaching Center (formerly the CS Tutor Room) is now located in Old Main 304, however, it will remain closed for the rest of Fall 2020 semester.

Coaching Center Policies

Locations and Schedules

Spring/Fall Old Main 304 - closed Fall 2020 semester

Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 9 PM
            Saturday: 12 Noon - 9 PM

Summer Session 1 Old Main 304

              Monday: 12 PM - 8 PM
Tuesday - Friday: 12 PM - 7 PM             Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

CS Coaching Queuing Instructions

Go to coach.cs.usu.edu

  • Login with USU credentials
  • Click Join Queue on the left
  • Select your course and choose online or face-to-face

  • Online
    1. Go to https://usu-edu.zoom.us/
    2. Follow process to setup account the first time
    3. Click “Host a Meeting” to generate a meeting link or use your personal meeting link
    4. Copy and paste the meeting link on the coaching site
    5. Start your meeting
    6. Wait until a coach joins your meeting
    7. Please turn your sound on so you can hear when a coach joins

  • Face-to-Face (when applicable)
    1. Wait until a coach is ready and calls for you

Guidelines

Welcome to the Computer Science Coaching Center. Our Coaches are excited to help you succeed in your Computer Science academic career. In order to improve our efficiency and effectiveness in helping you, please adhere to the following guidelines.

   1) Identify the type of problem you’re having:
       a. Debugging – I know what to do, but my code doesn’t work
       b. Implementation – I know how to solve the problem, but don’t know how to write the code for it
       c. Conceptual – I don’t know how to solve the problem
   2) Prepare appropriately to meet a Coach.
   3) Discuss the issue with a Coach. Remember, Coaches are here to help you learn, not to just get your homework done.
   4) Work on your own following the direction received from the Coach.

Debugging Problems

Debugging problems arise where code isn’t doing what’s expected. A true debugging problem means you know how to solve the problem, and have written your code, but it’s not working. In order to get help from a Coach, make sure you can answer their first question:

Can you explain what your code should be doing?


It’s important to be able to explain this. Without this explanation, a Coach can only see what your code is actually doing, and may not be able to identify the flaw. It will save a great deal of time for you if you can tell them what should be happening.

Implementation Problems

Implementation problems are when you know how a problem should be solved, but don’t know how to write the code for it. Once again, be prepared to answer this question:

Can you explain how to solve the problem?

The answer to this question will help the Coach to figure out which pieces are still too general. It is often the case that the description can’t be translated directly into code. A Coach can help you see how to break the assignment into smaller pieces which can be helpful even on future assignments.

Conceptual Issue

A conceptual issue is when you don’t know how to approach solving a problem. Ultimately, all problems can be broken down into pieces that fit concepts you have learned in class. It’s sometimes difficult to do that. In these cases, it is still important to prepare to meet a Coach so you can be helped in an efficient manner. Make sure you’re able to answer each of the following questions.

1) What are the key topics/principles you learned in class recently? Often these are included as objectives listed on the assignment.
2) What are some solutions you have thought of, even if they were wrong?
3) What is the very first thing your program needs to do?

The first step of an assignment is often something simple, such as display a welcome message, however, you might not realize that there are parts that you know how to do. Make sure to spend time thinking about the problem in a step-by-step manner. Doing this will help the Coaches to assist you in learning the concepts that you really are struggling with.

Policies

  1. Coaches can help you with specific programming problems, algorithm design or conceptual understanding.
  2. Be considerate of others. Coaches are not allowed to help you for prolonged periods of time when others are waiting. If you need a lot of help, come back when the Coaching Center isn't so busy.
  3. Coaches are provided to help YOU find YOUR problems - not for the coach to do your debugging for you. You need to learn how to use the debugger. Ask a coach for strategies on how to find the solutions yourself.
  4. You must design, write and debug your own programs. Otherwise it is called cheating.
  5. The CS Coaching Center is becoming increasingly popular. If you routinely skip class, don't have the proper pre-requisite for the class you are taking, or are trying to teach yourself (rather than register for the appropriate class), we probably don't have the personnel to help you.
  6. Coaching Center etiquette may be found here.

    Last update: October 29, 2020