Supervisor support in the Computer Laboratory
The scheme described below was initiated in October 1997. It is designed to support supervisions on the Computer Science Tripos. It eases the task of supervisors, particularly new ones, and also allows supervisions to be better geared to what is going on in the lectures. It does not usurp the Colleges' role in teaching, but aims to provide a better link between lectures and supervisions in the simplest way possible.
It has two objectives:
- Students and supervisors should have compatible ideas about what extra reading, discussion topics, exercises and past examination questions are relevant to each stage of the course.
- Supervisors should have easy access to solution notes, sample answers, and any other information (e.g. known trouble spots) which is not given to students but which can ease and improve the supervision task.
To this end, the following is required of each course lecturer:
- The lecturer gives the students a Learning Guide, covering the first point above. It may be very short – no more than a page. It could be incorporated in the lecture notes. If it is listed per week of the course, or even per lecture, then it helps supervisors to phase their supervisions.
- The lecturer also prepares a Supervision Guide, covering the second point above. It complements the Learning Guide.
The Supervision Guides are kept in folders in the Student Administration Office, available to staff and supervisors only. Copies will be made for supervisors as required.
Solution notes, which are produced by examination question setters for the benefit of the internal and external Examiners, are normally placed in the course folders in the Student Administration Office after each examination season. These solution notes may be made available to supervisors, on the understanding that they will not in general be made available to students.
The reasons for restricting access are many. Principal amongst these are that the solutions are not, in general, "model answers"; they require the interpretation of an expert (examiner, lecturer, Director of Studies or supervisor). Furthermore, students should think what their own solution is before they have a chance to see someone else's.