Reading, Commenting, and Class Participation

CS 221, Spring 2014



In CS221 this term, you are expected to read and comment on the material before coming to class. The reading assignments are posted with the lecture schedule.

We will use the online forum NB for posting your comments; let us know if you haven't received an invitation. You should always post at least one comment, ideally more. Your comments should be posted by 9pm the night before class. Here are some examples of things to think about when reading and commenting:

If you are uncomfortable posting some comments publicly, NB allows you to make them viewable only by the course staff.

Class Participation

In class, I won't lecture but will mostly ask questions to get you all to identify the most important and/or difficult material, and get you all to explain it to each other. Many of the questions will be in the spirit as the examples above, and will be guided by the comments on you post on the readings. I will often ask people to come to the board to explain things (whether the material itself or what is confusing them about it!). The goal is for class to feel like a collaborative effort to understand and explore the material, so expressing your confusions is just as important a contribution as giving a correct explanation. I hope that everyone will become an active and comfortable participant and the amount of guidance we'll need to provide in lecture will decrease as the term goes on.

Your class participation grade will be based on a combination of your commenting on the readings and your involvement in discussions in class, office hours, and the online fora NB & Piazza.