Supporting Help-Seeking in CS1 Office Hours

Learning how to program is hard, and many students in introductory computer science courses (CS1) struggle to overcome programming challenges on their own. As computer science courses continue to grow in size, however, it becomes increasingly important for students to be able to so. In order for students to tackle problems in these self-directed ways, they need to "learn how to learn" by developing important metacognitive learning skills such as planning, reflecting, and seeking help, which allow students to regulate their learning process. And in order for students to be best supported in developing these skills, they need to be able to receive effective guidance and direction from those who teach and coach them.

In this project, we explore the metacognitive skill of help-seeking, and how we can best support it during CS1 office hours. We are designing and creating a tool that aims to help TAs deliberately practice and improve key areas of their teaching and coaching abilities. To do this, we help TAs gain a deeper understanding of what it means to become a "good TA," and then provide them with actionable strategies that they can apply week-to-week during their office hours settings.

Demo video



  • Haoqi Zhang
  • Eleanor "Nell" O'Rourke

Ph.D. Students

  • 🎓 Harrison Kwik

Masters and Undergraduate Students

  • None