On the Other Side of the Table

I’m Alvin and I graduated from the VFS Game Design Program. As a student, I focused on learning as much as I could, and everything came at me so fast that often the details got fuzzy. As a Teaching Assistant, or being on the other side of the table as some like to call it, that focus needed to be redirected toward fine details and assisting students.

Within a three hour lecture, a student is given a lot of information that they’re expected to just remember. But obviously there are going to be points that stand out more, and there will be points that they’ll forget altogether unless they put it into practice daily. The majority of the students probably won’t care about that small portion of information that was forgotten. But when a single student comes to us with a question about even the most minuscule detail, it’s up to us to have an answer they can trust and move forward with.

Now I’m not saying as a TA you have to immediately study all the details and potential questions that students may have, but one of the most important things is to be prepared. This may require that you’ll have to do the assignment yourself to really understand where the questions are coming from, and what other potential questions may be. It’s also very important to have a solid foundation of knowledge on that particular piece of software. If you understand all the components that you’re working with, it just takes a bit of disassembling and finding the source of your issue. Most of the problems students have will come down to the fine details; being prepared and having a solid foundation just makes things easier.

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