In many courses, especially programming ones, questions take time, and it takes even more time to have an assistant listen to this question. Holding your arm up for 20 minutes is not very comfortable, so a solution must be found. A member of the AGEP took on the task of investigating, and guess what he discovered! Some courses already offer alternatives!
The first is to use an online queue that you sign up for, so you can continue working with both hands while waiting for an assistant to be available. These queues can be a simple online spreadsheet or an app like Turnoclase.
Another solution is the question forum, sometimes available on Moodle or more often on Ed. This time, if your question does not require a live discussion with an assistant, they can directly respond on the forum, and as a bonus, everyone can also have the answer to your question.
The Turnoclase app was tested in a first-year analysis course during a few exercise sessions. The test at least showed that for math courses with enough assistants, a queue system does not improve response time. However, it reduces the effects of potential arbitrary favoritism of assistants towards certain students.
If you encounter a problem due to a lack of assistants in a course, don’t hesitate to suggest these solutions to the professor or discuss them with your class representatives!
Project Manager 2022/2023: Salim Najib