Below are questions posed by TA’s at the Fall 2022 Mid-semester meeting hosted in October.



Data Mine staff is working with you on these! There is a legal process a company must complete to create an NDA. This can take some time. As soon as there is an NDA, we share it with your team. Each team with NDAs needs ALL students and TA’s to sign. Stragglers can cause additional delays, so encourage all students to be present at the initial signing.

Getting Data Late

How to set expectations with students What do you do while waiting for data? Create mock data sets Create, reuse, or run skill labs to build student skill sets and create skeleton functions Expand domain knowledge via research or discussions with mentors How to set expectations with the students? Different teams may have different challenges to receive and work with their data. It is encouraged to be transparent with your students about this process. Depending on the timeline, we also encourage you to speak with your mentor and Data Mine staff if necessary.


How do you document? In the training, you can download a documentation template. This has been built for TDM teams! It includes most sections you should need. If you feel it is missing important sections, please add them and let Katie Yi know and she can add them to the Master. Not all sections may be needed for each team. Documentation :: The Examples Book (the-examples-book.com)

More staff check-ins at lab

We hear you. We have a rotating schedule for staff to check in. If you feel you are not receiving enough support or have lots of questions, feel free to set a meeting with one of our staff members to ask questions. You can also message staff members and tag them using the @ symbol in your team MS teams chat. We do not know you need help unless you tell us. Working together is a two way street.

Setting expectations with your mentor(s)

This continues to build off of not being able to read minds and the “two way street.” Schedule a meeting with your mentor. Gather feedback from your students. Be honest with your mentor about your interpretation of the situation. Express your thoughts on limitations and areas your team can excel. Refocus the scope where your team will be challenged and successful. Advocate for your students while remembering the scope. Ask for guidance on how to overcome obstacles or provide feedback about needed support. Work together to find a solution.

Moving towards your goal, project scheduling

Different projects will have different timelines. Following the Project Mapping Guide may help you determine the timeline for your team. the-examples-book.com/crp/TAs/trainingModules/ta_training_module5_1_project_guide If you would like more guidance, please set a meeting with Data Mine staff.


Not wanting to complete sprint reports This is part of a student’s grade and a required part of the course.


This is part of a student’s grade and a required part of the course. If a student continuously does not participate, we recommend meeting with them one on one to discuss expectations.

Students not showing up

If a student misses a meeting or lab, their attendance should be recorded in the attendance/participation section of the Sprint report. You should also send them an email to make sure they are ok. If they miss more than two meetings consecutively, please email them and copy Data Mine staff on the email. We may need to escalate the situation. Attendance is required per Purdue Policy.

Maximum effort is still not getting project work complete.

This can be difficult. If students are continuously meeting the minimum expectation, I recommend raising the bar for minimum expectations. Another approach is sitting the entire team down in a lab and resetting expectations for contribution, collaboration, and participation. This may not be an easy conversation, but may be necessary to move the team forward.

Not all students are on the same skill level

How to navigate new technology? Create, reuse, or run skill labs to build student skill sets and create skeleton functions. Previous TA’s have found this very helpful. If you are not sure how to create these labs, feel free to use projects from the Example Book from previous semesters. :) Feel free to reach out to our Data Science Team! They’re fantastic and have a ton of expertise.

Balance giving students support vs. providing them the answer

This is a real challenge that many TA’s struggle with. There is no right answer here, so I will instead provide tips. Break the problem down into steps Prompt the student with questions to encourage thinking If needed, ask leading questions Provide hints such as directing them to specific functions

How to keep everyone on the same page?

Previous TA’s have found weekly emails very successful to set expectations, summarize the previous week, share announcements, and send reminders. “Daily” Stand-up sessions are also very helpful to update the entire team on progress. Over communicating is not always a bad thing.

Online student belonging

There is no one right answer. Instead, I will provide tips: Use the students’ names Prompt the student’s online. This lets them know they have the floor and it is their turn to speak. Similarly, allow them the floor and provide them a time to share their thoughts. Provide them with specific roles or leadership positions of subteams

Splitting into subteams

Splitting into subteams has been a very successful way to complete work and keep students engaged. There is no perfect formula to create these teams. When forming or shuffling teams I encourage you to keep the following in mind: What is the student interested in? Where will the student have the most impact? Will the student be challenged? What is the best role for the student to take on?


Other than my peer group, who can I reach out to TA wise for support? Feel free to reach out to your Head TA, Katie Yi! You can also message any of the TAs or use the CRP TA chat. Feel free to create separate chats to talk to other TA’s as well.

What should my peer group accomplish?

Peer groups are an opportunity for you to meet other TAs and chat about common challenges! We wanted to provide TA’s with a smaller group of TAs to talk with as messaging in the big group can be intimidating occasionally.

Where to document

My team works in a secure environment. How should we go about documenting our work and keeping it private? Great question. I recommend meeting with your mentor to work out specifics of this. Options can include keeping your documentation in a secure, approved location for de-identifying data. Ex: Company’s Github

Peer Group Engagment

How do I get the TAs in my peer group to respond? As I mentioned in the mid-semester meeting, peer groups are what y’all make of them. I continue to encourage y’all to respond in your groups. We are brainstorming ways to encourage participation for next semester.

Social Events

Are there any Data Mine support social events with the team? Yes! We host a few events throughout the semester typically around network building. Most recently there was a movie day at Hillenbrand. At this time we are also planning to host an end of semester event for TAs and staff.

Final Drafts

What should we include in the draft presentation? Final Fall Presentation Expectations: Final Fall Presentation :: The Examples Book (the-examples-book.com) Current Guidelines: Final Presentation - Fall 2022 :: The Examples Book (the-examples-book.com) Rubrics may be slightly tweaked

Student Motivation

How to motivate students to keep updating the documentation? I recommend having your students fill out the documentation everyday after they work on it. If it is not getting completed I would have students make sure they are updating it every lab. If necessary, you can also have a group discussion about the importance of documentation. Sometimes students just need to understand the “why” of doing something.

Past absences

If students messaged me to be excused in the past, what should I do? If a single student has consistently missed, please let staff know. If there are many students, it is hard to go back at this point. I recommend adjusting for the future.

How to Schedule Mentor Meeting

How do I schedule a meeting with my mentor to complete the mid-semester feedback? Please reach out to your mentor(s) through your typical communication (MS Teams, email, phone, etc.). You can set a meeting for whenever works for y’all before the deadline.

Student Engagement

What do we do about students that are active sometimes but disengaged at other times? I recommend having a 1-1 with the student. It may be because of their schedule or factors you can not control. Meeting with them will allow you to understand them as well as reset expectations about engagement in the class.

Students Needing to Join Virtually

How should we handle students that need to participate online? If a student needs to join virtually for one week this is fine. We prefer they attend in person, but understand that ‘life happens.’ They will need to keep their camera on and actively participate. Joining virtually should not become a habit though.