Being a TA in a class of over a hundred students is hard. I know from personal experience as a TA for 8.01. During Sunday office hours prior to the PSET deadline, efficiency is inversely proportional to number of students. In such situations it is impossible to get to every student's question quickly and equitably. It is often the case that a student will ask for help when a TA is in the middle of explanation to another student. Once the TA is finished they will often have forgotten which student it was that needed help. Another problem is the inability for students to find TAs, when TAs can be blended into the crowd.

Course 6 at MIT has developed a solution to the multi-body office hour problem in the form of a plugin for CATSOOP, a grading framework used within the department. The difficulty in expanding the usefulness of CATSOOP is the difficulty in deploying a server instance. If a class only needs the queue plugin, the entire CATSOOP framework would need to be deployed.

Thus Qdot, or the first time derivative of queue, is a quick and dirty solution to a real problem. It lets students and TAs find each other while maintaining the order of the classroom. It also provides helpful statistics and data for the instructors to see what are reoccuring confusions in each weeks problem sets.

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