Local Instructor and Remote Guru Responsibilities and Requirements

Instructor Prep Meetings

In addition, instructors meet each week half an hour before class ( Wednesday 8:30 EDT) at MCU #4. It is vital that instructors attend every prep meeting. Many important decisions are taken during these meetings. Supernodes will keep record of instructors attendance to prep meetings.

Weekly Time Commitment: Local Instructors

Local Instructors should commit to a minimum of 16 weekly hours on their duties during the Fab Academy program (January to June) divided into the following categories and based on a class of ~5 students:

  • Prep meeting and Neil’s Lecture (3.5h)

  • Homework Review (1.5h)

  • Student support hours (6h-8h minimum)

  • Grading (1h)

  • Stock control and ordering (2h)

Weekly Time Commitment: Remote Gurus

Remote Gurus working with labs without a local instructor should expect to spend a minimum of 7 weekly hours on their duties.

1-2 weekly hours per remote student, attend lecture and prep meetings and may need to take on additional tasks - depending on their agreement with the local lab and the level of help needed.

  • Prep meeting and Neil’s Lecture (3.5h)

  • Homework Review (1.5h)

  • Remote student support hours (1h-2h per student)

Remote Gurus are REQUIRED to meet with their mentee lab / students for a video check-in session each week. This is vital to the success of remote students.

Possible Guru Tasks (no local instructor)

  • Grading (1h)

  • Stock control and ordering (2h)

Weekly Time Commitment: Remote Supervision

Depending on the experience level of the local tutor, a remote Guru may be asked to simply supervise a lab to ensure that the local instructor is keeping up with their weekly duties by checking in with them over email or weekly quick call, as well as to check on student progress.

This should take no more than 4 hours a week for a group of around 15 students.

Time Commitment: Final Student Evaluations

During the final grading at the end of the class - which determines if a student has graduated - Local Instructors and Remote Gurus should expect to spend approximately 6-8 hours reviewing their student’s work before submitting those they believe to have completed all assignments and final project successfully to the Global Evaluation Committee.

Senior Instructors (2+ years experience and have completed at least one grading cycle on their own are required to serve on the Global Evaluation Committee to help out with the final student review process. The number of enrolled students continues to grow and many hands make light work (and decrease the individual time commitment).

Application Process: Screening Students.

Local instructors need to interview and inform their prospective students. It is the Local Instructor’s responsibility to ensure that incoming students understand the course’s time (16+ hours a week minimum), participation and documentation requirements, as well as the grading benchmarks used for evaluation.

Supply Chain: Stocking and Ordering

The continually updated Fab Lab Inventory specifies the current list of required materials and machines. While some of the vendors listed are worldwide distributors, others are US only. This is noted in the inventory.

Announcements regarding changes in inventory or new items are sometimes made during the weekly prep meetings. Local Instructors are responsible for ordering supplies for their students and should leave some extra funds in the budget to account for new items being introduced during the course.

Local ordering for the Fab Academy program (especially for Specialty Items) should ideally be made in it’s entirety ahead of the start of the course. However, this is not always possible. It is then of the utmost importance to keep track of upcoming assignments and have items in stock and on premises at least 4 weeks in advance to when they will be needed, minimising the impact of possible shipping delays.

Some of the items we use are sometimes difficult to obtain in certain countries and this advanced purchasing timeframe is essential to ensure students are able to complete assignments on time.

Ordering Specialty Items: FR1 & Micro-Endmills, MTM(m) Stages

Some specialty items are difficult to find in small quantities, specifically, FR1 stock and micro-resolution endmills used for all of the electronics units.

The Fab Foundation buys these items in bulk and can provide small quantities and at cost value to all participating labs.

  • Your Supernode should be able to help you source most of the materials.

  • For ordering Specialty items, contact Fab Academy Supply Chain master Romain Di Vozzo romain (at) fabacademy.org.

  • Class kit orders here

GIT Repositories

Local Instructors are responsible not only for teaching their students how to use the GIT repository correctly, but also for fixing any trouble their students may cause to it.

While this is part of the learning process for both Local Instructors and students, you may choose, at least at first, to use an intermediate repository that students push to and which the Instructor manually syncs weekly to the main repository.

Managing Final Projects

Local Instructors also help students manage their time and provide guidance towards the creation of feasible final projects that can be accomplished by each student (students have different skill sets) within the duration of the course. The advice you will hear many times is to develop your project in a spiral. Small successes that you can build on will lead you to successful completion.

Local instructors and Remote Gurus will ensure they have everything in stock, or that they order well enough in advance.

Your project must match the minimum requirements outlined in the Assignments document

Group Final Projects:

Must show clearly "decomposable" tasks for each student.

This means, each student must complete a complete system that demonstrates that they individually completed all of the final project minimum requirements for a final project. It is not a division of work.

Final Project Budget: Ideally $10+ , not $100+

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