Task 2 — Who are your learners
This is Task 2 from my online course on How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students . The question is to describe who the learners are.
Again, my answers are focused on my Programming for scientists course.
Who are my learners?
Sabah is a trained microbiologist who is doing pharmaceutical research. She picked up a bit of Matlab in a two day workshop a year back and has been writing some code to analyse her results. She is surprised at herself for enjoying it, but does not use any version control, has no experience writing anything longer than 100 lines of code, and, generally, her code is spaghetti like.
Maria works on material sciences for her PhD. She has been forced to learn how to write a bit of Fortran code. She learned it back in undergraduate in a formal university course and others in the lab have developed a big solid state simulator library that she must use for her work. She doesn't like it very much and it takes her a very long time to get anything done. Her advisor or supervised recommended that she take a few more courses so that she can improve. She is not enthusiastic, but thinks that programming is something that, unfortunately, has become a required lab skill.
Naturally, I prefer the enthusiastic student, but I have seen both attitudes and every thing in between.
Who are not my learners?
I also decided to list people that would probably not benefit from the course I want to teach.
Anna is a biochemist. She does not know any programming and uses Excel for everything now. She has seen other people in the lab do simple scripts and it seems to help them. She would like to learn. I think Anna does not have the background for the course.
Rita is a computer programmer who wants to learn Python. She is also interested in learning about bioinformatics, so she thought that a for scientists course would help. Rita could probably benefit from the first module, where students are, in fact, taught Python, and she is welcome to sit through those sessions. But we do not really go over any bioinformatics as such and much of the rest of the course might be a repetitiion of what she already knows.blog comments powered by Disqus