Teaching Webcraft to Free Range Students, Task I
I am taking Greg Wilson's online course on How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students.
The first task is to relate the recommendations in this education study guide to our experience (as teachers and students).
I will talk about what I did for my Programming for scientists course and how it relates to the recommendations.
Space learning over time. I did a good job with the programming part of the course where Python examples kept coming up and being reviewed, but a lousy one with other aspects. In particular, some of the tools that I wanted the students to learn (the shell and version control) were only mentioned in their respective sections.
Interleave worked example solutions with problem-solving exercises I think I did some of this, going through code examples. I also used to review the homeworks (after they were due) in class and go through the solutions. The major reason was for efficiency, but it might get me some cookie points here.
Combine graphics with verbal descriptions I would like to have done a bit more slides (if I had the time), but I did most of the verbal communication orally.
Connect and integrate abstract and concrete representations of concepts I certainly tried to do this, but I am going to refrain from evaluating whether I did it well. I had a lecture class and a practical class. They had the same format (lecture), but I tried to do more worked-out examples in the practical and more concepts in the lecture.
Use quizzing to promote learning There was a multiple choice homework every week (plus a single long-answer question or coding problem) and at the end of the first module (which was an introduction to Python), I had a full in-class quizz. This was done by show of hands, ungraded, with discussions. I mostly did this for expediency as the class was not worth enough credits for me to assign time-consuming homeworks, but I think it worked out very well.
Use pre-questions to introduce a new topic Other than as rhetorical devices, I did none of this.
Use quizzes to re-expose students to key content As I said, I did a lot of short quizzes as homework. I could have been a bit more pro-active in class, though.
Help students allocate study time efficiently Nope, I did none of this.
Ask deep explanatory questions Unfortunately, I refrained from assigning questions that were too deep as homework as it was a low-credit class. In this context, it might be programming that is most important, in the sense that I want the students to be better programmers (i.e., a skill) and not verbal or conceptual knowledge (I'm sure that there are educational science words for these concepts, but I don't know what they are).blog comments powered by Disqus