Disadvantages of following a tutorial

February 10, 2012 at 12:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Programming with Greenfoot has gone reasonably well. I let the students follow the tutorial for a chapter and then come together as a group to discuss their progress. Tutorials are no fun. Students like interaction. Students like programming with a purpose. Tutorials do not give them the why. That is what we facilitators do. We show them the big picture and get them excited.

Every Greenfoot day, I start the class discussing what was covered the day before. After they were able to create their own methods I had them design their own classes. And associate an image to their class. They were to add one new behavior to their objects and then give a demonstration. Essentially, after every small tutorial, have a small independent activity that is open-ended and creative. This seems to keep the interest going.

I do see students now forming a clear opinion about programming. There are definitely students who say, that they do not like cryptic syntax errors. They would rather design, explore and research than code.  And then there are others who like the challenge. Those who enjoy working with code, would rather program than do anything else.

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