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Questions tagged [best-practice]

Use this tag for questions about best practices in the classroom. This is an educational term, and does not refer to best practices in coding style. (Instead, see the coding-conventions tag). Some questions with this tag ask for advice on comparing the advisability of two or more possible teaching practices, for example.

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4
votes
2answers
156 views

Working with students with specific secondary skill

I often see students at levels varying from really bad to incredibly clever. The students in the middle of the scale fit to curriculum perfectly (as it is meant to be for them). The students at either ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Best practices for letters of recommendation in CS

As a college professor, I am often asked for letters of recommendation by my CS majors. I have templates, for whether the student is applying for grad school, for an internship, for a scholarship, etc....
9
votes
2answers
698 views

What should a teacher do with information about plagiarism before the final submission

As probably we all experience, plagiarism is very common in CS. I know that there are several types of plagiarism ranging from simply submitting a copy of the colleagues’ code to other highly ...
9
votes
5answers
982 views

What advantages/disadvantages have you seen with Pair Programming in the classroom

Many of us use or have used Pair Programming in the classroom. See https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/pairing for a discussion if you like. @BennettBrown has pointed to research showing its ...
5
votes
5answers
666 views

How important is “delivering the content” of a course?

In most fields instructors spend a lot of time on the Content of a course. Often this is phrased as Delivering Content, or Completing the Syllabus. The traditional picture, whether valid or not, is an ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

How can I convince my fellow CS teachers that reaching every student is a worthwhile goal?

I tried hard, in the latter part of my career, reach every student in every class period that I taught. That this may be an unreachable goal is of little interest to me. I think that I must do this. ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Teaching “math function” vs. “CS function”

The word function has different meanings in math and computer science. For example, f(x) = rand(1) is a valid (pseudocoded) CS ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How to deal with students that don't like CS?

This question is really aimed to teachers, especially in high school courses (but everyone is welcome to share some ideas). If you have a student that really does not like Computer Science, what ...
15
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9answers
4k views

How to teach competitive programming?

Competitive programming is mainly about problem-solving skills. Students are given a problem and they have to write a short program to solve it. The students are given a problem for which they have to ...
-2
votes
2answers
820 views

How do you teach EVERY student? [closed]

I take it as the Prime Directive that I must teach every student in every class session. You may disagree, but I'm not asking to debate that question, but to look for how it might be accomplished, ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

Priority Queue practice vs examples

After teaching Priority Queues, I want to give the students some notion of what it looks like when they are used in code. I have two approaches and I am unsure about which would serve my goal better: ...
10
votes
4answers
307 views

Can sharing learning stats be beneficial to guide beginner students?

Context The main consensus in most compsci programs I have been at is that a sizable amount of students is inherently unable to learn how to code. An old entry on Jeff Atwood's blog summarizing the ...
9
votes
3answers
157 views

What to gather feedback on?

I'm doing small group tutoring for an undergraduate course next semester and I'd like to gather feedback from students to improve my skills. What are some questions I should ask the students in order ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Do you see the “Bimodal Distribution” too?

When people learn programming in a school setting, tests show a "two hump" tendency. Some students race ahead and grasp it relatively well and others struggle. Apparently this is more pronounced in ...
8
votes
3answers
509 views

How is your teaching affected by how you learned?

I constantly have to struggle with freeing myself from two hindrances to my teaching: 1) The way I learned about computers, starting almost 40 years ago, and, 2) Amnesia of how I learned some concepts ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

How to teach students not to use jump statements

We all know goto is the spawn of satan. To learners though, it seems easy and quick. In simple, short program codes having a goto or two won't turn the code into unreadable spaghetti code. So students ...
5
votes
3answers
195 views

Suggestions for encouraging good Coding Practices?

From an instructor perspective (Middle School or High School), Is there a method, or a set of guidelines, for grading early coders' projects that could enhance good coding practices as the students ...
7
votes
3answers
228 views

Demographics in Programming Teams in Early CS Courses

I frequently teach CS1 and CS1-and-a-half in a very diverse, working-class, commuter public sector college. I have my students to work in small groups (2 or 3) on their larger homework programming ...
21
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12answers
4k views

Problematic student at a very high level

I teach a high school student who has already developed an understanding of the language used in my curriculum and causes difficulties. The lectures and programming projects in the curriculum bore ...
14
votes
11answers
650 views

How can I show the value of best practices?

As someone who likes to advocate for best practices like correct use of VCS, indentation, sufficient commenting, and testing, I try and integrate them when I teach. But for all of these things, my ...
23
votes
16answers
4k views

Note-taking policy: laptops, or by hand?

My students are all highly inclined to take notes on their computers. There are some obvious advantages: The students absolutely prefer it. They can easily search through their notes later. Since ...
17
votes
12answers
2k views

Dealing with students who complete labs very quickly

One of my goals is to minimize homework. My high school students are high performing, grade conscious, and constantly stressed out as it is. Many of them fall into the "Ivy League or bust" camp, ...
25
votes
13answers
2k views

Programming languages specifically designed for beginners

Is there a good beginner's programming language, specifically designed for learners, maybe even kids? Something beginners can sink their teeth into and get results quickly. Results that are more than ...
16
votes
9answers
944 views

Should I have written tests on basic programming skills?

When making more complex programs, it is natural that one needs to run the program to see whether things work and fixing bugs. However, if one makes a lot of mistakes in basic programming, e.g. ...
14
votes
3answers
701 views

Do automatic style hints help students to understand the language they're learning?

Do automatic style hints (like those provided by linters) significantly increase the student's understanding of the language they're learning? I am asking because I assist in a course that uses a ...
20
votes
11answers
4k views

Cheating on labs

It is spectacularly easy to cheat on CS labs at the high school level and above (roughly ages 14 and up), particularly on short, early assignments. In fact, there is article in today's NY Times about ...

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