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Questions about motivating students to study, participate, or take interest in the field of Computer Science. This tag can be used to ask questions regarding motivating students in the context of Computer Science (e.g. motivating them to self-teach or to work with others etc. as well as motivating ...

5
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5answers
215 views

Courage to Attack Difficult Questions

In a recent blog post Eugene Wallingford says that when teaching: I frequently pose a problem for them to work on for a few minutes before we look at a solution, or several candidates, as a group. ...
1
vote
3answers
105 views

How can Chatbots be useful in CS education?

I am reading this book published ten years ago and it says that chatbots can be very useful in helping students with course details and to break the ice. I am not familiar with chatbots, so I have ...
6
votes
3answers
167 views

What are the pedagogical methods for teaching programming?

This is a very objective question. I want to know what are the methods for teaching programing? I'll provide a parallel example to make this clearer in case this causes any confusion. I have ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

How can we best inform potential students of the nature of CS?

Recent questions deal with the problem of too many applicants to CS programs, both in High School and University. Yes, this is a problem when only a smaller number can be accommodated for reasons of ...
51
votes
26answers
17k views

How to teach a person to enjoy programming?

I've been teaching programming to my 13-year old son for over a year now. I'm not satisfied with his progress. I think that one of the reasons is his attitude: He wants to learn programming (he said ...
48
votes
9answers
7k views

What are healthy, productive ways to encourage students to progress to more advanced constructs as opposed to staying with the familiar?

In my experience, there are always students who are resistant to moving to more advanced constructs. They want to stay with what they already know. For example, when they are taught arrays, they ...
1
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3answers
569 views

The Fifth Element or What Elements Are Correlated With CS Success and Does It Matter? [closed]

After a long search a colleague says that the only 'predictor' of computing ability seems to be Autism, and that only with a low correlation (60%, whatever that means). But in our experience of ...
4
votes
5answers
179 views

How do teachers motivate students to persevere and learn?

One primary issue I have as an Instructor is increasing student motivation. For me, there are only two motivations in life: Because I enjoy it Because I need to earn a living Reason #2 is ...
6
votes
4answers
217 views

Answering “How is this useful to me?”

When I am teaching, sometimes, I am asked “How is this useful to me? I don't use a computer. I won't use a computer in my job.” How can I, quickly, answer this question? I only have a few pupils ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Encourage students to learn and use advanced design

I mentor an FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) team, and they program in java. The team members who work programming the robot are using an extension1 library which they themselves write. The library ...
5
votes
4answers
414 views

Motivation for learning C++ when you know Java

I am going to teach a C++ course to students who already know Java. From answers to my previous question, I learned that C++ is substantially harder to master than Java, particularly because of the ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Is it possible to study too many things in parallel?

Unfortunately I did not study well at school, I was not interested in many things, and I did not understand that things. But I have matured, interests have become more. I am now 20 years old. Now I ...
4
votes
4answers
133 views

Explaining the Value of Knowledge of Digital Logic

I am a college teacher developing an introduction to digital logic for grades 8-12. This is a special topic that will be presented in three 50-minute periods with in-class exercises. It won't go ...
3
votes
4answers
171 views

Engagement advice on Creative computing

I'm preparing a course for next year, aimed at kids from ~6-16. It's based around the concept of creative computing: http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/guide/index.html I think it will be a great ...
4
votes
3answers
159 views

Encourging Growth mindset, in computing lesson

I sometimes have pupils, that struggle to learn because they have a fixed-mindset (“I can't program”, “I can't use computers”, …). I the context of teaching a Computing (Computer Science, IT, ...
100
votes
21answers
24k views

Is there some meaningful percentage of students who can't learn to program?

A few days ago, I had a high school sophomore (who is now in her third CS class, having passed the prior two) look at this Java code for a solid 3-5 minutes, and was unable to figure out what it did: ...
8
votes
4answers
359 views

Making Technical Presentations Safe for Novices

One useful skill in CS is presentation of technical material to peers and/or superiors. Novices, however, often come to computing as introverts for whom public speaking is difficult and even ...
6
votes
2answers
126 views

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ending

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ending I have a task that I started with a group of 4th-6th graders at the beginning of a short course on Artificial Intelligence. In order to demonstrate how exact computers ...
5
votes
4answers
264 views

Answering student questions as they work outside class

If your students are like mine, they do a lot of their work outside my view; at home, on weekends, etc. But as they work they sometimes get stuck. They get questions for which they need the answers in ...
2
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2answers
161 views

Is there independent evidence that physical computing improves engagement

The micro:bit foundation present some research findings which look quite encouraging when it comes to using physical computing as an introduction to Computer Science here: 90% of students said ...
0
votes
3answers
173 views

How to answer questions about how I became interested in programming?

I teach programming to students seeking employment as programmers who know little or nothing about programming, and I was last employed as a programmer over a decade ago. Sometimes I am asked what got ...
4
votes
3answers
174 views

Pick-me-up exercises for after-lunch brain death

If you ever had a class right after lunch break, you know what this question is about. (Student's stomachs full, computers murmuring, room half-lit, teacher droning about something - I don't blame ...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

Teaching interaction design to potentially disinterested students

Background: I will be a teaching assistant in a course on "Interactive Systems" with the following learning goals for the students. Analyze and criticize user interfaces Identify and describe ...
4
votes
4answers
259 views

Giving Students a Break

My instruction time has specified breaks, but often the students do not take them, even if I urge them to. This results in them working and listening to my instruction while they are overdone. I tell ...
7
votes
3answers
192 views

Gifted Student Presentations

In working with a gifted student, I would like to set up an opportunity for him to learn some material and present it to the class. How could such an activity be structured so that the presentation ...
9
votes
4answers
267 views

How to motivate game design/development students to do more than the minimum on homework

I'm a teaching assistant for the upper level under-graduate courses for Game Design and Development at my University, and the professor and I are having a hard time finding a way to motivate students ...
3
votes
3answers
311 views

Teaching C#, Java, etc. to students who are bad at OOP

Last semester, I was assigned two classes of C# and assuming them to be well-versed in Programming Fundamentals (PF) and Object Oriented Programming (OOP), I started the course at normal pace. After a ...
59
votes
10answers
24k views

How to answer “functional programming is useless”?

I'm a TA for several Bachelor level functional programming courses at my university. In every edition we have problems with some students that have the idea that functional programming is useless, ...
4
votes
6answers
565 views

Finishing College with Employable Skills

Last week, 4 students from another college approached me with a scenario. They have a year of college left in them. That means, they will be occupied with all sorts of final year things that may and ...
6
votes
6answers
247 views

Paper Books or eBooks?

The majority of my students are finally becoming internet equipped. (This is kind of a big deal here in India). Whenever I start a new session, students ask me to recommend a textbook for them. I use ...
15
votes
8answers
781 views

How can I determine if a student would enjoy or has an aptitude for CS?

I'm a developer with a little CS teaching history, and I have a nephew who enjoys math (Algebra-Calculus) quite a bit in high school. Because of this, I feel like he should at least try computer ...
53
votes
23answers
10k views

How to convey how much computing power has grown since the 1960s?

I was born in 1968 and used dial-up to mainframes back before PCs were available. We got an Apple ][+ when they came out and thought 48K was a lot of memory. I live in constant wonder at the world ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

Dealing with students who are underly-motivated

Occasionally I have students who are 'under-motivated': they put way too little effort in to trying to memorize any of the textbook, any idea, each diagram I draw. I used to think that perhaps some ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What can the instructor do to overcome the Authenticity Bias in students?

A recent Blog post by Eugene Wallingford raises the issue that students often perform according to their perception of their abilities rather than their actual abilities. If a student performs better ...
11
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3answers
417 views

Why did interest in CS majors plummet in the United States after the mid-80s?

As shown by the following graph, the percentage of U.S. college students earning bachelor's degrees in CS peaked in 1986, with the percent of freshmen planning to major in CS peaking for the classes ...
6
votes
3answers
101 views

Working on practical projects as a team - good or bad?

We are trying to implement a course where students develop web apps using PHP+AgileUI (no HTML, JavaScript or CSS) with a strong emphasis on "object oriented" approach, designing business logic and ...
5
votes
3answers
249 views

What are good models for an Honors Program for CS students?

One way to extend the reach of your best students is to have an Honors Program that, perhaps, runs over several years. One model is to have a special program to which students are invited. ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Avoiding difficulties when teaching with metaphors

It is said that metaphors can do more harm than good, and I agree that other methods should be developed, like the "notional machine" idea. However, computer science is not like anything else, because ...
20
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9answers
3k views

How to tell a student that s/he should enroll in a different program?

Through the years I had several students that clearly were not fitted for computer science. Some of them ended up by dropping the program after a few years, some of them are still there struggling ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How do you make your CS lectures more interesting?

My biggest challenge each semester is keeping students engaged in class. It's obvious that most of them would rather be somewhere else. I don't know if it's the students, my lecture, or both. I wish I ...
27
votes
14answers
6k views

How do you encourage students to take criticism of their code constructively?

How do you encourage students to benefit from code reviews you give them, rather than being discouraged or responding defensively?
18
votes
9answers
7k views

Dealing with students who are overly motivated

Occasionally I have students who are 'overmotivated': they put way too much effort in to trying to memorize every word of the textbook, every idea, each diagram I draw... They spend all of their off ...
14
votes
13answers
6k views

Uses of high school Computer Science: where can it lead other than university CS?

We are trying to get more pupils doing computer science in years 10→11 (UK GCSE) (14→15 years old) and years 12→13 (UK A-level) (16→17years old). As there are a lot of university educators around ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Curriculum Design for a Unit on Alan Turing and His Impact on CS

At the end of the year, there is a gap between the AP Exam for AP Computer Science A and the last class meeting. Since students don't have to take a final after the AP Exam, there's not a lot of ...
9
votes
4answers
267 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
213 views

Overcoming a friend's self-discouragement [closed]

Before I turned 19 I just kind of... fell into coding. I used to think programming was something incredibly hard that only child prodigies and people with a 160+ IQ could do. (A view often reinforced ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I scaffold students toward building meaningful projects?

Teaching 8th graders using App Inventor through Project Lead the Way's ICS 1 curriculum. I am interested in moving the students towards a deeper understanding of the power of CS to improve people ...
17
votes
5answers
913 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Teaching with just a single Makey Makey and Sphero

Last summer I was excited to get my hands on a Makey Makey. I played around with it for a couple days, but it ended up just gathering dust for most of the year. The same goes for a Sphero SPRK. They ...
24
votes
13answers
2k views

How to respond when students ask “is recursion good practice”?

Context: CS1-style, intro programming class, using an interpreted language (Python). I will get a hand raised asking "Why are we learning recursion? Is it good programming practice?" My response is ...