Questions tagged [student-motivation]

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 them to study Computer Science)

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61
votes
12answers
25k 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, ...
5
votes
6answers
583 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
282 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
890 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 ...
57
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 ...
9
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 ...
17
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
473 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
110 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
278 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
21
votes
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 ...
28
votes
14answers
7k 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?
19
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 ...
15
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
286 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
235 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 ...
15
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
175 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 ...
26
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
164 views

What should be the difference between a university course and developer training? [closed]

I teach university students and would like to start teaching prospective developers. As such, I have been thinking about the core differences between these two audiences. I find that students are ...
7
votes
2answers
286 views

In-class server access limits

I want to set up a fully functional web server in the classroom. I will be using a separate computer provisioned with Apache, MySQL, Tomcat, PHP, Perl, etc. I want to have each student in the class ...
7
votes
4answers
253 views

How do you structure broad, open-ended, freely chosen projects so that students use class time wisely?

If we are to believe Daniel Pink, autonomy is one of the fundamental aspects of motivation, so integrating student choice is extremely valuable if I want my students to remain highly engaged. I ...
7
votes
5answers
662 views

How can I maintain interest in front end?

When I teach front end web development, it always happens that I start the year with a bunch of students who are ready to redesign Facebook on day 1. With expectations like that, it's always a letdown ...
6
votes
3answers
218 views

Using microcontrollers in an Introductory course

Are there any advantages to using small microcontrollers (such as an Arduino, etc.) with tactile, physical I/O (such as buttons, LEDs, robotic actuators, etc.)? For instance, does it help create more ...