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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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 ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
538 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 ...
Islomkhodja Hamidullakhodjaev's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
236 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 ...
Bob Brown's user avatar
  • 409
4 votes
4 answers
200 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 ...
Dani's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
3 answers
553 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, ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
115 votes
22 answers
30k 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: <...
Ben I.'s user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
498 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 ...
Buffy's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
382 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 ...
Dave I's user avatar
  • 181
6 votes
4 answers
363 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 ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.1k
3 votes
2 answers
251 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 ...
Sean Houlihane's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
300 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 ...
user3163's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
214 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 ...
vacip's user avatar
  • 1,398
8 votes
2 answers
157 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 ...
Idall's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
4 answers
364 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 ...
user3092's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
237 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 ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
426 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 ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 103
4 votes
3 answers
438 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 ...
Failed Scientist's user avatar
64 votes
12 answers
27k 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, ...
user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
609 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 ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 1,884
8 votes
6 answers
694 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 ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 1,884
15 votes
8 answers
1k 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 ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
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60 votes
25 answers
12k 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 ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
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 ...
user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Buffy's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
692 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 ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
130 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 ...
romaninsh's user avatar
  • 229
6 votes
3 answers
336 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. ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.1k
3 votes
2 answers
278 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 ...
user avatar
22 votes
9 answers
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 ...
Nuno Gil Fonseca's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
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 ...
Edwin Torres's user avatar
  • 1,054
29 votes
14 answers
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?
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
18 votes
9 answers
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 ...
user avatar
15 votes
13 answers
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 ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
262 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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
10 votes
4 answers
328 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 ...
Ramon Melo's user avatar
8 votes
10 answers
842 views

How to overcome the TDD/BDD time fallacy

I've observed an unusual thing happen when teachers try to introduce Test-Driven Development (TDD) or Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) to their classes. Even though the teachers invariably encourage ...
Piyush Parikh's user avatar
4 votes
7 answers
249 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 ...
checkersquares's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Kay Bee's user avatar
  • 481
20 votes
5 answers
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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
231 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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
30 votes
13 answers
6k 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 ...
GermaneDork's user avatar
22 votes
13 answers
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 ...
ItamarG3's user avatar
  • 6,297
5 votes
3 answers
177 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 ...
Gergely's user avatar
  • 345
7 votes
2 answers
308 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 ...
Gypsy Spellweaver's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
335 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 ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k
7 votes
5 answers
700 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 ...
thesecretmaster's user avatar
  • 4,795
6 votes
3 answers
305 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 ...
hotpaw2's user avatar
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