39 votes
Accepted

Assisting students with large programming assignments takes too long in class

The problem, in my view, is a misplaced assumption that students should never see one another's code and that seeing it would somehow or other "pollute" the student's mind in some way or make grading ...
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38 votes

How do you deal with Lone Rangers in group projects?

This is really a separate approach from my first answer, which has received some push-back. It's worth noting that many of these loners are simply students who are substantially ahead of the curve. ...
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32 votes

How to stop being The Oracle

Rubber Duck Debugging. A few years ago we bought a bunch of cheap rubber ducks. Students with questions have two options. They can either ask their neighbor or explain to the duck what they're trying ...
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  • 3,029
20 votes

Assisting students with large programming assignments takes too long in class

Smaller Chunks: Students should be working in smaller chunks of code. They need to write as small a chunk as possible (one function or even one line of code), then compile, run, and test that. This ...
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19 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

I suggest 2 possibilities: Talk to them. Explain that at some point, they won't be able to rely on just being able to code well. For AI theory, at some point the algorithms are dependent on so many ...
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13 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

It sounds like these students may be perfectly suited to a wide range of roles in a professional environment, just not the most glamorous or 'obvious' jobs. Ultimately, everyone finds their level and ...
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12 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

Just like any field, the theoretical aspects of it can be inaccessible and a bit dry, I would say especially to kids this age. AI, automata, and computational theory are often college masters level ...
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11 votes

How do you deal with Lone Rangers in group projects?

I might push back against the core idea here, and this gets to the idea of the central mission of the course of study. Within my course, teamwork is not a primary goal upon which I will assess my ...
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10 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

Don't try to handle them. Give them exceedingly hard problem that you think cannot be solved without understanding the theory. When they come back to you, unable to solve the problem, then explain ...
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  • 201
9 votes

How to stop being The Oracle

(You didn't say what ages your students are, so this answer is necessarily a little nonspecific. There is also an article here that you may find helpful.) First and foremost: don't expect total ...
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9 votes

What to do when pupil destroy lab equipment?

How should I prevent damage to equipment? Number each piece of equipment, assign each student (or each group of students) a number, and instruct students (or groups of students) to use only their ...
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  • 281
8 votes

Do your students pay attention when you speak?

As thesecretmaster once intoned, "Just from my experience as a student, computer out == doing whatever you want." Kids won't learn from you if they won't give you their attention. And a quick ...
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8 votes

Do your students pay attention when you speak?

Ask them to switch their screens off. They don't like it if you do it too often or for too long but it's surprisingly effective, saves you having to repeat yourself unnecessarily and forces you to ...
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  • 806
8 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

Performance is definitely a good angle, in addition to some of the great answers here discussing e.g. regular expressions as a way to deal with automata. It's a way of relating the more practical ...
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8 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

Does a good car mechanic have the ability and talent to forge a good wrench? Does a good doctor have the ability to build an X-ray machine? Computer coding is like any other discipline. There are ...
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7 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

One approach that seems to work relatively well with a course I helped TA was to have students work on several homework assignments that put the theory they were learning to practical use. For ...
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  • 3,995
6 votes

Thoughts on copying and pasting code?

I let the kids cut and paste code but with the following caveats: They must cite the source (be it a classmate, another student or a site like StackOverflow) There has to be enough of their project ...
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6 votes

Assisting students with large programming assignments takes too long in class

It sounds like the students were not really ready for these assignments in the first place. If students are coming with runtime errors (instead of logic errors), then they are not testing their code ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Making Technical Presentations Safe for Novices

You need to start early You can not expect them to just one day, stand up in front of the class. You need to prepare them for it. Encourage mistakes Encourage students to take risks. Give permission ...
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5 votes

How to handle students who excel at coding but aren't interested in theory

Point of view from someone like them I'm someone who's similar to the students you're describing, so I'd like to share my views on this topic. I'm slightly older, so I have more experience ...
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  • 170
5 votes

Video Games during class

I semi jokingly tell my students at the beginning of the year they can play any game they want on the computers, as long as they write it first. It at least gets a laugh. For me it takes two things. ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Do your students pay attention when you speak?

As I am not a teacher, I can't tell you any experiences, so I'll just give my thoughs on how I would deal with such a situation. I know this is not exactly what you asked for, but I hope it can be at ...
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  • 961
5 votes

How to communicate expectations around "rabbit holes"?

There is another sort of rabbit hole, one that your best students can fall in to. I once had a situation in which students were programming with a certain library that provided a simulation - a ...
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5 votes

Avoiding difficulties when teaching with metaphors

I love to make jokes and allusions. Here are some examples of ways I handle my increasing age difference from my students: Explaining the reference When describing how assembly language programmers ...
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5 votes

How to stop being The Oracle

Students will act according to the habits they have built up. The one they have isn't terrible, but you can work to improve it. This answer won't save you much time, initially, but if you can change ...
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5 votes

Best way to install and maintain windows 10 in a computer lab

I have experience managing a lab for student-use. We utilized Deep Freeze. I was not responsible for configuring it, but based on what you say you would like to have in terms of OS management, I ...
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  • 9,032
5 votes
Accepted

Using online courses instead of / in addition to traditional lecturing

What you have described is about half of what is known as a flipped classroom. This concept has been explored in other questions here and at the Academia forum. The idea is that instead of lecturing, ...
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5 votes

Reduce Grading & Improve Assignments

Autograding doesn't have to be all-or-nothing How can I reduce the amount of grading for the assignments? The term "autograding" implies end-to-end work taking a zip file of submissions ...
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  • 320
4 votes

Thoughts on copying and pasting code?

I think it is fine, as long as it isn't an essential part. It saves time, and the students can learn from professionals, and can learn new ways of doing something that they never would have thought of....
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4 votes

Thoughts on copying and pasting code?

In my class, the only rules I set are that kids may not give code to each other, either directly or indirectly. I also set a "rule of thumb" that if student A needs help from student B on a portion ...
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