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63 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

This is a very common problem. Students tend to focus on the stuff they can see, which can be to your benefit (visual programs are more engaging than command line applications), but like you've ...
27 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

Make the bells and whistles part of the problems you want them to solve. This is actually a great situation, since your students seem to be really interested in those things and show some intrinsic ...
15 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

I am dismayed that students seem to spend an enormous amount of time straining at gnats, trying to get picky details of the appearance correct. So they are tackling a front-end programming assignment ...
14 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

If you are just trying to teach core programming concepts, and don't want students to be distracted by a GUI, which you yourself avoided by learning in command line programming, have you tried ...
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9 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

Part of it may be wanting to have pride in their work, and not knowing (yet) how to direct that urge productively. I also learned in a predominantly CLI environment and I can remember, with a ...
  • 191
9 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

Just to check, are you setting expectations correctly? For example, perhaps the reason why the students are focusing so much on the visual appearance is because they think that's the core "point" of ...
  • 4,005
7 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

This is an important teachable moment One of the most annoying traits in newer engineers is their "helpfulness." They may not realize that working on tasks outside of their assigned scope can ...
  • 171
5 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

I'll have to admit to not actually using Windows Forms Programming, but MS seems to indicate that it is a variation on Model-View-Controller (MVC), in which an underlying model is viewed by one or ...
  • 35.1k
3 votes

Why are block graphics being taught? (either "instead of ncurses" or "at all")

I have not taught any of that myself, so I will not give a full-throated defense of the practice, but I will point to something you might not have thought of. The purpose of a lab assignment is ...
  • 31.7k
2 votes

Teaching interaction design to potentially disinterested students

Engagement Get them hooked. Find interest for them. Give them some software, and real life items, that have poor user interaction. Have them use them, and then tell you and the class, what they think ...
2 votes
Accepted

Exercises for teaching GUI / Windows interaction basics

The last time I took a session on UI, that was when I was teaching these students who had finished a course on C sharp (dot net) and now wanted to build simple UI so they can turn their just learned ...
  • 1,874
2 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

I feel that there is a little bias at play here. In addition to all the answers above, I'd like to mention that you feel that tweaking UI is a waste of time. That's because you inherently feel that ...
2 votes

How to help students avoid being distracted by bells and whistles

I think these are actually two separate problems. Tweaking very specific details Wanting to do stuff beyond the scope of the course The former is potentially harmful. Stress that they will get no ...
  • 345
2 votes
Accepted

Is C++ much better than other languages?

I will try to answer this question from a Computer Science Educator point of view. C++ is a tool First and foremost, C++ is a tool. Like any other language, it's designed to make accomplishing certain ...
  • 356
1 vote

Is C++ much better than other languages?

As a software developer, I used C++ on several projects. First I learnt C. Then on the first C++ project I learn encapsulation. Then on the third C++ project I learn some more. Then on the forth C++ ...
1 vote

Is C++ much better than other languages?

There is nothing wrong with learning C++ as your first or main language. It's an extremely big and complicated language, but that's only if you want to learn everything about it. "Modern" C++...
1 vote

Exercises for teaching GUI / Windows interaction basics

I was today thinking of creating a UI heavy program. It would be some sort of logic game. A possible 1st GUI program could be lights-out. It is mostly GUI, with a little logic ( as a bonus you could ...
1 vote

Teaching interaction design to potentially disinterested students

I train full stack development and that includes user interfaces (which falls under if not cover the entire gamut of interaction design). When it comes to examples, I talk about the infamous case of ...
  • 1,874

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