18 votes

Should the first Programming/Algorithms class be taught in pseudo-code?

No, it shouldn't. It's an appealing idea, but when kids are just starting in programming, one of the few straws they have to grasp at is that it is, on some level, very concrete. I type: ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k
18 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Rather than giving them processes to model algorithmically, have them start coming up with algorithms for everyday activities. Here is the formal assignment I have students complete: CS50 AP - ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
14 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

How do you teach students of this age and ability to think algorithmically? I don't really think there's a silver bullet to this problem. To be able to think algorithmically, you need to solve lots ...
Aurora0001's user avatar
  • 3,516
12 votes
Accepted

Should the first Programming/Algorithms class be taught in pseudo-code?

Yes, the first algorithms class should be taught in pseudo-code (And teach logic tables too.) If the objective of the class is to teach algorithms and programming, not a programming language, the ...
Gypsy Spellweaver's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Pseudocode or Flowcharts?

Neither is always better, and both have their strengths. The idea of scoring higher marks as a criteria for better is going to be unpredictable without knowing who is granting those marks. Someone ...
Gypsy Spellweaver's user avatar
8 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

I remember a demonstration from early in my first college CS course (this was in 1998, almost 20 years ago!), where the professor brought in a loaf of bread, a butter knife, a jar of peanut butter, ...
Joel Coehoorn's user avatar
7 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

The problem as described is simply translation from one firm of words to another, so in some senses, students may not really grasp what you are asking for. I think a more important thing to ask for is ...
Sean Houlihane's user avatar
7 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Thinking algorithmically isn't always natural. In an algorithm, you're going to write down everything the computer is going to, then hit "go" and step away for a few microseconds while the computer ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 1,031
7 votes
Accepted

Is there any value in teaching pseudo code?

Yes, definitely. There is a need, while developing an algorithm, for a language (or diagramming technique) that is less precise and requires less detail than a formal programming language. This is to ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.1k
7 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Since all the other great answers are all given, let me mention a minor one. Lateral thinking Puzzles are good for this. They help to teach children to think in a different manner by themselves and ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 281
7 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

I'm a bit confused by your question. Your exercise seems to involve some combination of… Requirements gathering: what are the inputs, outputs, and formulas? Translating the requirements to a ...
200_success's user avatar
6 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Sounds like you've tried everything already, but here are some suggestions: Use a scenario / problem that every student can relate to Most of my lower ability 13-14 year old boys don't have much ...
pddring's user avatar
  • 806
6 votes

Should the first Programming/Algorithms class be taught in pseudo-code?

I think this heavily depends on the environment. Is this a science university? A middle school? An engineering high school? Pseudo code has its uses. At university level, with years of programming to ...
vacip's user avatar
  • 1,398
5 votes

Should the first Programming/Algorithms class be taught in pseudo-code?

No, classes should favor actual programming languages. Ideally, students should should be able to: Run code examples. Apply code analysis tools to code examples, both to better understand the ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 897
5 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

One thing that helps in my experience (albeit with older students) is to give a pseudo-code cheat-sheet and insist that the problem has to be solved only using the building blocks on the sheet. In ...
Kim Nguyễn's user avatar
5 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

I just finished up 8th grade. I took an Intro to Engineering/Robotics class as an elective this past semester. I have programmed (mainly in Python 3) before this class, and I was mainly excited for ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,724
4 votes

Is there any value in teaching pseudo code?

Pseudo-code allows expressing that an algorithm to solve some problem is not the same as the syntax (formatting, punctuation abuse, etc.) required to make any particular compiler or interpreter happy. ...
hotpaw2's user avatar
  • 1,895
4 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

The biggest problem is moving students to a difficult algorithm before they have mileage with simple ones. The best way I've found is a. Go over the classic small algorithms, especially array and ...
user1462's user avatar
4 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Even though it can be complicated, recursion gives a great algorithmic view of problems. I have seen quite a few students start to think in an algorithmic way after I introduce recursion (just very ...
ItamarG3's user avatar
  • 6,297
4 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

So far in my career, when I have a student who just doesn't seem to get it (and there is no obvious discernible cause) it very often comes down to one of two problems. The first is mutability, which ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.1k
4 votes

How useful is English (pseudocode and documentation) in aiding understanding?

Funny, I came here to look for advice on getting students to write pseudocode, because mine struggle so much to do it. So here is why I want them to do it. If I set the activity up properly, and they ...
Dave R's user avatar
  • 101
3 votes

Should the first Programming/Algorithms class be taught in pseudo-code?

Pseudo-code feels like one of those things invented before I learnt to code, as a response to the complexity of reading and to a lesser extent writing code in assembler (or even machine code). When ...
Sean Houlihane's user avatar
3 votes

Pseudocode or Flowcharts?

The other answers are already spot-on, but I wanted to offer another way to think about it... My question is this: which is better for planning a set of algorithms: pseudocode or flow charts? ...
Kevin Workman's user avatar
3 votes

Pseudocode or Flowcharts?

Both are a requirement of one of the courses that I teach. I like to start with a flowchart, as (for all the reasons mentioned by @GypsySpellweaver already) they provide a good visual representation ...
srattigan's user avatar
  • 744
3 votes
Accepted

How useful is English (pseudocode and documentation) in aiding understanding?

I believe that the core issue you're dealing with is that programming is too enjoyable, which makes outlining a program/writing pseudocode not interesting. It is a tough sell because in the time that ...
guitarcat's user avatar
  • 321
2 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Practice. Thinking algorithmically is a skill, and skills develop with focused practice over time. All of the relevant-to-life examples in previous answers are forms of practice that will result in ...
Neal Zupancic's user avatar
2 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Here's an enlightening blog post about teaching programming to elementary school age children. They started without any computers at all by "programming" the teacher to walk from one corner of the ...
ZeroOne's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes

How can I help my students to think algorithmically?

Do you know about the initiative called Scratch? It's a visual and algorithmical language, it can be useful as an introductory subject for your students. In scratch you can visually build ...
Eliâ Melfior's user avatar
2 votes

How useful is English (pseudocode and documentation) in aiding understanding?

Warning : I am not a teacher of any kind, just a developer and I will tell about by personal feelings/experience For me when I write in pseudocode I write in my native language (not English but I am ...
f222's user avatar
  • 121

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