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TDG Sharing on 10th Dec, 2008 Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers Resources and Strategies for Innovative Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers C.K. Poon & Marian Choy Department of Computer Science TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers Other members in related TDGs: – Victor C.S. Lee – Philips Wang – Y.T. Yu TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers What is it about? Aim: to improve the teaching/learning of computer programming courses Developed materials for learning of computer programming Experimented with different ways to motivate & help students TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers Challenges in teaching computer programming courses Computer programming is a skill best learned by having adequate practice Need to: – design appropriate exercises, and – give useful and timely feedback to students Not easy: – Large class size: 100 – 500 – Widely different student background: different disciplines, different experience with computer TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers A small question How to check if a program is correct? Students: – Just try the given sample input/output – It is not their duty Teachers: – Check the logic manually – Have a student demo – Run some test cases TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers A small question How to check if a program is correct? Students: – Just try the given sample input/output – It is not their duty Teachers: – Check the logic manually – Have a student demo – Run some test cases TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers A simple idea Run student’s program against a set of test cases TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers A simple idea Run student’s program against a LARGE set of test cases TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers A simple idea Run student’s program against a large set of test cases for ALL students in class TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers PASS (Programming Assignment aSsessment System) an automated program testing system Initial Goal: to speed up the marking of programming assignments TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers New way of teaching & learning More checkpoints for students: – Previously – a few large assignments – Now – many small exercises more guidance, better self-awareness Facilitate self-learning: – Previously – one round, no chance to improve – Now – student gets feedback from system, re-try until succeed sense of satisfaction, build up confidence TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers New use of PASS PASS has been collecting student programs – A wealth of resources – Monitoring of students’ progress Get big picture of students progress Identify weak students Identify common problems – Extract good/bad sample programs – Check for plagiarism TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers More challenges Need lots of exercises Careful design of problems to suit different students – Break down exercises into smaller ones – Companion guidance notes How to motivate students to work on the exercises? – Feedback – Help TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers Resources – Repository of programming exercises in PASS – Workbook with notes & exercises Strategies – Online feedback & monitoring with PASS – Bonus point system – Group discussion & personal help in tutorials – Programming clinic – Presentations TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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Resources & Strategies for Problem Solving Courses with the use of Computers Summary Start with a small idea Share with colleagues Discover new ideas along the way TDG Project No. 6000143 PI: Dr C.K. Poon (CS)

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