Munch Lab

In closing of Applied Programming 2014

Another instance of my Applied Programming course has come to an end. This year I redid the entire lecture series following the interactive version of How to think like a computer scientist. This online book comes with a barebones implementation of the Python interpreter that lets students write, edit, run and save small exercises and snippets of code in the online book. This way the students get started with programming from day one before they have installed Python and a code editor. After a few weeks most work was done in an editor (Sublime Text), but the interactive features of the online book provided a very effective learning environment throughout the course. This year all my major exercises were provided as old-fashioned web pages, but next year I plan to migrate these to the format of the online book using the Runestone Tools that implement the many interactive features. In addition to a thorough course evaluation in class I have had the students fill in the same questionnaire since 2012. Along with many details questions on workload, difficulty and teaching methods I ask about the overall value of the course, and it seems that a commitment to continuous improvement pays of (a little shameless bragging is in order). The graphic shows the student responses to the question “What is your overall evaluation of the course?”.

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