Back to LC & Inventive Users

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Thu Aug 11 18:47:13 EDT 2011


Hmmm off the top of my head I would say first long session take them through the same kinds of things that real developers go through. Ask them at the beginning to write down their favorite thing, something that interests them most. 

The first session should be about the user interface. Show them how to import a graphic from one of those free icon sites (there are some good ones). Show them how to set the icon of a button to that graphic. Show them how to place fields on a form with labels, and have it be not so cluttered. Show them how to arrange things and line them up so that it is not just useful but easily grasped and pleasing to look at. 

Next long session should be connecting to a data source. sqLite is good for this as it is local file based and they do not have to deal with connectivity issues and authentication and the like. Have them create columns in a table, then read information from the table into fields, and save information back to the table as the user edits. Introduce them to save/cancel buttons instead of having them just spew whatever into the table. Show them how to create, edit and delete records in a table using scripting. 

Next lesson introduce them to web api. Have them create a place on a card where they can display a web page (may be useful at this point to create a basic web site so that mischief does not ensue). Have them send data to, and get data back from the web pages. Have them populate some fields with that information. 

Final week put it all together to make some kind of application in accordance with their declared hobby, which you got at the beginning of the 1st session before you told them what you are up to. Grade them on look and feel, completeness, innovation, incorporation of the things learned in the first 3 lessons. 

my 2¢

Bob


On Aug 11, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Judy Perry wrote:

> I have a vague notion of a hands-on assignment for my classes next term involving having them use the 30-day demo and making something semi-interesting (to them) in LC.
> 
> Apparently I did a really sucky job of articulating this to the first person I asked, so, here I try, try again, this time including my necessary caveats and reasons why:
> 
> If you had a month, meaning, 4 long sessions or 8 shorter sessions, to get an absolute Joe Public to make something small but semi-interesting in LC, i.e., something they couldn't do in PowerPoint, what are the top 5 things you'd want them to learn about programming?
> 
> I mean, I'm guessing it's something like IDE, Stack-Card metaphor, commands, functions, conditionals, variables...  but I'm looking for those categories along with some specific examples per my caveats below.
> 
> CAVEATS:
> 
> 1.  This is a General Education class meaning students either have to take this "Computers and Society" course or some biology course involving dissection.  This means they don't particularly want to take this class but it strikes them as less gross than dissecting worms or heaven know what.  But, seriously:  nobody really wants to be there.
> 
> 2.  #1 above means that student engagement is a MUST.  The point of the assignment is NOT to make them hate using computers.  #1 also means that some of them barely know how to do attachments with email.  It also means that some of them are downright computer-phobic.
> 
> 3.  No "Hello World."  Sorry, but "Hello World" is a distinct historical and cultural artifact to which this audience simply will not relate.  One of the rules of interactive system design is that using a computer to do something should always offer some seriously compelling reason to do it that way as opposed to the way they know, and writing three lines of script to put "Hello World" into a text field isn't likely to sound more compelling that simply typing it in the field themselves.  The point of the assignment is NOT to turn them into programmers but to help them appreciate some of the things that go into the applications they use everyday and some of the things those programmers have to contend with/know.
> 
> 4.  Each step or lesson along the way needs to result in something that is engaging to the learner.  Current adult learning theory is that adults need, yupp, instant gratification, or at least be able to see that they are getting somewhere.
> 
> 5.  No standalone production (I don't want to have to guess at what they didn't do correctly).  We may do revlets though.
> 
> Ideas, suggestions gratefully accepted; otherwise, I'll just wing it like I usually do.  ;-)
> 
> Judy
> 
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