Thursday, May 21, 2009


Today I am giving the students a "final quiz". It is not comprehensive, as it covers only programming we've done this semester. Their final project was due on Tuesday; we've been working on it since February.

This semester there have been a chorus of complaints about how awful Python is. I have a number of students who are very far behind - like the one I made stay in at lunch on Tuesday and got her caught up to the end of March. They all miss Flash - which I think is funny, since they hated Flash while we were doing it.

At the end of the quiz, I asked them how the quiz was. The quiz this semester was on paper; last semester it was online. They thought the quiz was straightforward, which was my goal - no trick questions. They told me they thought it was easier because it was on paper instead of online, which I thought was interesting. They're much more practiced at taking quizzes and tests on paper than online, so navigating how to answer the computerized questions was a little challenge. Finally, by a two-to-one margin, they preferred programming in python to working with Flash. They found it much more straightforward.

I also asked them to do a final reflection on "Why study computer science?" They answered the same question at the beginning of the year, so it will be interesting to see how their answers change.

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