Talk:Courses/CS 2114/Lab Manual/Input and Output

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  • There needs to be language that makes it clear that when rewriting the middle condition test to use if/else instead of if that all 6 tests are still needed but now we can catch the condition where two of the numbers are equal.
  • Need to add a template for code that is meant to be added to code but that we want modifications to be made in an effort to understand the code better.
  • Probably need something like a "Critical Point" macro that keeps students from skipping over important parts of the lab they tend to miss. This is easy in cases where they are switching their attention a lot, it is easy to miss a single sentence instruction that is important to the lab.
    • While I understand the idea here, I also worry that getting too many of these "block" macros could lead to more distraction instead of less. The explainatory material should probably not get a "block" macro associated with it, but if anything, maybe just a small icon that would appear near important items... but then would the student simply skip any content that didn't have the "important" icon? At some point the students need to be responsible for reading all the material, not just skimming it. If the lab author(s) did not think it was important, he/she/they would not have made the effort to include it in the lab. --Jason Causey 16:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I dislike the "dangling lab checkpoint" that is illustrated in this lab by the (pun intended) dangling else problem at the end of this lab. I'd like for things like this to be actual checkpoints.
    • I agree with this. I think there should always be a checkpoint at the end, before the student submits. It should be clear that you are checking them off before they leave the lab. --Jason Causey 15:43, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • if statements with constant values like "if (3 > 4) ... " may need more explanation. This is not typical usage and the meaning may be unclear.
  • how hard would it be to add a checkbox in each checkpoint and have the results show up at the bottom of the lab with big green checks and red x's so when student got to bottom they could see that they got checked off. I know it would be a self measure of progress, but the idea seems worth trying.
    • Hmm... not sure if this is possible in the wiki... at least not without some creative hacking. Something to keep in mind though. --Jason Causey 16:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Some of these lab checkpoints are tricky. I think there should be a solution guide for the lab instructors to make sure they get every point. This is not a statement against the competence of our lab instructors, but some of these checkpoints make fine distinctions and the correct answer is not always obvious unless you are a C++ language lawyer (which I am).
    • This is a good idea. Solution guides for the homework problems would be a good idea as well. I guess "security" concerns (information leaks) are the main reason that such things are not available already. It would need to be secured in such a way that only GAs teaching the class in question could see it. Not sure where the best place for that would be... Document server??? --Jason Causey 16:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the dangling-else problem should be more structured. Given directions "mess with this" puzzles students, especially when pressed for time.
    • On the other hand, students should be encouraged to "experiment" (which is the wording used) as much as possible. Being puzzled (for a while) is not necessarily a bad thing... it can lead to questions, which lead to answers and eventually (hopefully) to understanding. --Jason Causey 16:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Jason Wilkins 21:04, 10 September 2009 (UTC)