- Assign activities that make students proud of their work; assignments that produce artifacts that connect to the real-world.
- Demonstrating skills they learn through meaningful projects increases confidence.
- Current and relevant lessons increase the likeliness of student engagement.
- Big picture CS reasoning skills are crucial for everyone because CS pervades every industry.
- Design structured projects or thematic assignments that build off of student interest (games, movies, music, etc.). These allow students to express themselves while working on tough problems.
- Require students to plan, build, test (often with peer feedback), and reflect on the projects they create.
- Include big picture professional skills into the objectives of all your CS courses so there is a framework for connecting class work to CS/Software engineering industry work.
- Important big picture professionals skills include: 1) Project Management & General Engineering Practice, 2) Professional Behavior, 3) Computational (Algorithmic) Thinking, 4) Problem Solving, and 5) Role of Computers in Society
Example of a big picture professional skill, Computational (Algorithmic) Thinking, lesson from the Academy for Software Engineering in New York:
- The following is a decomposition of conditionals (if statements) into three distinct learning objectives.
- Each of the three outcomes below are measured separately by assessments (both formative and summative), and help teachers identify specific weaknesses in a student’s thinking and habits in order to provide ongoing individualized support.
- 1. Predict the output of a program by tracing through non-nested (and possibly single nested) conditionals.
- 2. Identify the conditionals necessary to implement a program (in natural language).
- 3. Provide the conditionals (in natural language) necessary to implement a program, construct the code to implement the program.
- This careful decomposition of objectives is an important part of addressing Computer Science as it applies to all students in the NY Academy for Software Engineering.
The Academy for Software Engineering: Coding for Every NYC Student by Leigh Ann Sudol-DeLyser, Eric Allatta, Sean Stern