- Manipulating characters as they would numbers can be confusing for students.
- Be sure to explain to students how letters can be represented by numbers.
- Start students with a large file of text that, when they properly reverse a caesar cipher it, reveals cow ascii art (don’t tell them it will reveal cow ascii art, it’s better to keep it a secret).
- Tell students that the letters in the file are shifted by a specific number then tell them that number.
- This assignment isn’t about figuring out the number the characters have been shifted by.
- Tell students they’ll know what it is supposed to be when they get it right!
- They may be skeptical because they don’t know that the file contains an ascii art cow.
- When students finally reverse the caesar cipher and see the cow ascii art, they get really excited!
- When completing this assignment in a lab setting, students have more incentive to finish their program after seeing one student successfully uncover the cow.
- Check out this example of a jumbled file and the corresponded code for the caesar cipher.
- Below is an example of an ascii cow:
.= , =. _ _ /'/ )\,/,/(_ \ \ `//-.| ( ,\\)\//\)\/_ ) | //___\ `\\\/\\/\/\\///' / ,-"~`-._ `"--'_ `"""` _ \`'"~-,_ \ `-. '_`. .'_` \ ,-"~`/ `.__.-'`/ (-\ /-) |-.__,' || | \O) /^\ (O/ | `\\ | / `\ / \\ \ / `\ / `\\ `-. /' .---.--.\ `\\/`~(, '() (' /(O) \\ _,.-.,_) // \\ `\'` / jgs / | || `""""~"` /' |__|| `o