My apologies for the long delayed reply (to you and many others!). It's
been a crazy few weeks. Thanks so much for the references, that's a real
treasure trove. Now if you could email me the time to tackle it, all my
problems will be solved. ;-)
My current plan is to put it up as a hackathon project and see what comes
out. If we have to teach Python as is for now (which we probably will) then
it's not fatal, but I see this as a long term goal that will be useful to
more than just my school if we can make it work.
I do like Alan Blackwell's point that around 80% of errors are the easily
trapped low hanging fruit of the error world. If we can just make all the
obvious ones easier, I think that will make the course significantly less
The problem I have is that this is a core subject with a large cohort of
students who believe that they "suck" at computers. Working one on one with
these kids I can easily get them past that, but with even some teachers who
don't know programming, one on one isn't achievable. So every tiny step I
take towards making things less scary has the potential to change the world
for some kids.
We've tried block based programming and other "beginner friendly"
languages, but the kids find them hugely unmotivating, because they can't
see the relevance to anything they will ever want to do. Hence my data
science unit - this is stuff I can tie directly to their work in the
sciences, and show plenty of real world examples. With any luck they will
be able to use these skills in the future.
I very much appreciate the input of everyone on this list!
On 18 April 2016 at 18:20, Brett Becker <brettabec...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Linda,
> I have just completed a masters thesis on enhancing Java compiler error
> messages. The thesis in its entirety isn't online yet - I'm waiting for a
> few administrative hurdles to be jumped. What I do have that may help at
> the moment are the following:
> 1. I have attached a pdf containing about 120 references, mainly on
> novice programmer behavior and enhancing error messages, with a slight bias
> towards Java, but there are plenty of references on other languages also.
> Some of these took a long time to track down, and I only discovered some
> later than I would have hoped, so I hope this gives you a jump start. There
> are a number of references on software that enhances error messages and on
> designing good error messages. There are several PhD and MSc theses
> included that aren't always available on google scholar - some of them are
> hiding in fairly dark corners of the net. If you have trouble tracking
> anything in particular down let me know. I should have copies of all of
> 2. I recently presented some of these results at SIGCSE:
> I found that for the groups that participated in my study and using my
> software, enhancing errors did make a positive difference in terms of
> number of overall errors committed, the number of errors per student, for
> some error messages the number of errors per error message, as well as to
> some extent the number of repeated (consecutive) errors.
> The software is now several years old and has reached its end of life in
> too many ways. I have a new PhD student starting next semester however who
> is going to hopefully expand upon this work, in addition to moving in a few
> new directions.
> I'll send you an email as new information becomes available. I am very
> interested in this area, so please feel free to contact me at any time with
> questions or updates!
> Kind regards,
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "PPIG Discuss" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to ppig-discuss+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
> To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
Exploring Life, Parenting and Social Justice:
Computational Science Education: http://computeitsimple.wordpress.com/
Dr Linda McIver
Teacher & Freelance Writer
Buy Fair Trade - Change the world one coffee at a time
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PPIG
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email
To post to this group, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.