Class assignments (homework)

In most (other) programming forums members avoid providing complete solutions for a student’s class assignment (homework). The purpose of class assignments is for the student to learn, including how to analyze a problem and solve it. It might be more work to help a student by guiding them to the solution but it is the way to help them the best.

See Giving value to parameters - JavaScript - The SitePoint Forums; likkavalerica says “I have this assignment”; it sure sounds like a class assignment for which the complete solution is being provided. The responses do provide explanations but they do not otherwise help the student solve the problem themself.

In my humble opinion, this is just a generalisation. :winky:
It may not be the best method for all students. :unhappy:

I learned a great deal of my coding methodology by
the dissection of the finished article.

Why should we dictate the learning processes that
must be rigidly obeyed by students.

Big Brother, of course, rules universally . :taped:

coothead

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That is articles. Class assignments are different from articles.

And that is what you are suggesting be done. You are suggesting that only your way is the best way.

I think that you must have overlooked this…

What I suggest for students, is that if they wish to learn, then
they do it by any method that best suits their temperament. :biggrin:

Free thinking should not threatened by regimental teaching. :unhappy:

coothead

My approach to learning script is to start with something simple and gradually expand the script until it breaks, fix the errors and/or warnings, continue until success.

Starting with something complicated that does not work and trying to fix is like digging a hole… it just gets deeper.

Curious to know of other methods.

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I first learned Windows and Windows Device Driver programming before the internet was available. Also, as a teenager in 1970 I read the IBM Principles of Operation, the machine-language manual for IBM “Mainframes”. So it is reasonable for me to hope that others can read the manual. For me, the Windows Device Driver (in the C language and a little assembler) was not starting simple. So my learning technique is to choose something to do then figure out how to do it.

In my professional experience I know how much of a mistake it is to start with something simple then build on it. In a professional environment that can result in a monster that is too big to convert to something else and too complicated to modify. It is likely a good educational technique as long as it is understood it is the opposite of what should be done when developing software for someone else and/or that will be maintained by someone else.

And that is why thousands of people-years have gone into the development of system development methodologies and things like that. The type of thing that hundreds of books exist for. One important concept is to first define the requirements then work from there.

For me, I think I learn best when I have something to do and then read the documentation to figure out how to do it. Unfortunately documentation is not always written well enough and that is where the internet helps.

In this situation, we are talking about a class assignment that an instructor has developed that is supposedly appropriate for the material that has been taught. It is very different from self-learning. The task has (hopefully) been clearly defined and the student is expected to be able to figure it out for himself or herself. Technically if the student uses a complete answer from a forum such as here then the instructor might ding the student for plagiarism. I am not sure but I think that could be grounds for dismissal from the university (depending on the university).

I think its all depends on the person/student who is getting help or guideline from you, if he/she is capable/willing to learn something then he/she will try himself/herself otherwise nothing will be done.

Generally speaking, this is true of SPF too.

That said, each case is taken individually; if a student has gotten to the point that they have analyzed the problem, made an attempt at solving it, and has a specific question (like… ‘why is my test returning false when it should be true?’) then yes, I will give them a pretty direct answer. If someone comes into the forum and says “How do I do this?” regardless of whether it sounds like a student asking for a homework assignment or not, my answer will generally be “Show us what you’ve done so far”.

In some cases, i’ll admit, it comes down to how i’m feeling on the day. Whether I feel like i’ve got the time/patience to handhold someone through the process or not, and whether the process really requires a lot of thought.

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