Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students

I will be running a P2PU course starting in January on teaching free-range learners how to program and build stuff on the web. The blurb is below; anyone who wants to can sign up to follow along or take part (we expect it will require 3-4 hours/week from mid-January to some time in April). I'm not an expert on these subjects by any means, but I've learned a few things from running Software Carpentry that I think are worth sharing, and hope that this course will give me a chance to learn more. If you're interested in teaching scientists how to do things with computers, please come and join us.


How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students

What do we know about how novices learn webcraft and programming, why do we believe it, and how can we apply that knowledge to free-range learners?

Right now, people all over the world are learning how to write programs and create web sites, but or every one who is doing it in a classroom there are a dozen free-range learners. This group will focus on how we, as mentors, can best help them. Topics will include:

  • What does research tell us about how people learn?
  • Why are the demographics of programming so unbalanced?
  • What best practices in instructional design are relevant to free-range learners?
  • What skills do people need in order to bake their own web?
  • How are grassroots groups trying to teach these things now?
  • What's working and what isn't?

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