A Short Report from Utah State

Posted 2013-02-02 by Ethan White in Community, Education, Noticed.

(The first in an occasional series about other ways people are teaching computing to scientists.)

My "Advanced Programming and Database Management for Biologists" course at Utah State is based almost entirely on Software Carpentry (though the full curriculum is obviously not just what we teach in two days). It is a blended classroom: for about 2/3 of the semester the students view SWC material before class, at the beginning of class I provide 5-10 minutes of additional introduction to the material or answer questions the students had after viewing the videos, and then they spend the rest of class working on problems related to the material. They also do an independent project related to their research and the last 1/3 of the semester involves primarily me helping individual students work on their research projects (plus I present a set of more advanced or discipline relevant topics that they choose by voting on, e.g., the GPU peta cloud). It's been fairly popular for a rather nerdy graduate class and scores off the charts.

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