On Sat, Aug 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM, Sarina Canelake <sarina@mit....> wrote:
> Hi Kirby,
> Thanks for the feedback. I've enjoyed reading your posts on the list, and
> the specific concerns you address are well worth considering. If you don't
> mind, I'd like to give some background on my project.
I'm glad you found your way to this list Sarina as it's definitely an
apropos place to archive details about your project, the thinking
behind it and so forth.
Python got a big boost when MIT started to become more Python-centric
in its courseware, some of which is free and open source.
Speaking for myself (not any of my co-workers) I have no objections to
automated grading / scoring as an option.
The Python interpreter is itself automatic and a great source of
impersonal (non-judgmental) feedback.
Some students respond better in anonymous automatic situations as they
do not feel judged by another human who might know them (an invasion
The thing Scott wants to combat is too much passivity in the culture.
It's a generic problem with a lot of schooling, when it becomes an
extension of spectator sports, with the learner the passive spectator.
No one technology or learning experience can be singled out. Even
television may inspire lots of activity -- especially if you make it,
don't just watch it.
That sense of "hard fun" where you struggle with a program, and don't
just have to fill in the blanks or do multiple choice, has to be
Automated feedback services have their role.
The mathematics curriculum I write about and implement / field test
where feasible (quite a few opportunities) has people actually biking
around town hauling vegetables in trailers.
Down the road, our work will involve the placement of sensors,
environmental monitors, here there and everywhere, again using bikes
sometimes (sometimes going on foot, sometimes kayaks or canoes).