Published on January 4, 2008
Games or Robots? Restoring Excitement to Introductory Computing: Games or Robots? Restoring Excitement to Introductory Computing Michael D. Dumont Ian C. Tewksbury Jessica D. Bayliss Rajendra K. Raj Goals: Goals Develop an effective way to interest students. Use existing knowledge to teach new concepts Encourage students to want to learn Reality and Programming Together (RAPT): Reality and Programming Together (RAPT) Replacement sequence for Comp. Sci. 1-3 Used video games as an application domain Accelerated Sequence College Freshmen NOVA Robotics Program: NOVA Robotics Program Lego NXT Robotics Platform 8 day workshop series Self Teaching 6th-12th Grade Golf-Bot: Golf-Bot Hokey Pokey Bot: Hokey Pokey Bot Advantages of RAPT: Advantages of RAPT Low Cost Abstract Concepts High degree of creativity Disadvantages of RAPT: Disadvantages of RAPT Faster paced, more challenging Not self paced Works good if the interest is there Advantages of NOVA: Advantages of NOVA Self Paced NXT-G is simple Easy to teach algorithms Tactile Disadvantages of NOVA: Disadvantages of NOVA Cost increases per student Less creative Abstract concepts are more difficult to teach Future Work: Future Work Run more NOVA Programs (Games and Robots) Attempt to bridge the gap Use robots for older students Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements Rajendra K. Raj, Ian C. Tewksbury, and Jessica D. Bayliss for working on these projects The students in the RAPT and NOVA programs.