Welcome to Coding Corner-this is a column about computing and coding. Written by Dan Aldred (@Dan_Aldred) who is well worth a follow on Twitter. Dan’s article is about Students teaching the coding.
This week I started teaching VB programming with my Yr12 A level students. There are sixteen altogether with six female students. My year 13 group is 75% female. They enjoy the coding and computing theory, possible more than the male students.
Positive and motivated students can make coding easier. I was introducing a simple textbox data entry into a label, with the code, Slide1.textbox1.text = Textbox2.text. Most students got this first time round except a few with typos or missing full stops. However, before I could get round to all the students individually several of the brighter students got up and started to help the other students.
I was impressed as they were not just typing in the code for them, but questioning them and asking them why they thought the code was wrong, what could they do to check it and correct it.
This meant there was myself and four other ‘student’ teachers in the room. It also saved some of students the embarrassment of their teacher realising that something as simple as missing out a full stop had stalled their whole program!
I encourage this practice, it supports learners that struggle with the process and it is also very student friendly. It also challenges the more able, as they can apply their understanding in different scenarios. They are required to verbalise the code instead of having to type it. This is a different skill and requires a better understanding of the code. For example, many of us can recognise an icon in a program and click to edit a document, but without a computer it is more difficult to verbally describe how to do that. Try getting your students to describe, in detailed the steps to add a footer, insert a picture, or save a document. Often they miss a simple step or mouse click.
Ofsted have been in school this week and they have complimented ‘independent student learning’ and ‘students managing the lessons and their own pace of learning’.
Students can support each other and learn through teaching each other.
For next lesson, I have asked for each student to prepare and teach one slice of code.Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"