Teaching Language, The

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In my initial abstract, I talked about trying to create an easily extensible framework for teaching (computer) concepts to students. This is not exactly a small feat, as it is a struggle that teachers go through every year, month, and day. If there were an easy way to do it, surely it would be well-published and well-known by now. One of the hard parts to realize is that students are not all autonomous robots that learn the same way. Students are individuals: some learn in similar ways, some learn in truly unique ways, and most learn by some method somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. To try to find the grand unified theory of teaching material to students is beyond the scope of this project. However, what is in the scope of this project is creating tools that can be universally applied to different concepts, or even to different subjects.

One tried and true method of abstracting concepts or methods is finding similarities in current methods. For the one semester in which I have to work, I think even trying to create a teaching tool to apply to different subjects may be too much. However, within the subject of Computer Science, I may be able to come up with a framework of something that can be applied to most concepts. My plan of attack is to create a slew of really good lectures about a series of three or five disjoint topics within computer science (e.g. cryptography, networking, sorting, parallel computation, computational theory). The next step would be to output these on a computer somehow. After comparing notes with a couple of professors and taking feedback from some students who have had this material for the first time and some who have had it before, I plan to step back and see what are the commonalities and differences. At this point and time, I expect that I’ll end up making some sort of language where input will be rendered in some format for a user, in an analogous manner to HTML and web browsing. What I’m envisioning (at this point) is my own idea of a layout for material. This language will not allow for variation on how the input is presented. In effect, I will map some way of presenting A with Z, and that will be final. In the analogy of HTML, this would mean that I will not have any CSS support in this version of this language.

--hunteke 12:51, 14 Sep 2005 (EST)

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