547:202: Blog 03 (9/21/2009)

Week 3 was a pretty good week in comparison to the first two weeks. I found that the number of examples given on Monday was a little on the lighter side, especially when compared to the number given on Wednesday. To be honest, I would prefer more specific examples and explore-the-code type of things. That is truly how I have learned how to program in the few programming languages that I understand. I will openly admit that the Java Debugger in Eclipse is an amazing tool that I wish they had told us about in 198:111. However, the mentality in 198:111 is that you should never use anything beyond a text editor and a Java compiler to program. I am glad to see that this is not the case in this class. I do not know how much work we are going to be doing with the switch function, but I think I would like to see a real example completed in class (preferably alongside use of the debugger, so we can watch what actually happens). The practice slides at the end of each Power Point are extremely useful. They are simple enough to understand what they are doing and yet still useful because they are concrete examples.

As for things which I did not enjoy for week 3, I do not particularly see a need for “Heroes Of The Day”. I am more than willing to accept the importance of the figures presented, but I do not think dedicating more than a passing 5-10 minutes a class on them is a good idea, given the narrow constraints of time that we have. While I found Wednesday to be the more engaging of the two classes last week (particularly due to the actual programming involved), I wish we had actually had some time to break into our groups and discuss our projects. I have little time outside of class which is available to me to assist on projects, and need the time in class to know where we are heading and what we plan on doing. I am also still waiting to hear back on when the date of the first assignment (the flashcards) will be due. I was glad to get confirmation on the information about space and enter being used to advance the program as opposed to just hitting space.

There are still a few things I am looking forward to hearing about. In particular more information about string manipulation (concatenation, substrings, etc) would be appreciated. Mentioning the .equals() function for strings was very important and I am glad that you touched base about it early on in the class.

I also think that having people who have the program or example up and running is an excellent way to get the class up and moving, while simultaneously allowing students to get to know each other better and freeing yourself up to continue talking or giving out additional information.

My only real question for right now is simply: What will happen with the blog postings? Do they get graded? Or do they merely count towards some sort of participation count? I ask because I have been posting them as asked, but there is really no way to tell if you have noticed that it is up, or commented on it in any way. I just want to make sure that my posts are not getting missed!


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