Home > Virtually Learning > Learning something new (Interactive Programming with Python) pt.2

Learning something new (Interactive Programming with Python) pt.2

I’ve just finished the fourth week of my Rice Coursera course, Interactive Programming with Python.

The idea of the course is to teach programming through having students recreate classic videogames in the Python programming language.  To facilitate this, one of the teachers (Scott Rixner) created a web-based Python platform called CodeSkulptor.   An interesting thing about CodeSkulptor is that he had to create it using JavaScript, a more web-friendly language, and makes a joke in one lecture about what a pain programming in JavaScript is.

The video lectures do a good job of helping you get to know the professors as people, which I think helps.  Some day I’m going to see one of these guys walking on the Rice Campus and walk up to them babbling, forgetting that we’ve never met.  Hopefully fame won’t go to their heads.

I haven’t yet developed a full understanding of how the course’s lessons will help me outside of class, but I am learning how to program within the framework provided.  It’s a slow process, I just have to be patient.

I have a standard workflow, moving towards the assignment due date Saturday at midnight.

  • Sunday-Monday: recuperate
  • Tuesday: do the mandatory 5 evaluations of classmates’ projects and a self-assessment.  Watch one more lecture.
  • Wednesday:  try to watch every lecture at least once and go through some examples.
  • Thursday:   Look over again, letting it seep into the brain and procrastinating.
  • Friday: Do both quizzes for the week.  The class  allows you to take quizzes up to 5 times until you get 100%,  That really breaks the inertia because I’m not scared to take the test.  Read all about the mini-project, watch the video lecture on it again and check the grading rubric.
  • Saturday:  spend about 5-6 hours completing the project

Problem with this is that if I have other things going on I haven’t left myself much leeway to finish.

This Friday I am taking an all-day  GIS Vector workshop at UT Austin, which means I’d better get cracking on the IPP course.  My daughter’s never been to Austin, so my wife will drive up and take her to the Capitol and various other free stuff.  In the evening we’re going to try to see Austin’s famous bats head out to feed.

– Andrew Taylor

Categories: Virtually Learning
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