New Tutorial: JavaScript Rocks! Using Variables

Cover page for JavaScript Rocks! Using Variables tutorial.

I’ve just published a new programming tutorial as part of the JavaScript Rocks! series, Using Variables.

This interactive tutorial engages the student as they learn how to create and use variables in computer languages. It is designed for beginning web and programming programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Give examples of every day objects that are used like variables.
  • Create a variable using the keyword var.
  • Initialize a variable using the assignment “=” operator.
  • List at least three data types recognized by JavaScript.
  • Describe when to use the keyword var as well as when that is redundant.

A case study and code walk through is included giving the students a sense of how variables are used. The case study involves a basic form and a feedback page showing the user’s input.

View the interactive preview here.

It is available now at Teachers Pay Teachers

Parson Problems for Interactive Assessment

Example of a Parson Problem

In his blog, Mark Guzdial highlights Parson’s Problems offer the same learning gains as writing or fixing code. Mark highlights how useful Parson’s Problems can be for interactive learning modules.

Not Just Computer Science

The article emphasizes how useful Parson Problems can be for computer science. Many other fields use this same type of learning instruction. For example, a healthcare module might use this technique to ensure students learn specific steps for procedures like taking a person’s blood pressure or drawing blood.

Increasing the Challenge with Distractors

To increase the challenge to students, add distractors. Instead of one-to-one answers, add extra items not critical to the process.

Try a Parson Problem Yourself!

Here is a sample Parson Puzzle. Students can check their learning after finishing the tutorial on using CSS Flexbox.  The tutorial shows the code with examples. This puzzle summarizes the content midway through the tutorial. Notice the distractors.

You may not be familiar with Flexbox coding, so here is a screenshot of the correct order 😉

Flexbox answer to Parson ProblemFor more details, read the original study, Parson’s Programming Puzzles: A Fun and Effective Learning Tool for First Programming Courses by Dale Parsons and Patricia Haden.

This sample Parson Puzzle was created using Articulate Storyline 360.