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 😉
I recently did a webinar with Kaitie from Asana Corporation, Using Asana in Education, talking about using Asana to help manage group projects as well as keep track of the multitude of things we have to do as instructors for each course we teach.
Patterns. They are so useful because we design things to do similar tasks over and over. Like a login screen. This book is filled with best practices and patterns on how to create a great user interface.
Christian and Erin have written a very readable volume that is indispensable for anyone creating software, especially if it is a social-based web application.
Each pattern has colorful examples describing the what, when, how, why as well as accessibility issues to be aware of, related patterns, and a list of example web sites. There are lots and lots of excellent screen shots showing how the pattern is used out on the Web that flow in and out of the text just at the right times.
The authors also include several anti-patterns: things that don’t enhance the user’s experience. These are just as valuable as the useful patterns. As you read about each anti-pattern you’ll say “Yes, I find that so irritating when ‘they’ do that.”
Other experts have been invited to the party as well and each chapter is interspersed with short articles that go into greater depth.
This information could be SO dry, and it originally was, but Christian threw out the first two versions and wrote the finished book in a talkative, friendly, fun-to-read manner.
I’m enjoying the read and am already using this as a reference as I talk with people about their web sites and what they want to accomplish.
I’m using ScreenFlow to create my onscreen videos. This is an amazing program that allows me to capture video and sound and edit using scrolling and panning. Mac only. What is displayed here is only the video portion of the more complete tutorials I offer as part of my online and face2face courses.
The videos shots of my whiteboard talks are taken using a very inexpensive ($150) Aiptek HD1080P pocket-size video. Chad Peterson, one of my students is working on the editing. These resulted from one of my online students asking me to record my entire class. That is very difficult, getting good sound, but I thought I’d try some simple videos that focused on specific concepts to see how enhance the learning activities for each module.
I’d be interested in your comments on how useful these would be to you as a student. Thanks!