Week 2 Update

This second week we completed the selection pages for selecting a programming language and a particular lesson, wrote the lesson plan for our first HTML lesson, and worked on the generic learning page that is used to teach each programming concept.  We also finished nailing down several of our key app components, identified several new models we want to use to keep track of user progress and save user answers, and refined our overall design.  We’re essentially going to save everything the user does or selects that way it can be closely analyzed.  Anyways, the whole app is starting to really take shape, and I can’t wait until we can start getting feedback from people in a couple weeks.

Then, from learning flow, we’ve ironed out how all the lessons will be defined.  For example, our first lesson plan consists of 10 short tutorials that focus on the basics of html like the paragraph tag, 20 quiz questions, and 10 test questions.  From a user perspective, they are introduced to a new concept, and then is immediately asked one quiz question on that same concept.  Then at the end, the user is tested a second time on these same concepts.  This equates to 10 tutorials, 10 quiz questions, and 5 test questions.  The other 10 quiz questions and 5 test questions are used along with other randomization techniques to ensure that if a user retakes the same lesson, it is different each and every time.  Additionally, new lessons build upon the old ones, so that each mechanic is further enforced.

Lastly, we think our lesson structure works great from a process flow and learning perspective; however, one possible issue that we have identified is that in our lesson plan we need to work on our vocabulary.  I think it was when I casually used 299,792,458m/s, also known as the speed of light, in one of my examples that I quickly realized just how much we have to do on this.  So, I talked with a couple of my teacher friends, and they are thrilled to give us a hand in making sure we’re always using the right terminology.  Also, they seemed excited about learning HTML as well.  Even though our app is designed first to work with a younger audience, I think there is a huge need for making programming less intimidating for all ages.  And this is exactly what we hope to achieve.

– tim

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