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[ale] Teach yourself classes



I find this Peer Group Instruction idea very appealing and intiguing.

While there are obvious advantages to learning from experienced 
instructors, there are a lot of people whose life situations (schedules, 
finances, etc.) can make participating in traditional classroom options 
difficult. Not everyone is well suited to the challenges and discipline 
of self teaching, either.

>From my own work as a college instructor I know that interaction and 

accountablity among classmates are often vital aids to the learning 
process. If a peer instructed class is comfortably sized (say, 5 to 10 
people) and its participants are committed to the process, I can see how 
the group interchange could substitute for an instuctor fairly well.  
Given a good textbook to work from, "skill" oriented subjects such as 
computer programming would seem especially well suited to the method.

I'd be up for organizing and participating in a Peer Group Instructed 
class on most any of the mainstream programming, CGI and scripting 
languages. Even if the study subject is something I have experience with, 
I'm sure the group dynamics would help me expand and improve on what I 
know.

I would second Charles' suggestion of a meeting place like Innovox Lounge 
as well. If that ends up the location of choice I can also help with 
facility arrangements. There's high speed network access and the meeting 
room is quite private, though participants would probably need to kick in 
a few dollars "rent" to insure availability on a regular basis.

Anyone else up for a casual 10 week PGI course in C? C++? Java? PHP? Perl?


aaron



 



On Friday 22 March 2002 09:00, you wrote:
> We tried this approach to learning Java at a previous job. The text we
> used was Bruce Eckel's _Thinking_In_Java_, 2nd edition (Prentice Hall,
> New Jersey, 2000, ISBN 0-13-027363-5). The class was composed primarily
> of professional coders with strong backgrounds in C and C++ but limited
> or no Java experience.
>
> In its favor, you're pretty much forced to read the material. Going
> over it with others can help you get it better, and having to explain
> it to other folks keeps you honest.
>
> Against it, it's difficult to keep a study group going, and the larger
> the group the harder it gets.  Your understanding of language concepts
> can vary according to the (random) quality of the person leading the
> discussion for that chapter. I've also had good luck teaching myself
> from books, but it often hinged on doing the exercises as well as
> reading the text. We were on a schedule which made it hard for me to
> cover both the material and the exercises, which limited its
> effectiveness for me.
>
> If you can figure out a way to do the exercises and spend time on them
> in the 'teach yourself' classes, this can be effective and k00l. I
> might-could even be innarested in helping with something like this,
> perhaps at Innovox? I've just coded my very first production Java
> program, and my knowledge of the language is still weak in many areas.
>
> -- CHS
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Fowler [mailto:cfowler at outpostsentinel.com]
> Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 7:01 PM
> To: ale at ale.org
> Subject: [ale] Teach yourself classes
>
>
> A friend of mine told me that he learned Java at
> a teach yourself class.  Basically it is a
> group of people that chose a topic and a book.  Each
> week they meet and it the responsibility of teaching
> falls on a different person.  It was a chapter a week.
> Has any people here thought about doing something like
> that?
>
> I have purchased *many* books on various topics.  I teach myself
> but I would guess that this method would be even better.  It provides
> accountability and help.
>
>
> Chris
>
> ---
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