Saturday, 23 August 2008

1 down 51 to go.

So that was my 1st week in academia. Lots of new faces and names to remember, a load of educational chatter that had me staring blankly into peoples faces. The English names are not too bad, but I'm really struggling to remember a fraction of the Dutch ones.

I just hope my mouth wasn't open and drooling like a zombie when my brain overloaded and the saftey cut out kicked in.

I also have the wonderful notification that while still stuggling with this whirlwind of information and unfamiliar practices, that I have to prepare a years work for 3 (I think) courses for a week on Monday.

Oh and a schedule that dosen't seem to be quite finalised yet, since it has me in two places at once on Wednesday mornings. Hopefully that will get sorted soon, especially as there is an 8-30 start for 2nd year students on programming students.....up at 8-30? hmmmm I might just take a pillow to that class and catch up on my own sleep, cos there won't be many students there after the 1st week or 2.


Fortunatly I have finally managed to make sense of the university's online course plan system, so have been going through what was taught before and making notes on what I liked and didnt like about it. And having done that I've pulled a couple of books from the library which were used as refernce in the last couple of years.

Michael Dawsons excellent Beginning C++ Game programming is in there, though I've not seen much use of it in the course material, other than to cite a few examples, which is a shame as it really is an excellent book. I'll try to include a bit more of that to help the noobs along. If you want to learn to program in C++ I can't reccomend this book enough, it lays all the foundation work you'll ever need, so I'm pleased it's considered reccomended reading.

I'm a little torn in that as a new boy I don't want to be changing too much, but at the same time I don't feel too comfortable with the difficulty level that was set out as a start point in previous years. So I'm going to tinker a bit with the learning curve and lower it at the start, raising it in the middle and ending up at hopefully the same or better levels than previous years. I'm not confident enough to write an entire coruse but modifying whats there, adding some new stuff and removing some old stuff should produce the result I a majority of happy and progressing students.

My senior lecturer seems happy with this but wants to see my outline plan on Monday( so even less time) before I set it in stone. I guess so long as they achieve the required level of competecy at the end of the term, how I construct the learning curve should be up to me....I just have to remember I will have a fairly mixed bag of students and must try to keep them all interested regardless of their starting levels.

Of course I've no idea if the bulk of my class will be keen coding gods or, unwilling noobs. So I have to try to produce enough work to keep the keen coders happy while also producing simple enough explinations of what is being taught to get the noobs up to speed.

Welcome to education 101.

Students start arriving on Monday and will go through what I suppose is the equivilent of a rag week in the UK. I have the dubious honour of making my introductions to the entire new 1st year....

I must remember to buy some immodium and a cork when I go shopping this weekend.



Colin McNulty said...

How did the first week go?

Boring old Fart said...

Good, was a little nervous the 1st couple of lectures but got into the swing of things and really enjoyed it, especially the intereactive parts of the class and getting an idea of what everyone can and can't do and tailoring their assignments so that we're all leading up to the same thing.

1st week was very much a settling in, what C++ is, how it does things and establishing a top 10 of things to provide a core set od skills. Not too many struggled with that.

This week.....pointers...that'll be potentially a lot of fun.

Colin McNulty said...

> This week.....pointers...that'll be potentially a lot of fun.

I remember the first time I had to get my head round double pointers. Whilst understanding the concept, I couldn't see the point until I actually had to use them for the first time.