From CS1101C forums, IVLE:
Heading: Default Heading
Topic: Y CANT PROGRAMMIN B LIKE CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING
lukin at the disasterous results in the mid term, then labs ; i hav a few things to say.
first of all, i am a bginner in programmin. i hav got no previous xperience watsoever in programmin; but i kno a few things in animation software. wen i came here , i was shocked to hear that i gotta do a programmin module in first sem. "shocked" coz i knew peanuts abt C programmin.tho' a few ppl did PROGRAMMIN IN SECONDARY EDUCATION many of us did other things like biology, engineering drawing , electronics and other stuff. but wen i attended the first lecture, i found that there r many ppl like me( the survey of mr. raymond was a big solace to me)
i thought i wud b able to pick up just like i did in other modules. unfortunately the answer is no. dunno y?despite the fact i spend a lot of timein programmin, programmin to this date has always been a nitemare to me, but other modules r ok even tho' i found thm to b equally tuff in the bginnin.
i found that i wasnt the only one to be in such a crisis. there r many others like me . my question is " R WE DUMB IN PROGRAMMIN COZ WATEVER THE EFFORT WE PUT GOES WASTE?" OR" R WE COMPETING IN AN ARENA WHERE QUALITY OF PROGRAMMIN MODULE IS WORLD CLASS AND SO WE GUYZ HOO KNO A LITTLE STRUGGLE TO GRASP?"
also the fact that we beginners compete with "experts" is a big disadvantage coz GRADING IS ON RELATIVE BASIS and we r left gaspin on a hot sunny afternoon.
i am not tryin to say the syllabus shud b diluted. NO ;NOT AT ALL , AT ANY COST. but cant PROGRAMMIN MODULES FOLLOW THE SAME SYSTEM FOLLOWED BY CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING?
wat i mean is that onlyif u pass the QET ,( qualifying english test) u can take CTW.
else u will have to take some basic english modules that prepares u for CTW and gives u a thorough knowledge of fundamentals of english language. this not only improves our vocabulary but also builds r self confidence and builds in us a mindset that we'll b able to compete and rise to the demands of CTW
y not a similar mthdology for C PROGRAMMIN. beginners hoo kno peanuts shud b given ample time to learn the fundamentals and build a strong foundation of basic programmin skills . they shud b taught basic skills abt programmin (let it be A ZERO MC MODULE)
this wud also give thm a psychological edge and a"feel- good" atmosphere.
after all UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IS ALL ABT SKILL N KNOWLEDGE . to acquire those u need to b strong in
fundamentals. unfortunately the time frame is too short(coz we've gotta concentrate in OTHER modules as well) ur
so a basic pre requisite wud b a big boon for all bginners
ARE THEY ANY TAKERS?
SOC ARE U LISENING?
i dun kno wat i said was correct or incorrect. but i jus wanted to voice my opinion . thank u
Before school started, I heard lots of horror stories about how year one programming was such a killer, giving them sleepless nights after sleepless nights and in the end stepping out of the exam hall feeling that they got nothing out of the module. I have also heard of how disgusting the labs could be, always leaving students in frustration and despair as those questions were just out to kill them. I have also heard of how extremely disadvantage one would be without a background in computing before embarking on this module. Everyone kept giving me the impression that its going to be a nightmare. Yes, granted, it was tough. Yet, at the end of it, I am of the opinion that those rumors were just too exaggerated. Furthermore, on the contrary to what people said, I got the most out of this module. Other than programming, I learnt about problem solving, learnt how to come to terms with setbacks and most importantly I learnt about learning.
Complains after complains in the programming ivle forum whining about how disastrous the mid term test was, about how undoable the labs were, about how this module was killing them. The above post was just one of the many such grumbles. The poster claimed that programming was just too alien for him and that he experienced immerse difficulty in grasping the concepts. He complained further and perhaps pushing the blame to the fact that he knew nothing about programming and that beginners like himself are going to be in a very disadvantage position on the grading curve as he competes with “experts”.
Beginners struggling with C programming? Beginners dropping to the bottom of the curve? I doubt so. There are like 90% of the students in the module with little or absolutely no background in C and I seriously doubt that every beginner was having difficulty grasping those concepts. Most of my friends and classmates, all beginners in C, found the topics covered and the lab questions manageable. Perhaps the real problem came when we were introduced to pointers which can be very confusing at times; even 2-d arrays were manageable. But, we got through all that, without complaining and whining as though the world is going to end. In fact, I know of people with absolutely no background scoring better in mid term test than those who were supposedly in the advantage position. It does not matter whether you have the background or not, its about how open you are to accept and learn new things. Attitude matters more than aptitude. Well, I suppose you do not come to university just to do things you were familiar with and refuse to try or stay away from new things, do you? Also, the efforts you put in the subject counts. Our lecturer, Raymond Tan, reminded us right from the beginning, “The amount of time you spend in front of the computer doing programming will determine your grade.” Indeed, grasping programming concepts is not a matter of just reading the textbook; it involves getting some hands-on trying out those codes yourself.
So, the poster went on suggesting intro modules with zero modular credits for beginners to cope with the “shock” and to give them a little preview on the module they are going to pursuit.
Imagine an intro module to every tough subject and as a matter of fact, everything in uni is tough, we will see “intro to math”, “into to physics”,”intro to chemistry”, “intro to geography”, “intro to _________ (fill in whatever you wish to take)”, all zero MCs. Wonderful, terrific, superb idea indeed! Now, we can have a “feel good” environment, dun have to worry about grades of those subjects we are unfamiliar with and learning them at our own pace and very very likely extending our stay in nus to like what? 8 years? 10 years? He got to be kidding right? This is preposterous! Outrageously dumb to the max. And this guy needs such module to build up his confidence in tackling obstacles? Do you think there is such thing in the real world?
No, I do not take joy in making fun of people. But sometimes, I just cannot help it when I see such ridiculous shit coming out of fellow undergrads who are supposed to be the cream of the crop.