I told a friend of mine I was doing Python programming language and some time later when I mentioned that I was doing programming again she called it 'the snake thing'. I found that amusing heh.
I think this will be the most interesting mod this sem for a two main reasons.
Programming is fun
I think programming is not for everyone. There will be people who are completely lost, confused, have no idea what is going on and programming will not feel very fun for these people. Instead, there will be plenty of frustration.
If you love logic puzzles though, programming is really fun. In essence, programming requires you to use very basic rules to create an increasingly structure that can do fancy things. The emphasis in class is more about how you think, rather than the language itself.
Yesterday I completed one of the assignments which required you to create a function that could create a type of complex picture from simple pictures. To do that, I first imagine how I was going to get a particular final picture, break down the steps to get there, then write a few more complex functions from simpler functions to enable you to perform those steps. Finally I generalised the formula so you could change more variables.
Not everyone would enjoy that. Especially with how computers are 'stupid' and you may have to spend time figuring out how to give very precise instructions as well as fixing errors. I enjoyed it though.
I don't know when people started talking about gamification in education but I started hearing more about it only when I started uni. The idea is that students learn better when you allow students to learn through games. A classic easy way to do this is through achievements, where students can unlock achievements for completing certain tasks, thus giving them more incentive to do so.
Well, I'm not surprised that the school of computing is the one with gamification being applied heh. For this module, I don't do assignments. Instead, I have tranings, missions and side-quests. Instead of having a piece of paper with instructions written on it, I had a storyline. For the picture assignment above for example, it was a side quest where I was a rune magician trying to manipulate magical runes with my wizardry powers. Only one missed opportunity for them, they should have called the more complex functions we had to create spells heh.
On top of that, I have achievements, experience points and levels. Heck, part of my final grade is going to be based on what level I am at the end of the course. As you can see in the picture above, someone is currently number one on the leaderboards heh =p. Ok fine to be fair, I believe many people at this point can tie my position in experience it's just that I finished my assignment early.
So yea, this mod is cool. It's probably the first time I find myself looking forward to do my work. Heck, my lecture was two days ago and I finished all my assignments (missions, sidequests, tranings, optional trainings even) by the next day, and now I'm already itching to do more stuff but I have nothing to do. I really do enjoy this and I think I could easily have been a computing student. Is it too late to change course? xD
On another note, I found a way to be more efficient with my time. Usually I procrastinate a fair bit and can't make myself sit still and chiong alot of work in one shot unless I'm under time pressure. I found out though, that I can do my other work first, and then when I'm tired I switch to coding and so end up managing to finish more work heh. Doing programming work is like taking a break.
Such fun. Too bad I don't have any more space to do more programming mods unless I overload. Guess since I got the ball rolling though, I could probably learn beyond this by myself using the free websites available.
Heck, I think I'll sign up for one of those right now.