[Edu-sig] 9. Best approach to teaching OOP and graphics

Linda Grandell lgrandel at abo.fi
Wed Mar 23 13:02:15 CET 2005

How to assign the pairs has also been a question on my mind, so I am 
very glad this came up.

>>Pair programming is fine and works best when both are
>>of equal ability.
> ...
> * students with the top two grades are partners, next two, next two, and so on
> * Highest grade gets to pick partner from the class. Next highest
> grade that is not already on a team gets to pick partner from the
> class. Kind of like picking teams for team dodgeball, but with smaller
> teams)

I wonder if letting the students pair up for themselves could work? That 
would more or less be a variant of the second alternative above. Or does 
  this introduce the risk of weaker students pairing up with strong 
students doing less work? Even learning less?

> ...I remember a few counterexamples from my own experience. In most of
> these cases the (or three) programmers of heterogenous ability had a
> good personal relationship going into the project. In one case, the
> weaker programmer had a support role designing and implementing the
> procedure that would draw static graphics to the screen, while the
> stronger programmer wrote the logic etc.; in another case, the
> programmers had romantic ties that I exploited. For the lovebirds, I
> told them ahead of time that the weaker programmer (the boy) would
> have to be able to walk me through the code when they were done, and
> he was in fact able to do so.

Sounds just great! Using heterogenous groups would most certainly be an 
interesting experience from the teacher's point of view. To examine how 
the pairs distribute the work, who takes lead and so on. However, this 
might be outside of the scope of my research :)


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