[Edu-sig] a non-rhetorical question

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Fri Jul 6 12:48:10 CEST 2007

In a message of Thu, 05 Jul 2007 18:48:49 EDT, "Andy Judkis" writes:
>I've just completed my 6th semester as a teacher, teaching 2 sections per
>semester of a 10th grade course that includes a 4 week introduction to 
>programming in Python.  Here's a question from one of my exams:
>    Write Python code that will ask the user how who is the best looking 
>teacher in the school.  The program must loop until the user responds eit
>"Mrs. McGrath" or "Mr. Judkis".  If the use responds "Mr. Judkis", the 
>program must print out "Excellent choice."  If the user responds "Mrs. 
>McGrath", the program must print out "Also a fine choice."  If the user 
>responds with anything else, the program must print out "Wrong, sorry." a
>ask again.
>Rather than catalog my frustrations, let me just pose a question to you 
>all -- how much Python exposure do you think it should take before a stud
>should be able to answer this question?  If a student can't even answer 
>this, is it reasonable to say that they have learned any programming at a
>(I know that they might have learned something -about- programming, but t
>is not the same thing.)
>Andy Judkis

One way to know a lot about programming, but to be unable to solve
this exam question is to not know how  to accept input from a terminal.
Could they have read teacher names from a file and solved the question?
from a command line?  From a gui toolkit?

Personally, I almost never need to use input or raw_input in
real life, so I always have to look it up whenever I do find I 
need it.  I suspect that I might fail your exam if you don't
allow me to browse python docs while writing it.


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