I’ve been teaching programming in Computer Science for fifteen years and I’m always looking for ways to make it better. Most recently I’ve been focussing on how students can take better notes when learning the concepts of programming through code, and I think I have a working model for note taking when dealing with code examples.
There is compelling evidence that hand-writing aids in the retention of information, so it’s important to ask students to hand write their notes when learning about a topic and programming is no exception.
After lots of versioning and trial and error I’ve come up with a two-page (or one double sided print) to support students in clear and useful note taking when learning code.
The front of the sheet is designed for notation of code samples and includes:
- 18 code lines with indentation guides to support the syntax of Python and Pseudo as well as properly formatted code in other languages
- Line-by-line annotation to encourage clear, descriptive explanations of code blocks
- Topic, Concept, Filename, ELI5 (explain like I’m five) and Keywords boxes to encourage students to think about and explain what they’ve learned.
- RAG rating for instant access to levels of understanding
The back is set up for further analysis, including:
- Trace tables to dry run algorithms and code samples
- Notes lined section for students own notes about the topics
- Sections for Date and the Programming language to allow for searching later
- Cheat sheet to allow students to identify key parts of code that they can reuse later
- WWW, EBI section to allow evaluation of their practice
I’d really love to see what you can achieve by giving these a go, print them out for your students and run your programming lessons as normal – hopefully you’ll see the same sort of improvements that I am.
Go on, grab ’em – they’re free! If you want to support my work and say thanks then consider buying my classroom posters.
These remain the copyright of lessonhacker.com and are licensed to you for use freely in your lessons without modification. They should not be edited, remixed or reused in any other way and are definitely not for reuse in a commercial sense without written permission.