Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Undergrad Class Again

Earlier in the year I wrote about experiencing undergrad class again. Later in the semester I sat in on two lectures of my own department's intro programming class, as part of an observation for my "teaching undergraduates" class. I was in the same horrible classroom/auditorium I was in for the other class, but it was much emptier and thus quieter.

Overall, I was very impressed with the faculty member giving the lectures. Sure, he wasn't perfect, but he had a great energy to him. This is one of the reasons I had chosen to observe him over some other professors; I knew he brought a lot of energy and excitement to teaching at the graduate level, and I really wanted to see that happen at the undergraduate level.

In the second of the two lectures he brought his research area (Computer Vision) into it. He helped the kids think about how they might go about solving problems in the area with what they had learned in the class: arrays, I/O streams, etc. Really, I think if more professors used this type of lecture throughout their intro courses, we would have a better retention rate in Computer Science. It takes a step back from what can often be boring topics, and shows that there is an interesting use for all of it after all. I hope when I start teaching I am able to bring this sort of thing to my lectures as well.

No comments: