This week I am in Redmond WA at a two day workshop around Code Hunt being run by Microsoft Research and the developers behind Code Hunt. After day one I can say I have learned a lot. I’ve been using Code Hunt with my honors programming students. I started using it with last semester’s class but have been using it right from the beginning this semester. While I have used the default question set and also included puzzles in Office Mix recordings I really got into developing my own Zone for my students. As you can see I have four basic sectors each with 3 to 6 puzzles. I’m going to expand that over time. BTW the Code Hunt designer documentation is available online here. I’m planning on blogging some about that soon.
One of the things I learned more about today was the ability of a zone developer to get information about how users are doing with the puzzles from a dashboard. How do I get to the dashboard? Pretty simple so I wonder how I didn’t fall into this earlier. From user settings I can open a dashboard and see some status of how my students are doing.
Here is a look at the dashboard for my class (student names removed)
We just started on decision structures which is why most of the class hasn’t finished those puzzles. The outlier in the middle is me by the way. Most of the top students have had some previous programming experience. But not all. Some people are just picking things up quickly. Some of the people at the bottom have missed an above average number of school days. I’ll know to spend some time with them one on one to help them catch up.
I’m using the data, especially the number of failed tries, to understand what puzzles are giving students issues. I feel that probably indicates something I could/should teach differently or better. On the other hand, that some of the students have worked their way beyond what we have done is class is encouraging.
Something else I have done this week was to ask the students to all describe one of the puzzles that is giving them problems. I am hoping to learn more about how they think about solving puzzles, what concepts they need to learn or learn better to move forward and what is coming easy. Code Hunt, which students seem to really like using, is helping me get a better understanding about what and how my students are learning. This is pretty exciting to me.