[Squeakland] Suggestions for pedagogical examples in Squeak?
richared at ifi.uio.no
Mon Feb 16 09:21:30 PST 2004
If any of you have any helpfull information about my questions below, I
will be very
I recently finished my Masters thesis - called "Learning OOP using
environments - An Experimental study" - at the University of Oslo. I now
work as a
researcher in the COOL (Comprehensive Object-Oriented Learning) project
here in Oslo.
Information about the COOL project can be found on
In this project we are trying to explore different methods for teaching OOP
at what others have done and experimenting ourselves. My job is conducting
experiments and gathering as much data as possible. We are currently trying
up new experiments and one of them will be attempted on children of 11-12
The reason for selecting this age group is because of having to use an
We are aiming a three days experiment where we will try to teach the
Object Oriented concepts. We have decided not to focus on code as we feel
a risk this can get boring. Instead we are focusing on general OO
the use of a graphical tool therefore seems like the way to go. Right now
considering Squeak and Alice.
I finally come to the reason I write this post: I am looking for some good
off activities in Squeak to present to our group of subjects. Something
educational and fun. The hard part will be finding activities that will be
interesting. I have been looking at the Internet for some examples and I
have found a
few good ones. I really liked the Race car example as it captures good
points about OO:
That there are multiple ojects in one system that have certain
characteristics and that
one object (the steering wheel) can affect the other object (the car). If
we in addition
make a race track and race conditions and get the students to race their
cars, we are
really talking fun and educational at the same time! But I would like more
than just this one, something that can appeal to people who don't like cars
examples that illustrate other aspects of OO. Here are a few suggestions to
feel the pupils should be introduced to. There may be too many here and I
forgotten some and a couple may not be very good, but here goes:
1. A computer program consists of many objects.
2. An object is an "independent" chunk of information.
3. Objects can affect each other and change each others behavior.
4. We have different types of objects.
5. We can program the objects to a certain behavior.
6. Simple pseudo code.
7. Not all objects need to contain all sort of information, It is important
relevant information to go into an object (A steering wheel, doesn't
need the color
of the car, for instance).
8. How to make a model of a larger computer system. To make drawings of
what we need.
If any of you know of any good examples on the Net where it is possible to
inspiration, I would be very gratefull. Or if you have examples you have
used in your
classes, that would also be great. I am not asking for complete examples,
of topics and such. I have been tossing a few ideas around but more input
would be very
Thank you for your time, it was a long post.
Cand.scient. Department of Informatics, University of Oslo
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