Crowd-sourcing hints for tutorials via CSTA teachers

April 15, 2014 at 1:02 am 1 comment

Really interesting idea —’s Pat Yongpradit sent a note to all of CSTA, asking CS teachers to help provide hints for tutorials.  By reaching out to CSTA, they’re doing better than crowd-sourcing.  They’re CS-teacher-sourcing.

We’ve had millions of students try the tutorials. They’ve submitted over 11 million unique computer programs as solutions to roughly 100 puzzles.

We’ve mapped out which submissions are errors (ie they don’t solve the puzzle), and which are sub-optimal solutions (they solve the puzzle, but not efficiently).

Today, erroneous user submissions receive really unhelpful error feedback, such as “You’re using the right blocks, but not in the right way”. We want your help improving this, by providing highly personal feedback to very specific student errors. Watch the video below to see what we mean.

via Add hints to tutorials |

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. gasstationwithoutpumps  |  April 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I’m not sure that teacher-crowd-sourcing is necessarily going to work well, as different teachers have very different ideas about how much specific help to give. Some give enormous amounts of scaffolding, so that students are basically just filling in blanks and not doing any thinking. Others follow Dan Meyer’s advice to “be less helpful” ( and make students think about the problem, rather than effectively doing it for them. The example “You’re using the right blocks, but not in the right way” is terrible from the scaffolding viewpoint, but pretty good from the “be less helpful” viewpoint.

    Reconciling these different philosophies about the correct reaction to a student error could be difficult.


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