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Programming, Python, and Student-Directed Projects

Description

The Advanced Programming unit in the ACT Senior Secondary Curriculum provides students with an opportunity to encounter computer science concepts usually reserved for first and second year tertiary education. The implementation of this course at Gungahlin College has focused on providing students with a spattering of these concepts (such as recursion, regex and big-o notation), and then allowing the students to identify a field of computer science to dive into. This is spaced out over a semester, requiring the students to research their chosen computer science concept, and go through the experience of writing a python application capable of providing a practical implementation of that concept. Each year, these projects are reviewed by a panel of tertiary education lecturers and representatives, and have consistently been deemed as equivalent to projects delivered by second or third year IT undergraduates. A lot of the success of this programme can be attributed to the approaches taken with the delivery of the subject, as well as the adoption of Python as the language of choice. This presentation will overview the classroom environment, and how using Python and systems like Grok Learning have enabled a far more student directed approach. The students from this programme will then be given the opportunity to demonstrate their findings and discuss the impacts this approach has had on their education.

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