[plt-scheme] HTDP: How much do your students study?

From: Prabhakar Ragde (plragde at uwaterloo.ca)
Date: Sun Sep 7 14:14:28 EDT 2008

Grant wrote:

> How much do your students study?
> I suspect that when you do *ALL* of the work expected in the exercises
> it takes you much longer than you would have imagined to complete
> them; at least this is the case for me coming to HTDP having
> programmed prior to the book.
> Based on this week, I could easily imagine spending 9 hours a week,
> nights and weekends I mean, studying.

We tell students they should spend at least two hours on a course for 
every hour spent in lecture. Since we have 3 lecture hours a week (plus 
a tutorial hour in some classes), 10-12 hours per course is not 
unreasonable. Our students take five courses.

As Matthias said, the distribution of the time actually taken is broad, 
because some students do not follow the design recipe, or don't stop and 
seek help when they should, or dismiss the hints that we provide when 
they do, because we haven't given them the answer. Psychologically, it 
is too easy to think that the next change will result in "all tests 
passed!", even if the last fifty changes have not.

We don't ask our students to do every exercise in HtDP. We suggest some 
warmup exercises from the book, and then set them 5-10 questions per 
week which are a mix of harder HtDP exercises and ones we design 
ourselves. --PR

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