[racket-dev] guidelines on error messages -- please send feedback

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 3 21:25:27 EDT 2011

> I agree that simplifying the error messages is a good idea and will be
> extremely helpful, but is there a good reason not to *teach* students
> the students much of this vocabulary?

We will also be producing some kind of cheat-sheet for both teachers
and students to refer to.

In part, simplifying the vocabulary helps keep that sheet simple and
manageable, so eyes don't glaze over when people see it.

We also noticed that "teaching" has only so much effect.  We
correlated (first-year college) student knowledge of vocabulary with
what their professors used, after a whole term/semester of class.  We
found a positive but very small correlation between usage of a term by
a professor and students' knowledge of its meaning.

In short, all your suggestions are perfectly reasonable, and they are
largely complementary to what we're suggesting.  However, they are not
entirely orthogonal: we believe simplifying the vocabulary will only
help such efforts.


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