Discussion on: I teach the vocation of software development to hundreds of people each year, Ask Me Anything!

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Steve Brownlee Ask Me Anything

how do you help when students are struggling with larger mental models

Practice, practice, practice

mindset — what kind of strategies do you use in the first 6 weeks?

We recently documented all of the strategies that we use, across 5 different instruction teams.

  1. Lightning exercises - Small, targeted exercises that students can complete in a few minutes, and then live coded by a member of the Learning Team. Helps them realize they know more than they think.
  2. Morning memes - Motivational memes created by the Learning Team related to something they are currently experiencing.
  3. Foundation workshops - Before class begins, junior instructors will cover foundational concepts that some students need reinforcement on since the lead instructor needs to keep moving the class forward.
  4. Being intentional about creating an environment - both for students and from instructional team - that mistakes are not to be feared, but to be seen as a learning opportunity.
  5. Personal professional stories about when shit happened and the world didn't end
  6. Have students talk at their currrent level of understand about the code and coach on how to ask questions, and empathize about their understanding