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Screencasts for "Programming for Everyone"

Cullen Schaffer (Computer Science)

Cullen Schaffer's Programming for Everyone is meant for a broad audience--from majors in the humanities to physics students to computer science minors. Professor Schaffer designed the course to expose students with no programming skills to programming as an approach to problem solving that has intellectual value beyond its pure practicality.  The plan was not to lecture but rather to have student solve real, practical problems of inherent interest beginning on the first day of the semester.

Professor Schaffer achieved this goal by creating a collection of more than 100 screencasts-mini-lectures of no more than five minutes that students can access online. These screencasts were created using Jing, stored on a streaming media server, and integrated into course units Professor Schaffer created in Blackboard.

The course material consists of a sequence of online units contained in folders within a Blackboard course site.  Each unit provides detailed, step-by-step instructions about how to solve a particular problem and then poses a set of additional problems that can be solved using some combination of techniques from the current and previous units.  Solutions for the additional problems are given in the form of screencasts.

Students work at their own pace in a computer classroom, working through all the problems in a unit during a class session.  They then take practical tests through which they demonstrate their understanding by writing a program to specifications. This mode of instruction serves a broad range of students, allowing each student to work at a comfortable pace.

"Programming for Everyone" screencasts

Sample screencast