Out dated curriculums.

Do you care that you are being cheated out of your money?

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47 Replies - 8915 Views - Last Post: 13 September 2010 - 02:57 PM

#1 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Out dated curriculums.

Post icon  Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:01 AM

So in the C++ forum we always see these poor kids trying to get information on how to use Turbo C++ 3.0/3.1 which came out way back int 1991/93. The Turbo C++ compiler is WAY out of date and does not conform to standards and still produces 16bit code which can not even be run on many modern computers.

Now I used to be of the opinion that learning to program has little to do with the language and so learning C/C++ on some outdated platform is ok because what you are trying to learn is just how to think programatically. However, after seeing many of the assignments and seeing so many of these programmers struggle to use their knowledge and are constantly having to relearn things that they thought they knew.

So I have been getting passionate over the thought that they should force thier school to update the curriculum to modern standards. I think every 20 year or so is not unreasonable to ask of a school.

But I have also been thinking: I paid for my schooling, there is no WAY I would let them get away with teaching 20 year old material in a field that is so modern. I mean some of these students can't compile and run their programs for class using the schools computers!!! WHY do students let their schools get away with this!!! They are being cheated! They are paying for an education and being fed irrelevant information!

Do students not realize that they are paying customers?

As far as I am concerned any school that out of date should loose accreditation (if they even have it) -- maybe that would get them to wake up.

What really bothers me the most is that this is a SIMPLE thing to fix. So it is not like the students would be asking the school to spend millions of dollars to fix something... heck it should not cost anything! Though I suppose maybe there is the cost of reprinting slides and updating course materials... but it still should be a minimal expense.

Why do students let themselves be cheated?

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Replies To: Out dated curriculums.

#2 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:27 AM

I completely agree, although it is on a much smaller scale I sometimes get annoyed because I am in college and the majority of the students are not familar with either programming, scripting, or anything else!

So we started of at the basics, as one would expect.. this being HTML. Fine, the course covers everything so HTML is the best place to start for the web design part.

Then the teacher moved on from tags etc. to almost forcing us to use FRAMES! I have been using HTML for the best part of the last 10 years (I am 16) and even back then I swear more people used tables than frames. But he says that frames are much more organised than tables... he did not even know what a Div is!

So I challanged him, which I do not like doing, and asked him to make a basic html site in frames while I would use divs (though I did use a couple of php includes and a little CSS), to see which would use the least lines. Needless to say, his was rather large.. and that was without any CSS!
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#3 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:54 PM

...yea that is pretty Netscape era. IFrames have their uses but most people do tables or divs... I personally like divs over tables (luckily I don't actually do much web design... I just make all of the buttons and gadgets work).
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#4 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:08 PM

I too, completely agree, however, the situation at my school is a little bit different. In order to take AP Computer Science (Using Java), you first have to learn BASIC, and not only that, but Turbo BASIC. I got fed up with the school counselors and went to the teacher. He heard I'd been doing Java for a year already and I wrote him a GUI.

He let me in. Unfortunately, I had to sit through a year of basics...and there are no higher classes at my high school, so now I have to go to the colleges.
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#5 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:08 PM

I agree completely with this... Now I understand having institutions coming out with say a technology that came out 2008 and teaching it in 2009/2010, but teaching something that came out in 1991 is completely ridiculous.
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#6 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:10 PM

Vote for this article on DZone: http://www.dzone.com...ng_cheated.html
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#7 hartra34  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:18 PM

Overall I'm pretty lucky with the school I go to, University of Kentucky. they are big about teaching abstraction in programming and how to learn to program rather than exact syntax and we use up to date software to do so(currently visual studio pro 2008)
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#8 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:27 PM

Why are we stuck in an age that supports legacy software? When I was in school, 20 years ago, we were using things used in the real world. Where are you going to fing Turbo C++? As NickDMax pointed out, it is terribly outdated. They are still teaching VB6, which was good in its day, but the world has moved on. Part of the problem might be that the teachers themselves are legacy. They aren't updating their skills as new software, and ideas, come out. Maybe they should be recycled with the software??

I think part of the problem is the lack of standards when it comes to education period. Things vary from school to school, state to state and country to country. I know that, when I was a student, the differect schools all had different courses for the same degree/diploma. A there courses you took for a BSc in CS in one school was much different from a BSc in CS from another school. Looking at online ciriculums, they still are. If a student picks the wrong school they will be left far behind others when they enter the workplace, if they have the skills in what the job market requires today.

You are right, Nick, students shouldn't have to put up with this. They are the ones footing the bill here. Demand something better!

That said, we, as tax payers, should demand more from our secondary schools. There are high school students moving into university/college who are not prepared at all for what waits for them in university. I was because I had a great mentor. He encouraged me to try more difficult things than the other students when I was finishing assignments in 1/3 of the time as others. For example, while the rest of the class was struggling with simple assignments in Pascal, he had me learning C at the same time. Why aren't there more teachers like that???

// Sorry for the rant.
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#9 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:33 PM

AMEN!
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:32 PM

View PostSixOfEleven, on 14 Jan, 2010 - 04:27 PM, said:

Why are we stuck in an age that supports legacy software?

Because of the entire issue of upgrading to the 286, to the 386, to the 486 & so on. In the day when memory upgrades (from 8086 to 286) meant that existing software wouldn't run, software was at the expense of thousands of dollars. So if a hardware manufacturer suddenly pissed off a company that had existing software, they would swamp their good name. To correct this they made adjustments to allow backwards compatibility. In hind sight it's been a huge mistake. However if you think about the rationalization of the then current time & trend, you'd be a fool not to support it.



View PostSixOfEleven, on 14 Jan, 2010 - 04:27 PM, said:

That said, we, as tax payers, should demand more from our secondary schools.

Vote with your dollars. Don't support schools that have a crap curriculum. Unfortunately the countries that I see the most of these students at are overseas.

Guess where we're sending all our tech jobs...
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#11 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:50 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 14 Jan, 2010 - 09:32 PM, said:

.Because of the entire issue of upgrading to the 286, to the 386, to the 486 & so on. In the day when memory upgrades (from 8086 to 286) meant that existing software wouldn't run, software was at the expense of thousands of dollars. So if a hardware manufacturer suddenly pissed off a company that had existing software, they would swamp their good name. To correct this they made adjustments to allow backwards compatibility. In hind sight it's been a huge mistake. However if you think about the rationalization of the then current time & trend, you'd be a fool not to support it.


Yes, you are right about that. There was a technological explosion. Newer, faster hardware was coming out at an amazing rate. Consider what you can buy today compared to the mid 90s. You can by a terabyte drive for what I paid for a 2GB drive. I guess the world has to catch up to something that is ever changing. I wouldn't mind so much if it was in the past 5 years but some things are still stuck in the 90s. This is just a rant.
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#12 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:22 AM

Yet another student looking for advice on how to run Turbo C on a modern 64bit platform.

Doesn't it just hurt you to imagine all of that money being wasted? Paying to go to a school (directly or though scholarships) to learn outdated material that is EASILY updated.

I can *sort of* give a pass to public primary/secondary schools that have old text books and software agreements. I would imagine that updating text books for a school district can be quite expensive, then there are software license concerns which requires lawyers and politicians.

But Universities really have no excuse. I want to blame lazy professors who just will not take the time to learn anything new. But to be honest the true fault is in the hands of the students who continue to pay for their poor education.
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#13 Mila  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:33 AM

You should have seen the looks I got when I was wandering around asking for programming help in ALGOL 68...

But yes, the curriculums are woefully inadequate. My school finally got rid of their antiquated compiler design course, but doesn't cover any of the modern .NET languages (with the exception of C++/CLI). Heck, we have one database management course offered once every three years, our assembly language class teaches MIPS, and I managed, as a junior, to take an entire semester of classes without having a single programming course.

But we do teach agile programming, so I suppose not all hope is lost.
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#14 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:34 AM

View PostNickDMax, on 15 Jan, 2010 - 11:22 AM, said:

But Universities really have no excuse. I want to blame lazy professors who just will not take the time to learn anything new. But to be honest the true fault is in the hands of the students who continue to pay for their poor education.


if (legacyProfessor == true || legacySoftware == true) {
	students->revolt();
}


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#15 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Out dated curriculums.

Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:37 AM

The issue would resolve itself if students knew how to recognize and avoid schools that did this. The problem is, if this is their first foray into the CS world, they might not be aware of the inadequacies until their first semester/year/whatever is over. By then they are economically vested, considering credit trading/transfers/whatnot.

After hearing all of these horror stories I feel very fortunate that I avoided all of the hullabaloo.
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