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#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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GridWorld Case Study

Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:47 PM

In College Board's AP Computer Science curriculum, the GridWorld case study is weighted heavily, being worth about 25% of the AP Exam. For those unfamiliar with it, College Board provides the framework to work in, including the GUI (the Grid) and many of the character and critter classes along with a manual designed to direct students to extend the existing code using OOP concepts.

What do you all think about GridWorld? Is it appropriate to weight this single portion of the exam so heavily? Are the skills learned worth spending so much time on a single unit and/or appropriate for a 100-level Intro to Programming class?

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Replies To: GridWorld Case Study

#2 toshiro  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:33 PM

I think that GridWorld has its place in forcing students to take in different variables in a "world". But I think a more practical application would be more open-ended class writing. Like part A, which asks for code implementation within the framework of another project. This is closer to how college exams and programming works. ie. I have yet to write a GUI-driven project yet in college.
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#3 erik.price  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

I guess the element of introducing students to interacting with code other people wrote is nice, but I feel it is emphasized way too heavily in the course. There are tons more computer science related topics that could be added into the curriculum if GridWorld was removed, which I feel in the long run would be much more beneficial.

My experience with it has just been to memorize another API so far, but I haven't taken the AP test yet.
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#4 toshiro  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 13 February 2010 - 03:50 PM

i think reducing the emphasis on GridWorld would be good. We spent almost a month on it. The addition of more algorithms would be good and keep gridworld to either CS A or B, but not both. Even though i think last spring was the last time for the CS AP exam B :cry2: .
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:05 PM

I agree. I think what GridWorld provides in terms of extending others' code is very beneficial, but way overemphasized to the point of neglecting other critical topics like Data Structures. I believe that we should be covering LinkedLists, Queues, and Stacks at least in the A course.

@Toshiro: Yes, unfortunately, College Board canned the AB course. It's a shame, b/c the A course isn't challenging in the least.
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#6 erik.price  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 14 February 2010 - 06:26 PM

I would love to see AB reinstated, or at least a more challenging level introduced. I believe it was canceled because there weren't enough students taking it, so I doubt it will be available again unless there is a surge in interest for the subject.
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 14 February 2010 - 07:19 PM

That's exactly why it was cancelled. There were only ~5000 students taking the exam annually. Of course, try finding qualified teachers and quality curricula to prepare students for the course as well.
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#8 xCraftyx  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Case Study

Posted 17 March 2010 - 03:09 PM

GridWorld really, really bugs me. It might have to do with the fact that i know more about programming than my teacher (literally), but it seems excessively watered down. Like it's good for teaching inheritance but that seems like pretty much it. I'm rewriting it to represent a game of Call of Duty :lol: for my ap portfolio but other than that it seems pretty useless. For some reason I think they geared it towards average-less than average students...there are a couple of kids in my class that still struggle with writing methods :glare:
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