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#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Post icon  Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:01 PM

With GridWorld, I've seen AP Computer Science teachers utilize it in one of two ways. They either spend a unit on it to familiarize students with the API, or they utilize it all year so that students really know the API and learn the concepts at the same time.

So which approach do you all think is better and why? Should instructors be incorporating GridWorld all year long? How do you all think GridWorld should be utilized in class? If its bugs were worked out, would this change your opinion?

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#2 Dogstopper  Icon User is online

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:31 PM

My teacher took a third option. Wait until the last minute and then gave us tests on the subject a week after we were introduced. So, unfortunately, I cannot give any useful advice on how it should be taught, but I can tell you that this was NOT the way to do it....
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#3 Zekorov  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:35 PM

I'm not even in AP Computer Science and my teacher hasn't shown us GridWorld yet... i did see the file though on the computer at school... i really don't know much about it.... i really wish i had taken AP Comp. Science though but my schedule at school didn't allow for it, so i'm in a regular programming I class. I'm more like Programming II though in the class. there's a couple kids in my class that are in "Advanced Programming" and don't even have to do what the rest of the class does. lol Stupid schedules messed everyone up. lol
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:37 PM

@Dogstopper: If you were given the same packet that they give you on the AP Exam, I don't see how that's a bad thing? GridWorld is just an API, and as long as you know your OOP concepts and a basic overview of the API, the AP questions should be pretty straight-forward as long as you have the AP packet with your assessments.
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#5 bcranger  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:15 PM

My teacher spent a unit on it...probably around 2 weeks. I had a pretty good grasp so I didn't use the API given during the actual exam.

However, I'd say the year-round approach would be better just so the students are as familiar as possible. That would pose some challenges though since most students won't know much about Java until 2nd semester.

Even if you have the API, there are some points which would be hard to earn on the AP exam unless you have been exposed to. I can't remember the exact one, but I do remember for some of the actors you had to check if they were removed from the grid before adding them, etc so unless you had known that fact, you probably wouldn't have checked for null or anything.

As far as the concept of actors and what-not, I guess its more appealing to some students because of the visual appeal i.e. moving bugs around in a box (lol) . But personally, I didn't like GridWorld too much...they should incorporate the AB material instead. GridWorld just goes over inheritance/polymorphism/more OO design which you SHOULD be familiar with prior to GridWorld though the AP CS syllabus doesnt agree.
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#6 SarumanTheWhite  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:21 PM

My HS never had AP Computer Science or any of that fancy crap, I learned everything the hard way; by myself. From looking at it I don't even see the point. What's it trying to focus on? Trying to teach the Java language or CS concepts? It's hard to tell perhaps I didn't research hard enough.
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#7 Dogstopper  Icon User is online

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:23 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 18 December 2010 - 10:37 PM, said:

@Dogstopper: If you were given the same packet that they give you on the AP Exam, I don't see how that's a bad thing? GridWorld is just an API, and as long as you know your OOP concepts and a basic overview of the API, the AP questions should be pretty straight-forward as long as you have the AP packet with your assessments.


You know...because I wasn't very good at programming at the time....

View PostSarumanTheWhite, on 18 December 2010 - 11:21 PM, said:

My HS never had AP Computer Science or any of that fancy crap, I learned everything the hard way; by myself. From looking at it I don't even see the point. What's it trying to focus on? Trying to teach the Java language or CS concepts? It's hard to tell perhaps I didn't research hard enough.


Yah...me too...for the most part
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:47 PM

View PostSarumanTheWhite, on 19 December 2010 - 01:21 AM, said:

My HS never had AP Computer Science or any of that fancy crap, I learned everything the hard way; by myself. From looking at it I don't even see the point. What's it trying to focus on? Trying to teach the Java language or CS concepts? It's hard to tell perhaps I didn't research hard enough.

GridWorld is tested on the AP exam to see if students understand basic OOP concepts. Overall, it's a poorly written and buggy API. The way it's used by instructors, though, varies greatly from school to school.
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#9 Parrish  Icon User is offline

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Re: GridWorld Unit or GridWorld All Year?

Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:22 PM

I had the same option as DogStopper. My teacher basically just gave it to us and went from there. I had to self teach myself most of the exam, getting a 3 on it. But I didn't receive credit for it because my college wanted a 4. I would suggest year round and introducing the rest of the exam mid year of so.
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