school project impairing student creativity?

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#1 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:31 PM

Alright everyone, I would like to hear your thoughts on this type of thing.... do your current school projects allow you to think/go outside the box or are you stuck to one specific idea to make it easier for the teacher to mark or for some other reason?

Cheers
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#2 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:35 PM

In my school (Independence Senior High) thinking outside the box is actually encouraged and you get a better grade if you accomplish the task better than expected by the teacher. Also, my web design and computer applications teacher (yeah, we don't really have programming classes here) encourages us to use new technologies as well as implement (add) our own ideas to the projects.
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#3 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:44 PM

at my university, we are allowed to think outside the box, if you wanna add something extra or implement the project in a new language etc...if the prof likes it, you may get bonus marks and the prof usually encourages people that do good job by showing their work to the younger classes.sometimes the prof provides internships for the good students at companies in Germany or local.
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#4 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:54 PM

Our school offers a lot of things, but the tech department doesn't like any individuality in the projects done. If you don't do everything the exact way it is said in the prompt we don't get a good grade or we have to redo the project.

A little while ago we had to make a calculator in Java, the teacher wanted us to use stacks to convert from infix to postfix (standard notation of 5+4 to 5 4 +) I went ahead and used regex to do all the conversions correctly in 5 lines of code (2 arrays, and a for loop). I had to redo the assignment...

I just don't think that schools are allowing students to have as much freedom as they should. In the real world there will be some requirements, but if you can get a more efficient way of working through a problem you can't use it.

There are some classes we are allowed to do whatever we want. I created a psuedo-3D environment using Flash for an english project and that was very good, I am pretty sure that I got 100% on that assignment, or at least I hope so for the amount of work that went into it...
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#5 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:06 PM

I was taking a data structures class and got marked down for implementing my own sort method rather then the Collections.sort() method. Bleh.
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#6 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:21 PM

WOW Kya that sucks... I don't think I could deal with that... The reason i'm asking is we're doing a project right now in which the entire backend and screenshots of the gui are procided and gives us barely any leeway...I don't think this is fair? And is this the way it is when you get out into industry?
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#7 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:23 PM

I'll find out about the industry next fall :o, but I think companies have coding standards and want to avoid "reinventing the wheel", but there is some leeway.


life is not fair, but that doesn't have really anything to do with it :P

This post has been edited by KYA: 19 February 2009 - 09:24 PM

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#8 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:26 PM

Quote

I was taking a data structures class and got marked down for implementing my own sort method rather then the Collections.sort() method. Bleh.

Considering a quicksort is more efficient for most of the things I have done in Java (even over the Arrays.sort(), haven't tested against collections) there should be no reason to get marked down. I agree, that sucks.

Quote

The reason i'm asking is we're doing a project right now in which the entire backend and screenshots of the gui are procided and gives us barely any leeway...I don't think this is fair? And is this the way it is when you get out into industry?

That doesn't seem fair. The students should be individuals, not required to implement everything in the same way.

In the real world (I am assuming, I don't have any experience...) you code and design it and then it depends on whether or not the client likes the layout or thinks that it accomplishes what they need.
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#9 zakmobl  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:03 AM

I know that at my college at the very least you can talk with professors about alternative labs/projects so long as they cover similar material. I tried to do it in the past, but the system i was working with had more issues than I realized and I switched to the main project since I was out of alternative ideas.
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#10 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:46 PM

In school I felt that there was a lot of encouragment to take a unique look on a project. That being said... you always took a risk doing so because your idea MAYNOT end up sitting well with the teacher.

My brother (a very free thinker) is often a victim of this. The teacher has a hard time seeing how the work done matches the terms of the assignment. Once you get to know my brother and begin to see things from his perspective a little it makes sense but initially his take on things can be very strange.

As a more concrete example in a history class we were asked to imagine meetings/interactions between different historical figures. We were encouraged to make the presentation "interesting" by choosing different formats (short story, interview, Jerry Springer transcript etc.)... so a friend of mine did a musical and turned in the libretto as well as a full recording. The professor must hate musical theater because he was NOT happy. His response was "...and you assume I have time to listen to this?"

The content was ok (not the best comparison and contrast between the ideals of the figures -- but at least demonstrated an understanding of the material -- but had excellent music and had an element of emotion missing from writing alone.) and the resulting grade ( C ) would probably have resulted with or without the CD -- but it was the reaction of the professor that was surprising.

In most of my CS classes though I did projects well above and beyond (since I already had 10 years of programming experience). The professors didn't mind though it did cause some trouble withe the graders since they were not necessarily able to keep up (I had a long conversation about concurrency with on the the graders who initially thought that he *must* know more than me since he had already taken that class -- my version of the assignment was to make it concurrent and that totally confused the grader).

This post has been edited by NickDMax: 08 March 2009 - 03:33 PM

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#11 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:26 PM

You bring up some interesting points Nick! Like i understand how from a marking perspective it could be a little harder as they would have to sift through code that is actually "different" from other student's work and i can see how that would bother them if they were lazy and didn't want to sift through it to actually figure out what it's doing. However maybe this isn't an issue with the people marking but more a philosophy issue with the college/university? Maybe if the university would put more emphasis on creativity it would spur a more interesting product? I don't know... from a university perspective is that even possible?
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#12 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:40 PM

A well known problem with modern universities is boxing - it is hard to deal with a few thousand individuals so you want to group them. Put them into little predefined boxes -- Designer, Programmer, Mathematician, Physicist... heck even Liberal Arts vs Engineering.

My school initially had Mathematics under liberal arts and then swapped it to engineering -- night and day! Classes went from teaching theory to teaching homework over night. (Engineers don't seem care HOW it works, just how to use it).

It is much more effective to treat things this way -- and puts the responsibility of choosing a school that has a box more compatible for you on the student.


BTW-- universities as a whole seem know this is a problem, but I don't think they really have come up with a model that works... they do keep trying though.

This post has been edited by NickDMax: 08 March 2009 - 03:41 PM

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#13 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:12 AM

I can sympathise with the tutor in some of these examples:

Quote

A little while ago we had to make a calculator in Java, the teacher wanted us to use stacks to convert from infix to postfix (standard notation of 5+4 to 5 4 +) I went ahead and used regex to do all the conversions correctly in 5 lines of code (2 arrays, and a for loop). I had to redo the assignment...


In a real world example the regex solution would be fine... but the assessment was to give you an arena to demonstrate your ability to use stacks. It's like using a teleporter to win a car race. It might be a better solution but it doesn't test your skill as a driver (and you'd quite rightly be disqualified.)
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#14 BigAnt  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:36 PM

Quote

In a real world example the regex solution would be fine... but the assessment was to give you an arena to demonstrate your ability to use stacks. It's like using a teleporter to win a car race. It might be a better solution but it doesn't test your skill as a driver (and you'd quite rightly be disqualified.)


:lol:

using reg ex to convert when you have to use stacks is like taking steroids and corking your bat when you have to hit a home run.

You get the home run, but failed to follow the rules of the game.

In your case the rules were to use stacks, and by using reg ex instead of stacks you broke the rules.
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#15 red_4900  Icon User is offline

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Re: school project impairing student creativity?

Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:28 AM

In my assignment for data structure class :

Quote

Explain hash.

In the textbook that we have in the class, it does not mention things about clustering, quadratic probing. No code, only brief explanation. I was the only one in the class that does all the extras, looking for information over the internet, uses 4, 5 books as reference and my assignment was 8 pages long. Yet I had one of the lowest mark in my class. All my other classmate just write/copy-paste/summarize from the textbook, some of their reports is only half pages long and they got high marks for the assignment.

WTF

This post has been edited by red_4900: 14 March 2009 - 03:29 AM

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