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Subject:Re: Exercises for Students From:Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 11 Sep 1995 08:46:46 EDT
Will Kelly said:
>Yes, projects about documenting how to tie shoelaces can teach a student
>how to write. But it is not the real world. A small documentation project
>on something like a copier machine will go the extra mile to prepare them
>for the real world.
But you've got to be able to crawl before you can walk. (And if you want
to walk without tripping, you'd better know how to tie those shoelaces.)
Maybe shoelaces -is- too simple. I think documentation of a complex sytem
like a photocopier is a bit much for a student, though.
If the answer is something in between, one of my favorites is the "tire
changing" exercise. Go out to a student's car, pull out the owner's manual,
and change a tire using the existing procedure exactly as written. Normally
you'll find incomplete information, based on the manual's assumption of our
knowledge. For example, step one might say "Remove the jack components, and
place the jack stand in the baseplate." That -assumes- you know where the
jack is located, what the jack stand is, and which piece is the baseplate.
(And those of you on the list who own Jeep Wranglers or CJs know that the
jack isn't -always- gonna be found in the trunk...)
I think Will's point about "real world" applications is a good one, we're
just quibbling over the degree of complexity required.
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com