Re. classroom exercises

Subject: Re. classroom exercises
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 13:05:20 LCL

Interesting to see the vituperative nature of the
opponents on both sides of the "tying shoelaces as
a classroom exercise" thread. I suspect that those
who heaped scorn on the idea haven't actually
tried to do the exercise they're condemning, or
else they'd be less scornful. The criticism also
seems to be leveled at the complexity of the task,
rather than the documentation process. Similarly,
they probably don't have preschoolers to teach
this task, else they'd be intimately familiar with
what I consider the true purposes of the exercise
to be:

- to analyze the needs of an audience that doesn't
necessarily understand the subject (kids,
representing non-experts in this context) or need
to understand it (in the case of those with velcro
- to (almost certainly) provide accompanying
illustrations, which we techwhirlers often forget
to include in our communication
- to complete the exercise quickly so that the
class can build on it and apply it. (If this were
the most complicated exercise, or the only point
being made, then there would be some justice to
the criticism.)

In my opinion, the exercise succeeds quite well
for all three goals... provided that it
illustrates a point and builds on the point rather
than simply tossing off a quickie lesson.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one
of our reports, it don't represent FERIC's

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