Authors: Cheer-Sun D. Yang and Jonathan W. Yu
While world economy remains stagnant, enrollment in Computer Science suffers inevitably. A computer science educator must find innovative ways to inspire students for learning computing technologies. Active learning with “worked examples”, presented by Sweller and Cooper, has been proven to be an effective pedagogical strategy. However, when teaching Python with Game Building using the active learning approach, an instructor may run into several challenges. First, developing games requires certain familiarity with the programming language and mathematic. Without the prerequisites, students may not be able to participate in discussions actively. Second, learning game building can become extraneous cognitive load instead of incentives for learning python programming especially for students without knowing python. In this paper, an incremental model is presented for teaching python programming with game building. These incremental lab projects are easy to learn, easy to implement, and relevant with the targeted subjects. As a result of using the incremental projects, students become motivated; many, if not all, actively participate in the discussion about various subjects. The experiences learned are discussed. Student projects are briefly described. Finally, future work is included.
python programming; actvive-learning; incremental lab experiments; worked examples.