Paragraph Summary

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I’ll leave this (more or less) as it was in the original paper, since it is a clear and short wrap-up of everything I said:


Through the twenty-two essays, we were able to see the type of person who took the class, how students reacted to the robots, what the students learned from the class, the source of frustrations when dealing with the robots, and suggestions for future classes. The class consisted mostly of non-science students, many choosing to take the class incidentally. However, through the course the students learned important, basic computer science concepts, such as breaking down a problem and planning out a solution. They got the impression that computer science involves logical thinking, problem-solving, and patience, and they left feeling that computer science was fun (how great!). Most students enjoyed using the interactive, hands-on Scribblers, and a number of them even became attached to the life-like creatures. The students did get frustrated with the robots at times, especially over the imprecision of the robots and over hardware issues that were out of the students’ control; at the same time, they learned that it is reasonable that, like humans, robots are not completely perfect. Along with various robot activities, the students also highly enjoyed the non-robot oriented graphics assignment. Following that, I recommend continuing to teach both robot and non-robot concepts. Happily, most of the students left the class with the feeling that computer programming was important and in some way relevant to their future life, whether in their field of study or in the every day world.